Planning a solo trip with your little one? Keep reading for some tips on how to keep your little one happy while flying alone with baby.
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Flying alone with a baby is no walk in the park. No matter how you want to frame it, it’s always easier to travel with kids when you have both parents (or at least another adult) present. However, we know that this is not always possible.
I have sone a couple of solo trips with our oldest son. The first when he was 6 months old and the second when he was 2.
If you’re planning to travel solo with your child, I know firsthand that the thought alone can be daunting. But luckily, with strategic planning, a few practical tips, and a calm mindset, it can be done.
In this blog post, I will share some insightful tips to help make your solo journey with your baby as smooth as possible. From packing essentials to navigating airport security, here’s your ultimate guide to mastering the art of flying alone with a baby.
- Tips For Flying Alone With Baby
- At The Airport
- On The Flight
- Final Thoughts
Tips For Flying Alone With Baby
1. Prepare in Advance
Preparation is key when it comes to family travel.
From packing the essentials for your baby to researching airlines and policies, your trip will be much smoother when you’re prepared and informed.
2. Choose the Right Flight Time
When booking you flight, it’s important to choose a flight time that aligns with your baby’s schedule.
I understand that this may not always be possible, but consider booking flights that take off around nap time and bedtimes.
Also consider whether or not your route has layovers. Whenever possible, choose a direct flight to minimize the number of connections and layovers. If this isn’t possible choose longer layovers to account for possible delays. Also be mindful that it will take you extra time to get through the airport when traveling alone with baby.
Long layovers aren’t always a bad thing. You can often find things to do with your infant at the airport.
3. Book An Aisle Seat
When traveling as a family with a lap infant, we often book the window AND aisle seat. However if you’re going to be traveling solo, you can only pick one seat.
If given the choice, I recommend choosing the aisle seat.
This allows you to have access to the aisle and bathroom, without having to climb over a strangers lap (with your baby in tow).
4. Request a Bassinet or Extra Legroom Seat
When booking your flight, it’s worth asking to see if a bassinet or bulkhead seat (extra legroom seat) is available.
Bassinets can be attached to the bulkhead, providing a safe and comfortable space for your baby to sleep or play.
Additionally, having extra legroom can give you more space to move around and attend to your baby’s needs without feeling cramped.
6. Use A Backpack Style Diaper Bag
While your diaper bag won’t count towards your carry on baggage allowance, you need to be strategic about the type of bag you bring along.
Opt for a backpack style diaper bag so that you can keep your hands free to attend to your little one.
At The Airport
6. Arrive At The Airport Early
When traveling solo with baby, you need to give yourself more time than you normally would to get through the airport to your gate.
You never know what kinds of delays you’ll face when you travel with kids.
Arriving early will help you to mitigate the unexpected delays that can happen.
The last time I traveled solo with my son who was 2 years old at the time, I had to change his diaper THREE times before we boarded the flight. Two of those times required a change of outfit, so you can imagine how delayed we would be if we had not given ourselves extra time to get through the airport.
7. Check In Your Luggage
The last thing you want to be doing when traveling alone with baby is trying lug your luggage through the airport with the one free hand that you have.
When traveling solo, I try to check in ALL Of my luggage and keep the essentials in the diaper bag so that I have my hands free to attend to my baby as we find our way through the airport.
8. Wear Slip On Shoes
Taking off and putting on your shoes while holding a baby or trying to keep your toddler close, is not easy at all. You can avoid the hassle of trying to juggle it all by just wearing slip on shoes when you travel solo with your baby.
9. Wear Your Baby In A Carrier
Not only will you have your hands free for security checks and when handling tickets, you’ll also have your baby close to you at all times.
There are many types of baby carriers available on the market. If you already have one that you use at home, feel free to use the same one when traveling.
If you’re looking for something new, I recommend a baby carrier like this one that is really easy to secure and adjust. You can get baby in and out in seconds with the press of a buckle.
10. Let Your Baby Explore
Don’t be afraid to let your little one run around and explore while at the airport.
This is actually one of the best ways to tire them out and ensure that they sleep on the flight.
Many airports have playgrounds in them. If you’re traveling through an airport that has a playground, you can find out where it’s located and plan to spend some time there before heading to your gate.
11. Make a Bathroom Stop Just Before You Board The Flight
I don’t have to convince you that the bathrooms on the plane are small and far from convenient when it comes to changing your baby’s diaper.
To reduce the number of visits you’ll have to make to the airplane toilets, I recommend making a bathroom stop the last thing you do before boarding.
On The Flight
12. Be Mindful Of Cabin Pressure Changes
Babies are susceptible to changes in air pressure during take off and landing, and changes in cabin pressure during takeoff and landing can cause discomfort for babies, especially in their ears.
To help alleviate this, make sure your baby is sucking on something during these times. This could be a pacifier, a bottle, or even breastfeeding if applicable. The sucking motion helps equalize the pressure in their ears and reduces any potential discomfort.
If your baby is too young for solid foods or a bottle, you can try using a pacifier specifically designed for relieving ear pressure. These pacifiers have a special valve that helps regulate pressure changes.
It’s also a good idea to keep your baby upright during takeoff and landing to further aid in equalizing pressure.
13. Dress the Baby Appropriately
When it comes to flying alone with a baby, one of the most important things to consider is their comfort. A happy and content baby will make the journey much smoother for both of you.
Choose clothing that will be breathable so that they can be comfortable for the duration of the flight.
Dress them in layers so that you can easily adjust their clothing according to the temperature on the plane.
Also consider packing noise canceling headphones or a white noise machine to help your baby feel more comfortable.
14. Have Comfort Items From Home Readily Available
Having familiar and comforting items from home can make a big difference in keeping your baby calm during the flight.
Pack their favourite blanket, stuffed toy, or pacifier to provide a sense of security and familiarity. These items can help soothe them if they become restless or anxious during the journey.
Also consider packing a few new books and toys to surprise your baby during the flight.
Look for toys that are lightweight, easy to clean and don’t make a lot of noise.
15. Walk and Stretch
Make sure you frequently go for walks along the aisle to stretch your legs during the flight.
This is great for you, but it also serves as a source of entertainment your your child. You can show them new environments on the plane.
16. Seek Assistance from Flight Attendants
Flight attendants are there to help you, so don’t hesitate to seek their help when needed.
Usually when a flight attendant sees that you’re traveling alone with a baby, I find that they tend to be very proactive in checking to see if you needd anything.
You can ask them questions, or ask for support in terms of additional suplies such as blankets, pillows.
If you feel comfortable, the flight attendant can even hold your baby while you use the toilet on the plane.
17. Stay Positive and Embrace the Experience
Maintaining a positive mindset can make a world of difference when flying alone with a baby.
Instead of focusing on the potential challenges, try to embrace the experience as an adventure for both you and your little one.
Remind yourself that this is an opportunity to create lasting memories and expose your baby to new sights and experiences.
By shifting your perspective and embracing the journey, you’ll be better equipped to handle any unforeseen circumstances that may arise.
Flying alone with a baby can be a daunting task, but with the right preparation and mindset, it can also be a manageable and even enjoyable experience. The tips mentioned in this blog post will help you prepare for your next solo adventure with your baby.