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Flying with Baby Alone: Top Tips for a Smooth Solo Parent Journey

Updated: Oct 19, 2023

Taking a baby on a flight is no easy feat. Whether you're embarking on a short domestic flight or a long international journey, careful preparation can make all the difference when traveling by yourself with baby.

Here are ten tips to help you navigate the adventure of flying with your baby on your own.

  1. Choose Baby-Friendly Flights I personally like morning flights. The earlier in the day that you travel, the less likely you are to run into delays or cancellations. Additionally you can try to align your flight with their nap schedule, making the journey smoother for both of you. For younger children, they are likely to nap no matter what as travel days can be busy and overwhelming. All the new sites and sounds are likely to wear your little one out. For mobile babies, opting for a nap time flight may be more helpful.

  2. Plan Your Seat Strategically When booking your flight, select a seat strategically and based on your personal preferences. Many airlines offer bulkhead seats with more legroom and a bassinet attachment for infants (more on that here). If you prefer more privacy, try a window seat towards the middle of the plan, furthest away from the entrance and back galley where those may wait for the restrooms. Alternatively, choose an aisle seat for easier access to the aisle when you need to move around with your baby.

  3. Pack Smart and Light Packing efficiently is crucial when flying solo. Pack only the essentials, and organize your baby's items in a compact diaper bag. Include baby food/drinks for the travel day, a change of clothes, toys/activities and any necessary medications. Additionally you will want to pack a "grab and go" diaper kit for when you need to change baby's diaper but don't want to take your entire diaper bag to the airplane restroom (there isn't much room).

  4. Prepare for Security Checks Be ready for security checks at the airport. Ensure that baby essentials, such as formula, breast milk, and baby food, are easily accessible for inspection. Familiarize yourself with airport regulations regarding these items. I have a whole blog on what to expect when traveling through airport security so you can prepare here.

  5. Baby-Wearing Can Be a Game-Changer Consider using a baby carrier through the airport. It keeps your hands free and your baby close. This can be particularly helpful during check-in, security checks, and boarding. I personally really love this lightweight Tula Lite carrier for travel (code: TWB10 will get you 10% off!).

  6. Pack Distractions Bring a variety of toys, books, or electronic devices to keep your baby entertained during the flight. Familiar items can provide comfort in a new environment and help pass the time and one or two new toys can provide additional focus while they explore this new item. However if you happen to forget the toys, don't fret! You can always find things around the plane or from the flight attendants like plastic cups or napkins that can keep baby entertained.

  7. Be Prepared for Takeoff and Landing During takeoff and landing, changes in air pressure can be uncomfortable for babies. To ease this discomfort, offer a pacifier/bottle to encourage swallowing. This can help equalize pressure in their ears. If you have brought along a water bottle for your child, be sure to unscrew it before take off so the water doesn't explode due to cabin pressure changes when baby goes to take a drink in the sky.

  8. Accept Assistance Don't hesitate to ask for help when needed. Flight attendants and fellow passengers are often willing to lend a hand, whether it's holding your baby briefly or offering assistance with your luggage.

  9. Stay Calm and Flexible Finally, keep in mind that flying with a baby can be unpredictable. Stay calm, be flexible, and go with the flow. Sometimes, plans may need to change, and that's okay. Your baby will pick up on your demeanor, so a relaxed and positive attitude can make the journey enjoyable for both of you.


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