Babies are cutest things in the world - that is until you're in the economy section of a 14-hour flight and seated next to one.
Sure, you laugh now. But what if you're that person flying with an infant? What do you do when you're cabin enemy number one?
Here are our tips on how you and everyone on board can have a flight as smooth as a baby's butt.
Make the flight as easy on yourself as you possibly can.
Don't believe the rumors. There's no award waiting for mothers whose babies didn't cause a ruckus (also known as being a baby) during the flight once you step off the plane. So if there's an option that will make your in-flight life easier - take it. Don't even think twice. Just. Take. It.
Know The Hold by Heart.
Watch this video of pediatrician Dr. Robert Hamilton demonstrating what he calls "The Hold" - a magic technique which calms an irritated baby down in seconds. Watch it. Practice it. Perfect it.
Buy Your Child a Seat.
Sure, while a lap baby flies for free and saves you some money, paying a little extra for your baby's own seat saves your sanity. And there's nothing more priceless than added convenience for a stress-free travel.
Some of the benefits of your baby having your own seat include:
Extra space for your carry-on, baby bag, and baby gear.
Privacy when you need to feed your baby.
Less stress from not sitting next to an annoyed (or already annoying) passenger.
Sold? Here's a guide when purchasing your baby's ticket:
Look for flights that align with your baby’s routine, so you don't have to re-adjust their schedule (AKA naps & feeding).
Ask for seats that are nearest the bathrooms with changing stations for quick nappy changes for your baby, and even quicker bathroom breaks for you.
“Dress to Feed” is the New “Dress Comfortably”
Babies are sensitive creatures, and taking off tends to stress them out into a crying frenzy. And feeding your baby is the only thing that's standing between you and your baby's meltdown - whichever comes first. Shop awesome feeding dress here.
Share the child-care.
Travel with someone who can take shifts taking care of the baby with you, especially if it's a long haul flight. Because every superhero like you needs a sidekick, so she can go on a bathroom break or a quick nap, you know?
You only have two hands and the baby needs one of them.
Flying with a baby usually means falling prey to the "Just in Case" packing mentality. Wherein you end up packing everything you own, just in case. The trouble is, you only have two hands and the baby kind of requires at least one of them. So here are a few tricks to packing everything you need without packing everything.
Do the pre-packing prep call.
Prevent yourself from over-stuffing your luggage with unnecessary items by doing a quick phone call to your airlines regarding their baggage (carry-on and check-in) policies to narrow down your packing list.
You can start by asking them the following:
Do they allow extra baggage allowance for the baby?
What type of formula, or baby food to they allow on board? Is breast milk allowed? And how much of it can you carry with you?
Do they offer a reserve-and-collect service for formula milk? [This service allows you to make a reservation for your baby's brand of formula through the airlines, which you can collect once on board.]
If your child needs special medication, ask what documents you need to present so you can bring your baby’s medicine on board.
Do they have a baby seat or baby cot available on board? If not, are there any specific requirements if you're bringing your own?
Packing cubes are your best friends.
Because friends let you pass through the TSA quickly. Clear packing cubes immediately gives a clear (*wink*) picture of what's inside your luggage, making it easier for officers to clear (*wink* *wink*) you through the line.
Because friends would never let you leave your house, with a baby, and hop on a plane without your luggage having a compartmentalization system like EzPacking's Starter Set. Or you can also build your own system by mixing individual packing cubes to fit you and your babies needs.
Because friends help you take care of your baby by keeping you calm, cool, and collected. Which is what happens when you can attend to task more efficiently because you know where everything is in a glance. Mr. Bear? Medium Packing Cube. Blanket? Together with the clothes in the Large Packing Cube. Diapers? In the Small Packing Cube next to the Extra Small one.
If you want to know how else EzPacking cubes can make traveling with a baby a lot easier, check out the link at the end of the article to download our sample packing list when flying with babies or young children.
When all else fails…
Which is about the only thing you can do when you're the one holding the screaming baby. But it also doesn't hurt to pack extra treats for passengers in your immediate vicinity as well as the flight attendants to get on their good side.
Ask for help.
Which is where Tip #1: Be Polite, comes in handy. Don't be afraid to ask. People are kinder than you think.
Be attentive to your baby and your baby only.
Whatever the "crisis" is - crying, hungry, restless, poop every two seconds, baby vomit on your shirt - or your baby being a baby, always give 100 percent of your attention to your child and your child's needs only.
Forget about what everybody else on the plane thinks. They already hate the person with the baby anyway. So, might as well let your baby be a baby right?
Once again, don't hesitate to download our FREE Packing List for Airplane Travel With Infant.
P.S. Want more tips? Click here for our post on The Best Flying Tips for Airplane Travel.
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