Since this month’s theme on ediTORIal is “Vacation All I Ever Wanted,” I wanted to share a few tips for momistas whose vacation plans involve a plane. You also might remember that Finn Man recently took his first flight (out of belly) to Mexico. Flying with little babes in tow isn’t always easy, but I have a few tips to make things easier on jet-setting momistas and their little ones.
1. Wait Two Months.
According to Baby Center, it’s best to wait until your babe is two to three months old to fly. Waiting this period will allow you little one’s immune system to grow strong enough to fight off icky airplane germs. But as long as your infant has a clean bill of health and your pregnancy was complication-free, your pediatrician might give you the go-ahead to fly with a baby as young as two-weeks. When you do fly with a baby, protect against plane germs by putting a tiny bit of Neosporin on a Q-tip and gently swabbing it inside babies’ nostrils.
2. Ease Their Ears.
Changes in pressure can irritate baby’s sensitive ears. So since swallowing can help to alleviate ear pressure, What to Expect recommends timing feedings for takeoff and landing (when ear pressure is usually worse). In a pinch, pacifiers will also help.
3. Be a Good Neighbor.
Calming your crying infant is enough to deal with sans angry stares from fellow passengers. That’s why I love the idea of passing out “babe on board bags” to the people seated around you. It’s a nice gesture that will elicit compassion for you and your babe.
4. Arrive Early.
Getting through airport security with a baby in tow will take a little longer than usual. Baby formula, breast milk, and juice are exempt from the TSA’s 3.4-ounce rule, but be prepared to have them inspected at security checkpoints.
5. Save a Seat.
Airlines allow children under two years old to be carried on domestic flights free of charge. But—and this is a big but—that means your kiddo will have to be on your lap the entire time. If it’s a shorter flight that might not be a big deal. But for longer trips it might be worth the extra cost to book a seat for your baby’s car seat. And if you do decide to go the lap route, make sure you still book a “lap ticket” aka “boarding verification document” for your babe. This is free, but they won’t let you on the plane without it.
Have you flown with a baby before?
Share your own tips and experience below.