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8 Easy Steps to Traveling by Air with an Infant

My husband, Matt, and I love to travel and decided not to let a baby slow us down. Admittedly, the baby-friendly destinations are not as exciting, but we still go on a road or plane trip at least monthly.

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We hope that getting our kiddos used to traveling will help us all form good habits. I asked many friends who also travel with kids for advice and have had great success so far. I hope you’ll find these tips as useful as I have!

  1. Lap ChildWhen flying on most airlines, you can hold a child under the age of two on your lap without purchasing an extra ticket. However, you will need to register the child as a lap child and bring a birth certificate along to prove the child’s age. An insider tip is to try traveling during times that are not busy. You may get lucky and have a vacant seat near you that you can use. Otherwise, you’re stuck holding, bouncing and rocking your little bundle for the whole flight.
  2. Gate Check Stroller & Car SeatYou can gate check a stroller and car seat on most airlines for free – meaning you can take it through security and they’ll put it under the plane when you board, but you’ll need to register that at the ticket counter.
  3. Protect Those EarsBe prepared to feed your baby at take off and landing to prevent his or her ears from popping and hurting. A pacifier is also a really helpful tool here!
  4. Avoid OverstimulationTake kid’s headphones with you. You shouldn’t plug them into music or anything, but they will be a lifesaver when your kiddo is over stimulated by sound and can’t get calmed down.
  5. Pack Light(ish)Look for a grocery or baby store near your destination ahead of time. If there is something close by, pack light and buy things like diapers, food, and wipes there.
  6. Carry On EssentialsTake just one carry-on bag, but use it as a diaper bag too. You’ll want to include:
    1. The baby’s birth certificate — you’ll need proof that your child is younger than two, and it’s important to have in case of emergency.
    2. Change of clothes for baby and for yourself in case of accidents.
    3. A blanket for warmth and for laying down on dirty floors.
    4. A diaper-changing pad, since you never know when you’ll need it.
    5. Several zip-close baggies for dirty clothes, diapers and bottles.
    6. Sanitizing wipes.
    7. Always, always pack more bottles and formula / breast milk than you think you’ll need.
    8. Pacifiers.
    9. Toys.
  7. White Noise – If your baby listens to white noise while sleeping, download an app on your cell phone so you don’t have to carry the machine with you. I personally like “White Noise” by TM Soft for iPhone.
  8. Packing ListMake a packing list ahead of time so that you aren’t frantically trying to pack for yourself and your little one at the last minute. It will help you remember what you need and the experience will be way less stressful. This is my packing list, if you’d like to use it.

Let me know if you have any travel tips to add to the list! Bon voyage!

– Mary

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