How to Fly with an Infant by Brittany Nelson
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Have you ever heard a screaming baby on a flight and wondered what kind of crazy person would fly with an infant? I used to think that until I took my 7 month old on his first flight. Overseas.By myself.
Was I crazy? Maybe. Was it worth it? Definitely!
Flying with a baby isn’t always easy, but here are the top 5 lessons I learned that I hope can help you:
Wear your baby – Wearing my baby in my Lillebaby carrier was the best decision I made. When you go through security with a carrier, you don’t remove the baby. You just walk through, they swab your hands, and you’re done! It’s that simple. I also wore him onto the plane before stowing the carrier above my seat so I could get situated hands free.
Utilize baby friendly areas at the airport: I flew out of Dulles airport and it had a private breastfeeding room. That room saved me! There was a huge chair to feed the baby, a changing table, and a bathroom. If you’ve ever tried maneuvering a giant diaper bag, carrier, stroller, and screaming baby into an airport bathroom, you know how great this was. Many airports have similar options available. It’s not usually advertised so make sure to Google in advance.
Pre-board when they call people with small children: Boarding early reduces your stress because you have time to get settled before the plane is chaotic and full of people.
Say yes when people offer to help: I think people genuinely feel bad for you when they see you alone with a baby in the airport. I had people offer to hold him, carry my stroller onto the plane, lift my bags up and down, etc. I quickly learned that saying yes made my life easier!
It’s okay to play the “New Mom” card: When I arrived in Ireland, it was the middle of the night U.S. time. My baby was crying and the customs line was extremely long. An older lady was outraged that the customs officials wouldn’t let me use the wheelchair line and she became my advocate. She asked people to let me cut the line and I quickly found myself near the front. At first I felt bad, but then I realized it was okay to play the new mom card. No one wanted to listen to a screaming baby and cutting the line allowed me to more quickly tend to his needs.
If you want to fly somewhere to visit family or friends with your baby, don’t be intimidated! It’s totally doable. Plus, if it doesn’t go smoothly, you never have to see anyone on the plane again.
Do you have tips for flying with an infant? Leave your comments below! Good luck, mommas!
Brittany Nelson is the co-founder of GWG. After many years of volunteering in international ministry, she became excited about helping other young women discover their passion. Brittany is a Jr. HR Generalist at a consulting firm in the DC area. She spends her free time exploring DC and going to Washington Wizards games with her husband, Paul.