If you think flying with a baby is hard, try flying with two. My wife and I just returned from a 10 day ” break ” in Crete with the twins. The reason I put break in inverted commas is because it could not have been further from a break. While the stunning scenery and friendly Greek people made the trip worthwhile we did not “recharge our batteries.”
We have travelled a lot with our twins in the first year and half and we have learned a lot. If we can manage it with two and then you can manage it too. In this post I will relay all the little tips that helped us on the way. 🙂
Here Are Some FAQ’s For Flying With A Baby
What can you bring when flying with a baby
Most airlines and airpots security allow you to bring what ever you need for the flight. Parents flying with a baby are allowed bring liquids on the plane. You will have to run it through a screening to ensure that it is not dangerous but this only takes a couple of minutes.
Check with your airline about what allowances you have for luggage. Usually each child is allowed a carseat/Buggy and one item of check-in luggage.
Do you need identification for for flying with a baby?
Yes. Your baby will need a passport or ID card to travel. I would always recommend bringing a passport to avoid any complications.
What do you need to travel with a baby on a plane?
See my checklist below for the essentials that you need for travelling with a baby.
How old does a baby have to be to fly?
Babies can fly when they get out of hospital. I would recommend waiting for a few months before you travel with baby to avoid them picking up an infection on the plane.
Is powdered formula allowed on a plane?
Yes, powder formula is allowed on a plane.
Do Diaper bags count as carry on?
On most airlines you are allowed to bring your carry on and your babies diaper bag as a carry on too.
Flying With A Baby Checklist
Click Here For The Downloadable PDF CHecklist
Here Are 21Tips For Flying With A Baby
When you are flying with a baby there is a lot that you need to think about. You need to bring so many bits and bobs and it can become overwhelming. Make a checklist of all of the things that you need to bring with you. Make the list, check it twice and then try get everything done two or three days before you go.
Leaving things until the last minute before you travel is a nightmare and causes you so much unnecessary stress. If you are prepared and pack early it helps you to cope with the inevitable stressors that you will experience on your trip.
2.Book The Closet Airport
If you live in a big city and there are multiple airports near you then you should book the closest one. Less travel time and taxi expenses are some of the key benefits of going to the closest airport.
We live in Berlin and Tegel airport is only 5 KM from our house. The other airport in the city is Schönefeld and that is about 25 KM away. This might not seem like a huge distance but it is when you are flying with a baby or in our case two babies.
To get to Schönefeld it takes 1 hour and 20 minutes and multiple changes with public transport or 40 minutes with a taxi. Changing trains with a giant stroller and luggage is no fun. The taxi is a better option but it costs €60 each way. That adds €120 to the the overall costs of travel. As the kids now travel for free I do not mind paying so much for a taxi as it saves us so much time and effort.
3.Book A Taxi A Day In Advance
If you do need to get a taxi to an from the airport then book it early. It is hard to find a taxi that has two children’s seats. If you want to find a taxi that can accommodate your clan then you will need book it early.
We booked a taxi for our flight from Berlin to Crete on the morning of our flight. The taxi operator was quite stressed and she said that it would be hard to find a taxi with two seats on short notice. She advised that we should always book taxis with two child seats in advance.
4.Book A Taxi To Meet You At Arrivals
If you do not have a car or a transfer waiting at arrivals then have a taxi waiting for you. This eliminates another small bit of stress when you arrive. Travelling with babies is hard and you need to find as many small ways to avoid stress as possible.
5.Get There Early
When you are flying with a baby something always goes wrong. That is just how it is. I don’t know why, I just know that it happens. If you are flying with a baby then you need to be prepared for every eventuality.
Leave for the airport over 3 hours before your flight. You need to leave more than two hours of a buffer to allow you smoothly get through check in, baggage drop and security.
6.Have Healthy Food Ready
Bring lots of healthy snacks and food with you. Go to the supermarket and stock up. It is better to have too much than too little. Try not to give too much sugar or things that will upset their stomach. You want to avoid what happened to us. We gave our daughter to much apple juice, which we never give her, and she puked on the plane.
Simple bread sticks, fruit and sandwiches should be enough to keep them busy and satisfied on the plane. Feeding them is one of the many distractions that will help you get through your journey.
7.Have Drinks Ready
Our babies drink lot of herbal kids teas. This is very common in Germany. I am not sure if it is the same in the rest of the World. For take off and landing it is important that your babies have something to suck on.
The pressure in the cabin for take off and landing can cause your babies a lot of pain in their eardrums. To avoid your baby screaming the plane down have a bottle ready for take off and landing.
8.Let Them Roam
When you are flying with babies under two on a plane it is challenging to keep them still. They will need to stay strapped in for take off and landing but outside of these times let them roam around the plane. You will be surprised how many people will be happy to interact with them.
Letting them run up and down the plane also burns energy. If they are going to sleep then it makes sense for them to be as tired as possible. Running lengths of the plan will tire both you and your baby out but it is worth it.
9.Bring A Change of Clothes
This is a something that you should always do. We always do it but forgot to on our last flight. Of course Murphy’s law kicked in and Mathilda puked everywhere. She had to sit for the remainder of the flight in a smelly damp body.
To avoid this eventuality you should bring a spare change of clothes for your baby. This way, if they do puke or have a poonami you can quickly change them in the toilets.
10.Bring A Towel
Make sure that you bring a hand towel, a puke towel, a cloth or any garment that can be used to wipe up a mess. There will inevitably be some sort of mess that you will have to clean up and having a towel or cloth at the ready will make cleaning up easier.
What is even better is to buy dry baby wipes and store them in a small tupperware box. Cut them in half and run them under water so they are damp but not soaked. Then squeeze a dash of lemon on them and you have the ultimate chemical free wipes.
“What is even better is to buy dry baby wipes and store them in a small tupperware box.”
11.Don’t Forget The Basics
Pack your baby bag as normal and don’t forget the basics. Pack your bag with nappies, wipes, food, bottles and all of the other baby essentials. Double check that you have everything. You do not want to be 30,000 feet in the air and realise that you have no diapers or bottles.
Before you fly with your baby you have to expect the unexpected. You will be tested, it will be tough and you need to be patient. Your child is at an age where they are learning a lot of new things and don’t really understand the difference between right and wrong. If they have a tantrum or cry then you need to be patient and understand that it is not their fault.
If you are on a plane for several hours you will need to play with your baby. Bring a couple of their favourite toys and you will be able to kill 20-30 minutes by playing with them. Bring something that you know they like playing with as opposed to something new that might not interest them.
Children love books and bringing their favourite books is another way to keep them occupied on the flight. As with the toys, bring their favourite books. Kids will gladly reread the same book over and over instead of something new that does not interest them. For my kids the best book to keep them busy is the hungry caterpillar.
15.Don’t Care What Anyone Else Says
This is hard for a lot of people to do but you have to think about yourself and your family. Worrying about what some grumpy asshole (that you will never see again) thinks, is a waste of time.
People will stare and people will judge you but try and block them out of your mind. Your sanity is more important than the passing thoughts of some random stranger. You will encounter some rude people but you will encounter more nice people.
Every time that I have flown, I have met really nice people that have been overly accommodating. It is usually women but sometimes men that are older and have kids themselves. I have had Max sit on peoples laps, play games and be fed by super friendly people on the plane.
16.Ask For Help
This also very hard for some people to do. You will be surprised how many people will help you if you just ask nicely. People can see how hard it is for you to travel with babies and will often help.
You should always ask the air staff to help. It is there job to ensure that you and your fellow passengers have the most comfortable flight possible. When you travel with babies the will do everything in their power to make your flight easier.
17.Ask For a Stroller At The Airport.
If you don’t have a travel stroller then flight call the airport and ask if they have a stroller. Using the travel stroller makes it easier for you to get through the airport.
We have twins and bring our giant foldable stroller with us everywhere. It is huge and must be checked in some airports. When we have to check it in, then we always use the free airport strollers to get from check in to the gate. You can leave the stroller at the gate and it will be collected by airport staff.
18.Screens Are Okay On Planes
We do not allow our babies to have our phones or be on screens. At home they can watch the occasional episode of Sesame Street or Peppa Pig. This is rare and the do enjoy it.
The only other time where it is okay for them to look at screens is on a plane. With Netflix you can now down load episodes of tv shows. Download episodes of Peppa pig and they should be entertained for another 30 minutes.
19.Have Bottles Prepared
Take off and landing are the hardest times for your children. They are strapped onto your lap and the cabin pressure can effect their ears. Make sure that you have a bottle ready for landing and for take off. The sucking action will help to elevate the pain.
“Take off and landing are the hardest times for your children. They are strapped onto your lap and the cabin pressure can effect their ears”
20.Skip The Queue
Most airlines and airport staff are very accommodating when it comes to helping parents travelling with kids. To make your, your fellow travellers and the airport staffs job easier you can skip nearly every queue. Do not be afraid to ask staff at security, check-in and boarding “is it okay to skip the queue?” Every time we have flown I have asked to jump the queue and every time I have been told that it is okay.
Airport and flight staff know how hard it is to travel with babies. They will do everything in their power to make your life easier. Don’t be afraid to ask if you can be moved to speedy boarding or priority queues. You will not regret asking.
21.Bring A Baby Carrier
This is a great tip for making your life easier. Travelling with a baby on your lap or in your arms gets tiring. When you want to get on and off the plane a baby carrier will make your life a lot easier. When you use a baby carrier your hands will be free. Having free hands makes it easier to show boarding passes and take your get your luggage in and out of overhead compartments. We use the ergobaby omni 360 and it is amazing.
I also highly recommend walking up and down the plane with your baby in the carrier. This is good way for you to stretch your legs and it is very relaxing for your baby.
Further Great Resources For Flying With A Baby:
I have travelled on 5 flights with my kids over the last few years and I have learned a lot of valuable lessons along the way. If you are flying with a baby that is between one and half and two then be prepared for a lot of hard work. Flying with a baby is stressful and it can be overwhelming for some parents. The key is to be prepared for every eventuality, have everything necessary and don’t be late.
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