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a mother and baby travelling on a plane

Tips on Flying With a Baby Or Toddler in 2023

Travelling with a baby or toddler can be really difficult at the best of times, let alone when you're trying to fly!

Whether you have done this before with your other kids or this is your first time, here are some great tips on flying with a baby or toddler that will hopefully make the experience go as smoothly as possible!

How to Fly With A Baby Tips

Have all of your docs

Make sure you have all the necessary documents: This includes your child's passport, birth certificate, and any other required visas or vaccinations. a mother and baby travelling on a plane

If you're not sure what you need, be sure to check with the airline or travel agent ahead of time so there are no surprises at the airport.

Near the toilets is good

Choose your seat wisely: If you're flying with an infant, you'll want to choose a seat that has extra legroom so you can comfortably hold your baby during takeoff and landing.

If you're flying with a toddler, it might be worth booking seats near the toilet so you don't have to walk too far if there are any emergencies!

Bring your own food and snacks

Flying with a baby or toddler can be a bit of a nightmare when it comes to food. You never know when they're going to get hungry, so it's always good to be prepared with your own snacks and meals.

If you're breastfeeding, make sure you have enough milk for the flight. And if you're formula feeding, remember to pack enough bottles and powder. There's nothing worse than being stuck on a plane with a screaming baby and no food!

Be prepared for anything

The most important tip for flying with a baby or toddler is to be prepared for anything. Things will go wrong, that's just a fact of life. But if you're prepared for it, it won't be half as bad as it could be.

Check the airport's website for information on traveling with children

You've probably travelled hundreds of times, but this is your first time flying with a baby or toddler. So it's always a good idea to check the airport's website for any information they might have on travelling with children.

This way you'll know exactly what to expect when you get to the airport and can plan accordingly.

After Booking Your Flight

Request a Baby Meal 24 Hours Prior to Departure

This means the airline will have a special meal ready for your baby that is softer and easier to eat than regular food.

You'll want to call the airline after you book your flight and request this, as it is not automatically given out.

Pack light but bring everything you need

Trying to pack lightly with a baby or toddler is often a losing battle, but it's still worth trying! The less you have to carry, the better.

But at the same time, you don't want to be stuck on a long flight with a screaming baby and no diapers. So make sure you pack everything you need, including plenty of extras just in case.

If You Can Afford It, Purchase a Seat for Your Baby

I know many people won't do this, but if you can afford it, it's worth considering. It's a lot easier (and safer) to have your baby in their own seat rather than trying to hold them on your lap the whole time.

And if you're flying alone with your baby, it's pretty much essential. Just make sure you bring along a car seat that is approved for use on airplanes.

Arrive at the airport early

This one is always important, especially when you're flying with a baby or toddler. You never know when something will go wrong, so it's always best to give yourself plenty of time.

I would recommend arriving at least 2-3 hours before your flight is scheduled to depart. That way, even if there are delays or problems, you'll still have plenty of time to make your flight.

Check-in online

If you can, check-in for your flight online. This will save you a lot of time at the airport, which is especially important when you're travelling with a baby or toddler.

a mother checking in online for her flight

You can usually check-in online 24 hours before your flight, and all you need is your passport. So be sure to do this ahead of time so you don't have to wait in line at the airport.

Download Some Games and Activities Onto Your Phone

It's surprising how quickly toddlers can get bored, even on a short flight. So be sure to download some games and activities onto your phone or tablet before you take off.

This will help keep them entertained during the flight and make the time go by a lot faster.

Bring a change of clothes (for yourself and your baby)

Accidents happen, especially when you're dealing with babies and toddlers. So be sure to pack a change of clothes for both yourself and your little one.

This way, if there are any accidents, you won't have to spend the rest of the flight smelling like vomit or dirty diapers!

Before The Flight (at the airport)

When you check-in, tell the attendant that you are traveling with a baby

If you inform them that you have a baby, they are more likely to be accommodating if the flight is delayed or if there are any other issues.

This also goes for security. Let them know that you have a baby so they can be more understanding if you have to go through the line multiple times.

Check-in as many pieces of luggage as you can

It's a good idea to check-in as many pieces of luggage as you can so you don't have to carry them all on the plane. This includes things like strollers and car seats.

If you're going to be checking a lot of luggage, make sure you give yourself plenty of time at the airport so you don't miss your flight!

Change your baby's diaper immediately before boarding the airplane

This makes total sense when you think about it? If your baby has a dirty diaper, they're going to be more uncomfortable on the plane. And if they're uncomfortable, they're going to cry.

So save yourself the headache and change their diaper before you board!

Choose a Direct Flight When You Can

This makes sense, right? Why go through the trouble of changing planes with a baby or toddler when you can just take a direct flight?

It might cost a bit more, but it's worth it for the peace of mind.

Avoid breastfeeding or bottle-feeding your baby just before boarding

This is especially true if they are sleeping before boarding. Once they are on the plane, they might not be able to sleep because of the noise and movement.

So try to avoid feeding them right before boarding to help them (and you!) get some rest on the flight.

On-Board – How To Fly With A Baby Or Toddler

Sit near the plane exits

Did you know that the seats near the plane exits offer you a lot more room? That extra space can be very helpful when you're flying with a baby or toddler.

So if you have the option, choose a seat near the exit so you and your little one will be more comfortable.

Fill seats with your family

If your child is fussy and kicks the seat in front of him or her, have your three other family members sit in those seats to avoid passenger complaints.

Don't be afraid to ask for help

If you need help with your baby or toddler, don't be afraid to ask the flight attendant. They are there to help and they will be more than happy to assist you.

So if you need help changing a diaper or warming up a bottle, just ask!

Use a Baby Carrier

This is one of the best tips for flying with a baby or toddler. A baby carrier will free up your hands so you can eat, drink, and use the restroom without having to worry about your little one.

It will also help keep them close to you so they feel safe and secure.

In Summary

So, there you have it! These are just a few tips to help make flying with a baby or toddler a bit easier.

Of course, every child is different and you'll have to adjust your strategy based on your child's personality and needs.

But if you follow these tips, you should be able to make the experience a lot less stressful for both you and your little one.

Have you flown recently and what other tips would you add to this list?

Feel free to share in the comments below!

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