Baby’s First Trip on Airplane

Last March we met up with my husband’s family for vacation in the Bahamas. Madison was only 3 months old so I was really nervous about taking her on the plane for the first time. As a mom, you can never be too prepared. I researched all the best ways to keep her distracted and looked up all the tips from fellow moms on having an infant on the plane. As prepared as I tried to be, nothing ever goes as planned.

It’s important to have your baby sucking on something at takeoff and landing so that they’re able to pop their ears back. A baby does not naturally know how to do this and having popped ears is very painful to a baby.

Our flights to the Bahamas could not have gone better. Madison would have a bottle at take-off and normally nap most of the remaining flight. She’d have a pacifier in when we were landing so she was able to pop her ears back on her own then as well. She handled all of the flights so well and didn’t even cry once. We had multiple people commenting what a great baby she was. At that time I felt like we were on top of our game and were handling this parenting gig pretty well.

After an amazing week of fun in the sun my poor baby was TIRED. She didn’t sleep that great away from home and it was beginning to show by the end of the trip. We took a small charter flight back to Florida before we split up from Matt’s family to head back to North Carolina. She handled the small plane pretty well but all hell broke loose when we boarded our commercial flight. Maybe it was because she was overtired but the child refused to take her bottle on take off. When her ears popped she released blood curling screams throughout the entire plane. Me and Matt were hurrying trying to find a pacifier or ANYTHING to quiet her down. NOTHING worked. She refused her pacifier, her bottle, any toy we could put in front of her. She didn’t even want to be rocked. Madison threw an out right fit on the plane. And it didn’t end there. When we finally reached our layover we thought that we may be able to find a quiet spot for her to take a nap at. We had about two hours to kill and were tired and hungry ourselves. Once again, we were wrong. I had no idea a baby could fight sleep as hard as she did this day. She cried the entire two hour layover. We were stroller her up and down the terminals, holding her, rocking her, trying to feed her again with no luck. I felt like THAT mom. People were staring, but this time it was with anger or sympathy

Finally she seemed to give up after we boarded our plane home, at least until this plane landed.

I can’t say that my experience was perfect by any means, but I did learn a lot.

  • Make sure your baby is drinking a bottle/nursing/or sucking on a pacifier at take-off/landing

  • Bring Toys/snacks/entertainment for your child. Keep them happy, so you can be happy!

  • Download a baby friendly movie on you ipad/laptop before your trip.

  • Bring an extra plastic gallon size ziplock bag for dirty diapers

  • Have all your formula in a ziplock bag before going through TSA. This makes it much easier to find, take out of your bag and have them inspect

  • Extra change of clothes for you and baby (blowouts happen more frequently 35K feet in the air)

  • Lots of extra diapers and wipes. It’s better to have too many than not enough

  • Bring lots of patience. Your baby can sense your frustration, so patience is key to a happy flight.

Traveling with a baby is both exhausting and rewarding for all involved. When you finally get to your destination and get to enjoy a new place/experience with your child, it is priceless. Just keep reminding yourself that this is all new to your baby as well!


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