Three things you MUST do before getting on an airplane with a baby

Photo by César Rincón

1. Use the restroom!

Make sure you go pee yourself and be sure to change your baby. Start the flight off with an empty bladder and a clean diaper. If the flight is short enough, you may be able to avoid having to use the small airplane lavatory altogether. If not, at least you’ll be able to wait until the fasten seatbelt sign has been turned off before you have to go yourself.

2. Make sure your carry on bag is stocked with all the essentials you’ll need to make it through the flight.

  • diapers
  • wipes
  • changing pad
  • extra clothes for baby
  • extra shirt for you
  • bottle of water for you
  • snack for you
  • soother or chew toy
  • favorite/new toys
  • bottles and formula
  • breastfeeding cover up
  • receiving blanket
  • food for baby if needed
  • hand sanitizer
  • gum
  • pen for filling out forms

If you discover that you’ve forgotten to pack anything, you can buy it at the airport. Of course you’ll need to buy your bottled water after you’ve cleared security.

3. Check in at the gate before they make the boarding announcements to get your “Gate Checked” tag(s) for your stroller and/or car seat.

The agent will give you a tag to put on your stroller (and your car seat if you are traveling with both) that indicates that it will be stowed on board. It’s much better to ask for this ahead of time than to wait until there is a line up of people waiting to board. When it is your turn to board, you wheel your stroller down the ramp, fold it up and leave it outside of the aircraft for the ground crew to pick up.

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