We flew to San Francisco late January to visit a neurologist at UCSF. It was his first flight and he did as good as we could’ve hoped for! We did follow some tips on things to prepare so thought I’d share them here.
- Have some sort of documentation that proves how old your baby is. We brought a copy of his birth certificate.
- We had him registered as a lap child with Southwest. When we got to the airport to check in, we had to go to the counter to get him a ticket (and show his proof of age). Do this before going through security.
- During security, clear out your stroller and car seat because they both need to go through their machines. Do this before getting in line if possible (and carry your baby) so you aren’t scrambling last second.
- We decided to bring both his car seat and stroller with us, and because the flights weren’t full, they gave us an extra seat. Which means we only needed to gate check his stroller, and were able to bring the car seat on board with us. If your baby is good in a carrier, that’s probably the easiest route to take though.
- We bought a car seat bag from Amazon in case we needed to check his car seat in. (We ended up not using it, but it’s good to have on hand.)
- We boarded as early as possible and sat in the last row of the plane. That way we didn’t need to rush to gather his stuff and the noise in the back seems to help provide some white noise. (Some people have said board as late as possible so the baby is on the plane a minimal amount, so depending on how much overheard room you need and your baby, to each his own!)
- Use a pacifier or feed your baby upon takeoff and landing if possible to help reduce the pressure in their ears.
We also had the added fun of making sure we had enough formula accessible, and that his feeding pump was charged fully just in case. All in all, it went smoothly and everyone we encountered was very nice and helpful.