My Tot's First Flight
I was SO nervous to fly with my infant son. I had one thousand questions circling my head from the moment I planned my trip, but going to Ohio was extremely important.
Will it hurt his ears? Will he scream the whole flight? Will it be too cold on the plane? Is three months old too young to fly? Do I need to buy him a ticket? Can I take his food? The list goes on…
To ease the mind of other mamas who need to travel with their tots, I kept notes my entire trip!
Purchasing a ticket— As of September 2019, you do not have to purchase a ticket for a child under two as long as your child will be sitting in your lap. You do however have to take a copy of your child’s birth certificate to verify their age at the ticket counter. If you’re lucky like I was, then your flights will be sparse, and you will have plenty of elbow room and an empty middle seat!
Things to pack– I truly believe packing a mini lysol disinfectant, my carrier, and my nursing cover made my trip with my tot much easier. I love nursing my baby, but I am not a public nurser by any means… I am just not comfortable doing so. Airports now have ‘nursing pods’ which are neat, but you don’t have that option on the plane unless you want to attempt to cram yourself into the coat closet sized bathroom. Who wants to nurse or pump in a nasty bathroom? NOT ME! I like to think my baby eats on a schedule, but in all reality he is an all day snacker! I nursed him during takeoff/landing and having my cover allowed for him to nurse more peacefully and without the overwhelming light. (Why do people leave their window shades open just to fall asleep?!) After nursing he was able to doze off without being interrupted, and without me having to fight to keep a blanket up. I’d advise putting your kiddo in layers, or PJs for the flight. I found that the flight was chilly even in the midst of summer. Airports are dirty. Planes are dirty. Bathrooms are dirty. I felt much better about laying my little boy down on his changing pad on a surface I had previously disinfected. Little hands can wander.
Airport Security– I carried my tot in his carrier through airport security in two different locations. Instead of walking through the metal detector, I was escorted to the TSA baggage check counter to have my hands swabbed. I used an Infantino 4 in 1 carrier. It is extremely comfortable, and I’m able to take my little boy in and out of the carrier without any help. Make sure to take extra time for your lovely TSA experience, my diaper bag was stopped in security both times. The first time my wipes were stopped and the agent told me that the liquid shows up dark on the screen. The second round through TSA my bag was flagged because of the oatmeal cereal. They did not take my wipes, nor the cereal. Moral of the story– they’re going to stop your bag, so make sure you allot some extra time for that.
The flight– The front of the plane seems great, but with so many people flocking to the front bathroom, your little one might become antsy and eager to walk around. If you head to the middle or back of the plane, then make sure to avoid the emergency exit seats. When I sat at the back of the plane, the flight attendants were extremely friendly, and talked to my little boy throughout the flight. Instead of fighting the overhead bins, I stored my diaper bag under the seat in front of me. Doing that also allowed me easy access to toys and anything else I needed for my tot. I nursed my little boy during take off and landing, so he was swallowing during the changes in pressure. I wore my carrier onto the plane, and was asked to remove my little man from his carrier during takeoff/landing, but was told he could be in it during the flight. I found that he was much more comfortable laying in my arms. My flight attendant on my first flight was kind enough to provide me with a lid and straw for my drink, so I didn’t risking dumping it on my kid during the bumpy ride. Don’t be afraid to ask for those things if your flight attendant doesn’t offer!
Good luck on your upcoming flight(s). I hope that you have a good ride, and happy kiddos!
Please let me know if you have any questions about flying with your baby. Also, I would love to hear your advice for traveling with tots.
This is NOT an ad for Southwest, but I couldn’t write this article without expressing my gratitude to the wonderful attendants for their kindness on my flights. Four flights total, and not one bad flight attendant experience!
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