Many parents are hesitant about whether they should travel long-distance when they have a baby. And that fear is completely justified. Kids can get pretty nervous when traveling, which can happen for various reasons – unfamiliar environment, inability to move or play freely, but also fear of flights or a previous bad traveling experience. However, if parents are prepared for the trip, everything can be smooth and easy. Long flight ahead of you? We’ve got you covered. Here’s the only packing checklist you’ll need for flying with an infant. You’ll have everything you need to survive this trip and be ready for any unexpected situation.
The most important thing when flying with an infant is certainly all the documentation. Every child needs a passport and, if necessary, birth certificate, custody, or consent documents. Also, you shouldn’t forget that kids get sick all the time. For that reason, travel insurance is essential whenever you decide to travel away from home. If possible, any trip cancellation benefits are always useful when planning a trip with kids, so it’s easier to cancel the flight if someone gets sick.
One of the biggest concerns for parents is feeding their loved ones during the flight. Make sure to prepare enough food for the flight, and bring some extra portions, just in case. What you’ll bring will depend on what your kid eats at the moment. If you’re breastfeeding, you should bring a cover or anything that will make you feel comfortable feeding the baby on the plane. If your baby uses a bottle, you should know that milk and juice for the kids are allowed in reasonable amounts. However, expect to have additional security checks for such items. Ensure the bottles are kept in sterilized bags and safe from spilling. Also, fruit puree pouches are a great solution to use on the plane. You’re good to go by just picking the flavors your baby likes.
Remember: if you need to keep your food cold, use zip-loc bags filled with ice. And if there’s a need to warm up something, a flask with hot water is a great idea. Even if you need to empty it before the flight, anyone from the plane crew will be happy to fill it up again once you’re onboard.
Clothes and hygiene
Your carry-on bag should include a couple of things that will make changing and cleaning up much easier. Here’s what to bring when flying with an infant:
- Changing pads
- Baby wipes/sanitizing wipes – you’ll need to wipe your baby, but also sanitize the place where you’ll put them to change the diaper. Aside from sanitizing wipes, it’s also good to have a hand sanitizer.
- Diapers and a diaper cream – bring more diapers than you commonly need for that period of time. Unexpected delays or any other accidents can happen, so you don’t want to be left without the essentials.
- Plastic bags for dirty diapers and clothes
- Burp cloths
- Clothes – have at least two changes of clothes for your little one. Also, don’t forget to bring some extra clothes for yourself- flying with an infant means accidents happen, and you should be prepared.
Long flights often include sleeping time for infants. That’s why you should bring certain items that will make this much easier. Long flights are particularly challenging, as parents cannot hold their kids all the time. You can request a bassinet or a travel cot on any long flight, so be sure to do that as you book the flight. Also, bring all the sleeping equipment – a cover, pacifiers, and sleeping/comfort toys.
You want to keep your little ones busy during a flight so they don’t get nervous. You should have a ‘bribe bag’ for those little hands, so they are entertained whenever necessary. Small toys, gadgets, and even snacks. Bring a couple of options, so you can pull another one if your little one gets bored.
It’s easy for kids to get sick when traveling, so be sure to have everything you need in case of emergency. Apart from the first aid kit, bring some ibuprofen or other medications that can help with common kids’ health issues. Also, make taking off and landing easier by protecting their ears. Sucking or chewing a pacifier, a toy, or a bottle can help a lot, but you can also bring some earplugs for sensitive ears.
How to make flying with infants easier?
Flights can be pretty dreadful for parents, but luckily there are ways to make them easy and fun. Here are some tips on flying with an infant and making it easier for parents and kids.
Plan in advance
Inform on all the flight details and leave nothing to chance. Good organization is the key to success and being prepared for all unexpected situations. If you’re traveling on holiday, ensure that the airport parking, hotel, transfer, and other details are sorted out.
On the other hand, if you’re moving, plan the moving process in detail long before this flight. It’s best to split the tasks with your family, so you’re not in charge of every little detail. When it comes to preparing your home for the move, you can engage experts who will deal with all the packing. Trusting certain tasks to others will significantly reduce the stress and help you prepare for traveling.
Book a direct flight
If there’s only one flight to deal with, your travel will be much easier. If a direct flight is not an option, pick the ones with longer layovers, so you have enough time to find the second flight, eat, change the baby, etc. Also, get another seat for your kid, if that’s possible. You’ll have more space, and the sleeping situation will be a lot easier.
Rent all the necessary equipment
Carrying a stroller, a car seat, or a high chair is pretty inconvenient for parents with kids. That’s why renting necessary baby equipment can be very helpful when flying with an infant. It will make the load lighter and your travel a lot simpler, so be sure to add these services to your packing checklist as well.
Finally, take a deep breath and enjoy the process! Flying with an infant is an experience that doesn’t have to be stressful all the time. If you’ve got everything prepared, you have nothing to worry about – you and your loved one will enjoy this trip and make some memories together.