Tips for Flying with a Newborn

As a new mom, the thought of flying with your newborn for the first time can be terrifying. From packing all the necessary diaper bag ‘must-haves’, to remembering the bottles and formula, it can seem like an insurmountable task. Our first travel adventure with our 2-month-old newborn was in the middle of COVID. We flew from Grand Cayman, to Miami, drove from Miami to Philadelphia & 2 weeks later relocated to South Africa (which consisted of a 15-hour flight, a 9-hour layover and another 10-hour flight). To say we were exhausted by the end, is an understatement. However, something positive came out of this insanely long trip. I learned a bunch of lessons about “what to do”, and “what not to do”, when traveling with a newborn. Here are some of the tips for flying with a newborn that I have acquired over our travels.

This post may contain affiliate marketing links or products. We may receive compensation or commission when you purchase the product through our link. This is at no additional cost to yourself.

Reserve a Bassinet Seat

If you remember nothing else from this post, remember this: reserve a bassinet seat. We had no idea this was even something that was offered on flights. Our first 15-hour flight with our newborn was in our arms, and boy was that a LONG flight. (We upgraded to business class on our layover.) I recommend that you always contact the airline ahead of time and reserve a bassinet seat when possible. Your baby will have a comfortable spot for napping and more freedom to move. Plus, you might get a minute or two of sleep before you land!

Have a Fully Stocked Diaper Bag (Plus Extra Clothes for Yourself)

When you’re traveling on a plane with your newborn, the diaper bag should be at the top of your list (under requesting a bassinet seat of course). Be sure to include diapers, wipes, bottles, formula, toys, outfit changes and an additional outfit for yourself in case of diaper explosions and spills. Once, I was checking-in for a flight and my son had an accident all over me. After that, I have always packed an extra set of clothes for myself. Just remember, like planning any vacation, anticipating the diaper emergencies, and being prepared, is key when flying with a newborn.

One tip for flying with a newborn is to have a fully stocked diaper bag. Make sure to have bottles, toys, extra clothes, diapers and wipes.

Get a Note from Your Pediatrician

Before departing, it is necessary to check with the airline about any specific requirements involving newborns. Many airlines may request that you have a note from the pediatrician to say your newborn is healthy and able to fly. This is generally the case with longer flights, but always double check just to be safe. For our first flight, we got a note from the pediatrician. While we didn’t end up needing it, I felt better having it in case someone did request it.

Give Your Newborn a Bottle During Take-off & Landing

To make the journey a bit more comfortable for your little one, give them a bottle as the plane is taking off. The milk, or formula, will not only keep them a bit calmer for the flight but will also help to equalize their ears. The sucking motion mimics yawning and stretching which helps to alleviate some of the ear discomfort experienced during take-off and landing.

One tip for flying with a newborn is to give your newborn a bottle during take-off & landing. Here are some bottles.

Bring LOTS of Wipes

Don’t forget to bring lots, and lots, of wipes. When traveling with any child, wipes are indispensable. Whether it’s for cleaning spit up, changing diapers, cleaning bottles or pumps – wipes will be your best friend on the plane. They are also very helpful in keeping the surfaces clean during your flight! You can use wipes to clean tray tables, arm rests and seats to make sure they are hygienic before you settle in.

Ask the Air Crew for Assistance

I still remember the first time I was flying with my newborn and trying to work out feedings. At home, we always used these Lansinoh Milk Storage Bags, but how was the milk going to stay safe to drink when I didn’t have a refrigerator? It took me a bit of time to gather up the courage, but eventually I asked the air crew if they could store my milk in a fridge on board. They not only obliged, but also went above and beyond to make us feel comfortable during our flight. It was so amazing to be reminded that some people truly understand the needs of parents traveling with little ones!

One tip for flying with a newborn is to ask the air crew for assistance.

Flying with a newborn doesn’t have to be as daunting as it seems. If you follow these simple tips for flying with a newborn, it can make the experience much more enjoyable for all of you. And who knows, maybe you’ll even end up making some new friends along the way. So next time you’re booking a flight, remember the most important parts – reserve that bassinet seat, have a fully stocked diaper bag with extra wipes and don’t be afraid to ask for help.

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  161. A Flight Attendant's Perspective – Traveling with Toddlers

    […] Read some of my lovely friend, Natalie’s blog entries for some other incredible tips like booking a bassinet seat! […]

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About Me

I started my travels in 2015 when I up and moved to the Caribbean without really knowing anyone there. From that point on, I haven’t stopped traveling. I have traveled to ten countries & lived in four of them.
My husband and I became a dog parents in 2019 and parents to our beautiful son in 2020 (right in the middle of COVID). We have been parents in 4 different countries already. Everyday is an adventure that I wouldn’t change for the world.

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