Perhaps you’ve heard the horror story that every parent fears: you’re traveling on a long trip, your baby won’t settle down, crying begins, everyone around you is disturbed and wishing you were elsewhere. Traveling with an infant can certainly pose its challenges but it may not be as bad as you think. With some advanced planning and a few tips, traveling with your baby can be safe and enjoyable!
Traveling by air can present its own challenges. Most airlines will allow your baby to travel free when carried by an adult, but it is better to book a seat for your baby if you can afford the extra ticket. That way, baby can ride in an infant car seat, which will make the trip safer if there is turbulence, and the car seat’s familiarity can be calming to your child and reduce his or her anxiety about this strange means of traveling. Even if you don’t purchase an extra seat, you may want to consider bringing the car seat with you anyway. You may be allowed to change seats if there are empty, un-booked seats on the aircraft. If the flight you are on is full, you can always check the car seat at the terminal and pick it up when you arrive.
Be sure to bring your baby stroller. It can be checked in at the terminal, and it will be a valuable thing to have right when you get off the plane. It will make the dash across busy airports a lot more comfortable. Toting along a stroller also provides a convenient place for your child to sit when you stop at an airport eatery and your arms are busy carrying meals.
Bring a bottle for your baby or be prepared to nurse on the plane. Take offs and landings will be more comfortable and less frightening for baby if he or she has something to suck on. This will also help normalize pressure in his or her ears. Have your baby’s ears checked by a pediatrician before the trip, if there is an ear infection that isn’t showing symptoms yet, it can be incredibly painful for your baby when the air pressure changes during flight. Nasal congestion will have the same effect. Remember this simple rule: a sick baby and airplanes do not go together well.