How To Successfully Fly With An Infant.
Taking a baby on a plane can be one of the most nerve wracking things of all. You don’t want to be THAT lady (or man) on a plane with the screaming baby. As parents we all know that our kids turn up sessions are never predictable especially with the distraction of the public. Luckily I scheduled accordingly and was prepared for back up in case my plans failed.
Here is how I flew my 8 month old successfully on a 2hr plane ride from St. Louis, MO to Tampa, FL.
When scheduling my flight I made sure to book around his sleeping schedule. On the way there I booked a flight early in the morning when I knew he would still be sleepy. (6:20am boarding). On the way back I picked a later time closer to his bedtime (9:30pm boarding). Both of the flights were NON STOP which I HIGHLY suggest (if able). Too much movement and traveling amongst airports can irritate a baby, it’s better to pick non stop flights.
Keeping them up and tiring them out.
Having to throw off your little ones sleeping schedule for the sake of a smooth flight is well worth it. I knew waking my son up at 4am (our flight being at 6:20am) would give me at least 2 hours before he would become sleepy again. Just in time to sleep during the fight. During the car ride, shuttle and waiting time at the airport I played with him, entertained him, until it was time to board. The moment I sat down in my seat I nursed him and by the time our plane took off he was sleep and slept pretty much whole way. (Another crying baby woke him, but I was prepared..keep reading) The flight back was similar to the way there. I kept him up past his bedtime, played with him at the airport (aka tiring him out). When we boarded the plane I sat down, nursed him and he slept the whole way there.
My son would have slept the whole way there if it wasn’t for another toddler who was having a tantrum in the row before us the first Hour and a half of the flight. (I felt sooo bad for her parents because they looked so frustrated) Preparing yourself is key, whether it’s having a bottle (or boob) handy, their favorite snack (if of age) or a toy ready. Thankfully my son loves his Gerber cheese puffs so he munched on them and played with his dad the last 30 mins of the flight. SNACK FOR THE WIN! If the snack didn’t work I had his favorite show to play for him on my PBS app. Plan B is KEY!
Make sure you have everything they need accessible in your carry on bag; bottles, toys, snacks. Being able to quickly grab the items you need will come in handy for plan B.
Use the bathroom BEFORE you board. Nothing is worse than having to use it and your baby is sound sleep in your arms. Use the bathroom beforehand to prevent any trips on the plane.
Change their diaper before you board. Make sure they board the plane with a fresh diaper and pray they don’t fill it up on the way there.
Try not to sit near another infant or toddler, if possible. (learn from my mistake) You are never able to know how a plane ride will go with kids until your up in the air. You don’t want the cry and screams of another child to wake and irritate yours. Sitting away from another baby/toddler lowers the sounds of their cries and hopefully your little one won’t hear them.
Now I cannot guarantee you a smooth flight because like I said with little ones you just never know. However, by planning effectively you have a greater chance of having a smooth flight. Happy Travels!
If you have any flying tips comment below!