Tips For Flying With A Baby
Wondering when and how you should travel with your baby? In this article we share tried & trusted tips, advice and products to help you get from Point A to Point B with ease!
While it may seem like one of the most daunting things to face as a new parent, traveling with a baby doesn’t have to feel like Mission Impossible.
In fact, as your newborn begins to stay awake for longer stretches of time and start taking in the world around them, you’ll love watching them see new landscapes, meet your friends and family and react curiously at all the unfamiliar sounds!
To help make the journey a little bit easier for you, we’ll go over:
- At what age you should fly with your baby
- Tips for flying with a baby
- The best baby products for travel
- Chemicals to avoid in baby products
Scroll down to learn more!
At what age you should fly with your baby?
Most airlines are happy for a baby to fly as early as a week after birth, however, it’s usually better to wait until your new bundle is about six weeks old. This is mainly to protect them from germs carried by other passengers and to give you both time to settle in after the demands of labor.
“Generally, age doesn’t affect an infant’s ability to handle air travel,” says pediatrician Dr. Hoecker. “However, your baby’s doctor might discourage unnecessary air travel shortly after birth.”
Once you’re over the first few weeks though, don’t be afraid to take a trip with your family and enjoy some fresh air and sunshine. The first family holiday is a wonderful time to create lots of lasting memories.
A lot of people ask what the IDEAL age and it’s hard to say because some babies sleep better than others while some babies have reflux and others don’t…. every baby is different. Our advice: take the trip when it feels right for you.
Tips for flying with a baby
As parents who have been in the travel trenches, we’ve compiled a list of our tips and favorite travel advice below!
- Earlier flights are usually better for babies so try to book a flight in the morning and keep to their usual sleep schedule if you can. If your little one does get a bit jetlagged, remember it should only last two-three days.
- Even a newborn can get heavy when you have to carry them around the airport for hours. The good news is most airlines let you take your stroller to the gate so make sure to ask.
- Take a a travel pillow or feeding pillow so your neck does not suffer from nursing during the flight.
- Take your own food so you can have your meal when it’s convenient for you. Juggling a food tray and a sleeping baby is harder than wriggling into skinny jeans after Christmas.
- Warm climates are best for babies, but if you do go beachside, remember to keep up the sun cream and fluids. Breastmilk naturally becomes more watery in hot climates (it’s clever like that!) and your baby may be up for more feeds so you shouldn’t have to worry about dehydration. If your child is bottle-fed or on solids, give them some extra boiled or bottled water.
- Keep in mind that all children, no matter what age, will need a passport if they are traveling internationally.
- Car travel with a newborn is perfectly safe if you have a car seat installed by a professional. For the latest guidelines check the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) guidelines. Make sure to tell any rental companies if you need a car seat.
“My number one insider secret for traveling with a baby is to ask for help,” says mom and travel blogger Megan. “I was flying by myself with my four-month-old son and asked at the counter on check-in whether I could be upgraded to business class. I then spent the five-hour journey home in seat 1A in easy reach of the air hostesses who were more than happy to lend me an extra set of hands when I needed them.”
If you’re not as lucky as Megan, ask to book a front aisle airline seat which will give you greater freedom during the flight and also mean you disembark quicker. If the fight is not full, you can request to have the seat next to you left empty.
You can also try securing a free “meet and assist” on your flight, especially if traveling alone with young ones. This means an airline staff member will meet you as you come off the flight and help you through immigration and with your luggage.
You should also call your airline ahead of time to check whether you can get a seat with a bassinet and what the allowance is for bottled water and/or baby food. Most airlines won’t allow anything in a container over 100ml. If you are breastfeeding make sure you stay well hydrated so you have enough milk during the trip.
“The best advice I can give when it comes to flying with a baby is to wait until the last minute to breastfeed on take-off,” says mom of three and travel writer Kelsey. “Many moms make the mistake of starting the feed as soon as the plane taxis but you can sit on the tarmac for up to an hour. You want your baby to be swallowing as you ascend and descend to take the pressure off their ears so try not to rush it and go early.”
When traveling with a newborn you need your hands free as much as possible.
Take celebrity stylist, mom and avid traveler Rachel Zoe’s advice:
“Get yourself the perfect carrier to tote around your little one.”
The main thing to remember when traveling with a baby is to think positively and take it all in your stride because it will be worth it in the end. Now, repeat after us … cocktails, cocktails, cocktails!
The best baby products for travel
When packing for a trip with a baby, we like to have the following items:
- Infant car seat stroller
- Baby carrier
- Diaper bag backpack & travel change pad
- On-the-go Nursing and/or feeding set
- Non-toxic diapers & wet wipes
- Travel baby lotion, balm and wash
- Travel teethers & toys
- Multiple footed boysuits
- Swaddle & sleep bag
Scroll down to see our picks for each!
Every now and then you discover a product so genius, you have to find a figurative mountain top to scream about it from!
(This is our mountain top.)
The Doona Car Seat Stroller is a game-changing 3-in-1 car seat, stroller and rocker. It’s exactly what you need to lighten your load and get your baby safely in and out of rental cars, taxis, airports, and trains!
Recommended use: 4 to 35 lbs
Available in more colors
Just like Rachel Zoe said above, get yourself the perfect carrier! Trust us – you’re going to want your hands free as much as possible. You’re also going to want a way to help soothe your baby when they get fussy, carry them when they’re sleeping or simply be their vessel for site seeing!
Recommended use: Newborn to 3 years
Even though we love a good diaper tote bag, when traveling we opt for a backpack.
Designed to keep your hands free while providing you with a travel changing pad, wristlet and zippable compartments, the Jem & Bea Denim Backpack is a total winner in our books!
The Tot Feeding Sets were created to bring you expert advice and trusted products.
If you’re breastfeeding, you will want to check out the Nursing Set.
Featuring a booklet with advice & tips from a Registered Lactation Consultant, it also includes:
- Silicone breastmilk storage bags
- Nursing pads
- Non-toxic organic nipple balm
- Breastfeeding/Car Seat cover
For those traveling with a baby who has started solids, you’ll be grateful to have the On-The Go Set by your side.
Featuring a booklet of nutritional advice, feeding tips and recipe ideas, it also includes:
- Stainless steel sippy cup
- Silicone bib
- Non-toxic wet wipes
- Recycled milk jug snack containers
- Bamboo fiber lunchbox
- Bamboo fiber cutlery
- Silicone tray
It’s shocking just how many diapers and wipes a baby can go through while traveling. And believe us – they’re something you don’t want to be caught without!
Because a baby’s skin is so sensitive, it’s important to make sure you’re using non-toxic diapers and wipes like Coterie’s. Made free from chemicals like fragrance, parabens, petrolatum, phthalates, dyes, alcohol and more, they’re also designed to offer broader coverage and higher absorbency.
Airplane air and new climates can be tough on a baby’s skin. Be sure to travel with a non-toxic balm and lotion to help sooth sore lips, chapped chins and dry elbows/knees!
Complete with a non-toxic body wash, we love this baby travel set from Erbaviva!
One of the biggest jobs you’ll have when traveling is keeping your baby entertained, their gums soothed and tantrums at a minimum.
This is where a few handy toys can REALLY help out! When it comes to travel teethers & toys for babies, we opt for the tried and trusted below!
Available in more prints
While we know you probably want to bedazzle your child in an adorable dress or suit, it’s much more practical and comfortable to load up on footed bodysuits.
When it comes to ensuring good sleep and temperature regulation, it’s best to choose fabrics like organic cotton, pima cotton and bamboo. Both breathable and moisture-wicking, they’re also free of chemicals like pesticides, formaldehyde and flame retardants.
Having a few swaddles like Loulou Lollipop’s bamboo muslin one on hand will be great for helping you get privacy when feeding (or keep your baby from being distracted), catching dribbles and drools, providing shade while in the stroller, warming necks and more!
You’ll also want a sleep bag. Keeping covers on a baby is quite a hard task, especially when on-the-move. Keep little toes warm with HART + LAND’s bamboo sleep bag!
Available in more colors
Chemicals to avoid in baby products
When you don’t know what your child’s toy, stroller or sippy cup is made of, you can run the risk of exposing them to potentially harmful ingredients such as BPA, BPS, Phthalates, PVC, Formaldehyde, Lead and other Heavy Metals. This is particularly worrying for babies and toddlers who inevitably put these items in their mouths.
Many of these chemicals have been linked to prostate cancer, breast cancer, female infertility, obesity, endocrine disruption, behavioral problems, and even irreversible brain damage.
At The Tot, we make sure that every single product we use and recommend passes The Tot Safety Test. This means that we’ve reviewed its third-party testing, certifications and asked in-depth questions about a product’s composition.
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