Flying with Baby

Parents share some advice about traveling and flying with a little baby. In this article:

General advice

Long-haul advice

Wondering how to deal with Jet Lag? Read the PSP article HERE that deals specifically with how to help babies/kids adjust to a new time zone.

baby-airplane

I'm very grateful for all the excellent advice I've received in this forum for the flight itself, and I'm thinking that I might wait till we return from our flight to report back on it and how it went, for other parents planning flights with their babies (by the way, I stumbled on a website called something like justgotback.com where people who've returned from flights with children post advice...mainly I learned from it to take tons of wipes!)

 

General tips:

A parent shares the crucual tips they've learned so far. Here are their tips:

- Don't take anything with you that can be available at your destination (stroller, bed, bath, extra diapers, etc). Just take your car seat. Borrow or buy the rest. 

- Do bring a diaper bag with lots of supplies, diapers, a few extra sets of clothes, hat and blanket as it can be cold in plane.

- To take extra clothing for yourself as well as baby (see PSP's list of what to pack for the plane here!)

- I would recommend some kind of soft carrier (wrap, k’tan, sling) to put him in (after take off) for him to (hopefully!)sleep in. If he sleeps a while your arms could get super tired! And stick with a medicine you know actually makes him drowsy (some have the opposite effect!). Also look up busy bags for one year olds/toddlers for some easy, cheap, surprisingly engaging activities (for example, mini post-its that you can put throughout a board book for him to pull off Peek-a-Boo style). But the aisle seat/walking around a lot (maybe in carrier to get him to fall asleep too) will be really helpful. Good luck!

- To get a bassinet, get to airport really early and make a fuss about it.

- A stroller may be taken as far as the gate and then should be packed in some kind of bag because it will get dirty (see PSP's advice about strollers and car seats on the plane);

- I found out that amazon.com is the place to get a somewhat flimsy but better-than-nothing orange bag marked 'gate check' for umbrella strollers to be checked in, at gate; Sasha's Kiddie products sells the same thing at a higher price.

- I use a purse organizer as diaper caddy during long haul flight: http://amzn.com/B011QD6CZQ 

- Double up the diapers. I used a larger size diaper to wrap on top of the regular size to prevent poop explosion. I personally use a cloth diaper cover as a outer layer (I use blueberry one size capri cover, I know it doesn't leak for sure. )

- Wear a feminine pads, when flying alone with baby! Ialmost peed in my pants one time becauseI couldn't go to the bathroom for a LONG LONG time. First it was airport traffic, the plane waited a long time before it could take off, and then followed by a turbulence, when seat belt sign was finally turned off, I still need to call a flight attendant to look after my baby before I could GO!!!

- I change diapers in the baby bassinet, even though there's changing table in bathroom. Passengers around you are either sleeping or watching movie, no one really know you are changing diaper. UNLESS it's a stinky poopy one. But I DID change a poopy diaper one time after landing on the seat. Luckily no one noticed, because they were too busy getting their luggages and get off the plane. 

- I put my baby to sleep in a baby carrier and let him sleep in it most of the time. (The longest sleep was 4 hours) Your baby cannot sleep in the bassinet when seat belt sign is on, if you don't want to wake up your baby, it's better to sleep in a baby carrier.

- Call the airline before you fly to request a special seat (KLM offers bassinets where babies up to 2 can sleep in). It also has extra legroom

- I did try to breastfeed when taking off and landing (she was already sleeping!). On the way back I did breastfeed her.

- Don't stress by thinking that everyone will be upset if your baby cries. My child did not cry at all, but if she would have done so, other people will need to understand that I don't want her to cry either. Some people will be upset, but you will be trying your best to calm your baby.

 - They’re easier than bigger kids! And you can always nurse to calm them down if you need to. Bring the car seat to the gate. If the plane isn’t full they will let you bring it on and strap them in, which makes it easier on everyone.

 - I flew with baby at 8 weeks from NYC to Sydney, Australia. On my own! As my husband, who was supposed to join me had problems with his visa at the last minute and the embassy was closed over the Christmas / New Year holidays.   She was such a trooper.  Some tips: I left the car seat and borrowed one from a friend here. It is so heavy and wasn't worth carrying.  I gate checked the stroller and used a carrier once I had folded it down. But it was great having somewhere to get her off my body in the airport.  A friend lent me an inflatable "my brest friend" pillow. Made sitting with her on my lap easier on the plane.  I had an off brand dock a tot that I used as a bed for her from the LAX to Sydney leg. Luckily I had two spare seats next me so I was able to lay her down with the seat belt around it. I think the lady at check in took pity on me as my husband's absence was so last minute.  Sit up the back of the plane, close the toilets and the noise back there is great white noise for helping them sleep and muffling any crying ;)  Ditto about extra changes of clothes for yourself and the little one. Essential.  Also, I suggest a hand pump as for some reason I seemed to make so much extra milk on the flight (not sure if altitude effects things) and I needed to pump to relieve myself in addition to feeding her. Also don't stress too much if they wont nurse during landing or take off. S. was fast asleep when we took off from NYC and I could not wake her to feed. She was fine. Same for landing and take off from LAX, but she did feed landing in Sydney which was good as that was the only time I felt my ears pop, so she probably needed it!   Also people are so nice, let them help you. I had one lady who helped me carry things onto the plane and a gentleman who helped me get my bags in and out of the over head lockers which was hard with her in the carrier.

 

Long-haul flight advice:

 

Lifesavers:

"To bringing a lot of snacks for baby was a very good advice. I brought mum mums, steamed carrots, cut avocados, frozen cube of steamed broccoli and spinach, some puffs and couple of baby food pouch.  By the time he had meals, they were defrosted. I bought spoons (by Munchkin) which attach directly to food pouch, they worked really good and did not make mess."

 "Another good advice was to bring Bitybean (a compact carrier for baby). It was really helpful to be able to carry him when I go to bathroom, getting in and out of flight."

"I still breastfeed, and it came really handy. Other lifesaver was a pacifier (the one with stuffy animals attached). Although my baby did not use pacifier for last 4 months, he suddenly was very found of it, it helped to release ear pressure, calm him down, put him to sleep and keep him quiet.     

 "Definitely recommend bringing extra wipes, extra clothes for both baby and parents, extra diapers, extra Ziploc bags."

"Among the toys I brought, the most helpful ones were plastic stack cups and water bottles."

"We flew with S. when she was 10 weeks old recently. We also followed all the advice that you can find online, and that other parents are sharing here. One thing that we did, but I had not planned for is we used our stroller blanket clips to hang a blanket around my seat from above. This gave S. and I some privacy and it also alleviated some of my worries about the number of people traveling that were sick. It was a kind of on the spot response to the number of people coughing and flying with masks."

"have a light go bag — we encountered an explosion while we waited on the runway- flight attendants helped us out and let us change her. So dont be afraid to ask!"

 

Book a red-eye:

We did our first transatlantic to London when [my son]s was 3 months and just did it again this weekend now he is 9 months. Both times we have taken a night flight. J. is a pretty great sleeper so aside from him being a bit ratchety during boarding because it was past his bedtime we felt like it was better than the day flight. We’ve flown BA both times and both times he had slept pretty much from taxiing down the runway to starting to land. Only difference this time is that J. was not happy sleeping the entire time in the bassinet because he wants to sleep on his front. In the end he slept on me which means no sleep for me. Otherwise we prepped like baby Armageddon for the flight. Multiple outfits, all the favorite toys/soothing things/ extra bottles and food."

"When we flew to the UK with a one year old, we had a night flight going and a day flight coming back. The night flight was better as the baby slept (fitfully) and the day flight was absolutely miserable with lots of screaming (mostly baby.)"

"We flew to Melbourne with our twins at 5 months and it was actually fine (just beware the jet lag!) The flight over was a night flight and they did a lot of sleeping, so it really was quite a breeze. The flight back was a daytime flight and it was definitely more challenging because they were wide awake for most of it and squirming. So I’d say night flights are a better bet at that age."

"I would also recommend the red eye - did it at around 6 months and our baby slept most of it in the bassinet. However the bassinet seat only fits a tiny baby so make the most of it. At 15 months when we next went back she didn’t fit... I just remember the biggest logistics headache at 6 months was timing vaccinations before flying."

I fly a few times a year to London with my two kids, normally alone (starting from age 3 months onwards) I always get the night flight out and accept I will get zero sleep, but they sleep the whole way. I prefer not to use the bassinet personally as they are small and uncomfortable and on the front row of the plane the arm rests don't lift up, so was tricky for my older one as he couldn't lie down. I don't care too much that I don't sleep as I can hand the kids over to my parents as soon as I land :-) 

"I normally get a very early day flight back, they are normally so tired from the early start and hectic trip that they sleep most of the way back too, but definately harder to entertain a 6 month old when they are awake. I just hate that the flight is so short to UK and longer on way back as I normally have to wake the kids up! Good luck!"

"If you are flying overnight, I think you might be surprised at how well he will sleep once they turn the lights off and with the hum of the engine. We have gone to Europe several times with our older son, the first time we went he was also 1. He slept the whole way in my arms, which was not comfortable for me but he did great. I would agree with bringing some kind of carrier in case he can’t get comfortable in the seat and you can stand at the back while he sleeps. The busy bag idea is great. Put a few things he has never seen in a bag for him. Little travel bottles with Cheerios to shake and eat, a water bottle with a little water in it always fascinates them. Also, it is worth asking if the flight is full and if not, perhaps the ticket agents will be kind and give you the whole middle area(3 or 4 seats) so you could potentially lay him down. Or the bulkhead with no seats in front of you for extra room. I hope it goes well and that your family is ready to entertain him when you arrive so you can sleep!"

 "I'd recommend to take flight that leave closer to baby's bedtime (so there is more chance that the baby sleeps during the flight)."

 

What to know about booking seats:

"We used the "infant in arms" so we didn't have to buy another ticket just for her, although I would imagine that on longer flights, having a seat would be better so you have a place to put the baby. On a short flight, holding her was just fine. There was another mom on the flight with a baby the same age that kept her in a carrier the whole time. I think if you are travelling alone, that is the way to go so that if you have to get up to go to the bathroom or something you have your hands free and can bring the baby.   I fed her right before we got on the flight and then stuck a pacifier in her mouth when we go on. She didn't have any issue with ears popping or anything. Also, some airplanes do not have changing tables in the bathroom (ours didn't on a flight full of kids which caused quite a few issues), so try to make sure the baby has a fresh diaper before you get on the plane just in case. If there is no changing table you just have to deal with it. I saw women changing diapers in the aisle and on empty seats.    We gate checked her carseat and put it in one of those giant bags so it didn't get dirty (most airlines offer free gate check for strollers and car seats). We flew Delta and didn't have any issues. Boarding first is a must because it gives you time to get settled. Also, we got off with everyone else, no need to wait for other people to get off first.    Em was a little fussy on the flight back to New York, but honestly the plane is so loud that it mostly drowns out baby noises unless there is a full on meltdown. She did manage to nap for a little bit while we held her but not as much as I would have liked.    It's scary doing it the first time, but people understand and you will get through it."

"When we flew when my child was 2 months we bought her the extra seat and used the car seat which was great since she was nice and sleepy from the taxi and the car seat stroller walk (and then gate checked the stroller base). That said, the car seat (which I believe has to go in a window seat) does prevent the seat in front of it from reclining. We were going to offer to buy that person a drink as an apology, but a toddler ended up being seated there one way and we had a bulkhead seat on the way back. Make sure you call the airlines if you don't see good seat choices online - they put us all in one row in extra legroom seats even though the computer was showing only random middle seats available."

"Thanks for the offer of knowledge. My husband and I will be flying to Colorado with our twins this summer who will be 9 months old for the trip.   In terms of purchasing tickets- I've heard it's best to work directly with the airlines (as opposed to what we normally do like Kayak etc) - especially to get "bassinet seats"? I'm not even sure what that means. Any light you could shed on best practices in booking the flight would be really helpful!  (I've also heard that my husband and I can not sit in the same row with two babies. It's a legal/safety thing regarding airbags. So we would definelty want aisle seats across From each other)."

 "Don’t be shy about asking the gate agent about the seat situation on the plane.  They might have a random free row they can move you too where you have an extra seat between you two for the squirmy little one.    And do the same when you get on board if there’s no luck. Ask if once everyone’s boarded, if there’s any no shows and possible extra seats, you might be able to move.  The flight attendant might do some finagling for you, like ask if the third in your row might want to move to another available seat (more for his or her comfort but also to your benefit!)  I make sure we say “hi” to all the attendants as we board so we’re on all their radar and the cuteness factor helps.

"I did not travel with car seats. My parents rented one at my hometown.American Airline does not guarantee t he availability of bassinet till the day of (first come, first serve). It required me to book bulkhead seats to have options to request bassinets, but they do not state it clearly on their homepage. Their customer service on the phone misinformed me (twice) which seats were bulkhead with bassinet availability (apparently depending on the type of the airplane, it can be only side laws or middle law.) I was told to book the extra legroom middle  law seats (which costed extra $150 each flight) but it turned out not to be the one I can use bassinet. I found out about that when I asked about bassinet at the boarding counter.
The staff at counter told me that my baby is too heavy anyways. Their bassinet only hold up to 20 LB (he is 23). I was lucky to be given seats for the baby next to me both flights. It seems to be that if they are not full flight, a seat next to a passenger with infant is kept open, though not guaranteed. Although it certainly helped to have a place to put baby (I was traveling without car seat) the belt  does not safely secure him, so I end up holding him most of the flights. It was nice to be able to take a break sometimes, though.The extra legroom actually came in handy. During the flights, they let me put my baby (10 months) down to the floor and play with his toy.
Both on the way and back, I was surrounded by other families with kids and babies on my seats, and it was actually very helpful. People are nice to each other and they help out each other if anything. On the way back there were many babies on board. Downside is when one baby start crying, others follow."

"Book a seat that accommodates infant bassinet when you get your tickets or try to ask at the desk if your forgot. Your arms will thank you."

 

And if you don't get the seats you want, it will be okay: 

"On both cross-country flights, I ended up with a window seat and it turned out fine, so don't panic if you're not on the aisle. On the first flight, I asked the woman on the aisle if she'd be willing to switch with me (it was a full flight) and she wasn't thrilled about it, but did so- and I ended up killing her with kindness and thanking her so much that we ended up having a pleasant flight together. On the way back, I was flying with my mom but we were in the middle and window, and even though my kid had a HUGE blowout during turbulence (when the fasten seat belt sign was on), it was totally fine."

 

On getting to the airport:

"If you are bringing the car seat anyway I would just take a cab.  We did the whole park in a lot thing when we did not need to bring a car seat with us and the shuttle from car park to airport was a bit nervewracking.  We were on the highway for a bit and the driver was a little crazy.  My husband was holding the baby while I was freaking out.  This was at Newark."
Read more PSP advice about NYC's airports >

"We learned the hard way that Uber does not offer *infant* car seats. You can request a car with a seat for older babies, I think it was a year or older, bigger than 22lbs. That info is buried on their website but not on the app (or wasn't but we have since complained!).   Next time we'll take our own car seat."

"We brought our car seat and luggage, no stroller because we were going somewhere it wasn't necessary. Used Uber to get there and just had her in the car seat, belted that in, then at the airport checked the car seat and wore her in the Ergo to the gate. I found this to be the best option because we could get right of the plane and head to baggage claim instead of waiting for the stroller/car seat in the jetway. I suppose you could do the same but also check the stroller and car seat together if you need the stroller."

 

Arrive early:

"My recommendations: 
- Arrive to the airport 1 hour before the recomendable for airlines. Security is more slow carrying a baby, diaper bag, etc. In some cases, Security test bottles of water or milk for your baby. 
- If you have a light stroller, bring that. If not, it is easier to check the heavy stroller and to take your baby in a carrier. Some heavy strollers don’t fit in the security arc, and assemble and dissemble it (before getting to the plane) with a baby around, its complicated. 
- Keep your baby awake before the fly, that helps him to sleep during the fly. 
- Change the diaper before take the plane, the changing table in the airplanes are small. 
- Drink milk (or any fluid) will help your baby with the earaches in the take off and landing.   - If by any case your baby cries during the fly, don't worry. Everybody has been a baby before.  Good trip!" 

"I had been nervous but budgeting extra time and being organized really helped. And she was in a great mood.  I used the carrier through the airport and during the flight, and she fell asleep before we boarded from walking around with her. She woke up once and I was pretty much ready to nurse her immediately, so if you’re nursing I’d recommend planning an easy access outfit and paying close attention to baby’s signs. That kept her calm.   We checked the car seat in one way and gate checked it in the way back- it sort of depends on timing of the flights and whether or not to wake her up, and how much you want to lug around the airport. We got one of those car seat covers online that you can wear as a back pack but it was still heavy. If I’d been alone I would have checked it both ways and stuck to the carrier, or rented a car seat with the rental car.  I budgeted an extra 30-45 minutes to just chill in the airport, to account for the inevitable sneak attack blow out diaper or feeding frenzy.   I didn’t need anything unusual, just diaper hanging stuff (especially the cheap plastic changing mat because surfaces were grimy or unavailable), and I dressed her in the easiest of all clothes for quick changes done on my lap).  I did notice that she was fussier than normal after arriving at our destination, and the day we got back. Not sure if there’s a correlation."

 

Splurge for curbside checkin:

"Curbside checkin is so worth the money! The last time I flew I was four pounds overweight but instead of charging me $100, the guy let me go. Plus I didn't have to deal with wrestling with the car seat and suitcase inside the terminal.

 

When to board the plane:

"I'm torn on the boarding early. For the first time i would say definitely do it but I think moving forward I will wait to be the last on. As Adison gets more mobile, the less time on the plane the better. If you're flying with a partner, you can always split up (they board first and get settled, you keep the baby at the gate for a bit)."

 "Do board at the first opportunity, so that if your seat is not good, you can speak with cabin personnel who can address it immediately. Happened to me and I was given a good seat in the end."

 

Take off and landings:

"Nurse during take off and landing - helps a ton with the pressure in the ears (bring a nursing scarf and try to start using the scarf before your trip - Malaysia is a Muslim country so it was challenging to nurse in public areas. She hates being covered )."

 

Don't be shy to ask for help:

"Don't be afraid to ask for help! On the way out there I sat next to a man who spoke very little English but was totally helpful in many tiny ways- he put down the tray table for me when I needed it, got my bag out from under the seat when I needed it but couldn't reach it with the baby in arms, etc. I was so grateful to him, and it taught me a valuable lesson- to not assume I have to do it all by myself. So on today's flight I plan to ask the person next to me for help if I need it! No one wants a screaming baby on their flight"

 

Pack with caution:

A few months ago I flew from Italy alone with my son - who at the time was 7 months old- and my only advise is : BRING EVERYTHING POSSIBLE!   I flew from Florence to Zurich and all went well. In Zurich they delayed my flight to NY 7hours and ultimately they cancelled it.  I spent another 2 hours waiting for my bags and spent the night in a close by Hotel.  It was a true nightmare.   I had 6 diapers with me and 2 baby food jars.  Fortunately I did bring extra formula.   I can’t even explain the desperation and the exhaustion of having traveled at that point for over 13 hours getting nowhere.   I was able to fly out the following afternoon and likely the airport had a nursery where I could get a couple more diapers and jars for the flight.  Everyone always told me to “fly light” with a baby and just bring the strict necessary, but I totally disagree after what happened to me. Be prepared and bring extra of everything JUST IN CASE! I also had a travel stroller with me which saved my life otherwise I would have had to have kept Ludovico in the carrier for hours and hours - and 20lb is not light."

 

Other challenges:

"Luggage. I am never a light packer but with all extra stuff for baby, it was quite significant amount of things. If anybody is planning to travel solo with baby, I would advice to cut luggage as much as possible..."

"Transfer. On my way back, my flight delayed and  I had only 2 hours at Chicago to transfer. I had to go through immigration and customs, meaning I had to get the checked back one time and go through the custom, check them in again and move terminal. That was really tight. When you are using stroller you need to take elevator, instead of escalator, and those elevators takes forever & many people try to use them. I had to ask to cut in the security check because at that point it's either I force myself or I'd be stranded at Chicago with baby (people let me in).  I'd say it'd be safer to have a bit extra transfer time than usual."

 

Other advice and stories:

"We took our eldest to Australia when she was 5 months old to visit her grandparents. I nursed a lot and found the ergo to be a life saver. I also brought a small pillow and covered it with a sheet from her crib and she lay on it and nursed for hours !!  Don't worry about the other passengers. I have done a lot of flying and had to sit next to drunk people on many occasions give me a baby any day.Another tip don't take too much stuff with you.I put everything in a clear zip lock bag with diapers etc change of clothes,a couple of toys and baggies for blow outs which seem to happen a lot while traveling.   When she got fussy I took her in the ergo to the back of a plane. I am taking a flight to London next month with both my kids and I am a little nervous as  not sure how my youngest will do."

 "try not to care too much about what the other passengers think. I was so worried about getting dirty looks that she definitely picked up on my stress and was crankier/louder because of it. On the return flight I was much calmer and she ended up sleeping the entire 2.5 hours! Maybe a coincidence but still..."

"I absolutely second the chux pads- they saved us on the flight home. When she pooped up to her neck, I basically just wrapped one around her until I could get up to change her. Plus we were so glad to have two changes of clothes for her and a different shirt for me."

 "I drove to the airport but I have ubered and it was fine.  
I checked one big suitcase filled with all of my daugters's stuff and her stroller (uppa baby), then strapper her into the bjorn with my weekender bag and her diaper bag (cannot recommend a diaper backpack enough). this made going through security a breeze.   I changed sadie before getting on the plane and spoke to the woman at the gate about seeing if they had any available window seats for some privacy as I am breastfeeding- this was really helpful and sadie got her own seat. Once on the plane, she watched some new disney film and played with her books, though she never slept. 
On my way to Arizona I flew there with my child by myself and it was a mess. I tried to check the stoller at the gate, which if you are doing by yourself is just way too difficult, going through security was tough. On the plane, I had been given my own aisle but the flight is 5.5 hours and Sadie wanted to be in my arms the whole time. I hadn't brought enough stuff to entertain her, big mistake. I hadn't brought her boppy pillow which had been a big help on the flight to amsterdam.  My big takeaways- boppy pillow, check stroller, pack extra toys/books/pacifiers."

"When we took our tot to London, we never adjusted her for the time difference since we were only there for a few days. She kept her regular schedule on NYC time and had very little adjustment issues while there or when we came back. It was kind of fun taking her out to restaurants until 11pm (though we did get a few strange looks), putting her down at midnight, and sleeping in ourselves since she would 'sleep in later'. Just a thought for those traveling to Europe..." Read more advice from PSP members about jetlag here >

"We flew to Paris this summer, overnight flight on the way there.  It was challenging, but not horrible. In many ways it was really fun and exciting to take Shoshana on her first flight.  I don't know if I've ever taken that many pictures on an airplane. So it is not all that bad.  I'd say the baby did fine, the challenge was that I couldn't sleep much because I was focused on holding her comfortably.  That said, the easiest thing to do was have her in a sling carrier, as he then nuzzled up cozily and I could pay less attention to holding her in place.  Bring extra sweaters and pillows to prop between you/baby and the armrest, etc.  I wish I'd had one of those chewbead necklaces for the flight.  Breastfeeding during takeoff and landing helped with ears, she had no problems.  There are also videos on how to pop their ears which I hear is good prep; made my husband watch them.  If you are flying with a partner, have a stated plan for handoffs, so you each have time to rest baby-free.  Also, the Zenbaby yoyo stroller is quite a nice indulgence - folds into overhead bin so you don't have to gate- check stroller (which will make you last in line for immigration).  Justifiable if you plan to have a second kid, or really hate the long lines at immigration.  I didn't know this, but (for Delta at least) you need to buy a ticket for your baby even if he/she is sitting in your lap. It's 10% of the ticket cost. This was a surprise to us at the airport, so wanted to let you know (tho perhaps I'm just super uninformed).  We had to buy it at the airport which took forever and luckily the gate agent was able to get it at 10% of the original ticket cost versus the same day ticket cost which would have been insane."

"Apart for the normal advice (take a carrier! Bring a change of clothes for him, bring extra blankets, etc.) here are a couple of things that made it easier for me:  
- Stay hydrated! It's especially hard on long flights, and with the baby, and when you are worried about getting up to use the restroom because of the baby
- but it's so important and can really help you pull through it, not have a horrible headache, and deal with the jetlag. Especially if breastfeeding. 
- I am vegetarian and always get my food before anyone else -it's very helpful especially since you get it before the others and can be done with it and rest quicker. 
- We recently got a "priority pass" which gives you access to airport lounges worldwide. It was very helpful to rest for a bit before my flight, get a drink and something to eat. 
- I actually travelled only with a carrier on all flights, as I found it easier then dealing with picking up child-folding stroller-gate check etc. Now for our next flight (in two weeks..) bought a travel stroller. But a good point was made here in terms of being stuck in connection.. 
- If there's a big time difference, and you're open to it, my friend who travels far all the time gives her daughters liquid melatonin when she wants them to sleep to get over the jetlag.
- Taking a thermometer and Tylenol is helpful for the piece of mind even if you don't end up using it. 
- I also read that saline water in their nose before the flight helps them breath better.
- There are specific bathrooms on flights with changing tables. I never noticed this before, but you can see a little changing table sign on the bathroom door!  
And last - which is what I was texting my friend during her 11 hour flight here on Saturday when her daughter refused to sleep - just remember it passes!"

"I had a great experience flying with 8-month old Henry on Singapore to Frankfurt (~ 8 hours). In general, my experience has been that the international airlines are nicer, more accommodating and have bigger bassinets They were also easy about giving us a bassinet right when we reserved our ticket - we just called and they confirmed the seats via phone. They also provided baby food for Henry on the flight and warmed it up -- I don't even do that at home most of the time!  The best thing was they brought my husband's food out first, before serving the rest of the area, and then brought my food toward the end. This allowed me to hold Henry and play with him while my husband could eat in peace, and vice versa. Meal time when we didn't break it up like this was really tricky. There isn't enough space and there's too much crap for the baby to knock over. And if the baby is in the bassinet (which Henry had no trouble sleeping in for 4-5 hours) and you hit turbulence, you have to take the baby out of the bassinet, which sucks for everyone but really really sucks if both of you are stuck behind trays of food.  Having our food at different times was such a huge stress reduction that I will ALWAYS ask for it going forward, even on less accommodating airlines.  I put baby headphones on Henry for at least some of the plane ride. I think it helped a little to get him to sleep. He was a remarkably good sleeper on the plane -- I think the droning noise was soothing.  I echo a lot of the advice already given here, but one more great piece of advice I received: don't expect your baby to be anything other than his or her typical self on the plane. Baby isn't going to zone out if she doesn't usually, and she probably won't be high maintenance if she's not usually. Baby will need to be entertained. You have to bring your parenting A game and pay a lot of attention to your kid's mood and needs. It's not relaxing for the parents, so don't overbook your first day off the plane. But for the daytime flight in particular, it was actually a lovely 8 hours together without phones or computers or TV or other distractions.  I hope it goes great."

"I flew with my 7 week old from New York to New Orleans and I was also so nervous. This is a much shorter flight than yours! I gate checked the stroller and car seat and kept her in the ergo carrier. She slept most of the flight luckily.  I actually found it easier to have milk pumped into bottles rather than nursing. You want to make sure they are sucking on something during take off and landing so their ears don’t clog.   The TSA agent at LGA told me you can wear your baby in the carrier through security if you don’t want to deal with taking the baby in and out of the car seat especially if the baby is asleep. She wasn’t sure about other airports so it might be different at JFK or EWR.   I also liked having an aisle seat so I could get up and walk around when I wanted. Good luck!

 

After:

"Baby jet-lug is a total bitch. Japan is total opposite (day/night) of US. K was up every two hours, at 2 am being wide awake ready to play, for about 3 nights, which was tough. There is not much you can do to convince baby to go back to bed when his body tells him that it is day, not night. It took about 4-5 days till he started to sleep at night.  If possible, I recommend to take couple days off after returning from traveling to adjust."

"The hardest part for us was not the flight but has been her adjustment once we got to our destination. She hardly napped the day we traveled and since we got here it's been way more hectic for Madison than usual in the sense that we're visiting family including her cousins and there are a lot of people in her face all the time. So needless to say, she's totally off routine. I've just accepted it for the week and have resorted to just doing what works to get her a few solid naps in each day (using the carrier, sleeping in the car, etc)."

 

Tips for nuring moms:

- You can detach your medela p.in style advanced pump from its case and pack it in your suitcase

- Don't start nursing your baby until it's actually ready to take off, if you start too soon, your baby might be full before the plane start moving. 

- During landing, start nursing when the seatbelt sign is on. When my baby was 2 months old, he was sleeping during landing and didn't cry at all. 

- I like wearing side access or pull over nursing top to nurse discreetly on the plane. I don't use a nursing cover to cover my baby's head, i use a scarf or baby blanket to cover enough. It looks like I'm just holding a sleeping baby. 

- I wear a sleeping nursing bra instead of a clip down one, because it's hard to find the clip sometimes when you have to handle a crying baby and buckle up your seat belt at the same time. 

- I stick an extra pair of nursing pads in my bra. They are kind of overlapping each other. When it's time to change, I remove the soaked one, reposition the clean one in place easily in my seat. No need to change in the bathroom.

 

Other resources:

"I found this post from Alpha Mom super helpful. Though it contains a lot of the same info in this thread, I find her very enjoyable to read. If you're not familiar with her site, I highly recommend it."

 

Related reading from PSP:

Tips About Pumping While Traveling and Flying with Breast Milk

Strollers on Airplanes

Car Seats on the Airplane

Passport Information

General Advice about Airplane Travel