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5 Helpful Steps for your First Flight with Baby

Written by Hilary Hoogsteen

With the holidays fast approaching, flying with kids to visit family and friends is likely on the horizon.

If you’ve never flown with your baby, the idea of getting on a plane and bringing the right gear can feel like a marathon. On the one hand, you don’t want to get to the other end and not have what you need, but on the other you don’t want to be a pack mule going through the airport. I’ve compiled a few helpful steps to help you breeze through the airport while still having what you need on your first trip with baby.

Pack Early

No matter how light of a packer you are, packing several days ahead will help you feel organized and prepared. Keep a list on top of your bag of last minute items that need to be added so you don’t forget to throw in your toothbrush and deodorant that morning.

Bring a collapsible bag

Babies are often spoiled when visiting family and friends. A small fabric bag with a zipper can help you bring back gifts and souvenirs from your trip without taking up too much space. Most airlines charge for extra baggage, so including a bag that folds up small will help you steer clear of extra baggage fees on the way there.


Everyone hates being the family with the screaming baby on the airplane. Bring a few pairs of earplugs to hand out to neighbours and avoid glares for nearby passengers. Acknowledging that you’re doing your best to not disrupt people will help other passengers to be more understanding.


Baby’s tiny ears might struggle with air pressure changes. Breastfeeding or bottle feeding the baby during takeoff and landing can help with ear discomfort and avoid a cranky baby. If possible, breastfeeding will help cut down on needing to bring a load of bottles and formula on board with you, which take up precious space in your carry on luggage. But if you’re not breastfeeding, having a prepared bottle for takeoff is a good idea. Flight attendants can also help warm bottles for when it comes time to land.

Bring a Baby Carrier

Being hands-free during your first experience at the airport with babe will help you navigate tricky balancing acts in security. Baby carriers are strategically engineered and have clips in all the right places so you can cruise through checkpoints and not fumble with your bags.

When preparing for your first flight, consider each step of the airport and plane ride before leaving so you can set yourself up for success without over packing. If you are flying to visit family, it might be worth asking them to have the correct size of diapers at the other end so you don’t need to bring as many. If you are staying somewhere with a washing machine, don’t worry about packing multiple outfits per day. Bring just enough and wash on the other end. Being strategic in what you bring will help avoid unnecessary costs from the airline and chaos keeping track of bags, not to mention it may even leave you with a spare hand for a coffee!

So PLNers, what’s your best travelling tip with babies? Leave us a comment and share your wisdom with us below.

*Opinions expressed are those of the author, and not necessarily those of Parent Life Network or their partners.