Helpful tips for flying with a baby — from Newark, NJ to Orlando
Traveling in general with a baby is hard enough, but the thought of having my son sit on an airplane for a few hours gave me horrible anxiety.
If you’re anything like me and you’re a big planner, then you know how much preparation has to go into a trip where you’re crossing state lines. I had no idea where to start.
A trip to the grocery store involves 20 toys, a stacked diaper bag, a pacifier, snacks, and you better hope that the baby has already taken a nap.
When you’re traveling with a baby, you’re moving temporarily. You’re basically packing up the entire house just to be away for a few days. At that point, you might as well book a vacation for a longer stay than normal just to make all of that packing worth it.
As avid Disney World fans, my husband and I decided to take our son to the most magical place on earth when he was 7 months old. “Why would you take him so young?” “But he won’t remember.” We’ve heard it all. We took him anyway because we’ll remember and we documented the whole thing to show him when he’s older. All besides the point.
After doing some research and asking some friends with experience, here are some tips that really helped us with our trip.
These are things that worked for my family. We are obviously not experts at all so if you have an easier way of doing things, please share! New parents really do need all the help we can get.
Schedule flight during naptime
This was so key. Thankfully our flight from Newark to Orlando was a short flight, but for anyone taking a longer trip, your best bet is to fly during the baby’s naptime. If they’re a great napper, they’ll sleep the majority of the way. And even if they’re not, you’ll at least get a few minutes out of it.
Buy a stroller travel bag
If you’re traveling with your stroller and/or car seat, you can check them for free even at the gate. One way to keep them from getting damaged is to put them in travel bags. Most of them come with handles or straps as if to wear like a backpack. They fold up into a tiny bag when you’re done. Here is the bag we use.
Wear your baby
Putting your baby in a carrier is hands-free for you to push the stroller, carry your diaper bag, and carry-on (and a coffee; you'll need that). This makes things much easier when going through security. Here is the carrier we use.
Bottle/pacifier during take-off/landing
Think about how bad your ears pop during take-off. Imagine a baby who has no idea what’s going on. They have all kinds of products you can buy for this but just the simple sucking action from drinking a bottle or sucking on a pacifier will do the trick.
Bring a new toy
Babies have a handful of toys that they love to play with every day, but they normally become bored quickly when it’s the same toy day after day. Giving your baby a new toy will keep them occupied for a longer period of time.
Buy the baby a seat
If you can afford it, buy the extra seat even if the baby doesn't use it, especially if the plane has three seats in a row. The last thing you want is to have a stranger sitting next to you while you're trying to keep your baby entertained. You can also bring your car seat and strap it to the extra seat.
If you're not calm, your baby won't be either.
The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5's Morning Show Producer Kristen. Any opinions expressed are her own.
Questions, corrections, or comments? Send Producer Kristen an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Instagram.