Airplanes and Infants: Making it Easy(er), Part 1

Tips from 50+ Flights with Babies Under 2
My favorite thing to say out loud with my baby in my arms and sitting down on a crowded airplane is this:

Geez honey, I sure hope she doesn’t scream the entire flight like she did last time.

I’m a traveler. My wife is a traveler. By default, our two year old daughter and 8 week old son are travelers too.

In Sela’s first year of life, she flew in 38 airplanes, took 6 boat trips and logged about 15,000 miles in her car seat. We took her through Canada, Jamaica, all over the U.S. and deep into Mexico? All for our beloved Saddleback Leather Co. of course (even Bora Bora was a Saddleback business trip).

Family on plane

We don’t know everything there is to know about traveling with small children, but here are a couple few helpful hints we learned that you could make your flight so much more pleasant for everyone around you.

  • Car Seats? Your car seat doesn’t count as a piece of luggage and is free to check in at the ticket counter. We bought a great Gerber car seat cover for $15 that keeps it from getting filthy dirty. The wheeled ones are real nice. A garbage bag works okay and they often have them at the counter for you.
  • Strollers? You can take the stroller for free all the way to the door of the plane and leave it. When you get off the plane, they’ll give it back. If you can, make the kid walk as much as possible off the airplane and use the stroller for carry ons.
  • Carry ons for baby? You’re allowed a diaper bag as well as two carry ons. We have a traveling playpen/crib that we take everywhere. We bought 2″ memory foam for it and she sleeps like a baby EVERY SINGLE TIME (cover the sides of it with towels or blankets so she doesn’t see you if she wakes up for a minute or two at 5:30 a.m.). You can usually check it with the stroller at the gate.
  • Best time to fly? We prefer early early flights at 6:00 a.m. or midday at around 4:00 p.m. If we wake the baby at 4:30 a.m., she sleeps well on the plane. Midday after her nap and lunch is nice because she’s in a good mood and not fussy. We don’t like flying during Sela’s daily naptime because she doesn’t sleep much and then is cranky.
  • Ticketing in advance? Make sure you tell them that you have an infant with you. She rides for about a $15 fee, but she must have a boarding pass. If you wait to tell them at the ticket counter, they may charge you extra. 



More tips are on the way next week.