Flying can already be stressful, but add a baby into the mix and you have yourself a situation that requires patience, attention, and mental preparation. Our Philly Airport parking company sees families pass through our location on a regular basis, so we thought we’d share some tips for making your next flight with a baby easier:
One of the worst parts of flying is worrying about getting through the airport and being on time for your departure. Make things easier on yourself and arrive early (we suggest 1 1/2 – 2 hours before your departure time). This way you’ll have time to check your luggage, get through security, find your gate, and more, with peace of mind.
Pack Light, but Pack Extras
This should go without saying, but the less you pack, the less time you’ll spend trying to figure out how to carry all of your belongings. Babies need attention and the last thing you want is to have to rummage through your purse, a diaper bag, and two carry-ons to find what you’re looking for. It is a good idea, however, to double-up on some essentials, just in case your flight gets delayed, you have to make an unexpected stop, or your checked luggage gets lost.
Board Towards the End
Many airlines allow families with small children to board the plane early on. While this is nice, it also means you’ll have to keep your baby quiet and happy while the rest of the flight fills up (which could take awhile). Instead, the best-case scenario is to board towards the end while someone you’re flying with boards early. This way, they can take your luggage, diaper bag, and other essentials with them and get them stored away before you board.
Look for Kid-Friendly Areas
Many airports are kid-friendly and actually designate certain areas to toys, jungle gyms, play floors, and more. Do some research into the airports you’ll be using to see if they offer an area to let your baby play or any other child-related conveniences that may make your experience go smoother.
Gate-Check Your Stroller
What’s nice about flying with a baby is that instead of paying to check your stroller, you can check it for free – and you can do it right at the gate. This means instead of carrying your baby through the airport, you can use your stroller right up until the last minute. Then, you can hand it over to an airline employee. They’ll stow it for you and make sure it’s available as soon as you land so you can pick right back up where you left off.
Book an Aisle Seat
While a window seat offers privacy (and often a visual distraction for yourself), being in an aisle seat can make for an easier flight experience. Not only will your baby have more to look at, but you’ll be able to get up and move around whenever you’d like without disturbing the others in your row. If you’re flying with someone else, consider booking two aisle seats across from each other to maximize your comfort.
Plan Feeding Time Accordingly
Many adults get uncomfortable during take-off and landing, so you can imagine the discomfort a baby may feel during these times. To avoid an unhappy little one and the potential for crying, feed or nurse your baby during take-off and landing. Not only will they love the distraction, but the swallowing action can help reduce the “ear popping” effect of pressure changes.
Some of your fellow flight travelers may not be too thrilled when they see you’re traveling with a baby – especially those sitting in or near your row. Take the initiative to be friendly – say hi and strike up a friendly conversation. This makes things much easier if chaos does decide to strike in the form of fussiness or crying.
Before you fly with your baby, make a Philly Airport parking reservation with Winner. We’ll help you start your trip off easy so things can go smoothly after that.