Tips for flying with a baby
Tips for flying with a baby
Traveling with young children is a humbling experience. Gone are the days of relaxing flights spent reading or watching movies. Now you’re in survival mode, transporting live cargo from one place to another. The best thing to do is accept that fact that it’s going to be a challenge, and then take it all in stride and try to find the humor in it. Here are eight tips to help you navigate the friendly skies while traveling with a baby or a toddler (or both).
Allot extra time
Traveling with young children will most certainly add time to your airport experience. From getting through security with all the accoutrements to unexpected diaper changes, things will simply take longer. Make sure you get there with plenty of time so you don’t have to rush.
If someone offers to help you with a bag because you’re busy wrangling toddlers, then by all means accept the help! Now is not the time for pride—it’s OK to allow kind strangers to help you if they offer. Likewise, if you need help, don’t be afraid to ask for it. On a trip last year from our home in Hawaii to Atlanta (alone with a 2-year-old and a 9-month-old) a gate attendant held my toddler’s hand while I folded up the stroller, my seat neighbor (and fellow mom) held the baby while I installed my toddler’s car seat, and a flight attendant held the baby once we landed so I could get all of our stuff together. People are often more willing to help than you might expect, so be gracious and accept help if you need it!
Bring a car seat for your young toddler
Keep in mind your toddler’s personality when it comes to deciding whether or not to bring a car seat on the plane. I knew my son would not sit still and he would need to be restrained on the flight. He just wasn’t mature enough or ready to sit in a seat on his own. While lugging a car seat with you does add a bit of difficulty, it can also be an absolute lifesaver. He knew that the car seat meant that it was time to be still, and shockingly he didn’t fight it at all. Conversely, if your child hates the car seat and they’re mellow and listen well, then don’t bother with a car seat. This is all personality-dependent and you as the parent know best!
Bring a stroller with you
As with the car seat, my son knew that the stroller meant it was time to stay seated. Some airports are monstrous and the last thing you need is a toddler going limp half a mile from your gate. (Although you do want them to get their energy out before the flight, so plan for that!) If you’re traveling with only a baby, a baby carrier may be […]
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