If you’re traveling with a newborn or with your child for the first time, there are a few tips that can make the entire process easier for everyone involved. Here are six tips to help first-time parents.
1. Choose the right time.
If you want to avoid a cranky, fussy child on an airplane, try to stick to their regular routine. You know your child – when are they least likely to have a meltdown? You may want a very early or very late flight, or it’s possible that midday is best.
2. Find out about gate-checking guidelines for strollers.
You probably won’t be able to carry a stroller on the plane, but if you want to keep your child in the stroller for as long as possible, ask your airline if you can check it at the gate. Or, you can bring along a stroller that’s lightweight and that collapses, which you can probably bring onto the flight. If you have to check the stroller, bring along a baby sling so you can easily carry your little one while waiting for the stroller at luggage pickup.
3. Pack more supplies than you think you’ll need.
Sometimes flights get delayed, and you’ll end up waiting at the gate for longer than you expected. Or, it’s possible that your flight won’t let passengers out upon landing if there’s a storm or something else holding things up. Basically, plan to spend more time in the airport and on the plane you expect to. Keep more diapers, formula and other necessities on hand than you’ll need – it’s better than having too few.
4. Keep their ears protected.
Ear pressure is tough during a flight, especially during takeoff and while landing. Babies and children can be affected by this, and it can be pretty painful. Have your child suck on something or chew something to help ward off the pressure. While a decongestant can help, some parents don’t want to administer medicine unless their child is actually sick.
5. Consider buying a ticket for your baby.
Even though babies can often fly with their parent, which means they don’t need their own seat or ticket, it’ll be easier if you purchase a ticket for them and bring along a safety seat. You’ll need to make sure the car seat you have is approved for air travel.
6. Declare liquids you’re carrying for your baby.
Even though most liquids are limited on flights, you can have larger amounts of formula or milk if you’re traveling with a baby. Just make sure that you declare the liquids and let the agents know what you have in your carry-ons.
Always feel free to call the airline with any questions. They’ll be able to tell you about any processes new parents should know about.