We first flew with my son when he was 4 months old, and now, at 16 months we have flown 5 times with him and let me tell you: we have learned a few things along the way.
As with all things baby, as they get older, it gets easier in some ways and harder in other ways! If you’re prepping for a trip with your little one (ahem, physically and mentally), you can take what you want, from our experience.
I have one trick in here that I’ve been using since before my son, and it gets you an extra seat without paying for it, 60% of the time.
- Use the tray as a seat for your little. It saves him or her sitting on your legs for hours, plus babies love to sit on their own, thank you very much, and take in that killer view of the aisle.
- Bring an interactive toy or anything with buttons. For us, surprisingly a ring stack was a solid distraction.
- If you can do without a full stroller at your destination, go for an umbrella stroller. You’ve already got to pack a million things for your babe, and umbrella strollers are so compact.
- Take advantage of the checked bag. Seriously. I know it costs extra, but consider it costing your sanity if you don’t. You can pack everything in your checked bag and just carry on a diaper bag. I wanted to be off the plane as long as possible with Jax, so checking my bag meant I didn’t have to stress about boarding early or fighting for an overhead bin (all while holding a squirming baby!)
- Sometimes the seat pockets are the size of your hand 🙄 So bring a sippy cup with handles so you can hang their drink from the pocket.
- And this is my fave! If you’re flying with your partner, choose an aisle seat and a window seat—nobody wants the middle seat, so it ups your chances you’ll get a full row for yourselves. And if the plane is fully booked? Your middle seat buddy will be delighted when you offer them the aisle or the window, so you can sit with your fam.
- Get your babe to drink water or milk while you take off or land to help their ears equalize the change in pressure.
- Snacks. The best distraction. I mean even for adults 😉
- Even if you’re not a Snapchatter, download the app before your flight. It still works in airplane mode, and it distracted our son with funny filters and faces and this lovely video on repeat haha.
- And, of course, if your little likes TV, have some of their fave shows downloaded for the plane. (Baby Bum is the only show that actually holds Jax’s attention!)
Fingers crossed these tips save you on your next flight. And if you’ve got a life-saving tip yourself, dish it for all us airborne moms and dads!