5 Tips for Flying with a Newborn

SAN MARINO

My husband is from Arizona, so we knew from the start of my pregnancy that we would be taking a trip back to visit his family within the first few months of our daughter’s life. I spent hours scouring the internet for tips on traveling (specifically, flying) with a newborn and I didn’t find much that was practical or applicable. It seemed as though most of the articles were either about traveling with babies that were older than 6 months or revolved around driving rather than flying. Since I had to figure it out on my own, I thought I would share with you what I learned about traveling with a newborn.

Tip #1: Pack strategically.

I packed one clear bag with burp rags and bibs (I have a spitty baby), one clear bag with pajamas (since we were going to Arizona, her pajamas were mostly onesies), one clear bag with outfits, one plastic bag with her bows (we can’t go anywhere without those), and a bag with her shoes (some might find that pointless for a newborn, but I wanted to take them–don’t judge me).

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I also packed about two days worth of diapers and wipes with the intent of purchasing more when we arrived and that plan worked out well. It saved so much space in our suitcases!

Tip #2: Check EVERYTHING.

I could see how having your stroller would be handy with an older infant, but my baby does not like to be in her car seat unless it is constantly moving, so it didn’t make sense for us to drag her stroller and car seat through the airport. This was something that I spent a lot of time debating and I can say, without a doubt, that we made the right decision. It was so nice just having a backpack each and the baby to worry about! We fly Southwest so both of our large suitcases were free to check, plus most airlines allow you to check car seats and strollers for free.

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As you can see from the picture, we opted to purchase nice car seat and stroller bags for transportation. I spent way too much time researching money on the perfect car seat and stroller to let them get damaged while flying. The two bags cost about $75 and were well worth the money since we will get multiple uses out of them. Plus, they don’t weigh the car seat and strollers, so you can sneak extra stuff in the bags if you need to–we had her travel bed in the stroller bag and a few other miscellaneous items.

Tip #3: Wear your baby.

Not only is it super convenient to wear your baby through the airport and on the plane, but it is also great to wear them when going places (like the Grand Canyon) when it is just too hot to leave your baby in their car seat. We honestly would have been fine leaving her stroller at home because we wore her 90% of the time!

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Tip #4: Dress comfortably for the flight.

I wore leggings, a nursing tank, a loose-fitting lightweight pullover, and flip flops. I found that it was best to dress my baby in footed pajamas so that I didn’t have to worry about her legs/feet being cold or losing a sock or shoe. Plus, the pajamas make for super easy diaper changes because it’s inevitable that your baby will have a blowout while on the plane and you just might have to change them on your lap due to horrible turbulence during which you are forbidden from getting out of your seat (not speaking from experience or anything…). Also, a somewhat obvious tip–make sure you pack AT LEAST one extra outfit for the baby, and I would highly encourage a spare shirt for yourself, in your carry-on.

Tip #5: Utilize multi-functional baby items.

My nursing cover also served as a car seat cover, a blanket, and a way to keep curious onlookers from touching my baby!

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Follow these tips, in addition to the standard tips of nursing/feeding/offering a pacifier during takeoff and landing; traveling with lots of sanitizer/antibacterial wipes; and allowing for extra time to do basically everything and your newborn’s first trip will be a breeze!

How old was your child when you took them on their first trip?

Do you have any tips to add to this list?

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