First of all, can you believe we’re even considering taking our babies on a plane?! We have all dealt with covid and having a baby during this insane time and now the moment is finally here where we get to safely take baby somewhere.
But is it safe? Is this a good idea? It obviously depends on each of our comfort levels but I felt very good about the precautions there were on our flight. However, there were a few essential things I did to make flying with a baby a little easier and more comfortable for her (and me) & other things I wish I’d know before I left home!
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We chose to fly with Delta. From what we’ve read, they are doing the most as far as covid precautions go. Read what they’re doing here. I liked that they are using bigger planes so there can be empty seats between you and the person next to you. They also use HEPA filters on their planes which I love!
Airport | What you need for flying with a baby:
1. Car Seat / Stroller
Check the stroller/car seat for free: We have the Keyfit 30 travel system. All airlines in the US let you check your stroller and car seat for free. You are allowed to check at the ticket office or at the gate. I wasn’t too worried about scratches to my car seat or stroller but more concerned with actual damage. If you are concerned about scratches (strollers and car seats are quite expensive after all) there are bags specifically to protect the car seats.
Check it at the gate: Because I wanted to protect it from as much damage as possible (duh) I decided to check it at the gate which meant I was in possession of it longer.
This also meant I got to use it as our personal cart which was a huuuge help! I had baby strapped on to me and threw the bags in the stroller. Easy-freaking-peasy.
TSA: You will need to send your stroller through the x-ray machine (if it fits). So keep things contained when moving throughout the airport! You’ll also have to unpack everything when you get on the plane so keep things as organized as possible!
Do I need to buy a seat for my baby’s first flight?
Lap or their own seat? In the US if your child is under the age of 2 they are allowed to travel on your lap without the purchase of a ticket. However, it is safer for them to travel in the car seat. If you want them to fly in the car seat you will need to purchase a seat for them. Additionally, some flights offer baby bassinets for babies (typically under 20 lbs). This is extremely specific to the flight so make sure you look this up ahead of time.
If your child is older and you want them to have a more secure seatbelt there is an FAA approved child seatbelt for children 1 year and older weighing 22 to 44 pounds and up to 40 inches tall.
Car seat base?
Something to consider is if your car seat needs the base or if you can simply use the seatbelt. If yours does not need a base make sure you understand how to safely secure the car seat into the car without the base if it is an option.
2. You can bring filtered water/formula when flying with baby
We breastfeed and I don’t pump so I might not have the complete list in this area but I did accidentally send my water bottle and her sippy cup full of filtered water through and we had to wait for them to test it and then they let us take it. I do know you can travel with more than 3.4 oz of breastmilk as well.
A friend of mine who pumps and has traveled recently said she got these frozen packs to keep her breastmilk cold and that she just breastfed on the plane (if that’s an option for you).
3. ID (passport if traveling internationally)
If you want to be the most prepared bring a copy of your child’s birth certificate. If the other parent is not flying with you guys then a letter granting permission to fly is also suggested. It is unlikely that you will be asked but might as well be prepared.
However, if you’re traveling internationally your baby (no matter how old) will need a passport.
4. I'd highly reccomend a carrier when flying with baby
Our daughter is all over the place…very active and very aware. She preferred to be in her carrier instead of her car seat where she couldn’t see anything. I LOVE this carrier it’s so easy to put on (unlike a million others) and super comfy. I even used it on a hike while in Arizona!
On Instagram I asked moms their “MUST HAVES” on trips with baby and this was what they had to say:
What you need to bring for your baby to Eat!
Airplane | What you need when flying with a baby:
1. Bottle/Pacifier/Sippy Cup
One reason babies cry on planes is that their little ears hurt! To avoid this, try and get babe to swallow by eating, drinking, or nursing on the way up and down. We set up a little tent on the plane with a muslin blanket and I breastfed her going up and she wasn’t even phased by the pressure. On the way down she didn’t want to nurse as much so she cried a bit. She eventually did nurse and that helped. But a sippy cup, snacks, or pacifier work as well!
2. Tablet + baby HEADPHONES
You might be a no-screen time mom… except when you’re flying.
Talk about survival mode.
One thing most parents overlook though are the headphones. Passengers don’t want to listen to your baby cry but they also don’t want to listen to children sing-song shows (let’s be honest sometimes we don’t want to either). I was so grateful my sister brought them for us. The volume was obviously pretty low and she had never used them before but did pretty well! She took them off sometimes and was fine to just watch the show without sound. I found two pair one with the wire (great if your plane has a screen) and a Bluetooth pair if you don’t want to deal with a cord.
3. Snacks for baby’s first flight
Puffs work for us because they’re not too messy! But again eating and swallowing can help with their ears. I also recommend having a meal for babe (Mac and Cheese) that will travel well and be easy to make once you get there.
This is a great time to introduce some new toys... because we know how new toys can get their attention.
We chose toys that don’t make much noise and ones that could get lost aka red solo cups and water bottles in a bag for her to “discover”. I left my favorite Lovevery toys behind!
5. Nursing cover
This is whatever it is for you… a muslin blanket, cardigan put on backward, this is my favorite nursing cover etc. Like I said, we nursed on the way up and the way down for her ears. I even pinned the muslin blanket on the back of the seat tray and made a little tent and put it over my head.
This shirt was perfect and discrete for the flight!
6. Be Blowout prepared when flying with a baby
A mom friend of mine recently traveled and said her son had the biggest blowout to date on the flight and this is the list she recommended:
– Extra outfit for baby AND YOU
– 2 zip lock bags one for diaper one for clothes
– Plenty of wipes
I hope this was helpful if you plan on traveling with babe for the first time!