I’m one of those people that scours any article I can in preparation for potentially unsettling situations, in this case: flying in an airplane with a 4-month old.
We flew out of the Memphis International Airport, which is about a 3-hour drive from our home. A very nice atmosphere and no issues for us as far as the airport goes. Below are the things that worked for us. To set up the scene, my parents already had a carseat in place in Florida for us to use.
- Children under 2 can sit on your lap; there are many people against this for “safety” reasons (no seatbelt, oxygen mask, etc.), but our little guy did just fine. And it was free.
- Make sure to bring a copy of the birth certificate to verify age. They need something to give them a boarding pass.
- Use a baby carrier; you COULD use a stroller, and also check it at the gate, but the carrier made the experience hands-free.
- Toys- carry at least 2 different ones. Even if they make noise, a noise-maker toy is preferable to a screaming baby.
- You can carry formula in your carry-on. We carried a quart-size container for easy pouring into bottles. TSA just has to hold their little test strips over it.
- You get through security WAAAAY quicker….this is not really a tip, just a perk of traveling with an infant.
- Seating: my personal preference is to sit as close to the front as possible in the aisle seat. To do this, you have to board as early as possible. You will find mixed tips about this, but the aisle is great for obvious reasons, and sitting near the front allows for a quicker escape. Do what works for you.
- Clean the tray with a baby wipe. Those things are germ magnets, and I don’t need a sick infant.
- Try to feed your baby as the plane is ascending or descending. Ours slept through one of these on each flight, so we didn’t have to feed through both, but it did quell his crying on the descent as the air pressure was building on our return flight. If they aren’t hungry, or don’t take a bottle, try pacifiers or even a sippy cup for older kids.
- Travel with your spouse. Then you can actually use the bathroom alone in the airport and have someone to carry items. They are also useful for getting items from your bag while the baby is asleep against your chest.
- Bring tylenol or other pain reliever. We didn’t use it, but had it on hand.
- Along with every other item you pack and carry in the diaper bag, add a receiving blanket. It works to either keep your baby warm, or as a cover for you to avoid being spit up on.
Maclin actually did GREAT traveling, even though I was a nervous wreck the whole time waiting for something to go wrong.