7 Travel Tips We Learned from Baby’s First Plane Ride

This was a big weekend for Judah: his very first plane ride! We flew from Boston to Baltimore to spend the weekend celebrating Judah’s great-great uncle’s 85th birthday. My husband and I are both pretty seasoned travelers and we had no idea what to expect when traveling with Judah by plane. Turns out, it wasn’t nearly as bad as it could have been, and Judah was a champ about the entire weekend.

Here are the 7 most important things we learned about flying with baby that we’ll be sure to keep in mind for his next flight… hopefully a flight out to Austin, Texas later this spring!

  • Up, Up and Away!

    Up, Up and Away!

    I think my husband and I were way more excited about Judah’s first flight than he was. That said, we learned some great lessons about flying with baby.

    Click through to read our 7 tips!

  • 1) Pack lightly...

    1) Pack lightly...

    You don’t need to bring every book and toy; just the few key faves to get you through your trip. Essentials like diapers, baby food, and formula can be bought at your destination; there’s no need to take up the extra space in your luggage if you don’t have to.

  • 2) ...But pack a few extra outfits for baby!

    2) ...But pack a few extra outfits for baby!

    I know I said to pack lightly, but bring more outfits than you think you’ll need for baby. For whatever reason, Judah was the king of the diaper blowouts this weekend like we’ve never seen before. We quickly went through ALL of his extra outfits in the first 24 hours.

  • 3) Gate check your stroller.

    3) Gate check your stroller.

    Most airlines will let you check your stroller right at the boarding gate and won’t count it against your checked luggage. As soon as we got off the plane, it was already unfolded and ready to go so we could strap Judah in and head right out.

  • 4) Don't forget a copy of baby's birth certificate.

    4) Don't forget a copy of baby's birth certificate.

    Each airline has various policies regarding identification for baby. On our flight, we needed a copy of Judah’s birth certificate in order to claim his boarding pass. Call ahead and find out what your airline requires, but it’s not a bad idea to have a copy just in case.

  • 5) Bring a baby carrier.

    5) Bring a baby carrier.

    If you can, bring a baby carrier to make holding baby in your lap easier during the flight. The flight from Boston to Baltimore is really only about an hour from wheels up to wheels down; that said, having to hold him while he was squirmy on the flight down was slightly challenging. Had we brought our front facing carrier, it might’ve been a little easier.

  • 6) A nighttime flight makes for a sleepier baby.

    6) A nighttime flight makes for a sleepier baby.

    We had two schools of thought about what would be the best time to fly for baby: either super early in the morning or very late at night. On the 7 AM flight down to Maryland, we found that Judah didn’t really want to sleep at all; he really only got about 20 minutes of sleep. But on the 9 PM flight home to Massachusetts, it only took Judah about five minutes to fall asleep and he slept for the whole flight.

  • 7) Consider renting a car seat.

    7) Consider renting a car seat.

    If you’re renting a car, ask the car rental company if you can rent a car seat with your car. It saved us from having to check a bag by bringing our own.

    We had a wonderful time this weekend. Judah did more than just fine – he did great! We’re feeling confident about traveling by plane with him more.

    What tips do you have for flying with baby? Share in the comments!

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