Tips To Make Traveling With Baby Easier

Every dad needs support, encouragement, information, confidence and tools to help him be as involved as he possibly can with his new family. Our fatherhood expert, Armin Brott, author of Father for Life, has advice for your growing family!
Armin Brott

Mr Dad
Armin Brott
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  • Your question:
    We're about to take our first plane trip together as a family. Any tips for traveling with a baby?

    Armin Brott answers:
    Of course! Here's what I suggest:

  • Get to the airport early. Going through security with a baby can be a real adventure. You'll have to fold up the stroller to put it through the X-ray machine and in most cases you'll have to carry the baby through the metal detectors. And be prepared: if you set off any alarms, the security people may pat your baby down too.

  • Use your stroller to haul your carry-ons, car seat and other stuff and carry the baby in a front-pack or sling along. Most airlines will let you check the stroller at the gate.

  • Try to get bulkhead seats (usually the first row) -- they generally offer a little more room, and you won't have to worry that your child will kick the seat of the people in front of you. Also, ask to be seated next to an empty seat if possible. Be sure to hold your absolutely adorable baby in your arms while you're asking -- this can improve your chances of getting what you want.

  • Don't board early. Instead, send your partner on with the carry-on stuff while you stay out in the lounge, letting the kids run themselves ragged until the last minute. Why spend any more time cooped up in the airplane than you absolutely have to? If you're going on a long trip and your child is particularly restless or active, schedule a stopover or two to give you all a chance to get off the plane, stretch and run around.

  • Every child under two years old should suck on something -- breast, bottle or pacifier -- on the way up and the way down. This will counteract the pressurization and reduce the chances of painful earaches. It may also make your baby a little drowsier. Make sure your child drinks a lot on board and try to keep his nasal passages moist. Airplane travel can dry out your baby's (and your) mucous membranes, making him more susceptible to colds or sinus infections.

  • Buy your baby his own seat. Yes, it's more expensive, but holding a baby on your lap for a few hours, especially in a packed plane, can be a real pain. It's also not nearly as safe as having the baby neatly secured in a car-seat.

  • Check as many bags as you can, but take one carry-on that's stocked with diapers, wipes, an extra outfit or two, and enough toys for the journey (one per hour, including the hour or two you'll be waiting at the airport).
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