Easy Come, Easy Go: Air-Travel with Baby

Posted by Melise Campbell on

By: Emma Burns BA, MS


         Traveling with a baby can be a little scary (or a lot scary). What if they cry the entire duration of the trip? What if their ears hurt? Did I bring enough entertainment? Fear not, this article will arm you with the information you need for a smooth travel experience. Melise, owner of the Lily Bean pacifier, often takes her three children on planes. She is not only an expert in motherhood, but she is well-versed in flying. No, really, she is a licensed pilot. This article will provide pain-free travel guide from take-off to landing and her favorite ideas for a positive travel experience.


Tip #1: Throw any expectations out the window.

Take the pressure off, there’s enough of that in the cabin (extra cheesy jokes only here). Don’t prepare for the worst trip ever and don’t prepare for the best trip ever. Lowering your expectations helps clear your mind and separate your needs from your shoulds and avoid annoying feelings of disappointment and anger. Taibbi (2013), a licensed counselor, explains the value of living in the present and keeping yourself out of the future. Why? Because it doesn’t matter right now.

Benefits of Having No Expectations


Tip #2: “What other people think of me is none of my business.”

Prepare to encounter grumpy people. It is what it is. Just know, we've all been there. Respond with kindness and focus on your family.


Tip #3: Pumped breast milk and/or formula is not subject to the 3-1-1 rule.

You can ask for it not to go through the x-ray machine but there is no evidence that it causes any health problems. Visit the TSA Website here for more information.


Tip #4: Bring a bunch of pacifiers.

Dr. Grow (2016) recommends bringing pacifiers, bottles, and other sucking toys to neutralize ear pressure and ease pain. This item is critical upon take-off and landing, as the cabin pressure rapidly changes. A nursing pillow can help keep your arm from going numb during this process and the duration of the flight! However, the American Academy of Pediatrics (APA) recommends some form of car seat or child restraint for the safest travel. Whether you choose to bring a car seat, carrier, or pillow (or all three) your baby will feel safe and cozy. Here's What to Know Before You Go


Tip #5: Entertainment

Bring along a new toy that your little one has never seen before. It’s always exciting to explore a new toy, and a little distraction never hurt anyone. If the Mickey Mouse Club House can calm your baby down and bring you back to your senses, bring an iPad or laptop. There’s plenty of time to engage and explore when you get to your destination.


Tip #6: If you have a toddler, snacks.

Literally any snack (even the not-so-healthy ones).


Tip #7: Ask for help.

Most people are very kind and helpful. The flight attendants can be a great resource if you or your partner must quickly use the restroom, eat a meal, or tend to other kiddos.

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