Tips on flying with a newborn

Posted by Sherry Pipano on

As a previous flight attendant, I’ve seen a lot of families travelling for the first time. I was quickly able to point out the ones that had their shit together, and the ones that didn’t. The only thing that separated one from the other was preparation. There is a lot of preparation that needs to happen before taking that first flight. Here's what worked for me, and I hope this works for you too!

  1. Formula. This is at the top of the list for a reason. Now, if you’re breastfeeding this, of course, does not apply to you. Make sure you have enough formula for the flight + 2 days with you in your carry on. I have seen flights divert, flights delay due to weather conditions, we were once stuck on the tarmac for an additional 8 hours, that can be anywhere from 3-4 feeds. The extra 2 days, well that’s in case your bags go missing

  2. Water for your formula is crucial. If you don’t care to use bottled water, make sure you have enough with you by bringing your own or purchasing bottles after security. Do not rely on the flight attendants to supply you with water. They have a limited supply for the entire cabin and may run out. Yes, I’ve seen this happen too.

  3. Pack a few days before your flight. DO NOT pack the morning of, even if you think you’re a pro packer and your flight doesn’t depart until midnight. I’m telling you, you will so quickly regret it. For some reason, babies have a shit ton of stuff, and you don’t even realise until it’s time to pack it.

  4. Bassinet Reservation. If you want to pay extra, it’s always a good idea to reserve the bassinet on your flight. This will give you a chance to free up your hands from the baby. There are a few things to consider, there may be an aircraft change and even if you paid for it, it may no longer be available, and they’ll issue a refund. Also once your baby can sit up on their own, they’re not allowed to use the bassinet.

  5. Have all your essential baby items with you at all times in your carry-on bag. So that if your bag goes missing when you arrive, at least your baby isn’t affected by it. **In your carry-on make sure to bring an extra outfit + undies + bathing suite for you and hubby for the same reason.

  6. Use a travel stroller. We got the Babyzen YOYO Stroller and absolutely love it! It folds up so small that you can carry it with one hand, and you can put it in the overhead bin. We have the UPPAbaby Vista too, which we love, but let's be real those big wheels are incredible for Canadian terrain, not so much for the small streets of Paris. **the YOYO counts as a carry-on bag, so keep that in mind when packing your bags!

  7. Travel + cancellation insurance. Most credit card companies offer cancellation and travel insurance for the first 15-21 days of travel. Call your credit card company to make sure you have it, if not make sure to get separate insurance. Regarding cancellation insurance, a baby is unpredictable, they can quickly develop an ear infection or fever and in this case, you may want to re-book your flight by waiting it out a few days. Figure out all this stuff wayyy before your flight, at least a week before.

  8. Find the nearest hospital to your hotel. I don’t want to be the type of person to worry about something that hasn’t happened, but I do like to be prepared in case something does happen. I like to google the nearest hospital to wherever we’re staying, just so I know how long it will take me to get there if I needed to.

  9. Pack efficiently. Think about how you’ll carry your baby. Don’t take on more than you can handle. You only have two hands, so really think about what you’re bringing because you’ll have to carry it. You might want to consider buying an Ergobaby to make life easier, it changed my life, I absolutely LOVE this thing and it also has a newborn insert!

  10. Arrive at the airport early. At least 3 hours prior to your flight. Who cares if you’re waiting at the airport for what feels like forever, it’s better to do that than wait at home and possibly start running late and lose track of time.

  11. Feel like a pro and you’ll act like a pro. Most of us moms are so worried about travelling with our baby for the first time. I get it, there are so many unknown factors. Will they cry the entire flight? Develop a fever? Will her ears be ok? The questions don’t stop. BUT with all of this, having the confidence that you will be able to deal with any situation that comes your way, is what really matters. Things that stress you out about travelling, all that needs to be put aside. The baby will feed off your energy, so be that powerful, confident, loving mama you already are, and you’ll be ok, I promise you.

You will always learn as you go, but preparation is key. So if you’re a little more prepared, things will always go much smoother. Lots of love to you all, and enjoy your trip!

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