The first family vacation is coming up and you are wondering at what age your baby can actually fly? And what else is there to consider? Here we have collected all the tips and tricks for you to be at ease and relaxed when flying with your baby.
Most airlines welcome babies on board from as young as 2 weeks old. However, whether you should already put your baby on the plane at 2 weeks depends entirely on your child. Some babies don't mind a flight at all, while other little rascals only feel comfortable on the plane much later.
In general, it is advisable to wait a few months before planning your first flight. After about four to five months, the immune system is strengthened to such an extent that there is a significantly lower risk of illness. If you have your child vaccinated, the first vaccinations are all done at this point and you can get on the plane with more peace of mind.
First of all, it should be said that flying with a baby is in most cases much easier and less stressful than you might think. But of course, there are a few tips that can make the flight even smoother for everyone.
We, adults, eat candy, chew gum, or simply swallow during take-off and landing so that the annoying pressure escapes our ears. However, babies do not know this trick yet, and it is quite difficult to explain to the little ones that they should now swallow consciously to equalize the pressure. As such, it is best to simply give babies a drink during takeoff and landing. Either from the bottle or directly from breast milk. As a nice side effect, not only does the pressure on the ears disappear, but it also has a calming and distracting effect.
You should have your diaper bag ready. Not only with enough diapers and a change of clothes, but also a few toys should not be missing. It can always happen that a little bit slips out of the diaper or something gets spilled. A change of clothes is therefore essential. Preferably nice and cozy so that your baby feels right at home. A few favorite toys will definitely shorten waking hours. And just spending a little time together without having to think about household chores can sometimes be quite nice.
The airlines give out blankets, especially on longer flights, because it can usually get quite cold on the plane. Accordingly, you should definitely bring a cuddly blanket for your baby. So nothing stands in the way of a nap. Nose drops or Vaseline are also not harmful. The air in a plane can not only get cold, it can also get pretty dry. A few drops or a little petroleum jelly in your nose can do wonders.
A neck pillow is not only comfortable for you but also practical for the child. When you place the pillow on your lap, it provides a nice surface for your little one to lay down. Either to sleep, or simply so that you have both hands free for a short time to eat something.
If a long-haul flight is pending, a night flight is a good idea. As far as possible you should try to plan a long flight as much as possible to the baby's normal rhythm. An 8-hour night flight during normal bedtime, then a 2-hour layover after the little one would be awake anyway, and then another 2-hour flight during what is usually the first nap of the day. And even a long flight doesn't sound so scary anymore!
A children's passport is also very important! At least when traveling abroad. Even babies need a children's passport as soon as the flight leaves the US. The passport must fit normal passport photo dimensions and evidence of US citizenship, such as, passport are required to be provided during the application process.
Drink during takeoff and landing to equalize pressure
A blanket against the cold air on the plane
Nose drops or petroleum jelly for a dry nose
A pillow to put the baby on your lap
Enough diapers, wet wipes, diaper bags and a change of clothes
Toys to better bridge the waking phases
If possible, plan the departure time well, to suit the baby's rhythm
If necessary, a children's passport (if the trip goes abroad)
Of course, the safest way is to take your child to the doctor for a check-up shortly before the trip. The baby's health always comes first. If the child does not feel well, has a toothache or has a bad cold, you should reconsider the flight. But parents know their baby best. When the doctor says that the baby is ready to fly and you make the best decision to travel, then there is nothing stopping you from having a relaxed flight.
A very important point is stress. Not the stress for your baby, but for you. Try to be as relaxed as possible on the flight. There is a high probability that the time on the plane will pass much more smoothly and stress-free than you think. And even if you get a quick glimpse of another passenger because the little one speaks up for a moment. In the vast majority of cases, the other people on the plane are understanding. And the babies are usually much calmer than you expect. Also: If you are calm and relaxed, the whole thing will also be transmitted directly to your baby. Relaxed Parents = Relaxed Babies.