Air travel with baby — The Bump
March 2015 Moms

Air travel with baby

Anyone have tips for flying with baby? We will be taking a trip next month and are at odds with logistics - bringing car seat for the taxi from the airport to our destination vs. taking shuttle bus sans car seat; taking our travel system vs. umbrella stroller; window vs aisle seat; have baby on lap vs. getting a seat for baby; etc. So many things to consider! Would love any tips!

Re: Air travel with baby

  • We brought car seat (flew when he was younger so it was lighter to carry!) for the rental car (flew southwest so checking it was free), wore him in a Baby carrier instead of bringing a stroller, had 3 seats together (one for our 3 year old), no seat for the baby, he breastfed a lot/slept a lot. Did have a poop blowout and the changing "table" in an airplane bathroom is terrifying small, loud, awkward! I wouldn't have used it except he had poop up the back!

    If traveling with our now 6 month old, (and 3.5 yr old), I would probably bring umbrella stroller instead of carrier? Maybe both? (I like to wear him!), and probably still car seat if it were free.

    Good luck to you! Best advice? Have a drink before hand! Or at least do something to make sure you stay really calm! I had a horrible experience flying alone with my first he was about 11 months old. I was so nervous and he totally fed off of it and we both were crying by the end of the flight!
  • I'll apologize in advance for the novel, I am long winded lol.

    I've flown with DS a total of about 6 times since he was a month old, we've only ever had one not so great flight and it was the one time we got a seat for him. It is free on just about every airline to gate check a stroller and a car seat, I've even gate checked a rock n sleep. I've flown Southwest, American Airlines, United, and Spirit. Southwest was by far the best, customer service wise. Each time I've traveled, I've brought travel set (car seat and stroller), and carrier. One time we did not bring a car seat was when we went to Vegas because we knew the only time we would be in a vehicle was in the 5 min shuttle to the hotel. On the shuttle, I just kept him in the carrier in my lap and put my lap belt on. The full sized stroller was super helpful when going through the airport, I even used it as a cart at times to carry my carryon/personal items and just held DS either in my arms or in carrier. Curbside check in for your luggage is a godsend. The faster you can  stop carting around the big stuff the better. 

    If you are breastfeeding and traveling with you SO I would recommend you getting the window seat and your SO in the middle. There is a little more privacy there plus the window can be a great distractor. Feed baby during take off and landing, it is supposed to help with cabin pressure changes, and it is again a good distraction during the loudest/more turbulence times. Usually my DS will go to sleep after BFing so that is also a win!

    On southwest you can pick where you sit so I always try to get a seat near where the bathroom where the changing table is. PP is right, airplane changing tables are tiny. 
    I also pack some non electronic toys with rattles/crunchy material/mirrors to play with baby if he is awake. Or download a video for yall to watch with lots of colorful stuff going on. I don't do screen time with DS but when youre on a plane with a bunch of other people its every man for himself.

    Above all, Keep Calm and good luck!

    also, bring a blanket, the airplane can be so cold! and take advantage of the family bathrooms at the airport, greatest convenience ever! Okay Im done now!
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  • We're flying next week, here's my plan (similar to how I flew when DS was little)

    Wear her as much as possible (through security, etc) 
    Stroller to carry our stuff
    Lap baby
    Gate check infant car seat and snap n go stroller (sometimes if there is room/extra seats the flight attendant will let you know, and bring you the infant car seat in case you want it!)
    Idk about window vs aisle, I've done both with pros and cons for both.
    Boob, boob, boob
    Pray (lol)

    Good luck!

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  • Thank you so much for the comments and amazing advice!!! These tips are golden - especially the info about gate checking. I'll definitely wear him for much of the trip and will follow your "boob boob boob" advice! We will also change him right before boarding so we can hopefully avoid the need to change him on the plane.

    Thanks again and happy travels to all!
  • Buy him a seat and use your car seat. In the event of turbulence or a runway accident, your child will become. Projectile in the cabin. They even strap down coffee pots--why wouldn't you protect your most precious cargo?

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