Whether it’s for the holidays or summer vacation or what have you, traveling with a baby can be pretty stressful. Today we will discuss the whole experience of traveling with a baby and breaking some tips down into five different stages: booking, check-in, security, the actual flight itself, and the arrival.
The first thing you want to identify is your baby’s witching hour, that’s the hour where they are the fussiest and the most tired. You don’t want to book a flight in the witching hour because that will not be very easy for you. Personally, I like choosing an early morning flight or a super late flight. Booking at this time gives your baby a great opportunity to sleep and even for you to just kind of sleep throughout the entire flight.
Upon buying the ticket, you will want to determine how you want to travel, so that will be do you want to be holding or wearing the baby throughout the entire flight or do you want to buy a separate ticket so you can put the car seat and the baby in that separate seat. That will require a bit more money but regardless that’s something you will want to determine. After you buy the seat, go ahead and call the airline and make sure the baby is on your reservation. Make sure the baby is on the reservation so they know that you are flying with the baby. The baby will need some sort of identification if you are flying internationally, so you have to get all the identification documents in place beforehand.
When checking in to the airport, try to make everything as minimal as possible. You can check as much baby things on the flight because they travel free. So you don’t have to pay any sort of bag fee for that which is great. If you are checking in a stroller, you want nothing too big or bulky so you might want to rethink your travel system.
After you check-in, you will have to make your way over to the security line. TSA security checkpoint is arguably the most stressful part for me. I hate it but I will say that the biggest piece of advice I can give you for this is to wear your baby. Wearing your baby makes it a lot easier. Talking about what to wear when you are going through security, you don’t want to be wearing all the bangles. Just wear something like sweats, it makes it so much easier especially on the flight.
The flight itself is entirely a mental game. If you have a partner, it will be a little easier for you but the baby will do what the baby will do but it’s all about how you perceive things, how you react to things, and how you keep mentally sound that will get you through the flight. Now, find your seat and if you have a car seat, you can install it. Just make sure it is TSA compliant, and that it is suited to be strapped into an airplane seat because not all car seats can do that.
Flying is a scary thing and unfortunately as a parent, your options are limited. The best you can do is just try to entertain the baby, feed the baby, or walk around with him or her. Again, it’s a mental game and depending on how you react to the baby it will be fine. Don’t worry, there are a lot more people on that flight than you realize that are much more empathetic to your situation.
Sometimes taxiing and deplaning can take a long time, so you might want to consider a flight seat that’s a little more toward the middle or front as opposed to the back. This is because it will take a long time for people to get off the plane and the baby might get antsy. The longer that takes, the more stressed you get, so the back of the plane is a bit more stressful so just keep that in mind.