Planning Your First International Flight With Your Baby? 4 Tips To Make The Experience Less Stressful

Being a first-time parent creates the need to learn a lot of things very quickly. Not only do you need to learn the basics, such as feeding, clothing, etc.; you also need to learn the not-so-basic things, like how to travel with a baby. Short flights aren't usually too difficult, although you will get looks from other passengers. However, those long international airfare flights are a bit more work and a lot more stressful. If you're planning an international flight with your baby, here are some steps you should take to alleviate some of the stress.

Be Prepared – In Advance

When it comes to flying with a baby, advanced preparation is crucial. That doesn't mean simply reserving your tickets in advance. It also means planning ahead for the things your little one will need during the trip – and during those layovers. It will be a long trip, so make sure you have plenty of diapers, wipes, and clothing changes – for you and your baby. You never know when you're going to get spit-up on, or worse. For a long international flight, a good rule of thumb is to pack enough diapers and wipes for a typical 24-hour day. 

Choose Your Seat Wisely – Think Bulkhead

The last thing you want to do is get cramped in a middle seat between people who are less than happy to spend time next to a baby. When reserving your tickets, be sure to choose your seat wisely. Try to book early enough to select one of the bulkhead seats – the front row seats that provide the most legroom. Not only will you have enough room to stretch your legs out, you'll also have enough room to set up an in-flight bassinet, which you should request as soon as you check in at the airport.

Minimize Your Luggage – Seriously

When you're preparing for your flight, you'll want to plan for as few pieces of luggage as you can. This is particularly important if you're going to be flying alone. Try to limit it to one large check-in piece and two smaller carry-ons, depending on the restrictions for the airline you'll be flying with. If possible, choose a carry-on with wheels and a smaller bag for your baby's items. This will ensure that you can maneuver your luggage and carry your baby at the same time.

Plan the Takeoffs – and Landings

If you've ever flown before, you know how uncomfortable the pressure can be on your ears. To make sure your baby is comfortable during takeoffs and landings, be sure to pack a couple extra items. First, pack ear protection so that your little one can sleep through the noise. Second, pack a pacifier or bottle so that your little one will avoid the pain associated with the added cabin pressure. If your baby is breastfed, simply allow it to latch on during each takeoff and landing.

Now that you're preparing for an international flight with your baby, use the suggestions described here to make the flight as stress-free as possible.