Believe it or not I am actually starting this post on a plane. I am not an expert on much of anything except for maybe flying with infants (or just kids in general but this post is focusing in infants).
Do you know that my youngest bundle of joy logged 9 plane rides before he turned 3 months old ? He has already traveled to 5 different countries. He recently made the two day trip to the U.S. and he isn’t any different than most of my children. The earliest one of my babies has flown is 10 days old. Since we live in a land of islands, we fly A LOT and I have had my fair share of horrible flights. I have made many mistakes and I don’t mind sharing. Hopefully, you can learn from them…I know I have!
Five mistakes made when flying with infants
1) You Don’t
I still remember the first time I flew with an infant. Our 2nd child was only 6 weeks old and it was from Georgia to Texas. I had no idea how many miles in the air this mama would clock. I was nervous but I didn’t let it stop me. It was a smooth flight with no major hiccups. Let’s not miss out on things in life because of fear or nervousness. Fly with those babies. Enjoy the months where they can’t move and don’t get easily bored. Once they start walking and running and having actual opinions…well, life changes…let’s just say that.
2) You Overpack
I believe gear is important. I love a good carseat system for strapping down the toddlers but do you really need 36 diapers and 14 pairs of socks in your diaper bag? What if your baby gets a sporadic butt rash? What if your perfectly healthy child gets a cold en-route? What if he spits up 12 times and you only have 11 onsies? Pack what you need. Plus a few extras. Don’t get bogged down with the “what ifs”. I pack things I use every day. I don’t bring rash cream unless I always use rash cream. I put everything else in stowaway luggage or carry-on. The key to planes with infants is easy access to what you need. It is very hard to juggle a baby and dig through an 800 lb diaper bag. Store any other items you have to take in your carry-on or under the plane.
You will find the following in my diaper bag/ book bag for any air trip that is less than 6 hours travel time.
- One diaper per hour plus two (i.e. 3 hour trip. 3 + 2 = 5 diapers)
Pack of wipes
Nursing cover if nursing or Ring Sling for duel purpose aisle rocking
Bottle with individual proportioned infant formula with bottled water. I am not a bottle feeder but I would suggest only bringing 2 extra portions.
Socks and light blanket
2 extra outfits and bib (if you are in to that sort of thing)
3) You Pack Nothing for Yourself
Don’t forget to throw a few things for yourself into your carry-on. You don’t want to fly across the bright blue sky soaked in your babe’s projectile vomit. It really puts a damper your fun-filled travel plans. So, throw an extra t-shirt in for yourself for good measure.
4) You Worry About a Schedule
I love a good schedule. I promise you the only reason I have 5 children is because I teach them to nap and sleep through the night fairly young. However, traveling is the time to throw away “BabyWise” and “Happiest Baby on the Block” or any other nonsense. I always nurse during take-off and landing. It helps with their little ears. Nurse when the want. Let them doze when they want. Keep them happy.
5) You Stress About Those Around You
Guess what? Babies cry. Guess who doesn’t care? This girl. Yes, there may be some rude guy rolling his eyes at you while you are in the middle of the aisle bouncing the little baby but most people won’t feel that way. Most likely, they pity you. Some may even may congratulate you on your bravery. People aren’t worried about it and neither should you. You paid for your ticket and if it is an international flight you have paid your 10% for that baby, too. When they get off the plane they will get to go home or to a hotel and sleep for 8 hours straight. It is hard to feel sorry for anyone who gets that much sleep on a regular basis.
Order the tickets, book the hotel, pack those bags and fly, fly, fly!
How about you? Do you have any advise to share on flying with infants?