My baby girl has almost two years old. So far, she took more than 20 flights, both domestic and international, and most of these flights, I was alone with her without the support of daddy.
When she took her first flight, she was only 2 months old. At the beginning I was getting so stressed before each trip, especially thinking she would cry desperately during the flight. It really happened a couple of times that I could not stop her crying, although I tried every possible way. I remember I felt so embarrassed in those moments thinking everybody in the plane hates me. The best lesson I have learned from my experience is to stay calm and focus on the baby instead of others in those situations. Because as you get more nervous, the baby does too. First of all, be sure that your baby is not hungry, thirsty, or dirty-diapered. Try giving him his pacifier, if he takes. Look at his face smiling with love and say him everything is ok. Don’t forget that he will not cry forever! 🙂
Here some quick tips that I can give you from my personal experience to make your trip with your a baby or toddler easier.
- Tell your baby in advance with excitement that you would go on an adventure, take a flight, and explain to him as it is happening.
- Organize your bag/backpack carefully before the flight in a way that you know where to find what you need quickly.
- Take enough diapers, wipes, clothes, water, formula, and snacks. Take always into consideration possible delays or cancellations while doing that. Put some books and toys in the bag to keep your baby busy and happy with distractions.
- Don’t forget to take your baby’s medications.
- Dress comfortably and don’t forget to bring a change of clothes for yourself too.
- Arrive at the airport in time in order not to stress yourself and your baby.
- After check-in and security controls, visit the restroom to change the baby’s diaper.
- If you travel with an infant, you can take a window seat so you can benefit from the view to keep him busy until takeoff. If your toddler is already mobile, you might want a seat at the aisle to make him walk.
- I have never bought an extra seat for my baby until she was 2 years old to save money. Instead, every time I asked to cabin crew if there were adjacent empty seats in the aircraft after the boarding is completed. Most of the time, they were so helpful to find a solution.
- Try to eat, drink, and sleep whenever you can during the flight to get some energy.
- Babies usually cry during takeoff and landing because of the ear pain caused by pressure changes in the airplane’s cabin. If you breastfeed your baby, do it during these times, it worked for us all the time! If you don’t breastfeed, you can give formula or pacifier.
- Last but not least, use a baby carrier instead of carrying a stroller and rent baby gear at your destination from local providers to travel light and stress-free.