How to survive your first flight with a baby

As terrifying as it may be to take a first flight with younger kids, it feels slightly more terrifying with a baby.

We took our first flight as a family a few years ago, and Kid3 was under six months old. The first time I flew with the kids, I was alone and make sure I prepared them before the time as best as I could for their first flight around a year prior to the above mentioned one.

While you can’t prepare a baby before a flight, you can make sure you’re prepare for the day to try and make the flight as smooth as possible for all of you.

When we flew as a family, I was lucky enough to have HB with us this time around so we could share watching over all the kids and make sure we were all comfortable and ready to take on the flight with few hiccups.

It’s important to create a packing list for the flight itself, YES, for the flight-specifically the nappy bag! You never know what you might need during that time, and not having it with you could make the flight less pleasant and add to your worries.

This deserves it’s own mention: make sure to pack in a pack of sanitising wipes that you can use to clean the table, arms rests, the seat and anything else you might need to sanitise.

What to pack:

  • Nappies, bum cream, wet wipes, nappy bags
  • Formula and bottles
  • Nursing cover – if you’re breastfeeding
  • Burp cloth
  • Extra clothes
  • Light blanket
  • Toy

Remember to dress your baby warmly as it can get chilly in the cabin during the flight, and pack a light blanket in case needed for extra warmth.


If you’re concerned about the first flight with your baby, try and make the first flight a local one to keep the flight time shorter.

Remember documents

Find out what documents you will need for the flight. Local and international flights could have different document requirements so make sure you know what you need to take with and have copies made just in case.


You don’t pay extra to take your carseat and stroller on board with you, and it’s handy to have with you when you’re at the airport with luggage and need to get through all the checkpoints to clear you for the flight. You can use it right up to boarding the plane and the attendants will safely store it for you in a compartment for the duration of the flight, and have it ready for you once disembarking starts.

Note: you’ll be charged by the airline if you’re using the carseat in a seat and not packed away in storage.

Change nappy before the flight

Changing a nappy on a plane is not fun. There’s hardly space to move around, let alone change your baby without a mess. Change the nappy before boarding the flight, that way you’ll need to only worry about a change if there’s an emergency.

Board first or last

Boarding takes time and the commotion of it could distress your baby. You could always opt to either board first or last.

Boarding first will allow you to skip the long waiting line and pack your belongings away and get comfortable in your seat in peace.

Boarding last will allow you to keep your baby busy and moving while outside of the plane. There will be less to no people in aisles anymore to give you a free path to your seat, and the attendants will help you pack your belongings away should you need any extra help.

From personal experience, boarding last worked out a lot easier for us.

The same concept applies to disembarking.

Take medicine on board

You want to prepared for anything. A fever, nausea, ear pain, etc. Make sure to add these to your nappy bag have them at hand should you need them.

Help with ear pain

Ear pain for babies is a terrible experience, and you don’t want them to experience it when the cabin pressure drops. Let them suck on a pacifier or drink a little from their bottle/breastfeed. The jaw movement will help “pop” their ears quicker or avoid the feeling completely.

Keep awake during take off and landing

While it’s tempting to avoid the drama of take off and landing by letting your baby sleep through it-don’t let them.

Rather let them sleep during flight time. It will help you with no needing to worry about a crying baby and lessen the restless they might feel.

If you’re travelling alone, wear your baby

While I haven’t travelled alone with a baby, I’ve seen mamas doing this on almost all of the flights I took in the last few years. Wearing your baby allows you to keep them safe, keep them calm with constant physical touch and leave your hands free to deal with everything else around you.

Use a backpack nappy bag

Purchasing a backpack nappy bag when we were expecting Kid3 was one of the best investments I made. You can just pop it on your back to carry, without needing to struggle with a slipping strap over your shoulder the whole time and it leaves you hands free to tend to your baby as well as carry any other luggage you have with you.

How to survive your first flight with a baby #traveltips #traveltuesday #travelwithkids #travelwithababy

Good luck for your flight with a baby! Try and keep an open mind that there could be tears and it happens to many other parents too-you’re not alone!

Use these tips to prepare for the flight and keep it simple during.

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