Flying with a baby or toddler can be a nerve-racking experience, especially if it’s your first time. You hope that your baby or toddler will be good for the flight, but you can never predict what exactly will happen.
However, when you are prepared, you can relieve your anxiety by following these trusted and true tips to get you and your child through the flight.
Traveling with a toddler and baby: 11 tips to make the trip successful.
1. Book longer connection flights:
When traveling with our baby, we tried our best to avoid connection flights and opted to book direct flights. We tried not to travel very long on the plane either as that could be stressful as well.
If we had a connection flight, we made sure that it would be at least 2 hours. That gave us plenty of time to go to the bathroom, walk around and take our time to the gate. The worst thing is to be running through the airport with a baby or toddler, strollers, etc. to catch your connecting flight. I recommend at least booking two hour connection flight time intervals to account for your previous flight and get everything done without rushing.
2. Take advantage of pre-boarding:
Did you know that families with young kids have pre-boarding privileges? Most airlines will let families board first giving you more time to get your child, personal items and you settled before the majority of people board. This is also a great time to introduce your child to different elements on the plane if it is an older child flying for the first time.
3. Know baggage allowances and baggage fees before traveling.
Children who are not occupying a seat and do not have a ticket are not allowed any baggage allowance. Therefore, if you go over your baggage allowance due to the extra weight of child’s items, you may still have to pay additional baggage fees. Some airlines and staff may be lenient but it is important to know this information before heading to the airport.
Although, un-ticketed children may not be allowed baggage allowance most airlines do allow parents or individuals traveling with children to check-in equipment for children such as car seats, strollers. They also allow you to bring a diaper bag without extra charge. Therefore, you should check baggage fees and allowance before buying a ticket since you might run into trouble during check-in or boarding.
4. Gate check baby gear.
At no additional charge, most airlines allow parents and caregivers to gate check large baby gear like strollers and car seats. Gate check items will be taken on boarding and given to you when leaving the plane. Check with your airline before your flight regarding their gate-check policy. This is a great tip for flying especially when you are traveling alone with your child, to have access to certain things like strollers.
5. Dress in comfortable layers and bring extra clothing and necessities
The plane can be very cold. Make sure you dress your baby and toddlers in layers to help with drastic changes in temperature aboard the plane. Also, don’t forget to bring extra clothing, diapers, and other necessities just in case your baby has an accident. Your diaper bag is your best friend while traveling with small kids so make sure it’s packed adequately. Check out my diaper bag essentials post to learn what you should have in yours.
6. Distract your baby or toddlers
Once my daughter was bored, that’s when we had a major problem. Most babies and toddlers can be more irritable in unknown environments where their routine is altered. Of course, it’s healthy since this is the only way they can communicate with us. So, I made sure to pack books, travel toys and her favorite shows to keep my daughter distracted and create elements of her routine throughout the trip. Often times she was so distracted and stimulated that she usually gets tired and falls asleep during the flight which makes me a happy mom.
7. Be prepared for Snack time or feeding time.
If you are flying with a baby or toddler don’t forget bottles or snacks for your babies and kids. If you are flying with a toddler, don’t forget a sippy cup and make sure you are taking enough liquids on board. Keep snacks easy and avoid messy snacks.
8. Ignore the haters and Stares.
There will be plenty of stares and side-eyes when you get on the plane with your baby or toddler. Ignore them and focus on your baby. Even if your baby cries or has a temper tantrum keep clam and continue with what you are doing! A small child has the right to travel too and sometimes things happen that are out of our control but being prepared can help get you prepared for a bunch of scenarios.
Make sure to pack your child’s medications in your carry on just in case you will need them on the flight or if your baggage is lost or delayed. Always, keep them in the original packing, so they are not an issue with airport security. Anything can happen when you are flying with a baby or toddler so you need to be ready.
10. Help relieve ear pressure:
Take off and landing can cause changes to ear pressure. This ear pressure can be very uncomfortable, especially to children who don’t understand what is happening. Sucking or chewing helps ease ear pain caused by pressure changes. You can help by giving your child a bottle, breastfeeding, pacifier or a snack to chew on during take-off and landing.
11. Rent baby equipment:
To avoid carrying more load, opt to rent baby equipment. Depending on where you are traveling you can rent play packs, strollers, car seats, etc. Do your research and call ahead before traveling. If you are worried about having to carry items on your flight you can always call the airline or airport and ask if they have baby/toddler seats, toddler airport stroller or seat belts available.
I hope these 11 tips for flying with a baby or toddler was helpful to you. If you have any other tips please share them below.
Until Next Time,
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I definitely agree with this post. My son’s iPad and snacks were crucial for all of our trips.