With Thanksgiving around the corner and some people opting to fly to visit family during the holidays, our blogger Marc Courtiol, is sharing tips on dealing with flying with an infant:
Having a newborn can be stressful enough without leaving the house, so it is easy to understand why so many new parents are reluctant to travel. Babies need constant care, they are unpredictable, and their crying is sometimes difficult to stop. All of these things work against travel, which requires as much predictability as possible. The good news is that many infants fall right to sleep as soon as the plane starts moving, but you just cannot know beforehand. Plus, nobody wants to be those poor parents stuck on an airplane with a baby who refuses to be quiet. That is no one’s idea of a fun vacation.
But you do not have to be scared to travel with your infant. Sure, things may not go perfectly, but the trip does not have to be a disaster. Here are some ideas to keep in mind.
The right attitude
Start preparing by getting in the right mindset for traveling with an infant. Especially if this is your first child, this may require you to alter your view of the world to some extent. For starters, while it is important to be considerate of others, you simply cannot get hung up on what strangers think about you. There are always going to be curmudgeonly people who bellyache when a crying baby is in their vicinity, and there is nothing we can do about them. So just forget about them and focus on your family.
Also, try to approach the whole thing with a sense of calm. The best way to do this is to take it slow. Give yourself plenty of extra time for everything. If you usually leave for the airport two hours early, give yourself two and a half to three hours this time. Move slowly through the trip, and stop to attend to the baby whenever he or she needs anything. If you can cultivate this sort of attitude, your baby will pick up on it and will likely be more calm.
Plan your trip as early as possible so you can reserve seats in an optimal row. Exit-row seats are great because they give you extra room to maneuver with the baby. Also, if you have never traveled with an infant before, you might want to call the airline and talk to a real person about their policies. Your baby should be able to fly for free, but many parents choose to buy a seat for their infant anyway for the extra room. Airplanes are generally a tight fit, but a full three-seater in an exit row can be a cozy little temporary home for mommy, daddy, and baby.
Knowing what to bring
When flying with a newborn, the key is to bring as few things as possible while having everything you need to take care of your baby. It can be difficult to find this balance. Here are some things that you definitely need: