Will you be air traveling with your newborn or baby soon? Fret not, because all you have to do is follow 6 simple rules for stress-free air traveling with your baby. Advice given by a ParentingPortal.org contributor.
Perhaps you fear the people across the aisle are getting annoyed, the flight attendant is coming to your seat several times to see if there is anything she can do to help, but nothing stops your baby from screaming at the top of her lungs.
You are tired, frustrated, embarrassed and just want to crawl into a hole.
But most importantly, don’t be embarrassed. Those around should understand that this is part and parcel of traveling with a baby.
Babies will often cry and fuss during situations that are new and bit scary to them.
They are also confined, maybe having ear pain from the altitude or their sleep schedule may be off because of the time you are traveling.
All parents traveling with baby experience this process of adjustment. And you will too.
You are exposing your baby to a new experience; you are not letting the change of your family dynamic by having babies interfere with the quest for travel.
Now, this does not mean that traveling with your baby cannot be made more enjoyable.
Here, I shall let you in on some simple rules that will hopefully relieve the stress and bring a bit more joy to this great travel adventure.
Air Traveling with Baby Rule #1:
It’s all about Timing
You know your baby best. Do they get crankier at certain times in the day? Are they generally good when sleeping in your arms?
Evaluate all those habits when choosing your flight time. Sometimes it is worth an extra couple of bucks for a better schedule for your baby to make your trip less stressful.
Air Traveling with Baby Rule #2:
On Addressing Ear Pains…
While not every baby has ear pains while flying, there are a couple of things you can do if your precious one is in pain. If you baby uses a pacifier, be sure to have one on hand.
Chewing may give some relief, try to give them a snack to nibble.
Another option if your baby is prone to ear problems, give them the recommended dose of Acetaminophen 30 minutes before flying. Keeping some in your bag is definitely a good idea.
Air Traveling with Baby Rule #3:
Bring in the big
This is the time to hold back on that new toy you bought until you are on the plane and need it.
Bring a couple of familiar items you know your baby enjoys but also have a couple of new things that will draw their attention and keep them entertained.
Babies love toys that make noise, that allow them to use their fine motor skills like the Learn to Dress Monkey and toys that are colorful and dynamic.
One great toy can bring an hour of contentment. I haven’t mentioned using an electronic device but it is certainly an option with an age appropriate cartoons, movies or music.
Music is another great love of babies.
Remember, whatever new toy you decide on, keep it aside until you need it.
Air Traveling with Baby Rule #4:
Another secret weapon, snacks!
Snacks are a given.
Choose snacks that are easy to manage, that they can feed themselves and aren’t too messy. Cheerios was a favorite in my house. These great Munchkin Snack Catcher Containers sold by ToysRUs are a great way to avoid spills and still allow your baby the independence of eating.
Again, feeding themselves is just another way for them to occupy their time while traveling.
Air Traveling with Baby Rule #5:
Don’t be afraid to ask for help
This rule is especially true when you are a parent traveling alone with a baby.
Flight attendants are there to assist you in these times as they are great with parents travelling with their babies.
If you need help getting to the overhead bin, carrying a diaper bag to the washroom, need a wet facecloth or assistance when leaving the plane don’t hesitate to use their services.
Trust me when I say, they are experts in helping people. Generally speaking, flight attendants are a god send and so let them help you whenever possible to make travel with your infant just a little easier.
Air Traveling with Baby Rule #6:
Don’t sweat the small stuff
Such a cliché, but oh so true.
If your infant is yelling out or having “a moment” don’t worry one little bit.
If you have done all you can to make the flight enjoyable for your family and those around you then you have done your best as a parent.
Most of the people who are in the seats around you, have been in your shoes, so they are usually understanding to your situation and will often offer assistance or make smiles at your little one.
Make a list about a week before you travel to ensure you have everything you want and need to bring. Have your infant bag or knapsack prepared and easily accessible once boarded.
Let this adventure be a positive experience and know you are not alone. Traveling with your baby is an exciting opportunity to make new memories as a family!