Tips for Flying with an Infant

9 Tips for Flying with a Baby

9 Tips for Flying with a Baby

It’s the travel season again, and while you’re itching for a holiday, the thought of flying with a baby stops your vacation planning in its tracks. Is flying with an infant as daunting as some mothers make it out to be? Fret not! Our guest writer, Audrey Black, is here to pen down some practical tips to help make flying with a baby easier and more rewarding than you ever thought it’d be. 

Audrey has been in the nanny industry for the last 30 years, though currently she wears many hats, having been newly certified as a Child Passenger Safety Technician, as well as a counselor. Let’s see what this expert has to say!

AudreyAudrey runs Newborn Nanny Singapore. She can be reached at

Hi, I’m Audrey and I’ve been living in Singapore for over 5 years. I’ve worked with babies and children for over thirty years and it became apparent fairly quickly after arriving here that there was a need for support for first-time parents who are living away from their families and friends. Having struggled with the early stages when having my own children—despite having been a nanny for many years—I understand how important it can be to have that bit of support, even if it just to reassure you that you’re on the right track.

Having just completed a Child Passenger Safety Technician course through Taxi Baby, I was lucky enough to have been asked to be part of a coffee morning for mums and babies where the main topic was flying with an infant. I am happy to pass on, not only my tips, but tips that were given by the more experienced mums.

Tip #1: First and foremost, do your research!

Find out what each airline will provide and allow. They all have different rules and regulations regarding the use of your own equipment, such as car seats for example, and it’s not a good idea to turn up for a flight assuming that you will be able to do or use whatever you like. What are their rules on bassinet use? How much luggage allowance do they have, if any?

researching through laptop
Allocate some time to research on the different rules and regulations of the airline of your choice.

Tip #2: Have a magic bag of tricks with you.

This is especially useful for keeping your child occupied. The bag needs to be full of interesting toys (a mix of favourites and maybe one or two new ones), small books, some snacks if the baby is old enough, and of course any comforters that the baby uses. It’s always a good idea to have spare comforters, especially their favourite, but I’m sure you’ll have found that out already. 😉 You will need several changes of clothes for the baby and at least one for adults too! Spills are inevitable and it’s definitely not nice to do long haul in spill-soaked clothes! You must also have something for the baby to suck on for take-off and landing, be it a bottle, nipple, pacifier or (clean) finger.

A fiddle board (also known as busy board) can keep your little one busy during the flight.   
A fiddle board (also known as busy board) can keep your little one busy during the flight.

Tip #3: Bring a giant pack of wipes.

I’m not usually a fan of antibacterial products but planes are not clean places, so a pack of wipes to clean down the surfaces around you in your seat such as tray tables, touch screens or armrests, etc. are really worthwhile.

Disinfect your seat with some anti-bacteria wipes.

Tip #4: Stay positive!

Babies are generally (I’m not daft enough to say always) soothed by the sounds of the aircraft, and younger ones especially may even sleep longer than usual on a flight, but how you approach the journey will also affect their mood. If you are giving off very stressed signals, they will pick up on them. When flying with a baby, do your best to just go with the flow and don’t anticipate that they will be upset. If (and hopefully it won’t happen) your baby screams for the whole journey you will all survive! If anyone around you starts tutting and complaining, offer them the baby for a while! That usually shuts them up! (The people, not the baby 😉 ) If you are travelling alone and need help, ask for it. If the crew won’t help, look around for sympathetic faces. I always say to mums and dads around me on a flight at the beginning that if they need help, I’m there.

Do not panic
Do not panic when your baby cry/scream. Ask for help when needed.

Tip #5: Stock up on useful items.

There are some useful products around to make things easier when flying with a baby. A blackout cover for the bassinet (usually can be used to cover strollers too) such as the CoziGo can help the baby to sleep longer. The blackout cover cuts out direct aircon and bright lights, as well. There are also special cushions and mattresses, like the Skybaby, that can make life a lot easier for you. This is especially helpful when there is turbulence and you’ll have to keep taking the baby out of the bassinet.

CoziGo used on a bassinet
The CoziGo used on a bassinet in the flight.

CoziGo provides protection from the sun
The CoziGo provides protection from the sun, allowing your child to sleep on the go.

Elise using SkyBaby
The Skybaby is compatible to be used with the airplane infant seat belt, allowing your baby to sleep on your lap.

Tip #6: Double-check everything with your airline.

Touching back on Tip #1, if you decide you want to take your infant car seat on the plane, you must ensure that it is suitable for your airline. I think Elise is definitely the person to talk to about this! It is also important to find out about the rules for car travel wherever you are headed. Plan ahead and don’t take risks just because you’re on holiday!

cosco in a flight
A Cosco car seat used in an Air Asia flight.

Tip #7: Don’t forget to let your little one stretch between flights.

If you are changing planes and have some time in between, make sure you have a blanket or mat that you can lay on the floor in the airport lounge to allow the baby some time to stretch and play. Older babies and children need to have the chance to expel some energy so running them ragged in the airport in playgrounds or even on the travelators is a good plan!

maxing out child's energy
Max out their energy so that they will rest during the flight.

Tip #8: Post-flight, carve out some time solely for resting.

If you are travelling to somewhere in a different time zone, set time aside for everyone to rest and adjust to the new time. If possible, try not to schedule too much for the first few days. Go with the strange times the baby wakes up, some gentle quiet play or cuddles and then maybe try to get them back to sleep after an hour or so. Do get them out in the daylight in the new time zone as soon as possible, and attempt to move mealtimes to the new time—but don’t be rigid. Allow healthy snacks, not too much carbohydrates, and if they need them at night, extra feeds if under six months. As much as possible, try not to get stressed! (Easy for me to say!) If they need extra day naps, make them shorter and if possible, nap with them till they adjust a bit. The good news is that they usually have it sorted in time for your return home so you’ll have to start all over again. 😉 Allow a day for each hour of time change, so if you’re travelling to the states, good luck!

baby sleeping
Allow your baby some time to adjust to the time difference.

Tip #9: Have fun!

The most important tip of all! Flying with an infant can often be tiresome, but it can be extremely fun and rewarding, too.  Hope you have a good trip!

mom and child having fun
Have fun and create wonderful memories with your little one! 

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