Flying with an infant is no small undertaking. A baby needs to be carried (or carefully supported if not being carried), get plenty of sleep and receive nourishment at the right time, and preferably have just the right amount of stimulation without tipping into sensory overload. All these elements can be hard for parents to control when they are in the air, but being prepared can definitely help. We asked our community of family travellers to share their top tips for flying with a baby.
The expert view
My favourite acronym for ensuring a stress free flight with a baby is S.A.S. It stands for sleep aids, activities and snacks – and can also be applied to a toddler or child. Sleep aids can range from a familiar blanket and a shade to keep the bright lights of the plane out to requesting the bassinets so baby can stretch out for a while. Anything related to sleep. It may be different for each baby and for me that was having a baby carrier, where my little man is happiest and rests best!
When it comes to activities, having something new and interesting is key to holding their attention that bit longer. Fidget cubes, finger puppets and interactive books (thin ones, for packing purposes!) have always been a good option for us. Depending on whether baby has weaned or not, snacks are essential for making it through the flight. Besides from being a familiar food, small finder foods such as blueberries also keep them content and entertained for a while. Purée pouches and crackers have also been our snacks of choice.
– Karen Edwards, founder of travelmadmum.com
Our Twitter community says
Don’t feel bad. Babies cry. Don’t feel you have to apologise. You and your baby have as much right to be on the flight as everyone else. That said, don’t ever let your kid kick the seat in front. That’s not ok.
— mexicocassie (@CassiePearse) March 21, 2019
Nursing your baby on the airplane is the best way to calm them. Bring your stroller to the airplane and gate check it.
— Charlotte J. Glaze (@charlottejo) March 22, 2019
Take toys and let them watch tv/play on tablets. They will get plenty of real stimulation at the location so chill out for the flight. Also, if still napping, force them onto the new time zone by adjusting nap time/length.
— Itor (@itorjames) March 21, 2019
Our Facebook fans say
The above comments and more family travel tips can be found on our Facebook feed.
Want to investigate further? Try these helpful extra resources:
1) Karen Edwards has tips for flying with a baby on her travelmadmum blog.
2) Lonely Planet’s sixth edition of Travel with Children has tips for during the journey as well as loads of destination suggestions for where to travel with your kids.
3) Run by an ex-flight attendant Carrie flyingwithababy.com has sections on before you book, before you fly and in-flight.
4) The Kids-To-Go branch of Lonely Planet’s Thorntree forum is a good place to ask fellow family travellers questions about flying with a baby.
5) Mum and Lonely Planet Destination Editor Sarah Stocking recently compiled her top tips for flying with babies in this article.