Traveling on the plane with a baby is so stressful…or is it?
We took our daughter traveling on a plane for vacation all the way to Germany to see my family when she was only 8 months old. It actually wasn’t that bad. It is definitely exhausting but I thought it would be worse.
You are allowed to take pretty much any food for your baby on board in your bag. We had a bunch of snacks in there and a sippy cup filled with water – no problem at all. I just let them know before we went trough the security are that i have baby snacks and water with me.
They didn’t even screen it.
On the way back on the other hand they took the screening more serious and i had to take the carrier off so everything could be tested for a possible trace of drugs. They just swiped the tester all over the carrier and her hands and mine.
It took me longer to get the carrier on and off than the testing itself.
You can also bring formula with you while traveling on the plane, as long as it is a “reasonable amount” according to the TSA Website.
It could happen that you have to open it so it can be tested before boarding.
I would recommend taking a extra blanket and warm clothes for your baby. It gets so cold on planes. I also had around 20 diapers stashed in there and ended up only needing maybe 5 during the whole time we traveled. Which was probably close to 24 hours (3 hours driving to the airport, 2 until boarding, 11 hour flight, 3 hour layover, 1 hour flight and another 2 hours until we were at our final destination)
So pretty much a diaper for 4 hours – and some extra just in case.
And everything else you usually use on a daily basis with your baby. Burp clothes, extra change of clothes, etc.
A new toy can be pretty entertaining. Something they haven’t seen yet. But changes are that your baby will be pretty busy checking out everything that happens around you on the plane.
Lap child or own seat on the plane?
Most airlines will automatically book your baby as a lap child under the age of two with a lower price than the actual seat. Within the US you can even take a baby on your lap for free.
So this question really depends on where you go and if you’re willing to have a baby sitting on you for the whole flight. Of course it is a price question too, after all plane tickets are not cheap, especially for international flights.
If you booked a extra seat you want to make sure to bring a car seat that is appropriate for a plane too. (read your manual for the car seat and it should tell you)
Our baby was a lap child for a long 12 hours of flying with stop in between but we managed. If you fly international and your baby is still small enough – there are bassinets available during traveling in the plane. I had no idea until a friend of mine told me she used one for her baby.
That bassinet was probably the best thing. We had to call the airline after booking to reserve a bassinet since they go by “first come, first serve” so if you’re unlucky and there are many baby’s on the plane you might not get one. The bassinets can only be used in the seats right behind the restrooms. It gets attached to the wall right on front of you and give you a break from having a baby on your lap and the baby a comfortable place to sleep.
We automatically got assigned these seats a few weeks before our travel started. (I could see it online when I checked)
This was my daughter sleeping in the bassinet:
These two parts are probably hardest on the baby. Unlike us, they are not that good with regulating ear pressure yet.
It helps when your baby drinks while takeoff and while landing. I tried both – Breast and sippy cup – she preferred the breast (what a surprise). This made it so much easier. While drinking their ear pressure can be regulated without them doing much.
You will have a separate seatbelt that attached to yours so your baby is safe too. Please make sure that the seatbelt is attached correctly. You can nurse or give them a sippy cup while sitting on your lap with a bit of practice.
Other Tips and Tricks
You can bring your stroller with you and take it on the plane as luggage with usually no extra charge. This depends on the airline so make sure you get all the information before you travel.
A Carrier or baby wrap is your best friend inside the airport and during layovers. It made things so much easier to just carry the baby in front of me. That way I had both hands free and she was snuggled safe and sound to my chest. This is especially helpful if you have to wait somewhere for a longer time. We had to wait over 1 hour in line at the LAX customs. Without the carrier, my arms would’ve probably fallen off.
With a little practice, you can even nurse while carrying.
Usually you are also allowed to bring a extra suitcase for the baby. That also depends on your airline so make sure to read their requirements before you pack a extra one. I used my hand luggage for her stuff and had my handbag for all the essentials during the travel.
The TSA Website gives you a lot of good information about traveling on the plane with baby or children. And what they allow you to bring with you on the plane.
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