hacks for traveling with a baby

57 hacks for traveling with a baby/toddler on long-haul flights

You want to travel on a long haul flight of about 6.5hr for business or to go see some relatives.

You have a baby or a toddler you need to take along.

You are worried. You don’t know how your little one will behave on the flight.

You’ve witnessed some scenarios where kids cried on planes and the embarrassment and dirty looks moms of such kids received.

You just don’t want to be in that situation.

I understand your fears.

Traveling with a baby/toddler on long-haul flights can be a daunting task. Just thinking about the journey can make your heart race. This is because it is difficult to control babies and toddlers on a flight. But if your family is international, it means flying is a large part of keeping in touch with family members or if your job involves a lot of traveling, you may need to go with your baby. But you don’t have to panic, especially when some people are not warm to screaming kids on a plane.

Whether you are planning to take your 10-month-old baby, a 1 year or two-year-old toddler on long-haul flights, you can make it enjoyable and memorable. Below are 100 hacks for traveling with a baby to help you out.

But before then, let’s take a look at “when can babies fly long-distances“. Because a lot of parents are not sure when to take their babies on a long haul flight.

How soon can you travel with a newborn?

Many people want to know when the right time to travel with a newborn child is. The truth is, if the baby is healthy, you can travel at two days old. However, some airlines stipulate two weeks old, which is also good, especially for first time moms.  So check with your doctor and your airline to make sure you can travel with your baby.

If your baby is born prematurely, count from the date the baby was supposed to be born to know when to travel. For instance, if you gave birth to the baby at 8 months old. Ensure that the baby is at least 1 month+ before you travel.

If you deliver your baby through the caesarian section, it will take you about a month and two weeks to travel. You can also check with your doctor to ensure everything is okay before you travel.

It is good to wait for a few weeks before flying to ensure that you understand your baby before you fly together.

Can a 2-month-old baby travel on a plane?

Like it is discussed above, you can fly with your babies, however, it is not fun. Especially for a 2-month-old on a plane. But some parents have cogent reasons to travel. This stage of their lives is laden with unpredictable sleeping and nap schedules. They can be fussy or colic at any time and it is hard on parents and other passengers alike, especially if it a long haul flight.

If you are a first time mom, it is likely that you become stressed and you may still be recovering from childbirth. But not to worry, the hacks below will help to make the trip less tiring, endurable and enjoyable. Lol.

Flying with a newborn before vaccinations

You need to take precautions while flying with a newborn before vaccinations. In fact, you may need to avoid going to the part of the world where they can be exposed to diseases they are too young to get vaccinations for. For instance, babies younger than 2 months cannot take anti-malaria tablets and babies less than 6 months cannot receive vaccination against yellow fever.

So if you are concerned with traveling with a newborn before vaccinations, it is better you delay your trip after the first round of vaccines the baby will take when it is two months old. The baby will be vaccinated against diseases such as Tetanus, Pertussis, diphtheria, Pneumococcus, Polio, etc.

After you take the first round of the vaccines for your baby at two months old, it will take about 2 weeks for the baby’s body to produce all the antibodies in response to the vaccinations to create the protection.

So, ideally, you would want to wait until the baby is around 3 months before you can fly if you are concerned about the baby’s vaccinations and health.

Let’ get started with the hacks for traveling with a baby. I will start with the things you need to pack for the long haul flight for you and the baby.

What to pack for a long haul flight with baby

Now you know what to pack for long-haul flights. Let’s look at the things you need to do before the flight.

  1. Pack some bottles of freshly pumped breast milk or formula
  2. Pack two shirts for yourself, you will need it.
  3. Take along a copy of your baby’s birth certificate. Some airlines request for it to prove your infant is yours.
  4. Pack your baby carrier. It is easy to walk through the security wearing your baby. It will help you skip most security checks like the x-ray machine, metal detector and the rest of it.
  5. Get a luggage dolly. It will help you get your car seat through the airport.
  6. Get a wine bag to help you organize the stuff you want to easily access on the plane.
  7. Get spill -proof travel mugs for drinks on the flight. Because of the baby, your drinks may spill during the flight, you don’t want that to happen.
  8. Get a pacifier for your child. It will be useful during the flight.
  9. Get a separate diaper purse to make it easy to change your baby’s diaper on the plane.
  10. Get a travel bassinet to use on the airplane or check with the airport if there is one available for kids.
  11. Get a car seat like the CARES harness because it is easy to carry and your baby can settle easily in it and even sleep through the flight.
  12. Get a Snap and go strollers for travel lightweight if your child is not old enough to sit still with you.
  13. Get a kid iPad to keep your toddler busy loaded with educational apps and movies your kids enjoy
  14. Pack a diaper bag filled with diapers, disinfectant wipes, diaper cream, breast milk, a change of dress for the baby, socks, baby bottle, disposable baby bottle liners,
  15. Pack a few children’s books to entertain your toddler through the flight
  16. Get a personal handbag where you can put your belongings like mobile chargers, passports, tickets, pens, etc.
  17. Pack a Ziploc with crackers and chips for the baby.
  18. Load your mobile phone or tablet with your baby’s favorite rhymes, videos, and apps.
  19. If your child is under the age of 2, take two changes of clothing for you and the baby, and a few towels.
  20. Get a new toy that will fascinate your baby. Also, pick one or two old toys along.
  21. Get a flashlight to help in overnight/late flights
  22. Take earplugs for yourself and an extra for the next passenger in case your child is screaming.
  23. Get extra Ziploc bags for used disposable diapers and soiled clothing for later laundry.
  24. Pack band-aids
  25. Get a disposable changing pad you can lie on any surface in the bathroom to change your baby diaper.
  26. Get a blanket or duvet. The airplane air conditioner can be cold on the long-haul flights.

Now you know what to pack for long-haul flights. Let’s look at the things you need to do before the flight.

Hacks for traveling with a baby: Things to do before the flight

  1. Call and check with the airport to know what you can check for free and what items will be charged.
  2. Book an airplane seat by the window if you are nursing a newborn, but the aisle if you have an active infant. You can choose the bulkhead which is the most forward part of the plane. It is much more private for breastfeeding and quieter with a lot of legroom.
  3. If your baby is close to 2 years, buy a seat for them. It will help the baby in case of rough turbulence in the air.
  4. Before leaving for the airport, dress your baby in a simple onesie that will make it easy to change the diaper. Add baby leg warmers and a layer of a sleeveless dress.
  5. Pack twice the number of diapers and wipes you use at home for the time between leaving the home to the airport, flying and arriving at your destination.
  6. Take children’s Tylenol or Motrin or whatever drugs you use for fevers, gas pills, a thermometer, etc.
  7. Buy travel insurance
  8. Pack snacks for yourself to eat during the flight.
  9. If you have an active toddler who wouldn’t like to sleep during the day, it is better to take a day flight when everyone is awake. But if your child loves to sleep well at night even in a strange environment, it is better to take a night flight.
  10. Don’t let the baby sleep for a few hours before flying. It will be easy to sleep on the flight.

Next is the list of things you need to do when you get to the airport.

Hacks for traveling with a baby: Things to do at the airport

Next is the list of things you need to do when you get to the airport.

  1. Arrive at the airport very early to get through the processes
  2. Ask for help if you need it. The TSA agents can help with your stuff while you juggle with your baby as you pass through the security.
  3. Search for the family bathroom in the airport to help you change your baby’s diaper as you get set for the flight.
  4. Use early boarding, it takes time to get everyone situated
  5. Use a baby carrier during the security checks to keep your hands free to carry luggage and keep the baby in control
  6. Most airports have a play area for children. Ask for it so your child can play and expend some energy before flying.

Next is the list of things to do during the long haul flight.

Hacks for traveling with a baby: Things to do during the flight

  1. Nurse during take-off and landing to relieve pressure in the baby’s ears. Flight pressure causes earache. If you are not breastfeeding, encourage your toddler to keep eating and drinking to release the pressure.        
  2. Take a nap when your baby is sleeping on the plane
  3. Be prepared for a throw up during the fight. Many parents have experienced this. So you need to keep towels handy
  4. Be prepared for diaper blowouts, get disposable gloves and Ziploc bags.
  5. Get your pacifiers handy during the ascent and descent of flight to avoid ear pain for the baby
  6. Order a special meal if you are flying along with your baby. You will eat while everyone else is yet to eat so that if you need your neighbor to help hold the baby, they can help.
  7. Be prepared to change the baby on your lap because not all planes have a diaper changing table in the bathroom.
  8. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. Most people understand what it means to be a parent.
  9. If you are breastfeeding your baby, wear a nursing top, bra, and scarf for easy feeding on the plane. If you are not, prepare the baby’s in-flight bottle as much as you need before you board the flight.
  10. Don’t sweat the small stuff. If your kid is yelling, don’t be alarmed. Most people will understand.
  11. Take the baby for a walk along the aisle and say hi to people. Talk to flight attendants and show the baby the window to lookout.
  12. Don’t change the diapers in your seat, use the bathroom to do it.
  13. Follow the normal schedule for feeding and sleeping during the flight.
  14. If your baby is eating porridge or baby food – take along a bib, spoon, baby food, wipes, a thermos with hot water, and fruits.

Lastly, you made it through. Below is the last thing to do after the long haul flight.

Hacks for traveling with a baby: Things to do after the flight

  1. Don’t rush to disembark unless you want to join a connecting flight. Take your time.

Toddler airplane activities and how to entertain them on a flight

  1. You can keep your toddler busy with activities such as giving them an empty notebook and pen to write or draw.
  2. Some airlines have a kid’s park. Check with your airline to find out if they have activity pack on board for children
  3. Entertain your kids with new toys or most loved toys. Useful travel toy ideas include My Busy books, Buckle toy whale, farm in a Tin, Imaginetics magnet board, etc
  4. Use toddler travel games such as i-spy.scavenger hunt printable game.
  5. Download fun apps such as Peekaboo Barn, ACN Toddler, Mouse Maze on your tablet to keep them busy.

Download the Baby Travel checklist

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The truth about traveling with Babies

Traveling with a baby is hard work. There’s no doubt about that.

But you can make it harder when you travel with no prior preparations as enumerated above.

Prepare by getting the needful baby essentials that will make the journey easier for you and the baby.

Imagine you follow all the tips above.

You boarded the flight and your baby behave perfectly well.

Sure, you will love it.

Traveling with kids can be fun when you have the right things at hand.

It is time to enjoy long haul flights with your baby using the hacks for traveling with a baby.


Click here to download the Baby Travel Checkist in PDF

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