Tips for travel with baby: Airplane

Me: “I’m taking my 6 month old baby on a flight to Nebraska, with one stop in Denver, by myself”

Everyone I talked to: WHAT?!  You are nuts!

My brother was planning to propose to his fabulous girlfriend in Nebraska.  Both families were invited to join in the celebration and surprise my brother’s girlfriend at an engagement dinner after the proposal (good thing she said “yes” or that could have been awkward).  When I found out my husband was not going to be able to go to Nebraska for the weekend (darn school and work), I decided that I was going to take on traveling with a baby on my own…I NEEDED to be at this engagement celebration and my little T man needed to be there, too!


I scoured the internet for tips for flying with a baby.  There are some great tips out there. I used some of the tips, but came up with some suggestions of my own:

  1.  Give yourself plenty of time to pack!

I used to be a last minute packer.  I would think about what I wanted to pack for weeks, but would wait until the final hours to get everything together and in my suitcase so packing a week ahead of time was incredibly foreign, but so necessary!  Not only are you packing for you, you are packing for the baby, you are packing your diaper bag…and not your everyday diaper bag…a diaper bag to help you and baby happily travel through the friendly skies!

2.  Plan out outfits, activities, and food

Baby clothes, while so cute, have so many little pieces.  I have found that packing outfits in zip-loc bags helps to keep all the little pieces together.  It also makes it really easy to get my little T dressed….pull out a zip-loc bag and the outfit is complete!  In my “Super flying through the friendly skies” diaper bag, I packed go-to toys, books, even my iPad with downloaded episodes of Sesame Street.  A fun tip from my mom was to have a few new items…so I bought a couple small new toys and new books!  T loved the new items and they really worked to keep his attention when we were delayed on the runway.  I would also suggest packing a blanket you don’t mind putting on the floor so your little one can stretch out during layovers.  Food was the hard part to plan.  T was still nursing so I packed one refrigerated bag of pumped milk (in case I couldn’t easily nurse) and two frozen bags.  When going through security, they needed to inspect the thawed bag, but the frozen bags didn’t require any additional inspection!

*Don’t forget to pack a snack for yourself…granola bars, crackers, and water!

3.  Practice collapsing everything

One thing I did not think through was collapsing everything with baby in tow to get through security.  Make a plan for getting the stroller, carseat, diaper bag, etc. through the security belt.

4.  Check in at the gate!

I did not know about this step!  Once you get through security, go to your gate and check in there.  Let the airline employee at the gate know that you have items to gate check.  They will tag your items and then you are ready!

5.  Pick you seat wisely

For a baby who isn’t walking, sitting next to the window is the way to go.  You can rest on the side of the plane and you can have some privacy if you are nursing.  If you have a walker, pick the aisle…easy access to walk the plane.

6.  Be prepared for take off and landing

Baby ear’s aren’t the best for handling air pressure changes.  If you are nursing your baby, be prepared to nurse during take off and landing.  Bring your cover and get as comfortable as you can get snuggling up to the side of the plane.  If you are lucky, you will nurse at take off and your little one will fall asleep!  If your baby isn’t nursing, be prepared with a bottle, pacifier…anything that will let the baby chew or suck.

I’d love to hear other tips/tricks of traveling with a little one.  What are some of your go-to travel tips?


UPDATE: Suggestions and Questions

 1.  What strollers do you recommend for airport travel?

-If you child is still in the infant car seats, check out the snap and go options:**

Click for website to stroller

     We have the Graco version

pTRU1-20754510enh-z6Click for website to Graco stroller

     If your child is no longer in an infant car seat, a great umbrella stroller will do.  We like the Upton Stroller from Babies R Us.  It folds up easily and has great functionality for traveling:pTRU1-17921174dtClick for website to Upton Stroller

**I am in no way affiliated with the products I’m recommending.  I am simply sharing my recommendations from personal experience.

What other suggestions or questions do you have?


2 thoughts on “Tips for travel with baby: Airplane

  1. What a great list! We have traveled from NJ to CA with our little one when he was 4.5 months. We just traveled from CA to FL now at almost 9 months. Both direct flights, there 5.5 hours, back almost 6.5 hours. HUGE DIFFERENCE in just a few short months! As they get older, babies require so much more attention! I love the ziplocks for clothes – I ziplocked everything! Toys, bottles, clothes, etc. This is a wonderful little check list, especially for 1st time mommies! ❤


    1. Thanks! I bet the changes in those few months make a huge difference. Do you have any additional suggestions for flying with a newly mobile 9 month old? Enjoy your vacation!!


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