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Airplane Travel Tips

Airplane Travel with Babies: Tips to Stay Sane

Airplane Travel with Babies: Tips to Stay Sane

Traveling with a baby can be challenging, especially when you are looking to travel by airplane. The idea of traveling with a little one may bring about thoughts of crying, fussing, and a cabin full of frustrated passengers. While it may not be easy, with a little preparation and patience it is possible to have a successful flight with a baby in tow.

1. Choose the right flight time

When planning your travel, try your best to book flights during your baby’s regular sleep schedule. This will help ensure that your baby is well rested and less likely to be fussy during the flight. Additionally, note that flights during off-peak hours may be less crowded, allowing more space and privacy for you and your child.

2. Seat choice matters

Pick an aisle seat for easy access to the aisle. This will allow you to easily move around the cabin with your baby without disturbing other passengers. If you are traveling with a partner, consider booking the window and aisle seat together. This will give you easy access to the aisle, and may also offer your baby some scenic entertainment from the window seat.

3. Pack strategically

Pack a carry-on bag with all the essentials your baby may need during the flight. This may include diapers, wipes, bibs, burp cloths, changing pads, and extra clothes for spills and accidents. Also, consider packing lightweight toys and books that are easy to pack and will help keep your baby entertained.

4. Consider a baby carrier

If you plan on carrying your baby on your lap for the duration of the flight, consider bringing a baby carrier. This will allow you to carry your baby hands-free, freeing up your arms to carry a bag, snacks, or to easily move around the cabin. Additionally, holding your baby close to your body may also help soothe and calm your little one.

5. Ask for help

Don’t be afraid to ask for assistance from the flight attendants or other passengers. They may be able to offer you a helping hand or provide some extra space for you and your baby. Additionally, if you are traveling with a partner, work as a team and split duties to ensure that one person is always available to tend to your baby’s needs.

6. Bring snacks and drinks

Pack some healthy snacks and drinks for your baby to munch on during the flight. Breast milk or formula can also be brought on the plane and stored in a small cooler or insulated bag. Don’t forget to bring an extra bottle or sippy cup for your baby to drink from during takeoff and landing to help ease ear pressure.

7. Be prepared for takeoff and landing

During takeoff and landing, changes in cabin pressure can make your baby’s ears pop, which may cause discomfort or pain. To help alleviate this, offer your baby a bottle, pacifier, or sippy cup during these times. Also, consider bringing some infant pain reliever to offer in case of extreme discomfort.

In conclusion, traveling with a baby on an airplane may seem daunting, but with a little preparation and patience, it can be a successful experience. Focus on planning for the essentials, ask for help when needed, and be flexible when faced with unexpected situations. Have a safe and enjoyable flight!

FAQ: Airplane Travel with Babies – Tips to Stay Sane

What should I do to prepare for my baby’s first flight?

Start by researching your airline’s policies on traveling with infants and booking the right seat. Pack plenty of snacks, diapers, blankets, and extra clothes in a diaper bag. Make sure your baby is well-fed before takeoff and consider nursing or using a pacifier during the flight to alleviate ear pressure.

What are some safety tips for flying with a baby?

Never leave your baby unattended in their seat, and buckle them in using a FAA-approved car seat or seatbelt. Avoid exposing your baby to germ-prone areas such as touchscreens or airplane blankets. Finally, follow the flight crew’s instructions regarding safety procedures.

Is it safe for me to continue breastfeeding during the flight?

Yes! Breastfeeding is perfectly safe during flights and can help soothe your baby. You may prefer to nurse during takeoff and landing to help equalize your baby’s ear pressure. Bring a nursing cover or blanket for privacy if desired.

How do I handle my baby’s diaper changes in an airplane bathroom?

First, make sure to use the airplane’s changing table, if available. Bring a change of clothes and diaper supplies in a compact bag for easy access. Wipe down the changing table with antibacterial wipes and dispose of dirty diapers in the airplane’s trash. Always wash your hands and use hand sanitizer.

What can I do to keep my baby calm and entertained during the flight?

Bring plenty of toys, books, and games that are age-appropriate and stimulating. Consider downloading baby-friendly apps or movies on a tablet or smartphone. Take frequent breaks to walk around the cabin and stretch your baby’s legs. Finally, always remain positive and calm during the flight.

How can I handle my baby’s crying in a way that is respectful to other passengers?

First, don’t panic or feel guilty if your baby cries – it’s a normal response to the unfamiliar environment and the changes in air pressure. Do your best to soothe your baby using the techniques you know work for them, such as nursing, singing, or rocking. If possible, step into the aisle and walk your baby to calm them.

Should I use medication to help my baby sleep during the flight?

It’s generally recommended not to use medication to help your baby sleep, unless it’s prescribed by your pediatrician. Consider using natural sleep aids such as white noise or a familiar blanket instead. Also, keep in mind that babies will need to sleep more often and in shorter bursts than adults, so be flexible and patient.

What should I do if my baby gets sick during the flight?

If your baby becomes ill during the flight, stay calm and alert the flight crew immediately. They will have medical supplies on board and can assist you in determining the best course of action. If necessary, they may also divert the flight for emergency medical care.

Can I bring my stroller or car seat on the airplane?

Yes! Most airlines allow you to bring a stroller and car seat aboard for free or at a nominal charge. Check with your airline for their specific policies and recommendations for securing these items.

What if my baby gets fussy or disruptive during the flight?

Don’t worry! Babies are unpredictable, and sometimes they may get fussy or cry loudly. Do your best to calm your baby, apologize to other passengers if necessary, and remember that most people will be understanding. Take breaks and try different soothing techniques until your baby becomes calm again.

Is it safe to travel with my baby during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Traveling with your baby during the COVID-19 pandemic requires extra precautions, such as wearing masks, washing hands frequently, and practicing physical distancing as much as possible. These measures can help reduce the spread of the virus and keep you and your baby safe. Consider postponing non-essential travel and following guidelines from public health officials until it is safe to travel again.

Related Products for Airplane Travel with Babies

  • Travel Baby Carrier

    A travel baby carrier is a must-have for airplane travel with a baby. The carrier allows for hands-free movement and makes navigating through airports and security checks easier. Look for carriers that are easy to put on and take off and are comfortable for both the parent and baby.

  • Travel Diaper Bag

    A travel diaper bag is specifically designed for on-the-go convenience and can make traveling with a baby less stressful. Look for bags with multiple compartments, easy-access pockets, and stroller straps to make carrying it even easier. Some travel diaper bags even come with changing pads and insulated bottle holders.

  • Portable Baby Bed

    A portable baby bed can provide a safe and familiar place for a baby to sleep while traveling. There are several options to choose from, including travel cribs and portable bassinets. Look for beds that are lightweight, easy to set up and transport, and have safety features such as breathable mesh walls.

  • Car Seat/Stroller Combo

    A car seat/stroller combo can make traveling with a baby a breeze. Look for a lightweight and compact design that is easy to maneuver through airports and folds up for easy transport. Some car seat/stroller combos also allow for easy installation in rental cars and on airplanes.

  • Baby Head Support

    A baby head support is a cushioned support that attaches to a car seat or stroller to prevent a baby’s head from flopping forward during sleep. This can ensure a more comfortable and safe ride for your baby. Look for head supports that are adjustable, washable, and made with breathable fabric.

  • Baby Noise Cancelling Headphones

    Baby noise-cancelling headphones can help protect your baby’s delicate ears from the noise level on an airplane. Look for headphones that are lightweight, adjustable, and designed specifically for babies. Some headphones even come with a travel case for easy transport.

  • Baby Sunshade

    A baby sunshade can provide needed protection for your baby while traveling to sunny destinations. Look for sunshades that are easy to install and provide full coverage. Some sunshades also come with built-in mosquito netting to protect your baby from bugs.

  • Portable High Chair

    A portable high chair can be a lifesaver when traveling with a baby. Look for high chairs that are lightweight, easy to set up and transport, and fit most dining chairs. Some portable high chairs even come with a carry bag for easy travel.

  • Baby Food Maker

    A baby food maker can be a convenient way to ensure your baby is getting healthy and fresh food while on the go. Look for food makers that are portable, easy to clean, and offer a variety of features such as steaming and pureeing. Some baby food makers even come with travel containers for easy transport.

  • Baby Travel Pillow

    A baby travel pillow can provide much-needed support and comfort during long flights. Look for pillows that are lightweight, easily inflatable, and designed specifically for babies. Some travel pillows even come with a removable and washable cover.

Pros & Cons of Airplane Travel with Babies


  • Avoiding stress from driving: Airplane travel with babies can be a more relaxing option than taking a long car journey. Driving with a crying baby for hours can add extra stress to the journey, whereas flying can make it a lot easier to manage your little one.
  • Less time spent traveling: Taking a plane can be much faster than a car or train, so you’ll reach your destination more quickly, minimizing the amount of time you’ll need to spend on the road with your baby.
  • A chance to bond with your baby: Since you’ll be spending a lot of time with your little one, you’ll be able to bond with them and develop a closer connection. Babies can be very comforting during a flight, too, as the sound of the engine can lull them to sleep.
  • No need to pack a lot of equipment: When you travel by plane, you’ll need to pack carry-on bags with essentials like diapers, wipes, snacks, and a change of clothes. However, you won’t need to pack bulky items like strollers or car seats, making flying a convenient option.
  • Less chance of motion sickness: Air travel is generally smoother than other modes of transportation, making it less likely that your baby will experience motion sickness. The steady hum of the plane may even have a calming effect on your baby.


  • Noisy environment: Airplanes can be loud and distracting, which can be overwhelming for a baby. The sound of the engine, announcements, and other passengers can be very jarring, especially during takeoff and landing.
  • Possible ear pain: Babies aren’t able to “pop” their ears during takeoff and landing, which can cause them pain and discomfort. Parents can help by feeding them or giving them a pacifier to help relieve the pressure.
  • Restrictions on baby gear: While you won’t need to pack bulky items like strollers or car seats, you may have other restrictions on baby gear. Airlines may have size and weight limitations for carry-on baggage, so you’ll need to plan accordingly.
  • Limited space: Airplanes can be cramped and uncomfortable, and this can be especially true if you have a baby with you. You may have limited space to move around or to take care of your baby’s needs.
  • Unpredictable flight delays: Flights can be unpredictable, and delays can be especially hard on parents with babies. Make sure you have plenty of snacks, diapers, and other essentials on hand in case of an unexpected delay.

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