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Tips for Flying With a Baby

Tips for Flying With a Baby

Everything you need to know about flying with your baby.

Whether you're a first-time parent or a seasoned traveler, navigating the skies with a baby gets a lot easier with thoughtful planning and preparation. In this guide, we'll explore essential tips for flying with an infant, discuss age considerations, provide a checklist of must-haves, and offer creative solutions for keeping your baby entertained during the flight.

Checklist for Flying With Your Baby:

  • Identification: Ensure you have a copy of your baby's identification, such as a birth certificate.
  • Car seat or FAA-approved restraint system: Follow airline guidelines for using a car seat on board.
  • Diapers and wipes: Pack more than enough for the duration of the flight.
  • Formula or breast milk: You’ll want to prepare your formula or breastmilk in advance, unless you opt for ready-to-use formulas.*
  • Container for formula: Prepared formula and/or opened ready-to-use formula needs to be refrigerated--many travelers like to designate this as the “baby bag” where they put any snacks, baby food, and medication.*
  • Change of clothes: Accidents happen, so pack an extra outfit for your baby.
  • Comfort items: Bring items that soothe your baby, such as a favorite toy or blanket.
  • Medication: Carry any necessary medications as prescribed by your doctor.

Essential Baby Travel Tips

1. Plan Ahead for Feedings

Ensure that you have enough formula or breast milk for the entire flight, taking into account potential delays. If you’re using a ready-to-use formula, it can help to purchase smaller containers to make on-the-go storage easier.

2. Pack Extra Diapers and Wipes

Accidents happen, and it's better to be over-prepared. Pack more diapers and wipes than you think you'll need, and have a changing pad for in-flight diaper changes.

3. Choose the Right Flight Time

Ideally there might be flights that align with your baby's nap schedule. A well-rested baby is more likely to be calm and content during the journey.

4. Create a Calm Environment

There’s going to be a lot of stimulation and new experiences for your little one, and every baby will respond differently to that environment. The best thing you can do is to create comfort for your baby with fun and games. Bring your baby's favorite blanket, stuffed animal, or pacifier with you, and if you can, give yourself as much time as possible to get to the airport so that you don’t have to feel rushed. Your baby will likely respond to your cues, and your calmness can help them feel at ease.

5. Check Airline Policies

Understand the specific policies of the airline you're flying with regarding baby amenities, such as bassinets, baby food, and stroller check-in.

What Can Ease Ear Pain for Babies During Flights?

Sometimes cabin pressure changes during takeoff and landing can hurt your baby’s ears. Generally speaking, children and babies can be more sensitive to these changes in pressure than adults, and while the effects are temporary, it can be unfamiliar and therefore scary for your little one to experience at first. Here are some tips for helping them find relief:

  • Bring pacifiers and teething toys: Biting, chewing, and sucking can all help loosen things up behind the ears.
  • Feed just before or during the flight: the motion of swallowing can also help loosen things up behind the ears, and having a full belly can help keep your little one calm.
  • Clear the ear: clogged ears can make the ear popping more painful. Cleaning your little one’s ears (and yours) before the flight can go a long way! Just make sure to safely clean your baby’s ears with a damp washcloth to dab the wax out instead of using a Q-tip to drive it deeper into the ear canal.
  • See your doctor before flying with an ear infection: if your baby has an ear infection, your doctor may recommend that you wait to fly until after recovery.
  • Keep them engaged: As the plane takes off or starts to descend, try keeping your baby engaged with a song or dance– smiles and laughter can always help babies loosen up!

How Old Should a Baby Be to Fly?

It is generally safe for babies to fly as early as a few days old, but it’s always best to consult with your pediatrician before planning a trip, especially if your baby was born prematurely or has a medical condition. Some airlines may have specific age requirements, so be sure to check their policies before booking.

How To Travel With Baby Formula

When traveling with baby formula, you can opt for the convenience of ready-to-use formula–that way you don’t need to worry about measuring and mixing on the go. And for parents looking for hypoallergenic options, there is Nutramigen® Hypoallergenic Infant Formula - Ready to Use, which happens to be the #1 pediatrician recommended formula brand for Cow’s Milk Allergy.

Our Nutramigen infant formula is designed to give nutrition your baby needs for healthy development while helping to provide relief from colic they may be experiencing due to cow’s milk allergy. It’s also lactose-free, and has DHA and ARA, nutrients that are found in breast milk that support baby’s brain and eye development.


Tips for Traveling With Nutramigen®

  • Pack the formula in a separate insulated bag to keep it at the right temperature, and check with the airline for any specific regulations or guidelines regarding the transportation of baby formula.*
  • Ensure you have enough formula for the entire trip and consider bringing a few extra servings in case of unexpected delays.

How To Entertain Babies on a Flight

All the stimulation and new experiences don’t have to be stressful--they can be exciting! Don’t be afraid to show your baby around if they’re excited by all the new things--some little explorers get frustrated if they feel bored or like they’re missing out on the action.

Pack a Variety of Toys

Bring small, quiet toys that capture your baby's attention, like soft rattles or plush books.

Engage in Interactive Play

Play peek-a-boo, sing nursery rhymes, or engage in other interactive games to keep your baby entertained. If you have a window seat, show your baby the clouds passing by. Sit your baby in your lap and help them pretend they’re flying the plane--there’s all sorts of fun and creative ways to keep them occupied--the sky's the limit!

Allow for Exploration

If it's safe to do so, let your baby explore their surroundings within the confines of your seat area. Show them how the tray table opens and closes. When safe to do so, take a walk around the cabin. Introduce them to the flight attendants--sometimes meeting new people and seeing smiling faces can add to the fun! Just keep an eye out for when your baby might be getting tired or overwhelmed, and have a safe space in your seat where they can relax.

Let the Motion Soothe Them

If your baby loves falling asleep in the car, they might also like a flight if it feels like a car ride. If your little one wants to rest, count your lucky stars and let them get that shuteye!

Take to the Skies With Enfamil Family Beginnings®

When you sign up for Enfamil Family Beginnings, not only do you unlock a wealth of expert advice and valuable coupons, but you also gain access to resources that can make flying with your baby a breeze. Enfamil Family Beginnings provides the tools to navigate parenthood with confidence, making your travels with a little one an enjoyable and nourishing experience.

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*Follow label instructions for preparation and storage.

All information on Enfamil, including but not limited to information about health, medical conditions, and nutrition, is intended for your general knowledge and is not a substitute for a healthcare professional's medical identification, advice, or management for specific medical conditions. You should seek medical care and consult your doctor or pediatrician for any specific health or nutrition issues. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment, care, or help because of information you have read on Enfamil.