Are you planning to do some jetsetting with an infant in tow? Here are some tips for making
baby’s first plane ride as smooth-sailing as possible:
1. Stick to your usual schedule
If possible, try to pick flights which match your baby’s sleep patterns. This might mean choosing a flight in the middle of the day to accommodate a nap, or an evening flight to align with your baby’s bedtime. Make falling asleep easier by recreating your child’s sleep space as much as possible. Travel advisors recommend bringing along items, such as a favorite blanket or toy, your child associates with napping and bedtime. Additionally, because babies’ ears can be sensitive to pressure changes, the Mayo Clinic suggests encouraging your infant to suck on a bottle or pacifier during ascents and descents to help relieve the discomfort.
2. Spring for an extra seat
While many airlines will allow you to fly with a baby under 2 years old on your lap for free, it might be worth paying the extra airfare to have some more space. It’s also a safer way to fly. According to both the Federal Aviation Administration and the American Academy of Pediatrics, securing your baby or toddler in a car seat or harness will offer the best protection against unexpected turbulence. Just make sure the car seat meets FAA-approved child safety seat specifications.
3. Choose a nonstop flight
If possible, choose a nonstop flight so you will only have to go through the boarding process once. If you can’t avoid a stop, consider opting for a longer layover between flights to give you more time to pack up your stuff, stretch your legs, do a diaper change, and get to your next gate.
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