7 Tips for Airline Travel with a Baby
Infants can be very unpredictable, which is why other passengers might cringe if you step on an airplane holding a small baby. You may be accustomed to hearing the sounds of a crying baby, but plenty of people who may be traveling with you certainly are not. Obviously, it can be difficult and embarrassing at the same time, to ride on an airplane with a baby who can’t seem to be appeased. It may be possible to improve the situation, with some planning.
Tips on Traveling by Air with a Baby
Inform the Airline
You will save time by letting the airline know you will be traveling with an infant who will share your seat. If you book tickets without this step, your boarding pass will need to be changed at the gate. This step is unnecessary if you are booking a seat for your baby, too.
Choose the Best Time
What time of day is your baby most affable and tolerant of situations that are unfamiliar? Usually mornings are best because babies are more rested. But your baby could be different. Book your flight for the time of day when your baby will likely be less fussy.
Book a Window Seat
The best seat for traveling with a baby is a window seat. You will have control of the window shade, so that you can block out the light, as needed during your baby's nap time. You can enjoy greater privacy while nursing, as well. It’s possible your baby will enjoy looking out the window, which could be the perfect diversion.
Forego the Long Security Line
As a general rule, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) allows families with small children to move to the front of the security line. Families are often able to go through without removing shoes or getting bags rifled through. When a baby is strapped in a carrier, sometimes the TSA allows the infant to be waived through the metal detector, as well.
Be Ready for Cabin Pressure Issues
People of all ages often feel painful ear pressure during flight take-offs and landings. Since sucking is an activity that alleviates ear pressure, be prepared to give your baby a bottle or to breastfeed at these times. Not everyone experiences a problem with this, but it’s good to be prepared.
Wear the Right Clothing
If you are breastfeeding, don’t forget to wear garments that are easily adjusted. A standard nursing outfit for travel is to wear a nursing tank top and a comfortable active wear jacket. This eliminates the need to pull your shirt up when breastfeeding. Dress your baby in a funny onesie, and it could help diffuse trying situations.
Try to Claim an Open Row
If you can have a full row with your baby, there is more of an opportunity to make the flight more comfortable for both of you. Extra room and privacy are especially welcome for breastfeeding mothers. Either way, you can better move around and play with your tiny one, if you can utilize the entire row of seats.
Ready to Travel with a Baby
With some planning, traveling on a plane with a baby could go very smoothly. That is, at least, what you and everyone on the plane will hope for. Taking steps to make air travel with a baby go more smoothly could reduce the amount of crying that other passengers will be forced to listen to. Savvy fellow travelers will appreciate you very much if you have at least tried to make the best of a potentially difficult situation.