Flying with a baby can be a terrifying prospect, but with a little preparation, it can be a smooth process for everyone involved.
To be prepared for potential mishaps, arrive at the airport about two hours before your flight. By being early and unrushed, you’ll be able to easily print your boarding passes and check your luggage, and decide if you want to check your stroller and car seat now or if you want to use the car seat on the plane and check the stroller at the gate. Either way, you’ll have plenty of time.
Wearable carriers and slings allow you to wear your baby through the airport, but you’ll probably have to remove the baby from the carrier and carry her through the security checkpoint. Formula, breast milk and juice for infants or toddlers are allowed through security in your carry-on, although you do need to inform the Transportation Security Administration agent at the beginning of your screening process.
Try to change your baby as close to your boarding time as you can—on short trips, this might keep you from a mid-flight diaper change. While the Federal Aviation Administration allows children under 2 to be held on the lap during flight, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that families give each child his own seat. If your child has her own seat, your airplane-approved car seat will protect your child.
Pacifiers, along with bottle and breastfeeding, help relieve pressure during takeoff and landing, so encourage your baby to use one if possible. If your infant does cry, apologize to other passengers if you feel the need, but don’t overdo it—after all, you have as much right to travel as they do, and chances are many of them were in your place once upon a time.