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Oh The Places We Will Go

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Flying with an Infant: Essential Tips and Tricks for Traveling by Plane with Your Baby

Traveling with a baby can be an adventure in itself, and when you add air travel to the mix, it can seem even more daunting. However, with some careful planning and a few helpful tips and tricks, you can make your first airplane trip with your baby a smooth and enjoyable experience. Here are some essential guidelines to help you navigate the skies with your little one:

Be Prepared with the Essentials When packing for your trip, be sure to bring along all the essential items your baby will need during the flight. Pack plenty of diapers, wipes, baby food, bottles, formula, and extra clothing. It's also a good idea to bring a blanket, pacifiers, and any other comfort items your baby relies on. Consider using a backpack-style diaper bag for easy carrying and accessibility during the flight.

Plan Your Flights Carefully When booking your flights, try to schedule them during your baby's nap time or when they are likely to be the most relaxed. This will help ensure a smoother and more peaceful journey. Avoid peak travel times if possible to minimize crowds and potential delays.

Choose the Right Seating When selecting your seats, opt for a seat configuration that suits your needs. Many airlines offer bulkhead seats, which have extra legroom and a bassinet attachment for infants. These seats provide more space and comfort for both you and your baby. Additionally, choosing a window seat can help provide a distraction for your little one during the flight.

Breastfeed or Bottle Feed During Takeoff and Landing

The changes in cabin pressure during takeoff and landing can cause discomfort in your baby's ears. To alleviate this, breastfeed or bottle feed your baby during these times. The swallowing action helps equalize the pressure in their ears and reduces discomfort. This has worked really well for us in our travels.

Pack Snacks and Entertainment

For longer flights, it's important to keep your baby entertained and comfortable. Pack a variety of snacks and small toys to keep them engaged during the flight. I find toys that can stick to the table or the window are the easiest to keep track of and my baby loved them. Bring their favorite books or toys to provide a sense of familiarity. Consider downloading some baby-friendly apps or videos on your smartphone or tablet as a last resort entertainment option.

Be Mindful of Cabin Temperature

Airplanes can often be chilly, so be sure to dress your baby in layers to accommodate changes in cabin temperature. This way, you can easily add or remove clothing as needed to keep them comfortable throughout the flight. Additionally, bring a light blanket to provide extra warmth and coziness.

Take Advantage of Pre-Boarding

Most airlines offer pre-boarding for families with young children. Take advantage of this opportunity to board early and get settled before the rest of the passengers. This allows you to arrange your belongings, secure any necessary items, and ensure your baby is comfortable before takeoff. However, if your baby does not like sitting still, you may want to board later if your seats are already assigned on your flight. There is no reason for your baby to become antsy for 30 minutes while the whole plane is boarding and you are sitting in the small confined seats of an airplane.

Bring Calming Comfort Items

If your baby has a favorite blanket, stuffed animal, or pacifier, be sure to bring it along. These familiar items can provide a sense of security and comfort, especially in unfamiliar surroundings. Having these items on hand can help soothe your baby and make them feel more at ease during the flight.

Stay Calm and Be Flexible

Traveling with a baby can be unpredictable, and there may be moments of fussiness or unexpected situations. It's important to stay calm and remember that babies can sense your energy. Take deep breaths, stay positive, and be flexible in adapting to your baby's needs. Remember, your baby may pick up on your anxiety, so staying calm will help them feel more relaxed as well.

Seek Assistance from the Cabin Crew

Don't hesitate to ask for assistance from the cabin crew if you need help or have any concerns during the flight. They are experienced in handling various situations and are often more than willing to lend a hand. Whether you need a warm bottle of water or an extra blanket, the cabin crew is there to assist you and make your journey as comfortable as possible.

Traveling with a baby for the first time can be a little nerve-wracking, but with these essential tips and tricks, you'll be well-prepared to tackle your airplane adventure. Remember to plan ahead, pack wisely, and stay flexible. Embrace the journey and enjoy creating precious memories with your little one. Happy travels!

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