10 Tips for Traveling by Airplane With Your Infant
So you decide to take the baby on a trip.
It’ll be easier now than when they’re moving….or is it?
Practically speaking, yes. But then there’s all the guidelines and baby gear.
If you’re still not deterred from making traveling with your baby, here are some sanity saving tips and tricks to help make this a memorable experience….in a good way.
Check with TSA’s current guidelines. Rules change occasionally and it’s better to be safe than sorry. TSA provides an outline of it’s policy on the transportation of baby related food items: breast milk, formula, water, baby food and snacks. It is wise to review this in the week before you travel as there may be changes due to varying levels of security. Also check with your airline regarding what i.d. is required for your baby to travel.
Check with your pediatrician. Make sure your baby is cleared to travel and that, if immunized, is up-to-date. This is even more important if traveling internationally. Protecting your baby from illness is paramount during these first few months of life.
If you are still in your 6-8 week window postpartum, check with your obstetrician to make sure YOU are cleared to travel as well. If traveling within the postpartum healing time, make sure you have plenty of helping hands and ONLY carry your baby and your purse. Pack plenty of nutritious snacks and, once past security, buy food and a beverage…..just in case.
Carry on your breast pump. Most airlines count this item as a medical device; therefore, it does not count as one of your carry on items.
Either check your car seat and stroller at the gate or at the ticket counter. Hint: if you take it to the gate and there are any empty seats, you might be able to have baby be in their car seat IN THEIR OWN SEAT!!! Just maybe, but it might be worth a try.
Pack a small purse in your diaper bag. Or make your purse your diaper bag. Either way, the less you have to juggle with your baby in tow, the better.
Carry your baby in your favorite baby wearing device like a Moby Wrap or an Ergo. Face them in to protect their little noses and immune systems from all the germs, sneezes and coughs in the airport. If you are breastfeeding, this set up will also lend itself well to modestly feeding your baby, especially during take off and landing. Let’s face it, your baby will be super comfortable and if they fall asleep, they’re already in a great place for a snuggle and a nap…..anywhere!
Turn to travel packing lists on the internet. The ones with a more minimal approach, not the one that tells you to bring EVERY single thing possible. MAKE A CHECKLIST and use it! Your new parent brain can get a little foggy and you don’t want to forget the important stuff. I mean, once in the air, you’re kinda screwed if you don’t have the basics. Click Here for a great list for the carry on stuff and Click Here for the “mother of all packing lists” (that’s what it’s called) for all the bags you plan to check.
DO bring something that entertains your baby AND can be sanitized with a wipe or in your microwavable sanitizing bag.
Dress both you and your baby in super comfy clothes, including slip on shoes for you. I like the cute sleep and play one piece outfits for babies under 6 months old. Their feet stay covered (no baby socks to lose!), they’re protected from the draft on an airplane and, well, they’re so stinkin’ cute.
You may be a new parent, but you are going to be a pro at traveling with your baby!
Tell us about your travels with your baby!
Sheryl Cooksley is a Postpartum Doula and owner of Family Tree Doula Services. She has traveled with families and their babies as a doula. Contact us to talk about having a postpartum doula accompany you on your trip. We’ll take care of both the baby and YOU.