I like to travel. Having a newborn especially in the middle of a pandemic made travel very difficult. However, five months after my daughter’s birth, we got on a plane to visit my family. We have since gone on one other plane ride to visit my family. Here are my tips for traveling with newborns this holiday season and beyond by plane.
Plane Travel Tips For Newborns
Consider TSA PreCheck
TSA PreCheck allows you to keep shoes, belts, and light jackets on. They also don’t require you to take out laptops or 3-1-1 liquids. Going through TSA PreCheck is usually faster than normal security checkpoint. Any child under 12 can accompany their parent through TSA PreCheck. It is $85 per person but lasts for five years. Many credit card companies as well as airlines have offers that waive or discount the fee.
Know your airline’s baby policies in advance
Every airline has different policies regarding strollers, what counts as carry-on luggage, etc. Make sure you know before booking your flight and prepare accordingly.
Try Booking Flights Around Baby’s Sleep Schedule
Traveling with a baby is already stressful enough. Traveling with a crying baby is rough. When booking your flight do your best to fly when your baby normally sleeps.
Prepare baby for plane noise
I was very anxious that my daughter was not going to take her first plane ride well. It was suggested to me that I play plane noises at home while she was sleeping to help her get used to the sounds. So I went on YouTube found plane noises and did exactly that. I have found it extremely helpful.
Change diaper before boarding
Soiled diapers make for unhappy babies. Make sure to change their diaper right before your flight begins boarding!
Keep baby entertained while you wait to take off
If you’re anything like me, you arrive two hours before your flight. Minus maybe 15-30 minutes to get through security and 15 minutes of boarding you have quite a bit of downtime. Make sure you have toys, music, are able to move around, etc. to keep your little one entertained. My first flight our plane didn’t take off until 30 minutes after we boarded. It was the longest 30 minutes ever but I was able to play some music and had a toy handy to keep my daughter from having a mini meltdown.
Use a swaddle and pacifier to keep baby calm
Swaddle and pacifiers are on my list of baby registry essentials for good reason! They both help soothe a baby and keep them from fussing too much especially on a noisy plane.
Bottle feed during take off
Feeding them during take off helps with a baby’s ears popping. It’s also a good way to keep them calm. Just make sure to begin feeding right before the plane begins to leave the ground not while preparing to leave!
Double check your seats
If you’re traveling alone, I suggest an aisle seat so you can easily go to the restroom with your baby if need be. If you’re traveling with others, you’ll want to book together as one party. Most of the time even if you don’t pick your seats in advance, you’ll be seated together. If you aren’t, talk to your airlines as soon as you get to your gate. Typically they will do their best to accommodate you.
Pack As Much Breast Milk or Formula As You Need
TSA states that “Formula, breast milk and juice for infants or toddlers are permitted in reasonable quantities through the security checkpoint”. This may seem vague but I’ve been told take what you need for the amount of time you’re going to be at the airport and plane. Formula and breast milk will have to be taken out of bags. Any opened bottles or containers of formula will be closely inspected.