Taking flight without losing your mind: Traveling with a Baby
By Yessenia Anderson
Its summer and weekends in the triple digits are now a common occurrence.
As much as we love our beautiful city it’s known to be a melting pot – literally. What better excuse for a weekend get-away?
But a cool escape can prove a lot more complex when you’ve got a baby in tow.
While no amount of preparation can ever ensure a smooth ride when flying with an infant, these few tips gathered from brave moms will at least make your travels a bit more predictable.
What you will need to survive:
Carrying cases for stroller and/or car seat
Wrap or baby carrier
Sealed water bottles
Waterproof liner / changing mat
Before You Leave:
If at all possible try and schedule your flight during your little one’s nap time.
If you are flying alone invest in carrying cases for your car seat and stroller. Most have wheels, making it easier to stroll through the airport with luggage in one hand and baby in the other. Another option is to keep the stroller out and use it to simultaneously push your baby and luggage in. You can check the stroller at the gate (see below).
Call the airline ahead to let them know you are traveling with an infant. Also check with the airline before and see if you can pre board. Once you arrive tell the ticketing agent you have a lap baby and sometimes they will even give you an open seat if there is room on the flight.
Be aware that when you buy a seat for your child, you will need to bring a government-approved car seat for him to sit in on the plane.
If you are hesitant about passing through the x-ray machine with your baby, use a carrier and wear him/her through security.
Some mom’s shared that if you are baby wearing, TSA has been known to conduct a hand swipe test to look for traces of explosives. A full bottle will also prompt additional testing as well. If you are using formula you can bring closed water so you don’t have to pay the costly airport prices just make sure they are closed.
Don’t put on lotion or use hand sanitizer until AFTER your security check. A mommy friend of mine made that mistake and the swipe of her hand resulted in a positive alert so she was patted down. Not fun when you are trying to care for a squirmy infant.
At the Gate:
Gate check your car seat and stroller if you bring them it’s free and less likely to get damaged.
On the Plane:
If you are breast feeding don’t feel bad about doing it on the plane a little tiny boob flash is much better than a screaming baby. Rows A, B, and C will thank you.
Dirty Diaper? Some airlines have a changing table but for those that don’t, I recommend asking a flight attendant for their recommendations. Your changing mat might prove to be your best bet; if you are traveling with someone you might be able to change your baby in your seat with the help of your companion.
For additional tips, here is a great list of questions to ask your airline before traveling with your baby.
“…And may the odds be ever in your favor!”