Flying with a baby – 5 tips and tricks that worked for me

Traveling with a cute infant on a plane…just isn’t fun!

Traveling + infant = exhaustion. It really is exhausting, tiring, and sometimes frustrating. My little 8 month old was out of his element and completely in awe of this new situation. We went to Texas, California and Hawaii in a span of a month. Every time our flight came around I was a nervous wreck. My thoughts and worries were stuck on repeat. What if he’s cranky? He really needs a nap…will he take one? Will he scream? Will he play with his toys? OMG, what if he poops? I played each scenario thousands and thousands of times in my head.

Babies are needy, not to mention, they carry a lot of baggage…a lot! My husband and I shared a suit case while our little guy occupied two suit cases, a carry on and most of the real-estate in my purse. We also had his stroller and car seat in tow. Just getting though the airport was a huge feat in itself!

Our first trip to Texas was crazy to say the least. In tow was my mom, sister, twin sister and her infant and little toddler, my little guy and me. This was my little one’s first trip on a plane. How bad could it be? Two hour flight? We got this! Only we didn’t. In my world, it felt like a complete disaster. I was that person you didn’t want to sit next to. My little guy screamed and screamed and cried. The flight attendant kept coming over offering different things to play with of which none worked in the slightest. It was nap time and he was not going to close his eyes for any amount of time. Nope mommy!

Our second and third attempt at flying was to San Francisco and Hawaii. Another two hour flight San Francisco…it actually went pretty well. Entertaining him was a breeze. I was ecstatic. We stayed a few days then headed to Hawaii. I went into the flight with the very best intentions…longest, the very longest, five hours of my life. He had a complete meltdown. I was embarrassed, struck with fear, just mortified and getting all sorts of snarky looks and comments. A good three hours passed like that. Ahh, help me. We finally, finally landed…and the world was right again! It figures! But I figure 5 hours of inconvenience was totally worth it to get to paradise!

Two weeks in Hawaii just wasn’t long enough. I seriously didn’t want to fly home. The count down to the next flight made me have extreme anxiety. I just might move here, stay awhile! I’d have no problem with that! Really! Inevitably, we go to fly back and our flight is not till 10:55pm. I desperately try to get him to sleep before we board. I walked and walked and walked and swayed him around and I finally won that battle after dedicating two hours. He fell asleep like two minutes before we board. That flight was such a success. Not a cry or babble was uttered!

Here are my tips that worked for me and what I learned along the way.

1. Buy new toys. Don’t let them see them before the trip. We bought one of the fidget spinners that light up. It was a hit! Even if the novelty lasts only a few minutes, it’s totally worth it in my book.
2. Bring new foods and snacks. Maybe a different flavored applesauce, puff or Nutragrain Bar they haven’t tried. They can play with it and then eat it. My little man loved the crinkly wrappers on his snacks.
3. My winner – stickers. He spent hours sticking and peeling them off the seats and everything he could possibly reach. Lots of clean up, but hey, lots of entertainment and quiet!
4. Walk around. When that seat belt sign was turned off I was simultaneously getting out of my seat. Sometimes they just need to see their environment and move around.
5. Small soft blanket. Sometimes the plane is downright cold, and sometimes they just need that familiar piece of home.

It’s either go travel and do your best, or the alternative, don’t go anywhere. It is taxing when your little one fusses, but don’t let that get in your way! It’s what they do best!
Let me know what tips and tricks worked for your little ones while flying. I’m curious to know!


Oh baby, it’s a wild world.


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