How to Travel on a Plane with an Infant: A Stress-Reducing Guide

Flying with an infant can be a daunting prospect, even for seasoned travelers. However, with the right preparation and planning, your journey can be enjoyable and stress-free for both you and your little one. This guide outlines key aspects of flying with an infant, ensuring a comfortable and safe experience for all.

Before Your Flight

  • Consult Your Pediatrician: Before booking your flight, speak to your pediatrician. They’ll offer advice based on your baby’s age and health, ensuring they’re fit for air travel.
  • Choose Your Flight Strategically: If possible, opt for direct flights to minimize travel time. Consider your baby’s usual sleep patterns when booking–a flight during nap time could mean a happier baby!
  • Reserve Seats Carefully: Window seats offer more privacy for nursing and fewer distractions for your baby. If your child will have their own seat, ensure a safe and secure location for their car seat (often bulkhead rows).
  • Pack Light, Pack Smart: Checked luggage is preferable for large baby items. However, your diaper bag (which doesn’t count as a carry-on) should contain essentials: diapers, wipes, a change of clothes for baby (and you!), formula or breast milk if needed, comforting toys, and snacks.
  • Bring the Right Gear: A lightweight stroller is invaluable at the airport. Consider a baby carrier or sling for easier maneuverability while juggling your infant and luggage.

How can I protect my baby's ears while on a plane?

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At the Airport and In-Flight

  • Arrive Early: Arrive at the airport with plenty of time for check-in, security (which can take longer with baby gear), and feeding your child before boarding.
  • Gate-Check Gear: Most airlines allow you to gate-check strollers and car seats free of charge. This keeps your hands free and protects the items from potential damage.
  • Prepare for Take-off and Landing: Changes in air pressure can be uncomfortable for infants. Have them suck on a pacifier, bottle, or breastfeed during take-off and landing to help equalize the pressure in their ears.
  • Bassinets and Your Own Seat: If you haven’t purchased a seat for your baby, inquire about bassinet availability (often limited) at the gate. If you bought a seat, use an FAA-approved car seat, securing it properly throughout the flight.
  • Comfort Matters: Dress your baby in cozy layers for temperature fluctuations. Bring a favorite blanket or cuddly toy from home. If breastfeeding, wear comfortable clothing for easy nursing.
  • Hydration is Key: Offer milk or water regularly during the flight to keep your baby hydrated, especially in the dry plane environment.

Stay calm and enjoy the sea

Managing Diaper Changes and Fussiness

  • Diaper Changes: Airplane bathrooms are small, but most have changing tables. Pack a portable changing pad for additional sanitary protection. Dispose of diapers discreetly.
  • Soothing a Fussy Baby: Don’t be afraid to walk the aisle gently with your baby, as this can provide comfort and distraction. If possible, have a partner or travel companion lend a hand. A small, new toy to surprise them with can also be a helpful distraction.
  • Don’t Stress: Babies pick up on stress. Your calm demeanor will help soothe your child. Apologize to surrounding passengers if needed, but remember it’s perfectly normal for babies to cry sometimes.

Additional Considerations

  • Consider Your Destination: Are you traveling somewhere with safe drinking water and facilities for sterilizing baby bottles? Will you have easy access to necessities like diapers? Planning ahead eases potential stress.
  • Time Zone Changes: Gradually adjust your baby’s sleep schedule in the days leading up to your departure, especially if you’re traveling to a different time zone.
  • Immunizations: Ensure your baby is up to date on their immunizations prior to travel. This helps protect their health in new environments.


Traveling with an infant takes a little extra planning but is absolutely doable. Focus on what you can control and try to let go of the rest. Be flexible, take breaks when needed, and don’t hesitate to ask for assistance from flight attendants. A positive attitude and the right planning will make your journey smoother.

Flying with a baby can be a rewarding experience, allowing you to explore the world with your little one. Enjoy the special bonding time and the memories you’ll create together!

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Lora Ray

Lora Ray is a farmer of words in the field of creativity. She is an experienced independent content writer with a demonstrated history of working in the writing and editing industry. She is a multi-niche content chef who loves cooking new things.

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