Everyone wants to know the best tips for flying with baby. So allow us to give you a double-dose of tips. You're going to need them!
Sorry, we're not trying to scare you. Flying with a baby (especially on flights longer than three hours) is hard, but it's not impossible, especially if you are prepared. Don't forget these Essential Items!
Also, try to enjoy flying with a baby because once that little human starts to walk, you'll be doing road trips for at least a year.
Here's a list of tips we compiled for Condé Nast Traveler a few years ago. These still stand. Read them, get to know them, make them your friends.
Now that we've added a new baby into the T+G Travel Crew (#BeefcakeJake), we've got a batch of new tips. We contributed those to Condé Nast Traveler as well, but here's our breakdown of advice.
BE PREPARED FOR TSA PAT-DOWNS: TSA checkpoints are wildly inconsistent across different airports. But if you're traveling with breast milk or formula, you will most likely be on the receiving end of a pat-down. Having TSA Pre-check makes the process go a bit faster and in these lanes at LAX, SFO, and FLL airports, we didn't need a pat-down. Instead they simply tested our to-go bottles of formula and sent us on our way. However, at EWR, even in the TSA Pre-check lane, they gave us a pat-down because of the formula bottles. Another mom right behind us with bottles of breast milk had to do the same thing.
LOOK FOR MAMAVA PODS: If you need a quiet space to breastfeed, look for a Mamava Pod. These capsules allow mom to nurse baby in private. It's totally free to use and there's even room for a toddler to hang out. You can download the Mamava app to find out the pod locations. (Bonus: they can be found at arenas, stadiums, and in universities too.)
GET YOUR STROLLER GATE CHECK TAGS RIGHT AWAY: As soon as you make it through security, head to your gate and get the gate tags for your stroller. If you wait until you board, the gate attendants may ask you to step aside and wait until they finish boarding the group before they give you the tags.
CHANGE OF CLOTHES...FOR YOU: A change of clothes is a no-brainer for the baby who may have a diaper situation at some point during the flight but if you can manage it, pack a t-shirt or leggings for yourself in your carry-on. The reason is that sometimes baby's diaper situation or bottle might leak on to you. This happened to me on a recent flight and I had to spend the rest of the travel day in a formula-stained t-shirt.
DIAPER BAG ESSENTIALS: These are what I always bring—wipes, diapers, scented diaper trash bags, and hand-sanitizer. Jake was teething so we brought along the teething tablets too.
PACIFIER CLIPS: If your baby loves/needs a paci, don't forget a pacifier clip. This will save you the horror of watching a pacifier drop to the airplane floor.
BABY TOYS: I still swear by the one new toy trick. Which is buy the baby one new toy specifically to open on the airplane. It will keep their attention for a little bit longer than if you brought an older toy. However, for young babies, you don't need much. All they really need is their bottle, maybe a pacifier, and a nice seatmate who makes funny faces.
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