Flying with Baby

Christine Sweeney, LICSW Program Manager, Parent Connection, BIDMC

NOVEMBER 30, 2017

flying baby

It’s the holidays and for some, it may mean the first time you are traveling on a plane with a baby. Not long ago, one of the moms that comes to a moms group I lead wrote down some travelling tips that she found to be really helpful, so … if you’re leaving on a jet plane …

  • Breastfeed or give your baby a bottle during take-off and landing. Sucking helps with ear pressure, so even if your baby isn’t hungry offering something to suck on such as a pacifier may help ease the pain. Baby won’t take a pacifier? Put a clean, dry washcloth in a Ziploc bag and once through security, pour some cool water on the cloth. Once the plane starts to climb, you can try giving it to baby to suck on.
  • Some planes don’t have changing tables in the bathroom. Use the airport facilities to put on a dry diaper just prior to boarding, and consider using an extra-absorbent/overnight diaper. Pack a larger changing pad with a waterproof side. The bigger pads allow for baby’s entire body to be on the pad.
  • Pack a spare shirt for yourself in case of spit-ups, spills, or other types of explosions (you know what I mean).
  • Try to get an aisle set so that you can get up and pace if you need to.
  • If you are traveling with another adult, have that adult board early so as to secure your carry on items and then wait to board with baby until the last opportunity.
  • Bring a carrier/sling, it will make aisle pacing and using the bathroom (especially if you are traveling solo with baby) much easier.
  • Use your cameral cell phone to take a picture of where you parked your car at the airport.
  • Try to fly as early in the day as possible. Afternoon and evening flights are more likely to be delayed due to back-ups at the airport. Mid-week travel often costs less and also tends to be less crowded.
  • Pack one diaper for every hour of travel (from door-to door) in your carry-on. Ziploc bags are an essential in-flight accessory. Pack a complete change of baby clothes (or two). Pack extra nipples, pacifiers, spoons, etc. in them for reloading and use old bags for dirties.
  • Check with your pediatrician about the correct dosing for Tylenol or Advil based on your babiy's weight. Have your pediatricians’ phone number on your contact list and know the location of the nearest emergency room wherever you are staying (just in case).

Enjoy the holidays and if you are a parent with experience flying with baby, please feel free to share tips you’ve found helpful!