being a mom

8 Tips To Make Flying With A Baby Less Horrifying

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aviator babyTraveling by plane is always stressful, but add a baby into the equation and it can seem impossible. If you’re considering flying this summer but are worried about pulling it off with an infant or toddler on board, don’t despair. There are things you can do to make your flight easier, and no, you don’t have to make goody bags for your fellow passengers. Here’s eight tips to make your first flight with baby go smoothly.

1. The three ounce liquid rule doesn’t apply to baby food and formula. If your flight is long enough that your baby will need to eat and you don’t breastfeed, you can bring supplies for your wee one. TSA regulations consider formula and baby food to be medical liquids and are allowed in reasonable amounts. You don’t have to put them in a zip top bag like your other liquids, a small soft lunch cooler will work. Make sure you tell the security agent that you have these items before your things go through the scanner. They will take them and have you watch them test the liquids, it only takes a minute.

2. Gate check your stroller like a pro. If you want your stroller while you are waiting for your flight and immediately once you land, you can gate check it. The stroller will have to go through security, so make sure you remove all items from it before you get there, including clip-on toys and anything in the underneath storage compartment. TSA may swab your hands as part of the stroller security inspection.

Once you clear security, go to the desk at your gate to get a tag for the stroller. When you board the plane, fold the stroller and leave it at the end of the walkway before you enter the plane, it will be placed down below for your flight. When you disembark, step to the side of the walkway and your stroller will be brought back up where you dropped it off.

3. Pack plastic bags. You probably already know to pack an entire outfit for your child in case of an emergency diaper blow out (socks and shoes too, trust me, I’ve been there) but toss a couple plastic shopping bags in your carry on as well. They can contain a wet outfit and you can use one to consolidate any trash you have at your seat until the flight attendant comes. Plus, if your child has a dirty diaper on the plane, you can tuck the smelly diaper in a plastic bag and give it to the flight attendant for the large trash bag.

4. If traveling with toddlers, consider boarding the plane last. Most airlines will allow families traveling with small children to board ahead of their boarding pass position, but for energetic toddlers, the less time they are cooped up, the better for everyone on board. If you don’t have items to place in the overhead compartment and have aisle seats, consider taking a walk around the terminal and getting on the plane closer to take off.

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