Are you a first-time mom, and looking to take your first plane trip with your infant? Check out these tips to have a successful and smooth plane ride for your little one.
I decided to plan a trip for my daughter and me to visit her dad in LasVegas, Nevada. Planning a trip can being exhausting but adding an infant on your lap can be cheaper than you think. I purchased a ticket with American Airlines for a 4-night round-trip with 1 Passenger > 1 infant younger than 2 >seating on the lap. The cost was budget-friendly but I knew with this being the first time we both are on a plan. I wanted to make it a smooth plane ride for my dear daughter.
With this being my first experience, A LOT of research needed to be done before I book our plane ticket. I know it may seem hard traveling with an infant, but there are a lot of benefits that come with it than going alone. Keep in mind, safety is your number one priority for you and your little one. Inspiring me to write this blog, sharing my experience traveling by plane as a first-time mom and a 6-month-old baby. Let’s hop right into these helpful tips for first-time moms traveling with an infant.
I decided to take one day for solely planning the trip. Researching plane prices at different dates, baby-friendly things to do once we arrived, hotel accommodations, rental or how I plan to get around. High-violence areas to avoid and the nearest hospital to our hotel.
Schedule An Appointment With Your Child’s Pediatrician
I did know that Myaamia (MEe-Ami-Yah) would be needing her 6-months shots before leaving out. I wanted to be educated on preventing anything from happening that could have been avoided. Making it my first task before leaving out. Things you should keep in mind is:
- Your child’s weight ( American Airline’s bassinet holds babies 20lbs or under)
- Any medication your child is taking
- Pain relief ear drops
- Vaccinations needed if traveling outside of the country
Locating Local Emergency Room & Urgent Care from your housing
Purchasing Your Ticket
From Charlotte, NC to Las Vegas, Nevada is only four hours. I decided to only buy one ticket and allow Myaamia to ride on my lap during the flight. After purchasing my ticket, I reached out to reservations to inform them of my daughter who will be on my lap, along with my request for a bassinet. By contacting them, it places a note on your ticket when being checked at the gate of your request.
Taxes and fees may apply for your little riding on your lap. So you MUST inform them if you did not purchase an individual ticket for them. If not, you may be forced to purchase a ticket for your little one. Things to consider when looking for a flight:
- Book your ticket in advance
- Plane Model- Bassinets are only offered on a few aircraft. Be sure to review your plane model before booking to ensure it accommodates your little one.
- Bassinets are not available in First/Business cabins
- Time of Arrival – Depart and return time should be considered when traveling with an infant. I did not want a time that was too late at night leaving or too early returning. I decide to purchase a ticket where I would arrive around noon or daylight if possible.
- How Long is the Flight? – I am so glad that the flight would only be four hours. Longer flights I would consider purchasing flights with a layover to be able to walk around and get the blood flow circulating and change the position of your baby.
- Are changing tables available?
- Are you nursing? If so, you may prefer a window seat for privacy.
Basic Economy Or First Class
Be sure to arrive as early as possible, the bassinets are on first-come-first-serve bases. Be sure to look up which plane model has the bassinet as an option before purchasing your ticket. Due to me purchasing a basic economy ticket I was unable to select my seat. Since bassinets are located in the front of the plane, I would most likely have a seat in the front whether I purchased an upgrade to select my seat or not.
Travel insurance is important, especially when traveling with small children.The little one may come down with a cold, You never know what you may face in the future. Secure your funds if your in need of canceling by purchasing travel insurance.
Whenever you travel it is important to make sure you bring along all important documents. This is includes:
- A valid passport
- Plane Ticket – Printing your ticket in advance could save your time at the airport.
- Accommodation Documents – Hotel, rental services, etc.
- Birth Certificate – To verify the identity and proof of age of your little one, especially if you both do not share the same last name. Bring along a copy of the Birth certificate or proof of guardian.
Helpful Baby Travel Gear
Comfort Is Key
I decided to dress super comfy for airplane travel. (or any travel) Having to bend down constantly, sitting for long periods of time. Be sure to dress your little one and you comfortably.
Since this is our first-time we arrived two-hours before takeoff. Take into account of how long it takes to get through security, check bags and car seat. Restroom break, change the little one’s diaper, etc.
Checking Your Stroller At The Gate
Allow me to save you the time, strained muscles or the exhaustion. USE YOUR STROLLER!
Note: You’re able to get your car seat and stroller checked for FREE! Whichever you will be using to transport throughout the airport, such as the stroller then you are able to get that check at the gate. However, the car seat must be checked at the counter to prevent additional charges.
You are able to carry on the car seat if you purchased a ticket and check your stroller at the gate. The three-wheel stroller is stylish and light-weight. Preventing me from having to carry her through security in her car seat or strapped to me.
Purchasing a car seat and stroller covers can prevent your baby items from being rained on or damage.
- You are able to ask the agent at the gate if there are any extra seats on the plane. If so, you will not have to check your car seat if you happened to use it through security. With the extra seat next to you provides you with a free ride for your little one. Some people I know did not use the car seat like they thought that they would. That’s the reason I did not bring it along on the ride and checked it at security.
- Be sure if you are using a baby carrier to hold your baby through security that it does not have metal on it. You will be required to remove it.
Note: If you choose to bring your car seat aboard, be sure to check the dimensions of the airplane seats.
One carry-on bag is allowed per child.
Families with children under 2-years-old are able to ask the agent at the gate if you could board early. You will hear the boarding call for families and that is YOU! One of the best benefits of traveling with an infant. No matter if you purchase a basic economy you’re able to board early as if you bought an upgrade. Win in my book!
I know that moms who are naturally able to carry the car seat, ten bags of groceries, the diaper bag, her purse and open and unlock the door all at once, but when it comes to an airport for the first-time, packing light will save you so much hassle. I decide to pack one suitcase with Myaamia and I items together and whatever didn’t fit I rolled it up and placed it in her or my carry-on. Here’s the plan I had for packing for Myaamia and me that you could use as a guideline.
- 12 Diapers and a 25ct Hand & Face Wipes
- Two Set of Changing Clothes
- NEW Small Toys (2)
- Two Capped 8.oz Bottles Filled With Water- Pack accordingly to your baby needs. Ex: Myaamia eats every 3-4 hours. She has two bottles giving me a total of 6-8 hours. Depending on your child’s age, purchase a bottle of water during layover to assist with additional feeding.
- Five Bibs
- A Small Blanket
- 3-Compartment Formula Holder
- Extra Pacifier
- Two Pair Of Pants
- Three Tops
- One Pair of Heels
- Four Tops – Onesie’s
- Four Leggings
- A Pair of Sandals
- A Small Jacket – in case of wind or rain
- Two Headbands
- Zip-Lock bag with Bath products( Travel Size Body Wash, Travel Size Body Lotion. Travel Size, Wash Cloth, etc)
- Bathing Suit
Once you board the plane, wipe down the seat, armrests, side of the plane, the engine if you can reach it. haha. joking. Seriously, plane seats come in contact with many different people from different parts of the world. Prevent passing anything to your little one or you by sanitizing.
Don’t stress about traveling with a baby. Everyone is generally nice and offer more patients if you’re traveling with a baby. If your baby cries on the flight-IT IS OKAY. Breathe.
White Noise Heaven
Babies tend to love the white noises. I would play white noise for Myaamia while she slept as a newborn. She found the flight to be relaxing from the soothing sounds.
Note: If you’re trying to have your baby sleep in a wrap, some airlines are strict about forcing you to take the baby OUT of the wrap before take-off and landing. Just be aware, this may happen to you.
Since we are flying out West, the time goes back three-hours. To prepare Myaamia and myself for the different timezone. By putting her to bed a little early and waking her up early even though she feels like its nap time. I didn’t wait until arrival to start transitioning over, soon as we got settled on the plane.
I hope this post was helpful. Don’t forget to follow me on all social medias. Share this post with a friend.
Comment down below on how you travel with a baby.
until next time. Be Adventurous. Be you.