Flying With Baby: Are You Prepared?

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Packing a diaper bag for a trip to the mall is hard enough. Are you prepared for what it takes to keep little ones safe and happy on a plane ride?

For most outings with your baby, you toss a few essentials into a diaper bag and you're on your way. Preparing for a plane trip is another matter, though. You can't just stop somewhere if you run out of diapers or food. Here are some tips to prepare for the journey.

Start with the basics
Gather essentials: diapers, wipes, bottles and cups, formula or expressed breast-milk, and snacks. Bring enough to last a day or two, in case of delays or unexpected layovers. You can buy water, milk and juice in airport cafes or stores.

Make lists before you pack clothing and other items to make sure you don't forget anything important. Gather any medications you might need and pack them in your carry-on bag.

Pack in your carry-on bag two or three changes of clothes for yourself as well as your child. The odds are good that you both will end up covered in something unpleasant before the end of the flight.

Also, be prepared to nurse your baby or have a bottle or pacifier ready at takeoff. This will help to prevent the change in air pressure from hurting your child's ears.

Pack some handy extras

  • Small garbage bags and zip-top bags for holding dirty diapers and soiled clothes.
  • Extra pacifiers and feeding spoons, just in case.
  • Receiving blankets to use for diaper changes, as clothing protectors or to shade the baby.
  • A sling or soft carrier should the baby get fussy and not want to be in the stroller.
  • Quiet toys: one or two per hour of travel time. Put each in colorful wrapping paper for added amusement.

Think about gear
The safest way for a baby to travel is in a car seat. Check that yours is FAA-approved. Try to book a seat for your child if possible, and check with your airline (especially for international trips) about any special rules. If you'll be traveling by car at your destination, you will still need to bring a car seat or rent one when you arrive.

Also, think about how you'll transport baby (and everything else!) in the airport. Special wheel attachments can convert a car seat into a stroller. Or you can put baby in the stroller and loosen the car seat straps so you can carry it like a backpack. Do a trial run before the trip to make sure you're comfortable and can manage both your luggage and your baby.

Be prepared at the airport
Arrive early to allow plenty of time to get through the airport checkpoint. All carry-on bags and baby gear have to go through the x-ray machine. Oversized items will be inspected by hand. Babies who can't walk on their own must be carried through the walk-through metal detector.

Formula, breast milk, juice and baby food are exempt from rules that limit liquids in carry-on luggage to 3-ounce containers. So bring as much as you think you'll need. Let the security officers know you have these items before you pass through the checkpoint.

If you also have older children, make a safety plan in case buy Cialis once a day they get separated from you at any time.

Now you're ready to board your flight. Bon voyage!