What NOT to do when flying with a baby...

Recently we went on a trip to Hawaii. It was our first time flying with our little one, and though we aren't experts about how to fly with a baby (there are plenty of blog posts with great tips from people more educated on the subject than myself) we did learn what NOT to do.

1. DON'T fly without a nursing pillow.

The first flight I tried going without the pillow. Then the second flight I tried with it. WITH is SO much better! Even though my Boppy Nursing Pillow is my favorite, I brought a pillow from nursingpillow.com for the trip. It is smaller and squishier than my Boppy so it fit with me in the seat better and fit in my carry-on nicely. TOTALLY worth losing space in my carry-on to bring it on the plane with me.

2. DON'T always go to the back of the plane.

If you can, ask the flight attendant which bathroom the changing table is in and sit in the front or back of the plane depending. This is especially important on smaller planes that only have 2 bathrooms (one in the front and one in the back of the plane) and only one of those bathrooms has a changing station.

We made the mistake of automatically going to the back of the plane on one flight, and the changing station was in the bathroom at the front of the plane! Little Mini needed a #2 change as soon as the fasten seatbelt light went off after our assent. Unfortunately, since we were at the back of the plane someone beat us to the front bathroom! The flight attendant wouldn't let me wait with my stinky baby by the bathroom so I had to stand in the aisle, bouncing baby girl as we waited to be able to change her. (Let's just say the people around us, as we waited, weren't so happy with me being there).

Then on the way back down the aisle from that trek to the bathroom, she spit up ALL over me. It would have been much easier if we had known the changing station was at the front of the plane and could have sat up there. So ask! It doesn't hurt!

3. DON'T turn down help!

This is something that may seem obvious to you now (it does to me to!), but in the moment when I was tired and stressed on a plane and wanted to seem like "super mom" (for whatever dumb reason), I turned down help. And I'm here to tell you DON'T!

Baby was fussing and an older woman who was walking around offered to walk around with her. Now I'm a first time mom, which has the correct stereotype (at least in my case) of being extra careful with our children, and granted a stranger holding my 5 month old might have made her cry more. But, after another hour or so of her fussing I WISHED I had taken that kind woman up on her offer!

Another woman offered to carry my bag as we were getting off the plane. If I could go back in time and visit myself in that moment I would tell me, "say YES, dangit!!" But instead I had to prove I could conquer anything and carry three bags down the long aisle by myself.

4. DON'T bring a stroller without a defining characteristic.

You wouldn't believe how many orange strollers there were in the stroller pick up after we got off the plane. And our stroller, being just a basic black, was extra difficult to describe to the airport employee who kindly offered to go grab strollers for parents who were waiting for them (so they could get out of there more quickly). You know how you put a funky ribbon or luggage tag on your suitcase so you can identify it on the carousel?? Do that for your stroller too! Just in case there ends up being three just like yours!

PS. This is our stroller and I love it!!! Traveling with it was SO easy (other than it being difficult to describe). If you have a baby that still sits in an infant car seat I can't recommend this stroller enough! Walmart has the best price.

5. DON'T travel without a Covered Goods nursing cover.

I wish wish wish WISH I had this on our flight to Maui!!! If you read my post What I Wish I Bought for my New Baby you might remember that my baby girl becomes wigglie-mc-gee whenever she get's covered while nursing. If she's uncovered she's perfectly still, but the second I attempt a little privacy she wiggles like a crazy trying to show off my "goods."

That was one of the BIGGEST stressors for me on the flight. I could not keep covered, and with people sitting all around me, as a very modest person it was like a horrible nightmare.

The Covered Goods nursing cover is like the best of all the nursing covers combined. You can wear it as an infinity scarf (this would have been so nice on the plane and in the airport too!) It sits over both shoulders and covers front and back completely! Plus it is super soft, stretchy, and cute! (I have this striped one now... but they have a floral print that I'm drooling over as well!)

6. DON'T miss your flight!!!

This happened to us. On our way to the airport to go back to the mainland from Maui, a drive that normally takes 45 min took us 2 hours.... YIKES! So, we missed our flight! Thankfully things worked out the very best that they could have in this scenario and we ended up on another flight leaving about an hour later and they didn't charge us! It could have been MUCH worse!

In this case we did EVERYTHING we could not to miss our flight. We gave ourselves close to two hours (what should have been plenty of time) to get to the airport. So in this case I feel like missing our flight was unavoidable... BUT let this be a lesson to all of you give yourselves way more time than you think you will need, especially with a baby!

It ended up being a huge pain because we missed our flight. We had to stay at a hotel in San Fransisco for the night (which was a miserable night filled with baby screaming...sorry people in the room next to us!) then take BART (public transportation) from the San Fran airport to the Oakland airport where we then got our flight back to SLC. UGH!

The moral of this anecdote... don't miss your flight!

These are what I learned from our first time flying with a baby. So, hopefully you can learn from my mistakes and make your next flight a little easier!

What is your flight horror story?? I know we all have one! Please leave a reply, let's chat!

I am linking this post with This is How We Roll



  1. We took our few-month old infant to Maui too! You've got some really good tips here. I always stressed myself out way more than was necessary before flights. There are always some people who will give you the side eye just for deigning to bring a baby onto a plane, you can't do anything right to those people. Hopefully there's also someone who's pleased to see a baby, it really does help to get a kind glance. Just try to get through it in one piece. I love that nursing cover- I received one for my baby shower that was bright and flowery and I wore it once. I just felt like it was a glaring spotlight drawing eyes toward me rather than making me feel like anything at all was being concealed. I usually just draped the baby's blanket over us. I like the stripes though.

  2. I'll admit before we had a baby I was one of those people on the plane that looked at people with babies at the airport and thought "ugh I hope their not on our flight!" Now that I have a baby I wish we got more kind glances!

  3. Great tips! I have flown numerous times with my 3 kids and have been working on a flying with kids at different ages blog. The longest flight I have been on with my kids is 3 hours and only a 2 hour time difference. We took a flight to Maui pre-kids. It would definitely be a different experience post-kids. The best advice I got for flying with a baby when I had my first child, was to nurse him when taking off and landing. I was also reluctant to take help from a stranger, but there were numerous times that I have flown with 3 little kids by myself and needed an extra set of hands just for a couple of seconds.

  4. Thanks for the great comment! I got the nursing tip too, but my girlie is pretty stubborn and only nurses when she sees fit! haha! The good news is she loves her paci, and sucking on that for take off and landing helped her a ton! She didn't have a problem with those! (she did better than I do on take off and landing)


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