Heading out on your first plane trip with baby? Before you head over the hills (like, 30,000 feet over the hills) and through the woods to Grandmother’s house, here’s a short checklist of steps for making the ride as easy as possible.
1. If Possible, Get Baby a Seat
An airplane is a vehicle, meaning your baby is safest when strapped into a car seat in their own chair. If you can afford it, this is the smartest move.
2. Pick Your Flight Times Wisely
Younger babes sleep a lot, so you have more flexibility on flights. Older babies and toddlers have given up most of their naps, however, so it’s a good idea to schedule plane rides during naptime or at night.
3. See Your Pediatrician
If your baby has never had any trouble with ears, colds or other illness, it’s safe to skip this step. However, if you have experienced trouble before, it’s a good idea to get your little one checked out. The pressure changes on an airplane can wreak havoc on sensitive baby ears, so take time to ensure this won’t happen.
4. Reduce the Pressure
Even if you do get the all clear, it’s wise to bring tools for reducing pressure. If you’re nursing, that’s a great way to go. Older children benefit from bottles of milk or juice they can suck – if they’ll still take a nipple, all the better. You can also buy special earplugs that help manage pressure.
5. Pack Your Bag
Make sure your diaper bag is fully outfitted with all the usual suspects (bottles, diapers, wipes, cream, blankets or stuffies, pacifier, etc.). Add in snacks for both you and the kiddo, plus books to read and other forms of entertainment.