Navigating Airports with Babies and Toddlers by a Dad

Dads and Moms alike most likely shudder at the thought of taking a baby or toddler on a plane. But when you’ve got to visit the family or explore princess castles in search of a larger-than-life Mouse, flying affords you more time with family and to have fun.

Before you board your next flight with the little ones, consider taking some solid advice from a proud and tired father of three. Chris Bolte and his wife Emma write about traveling with kids. For Father’s Day, he shares his top tips for air travel with Vacation Quest members.

1. Navigating airports is all about patience and keeping your kids occupied. Take turns standing in line while the other parent cares for and entertains the children.

2. At all times keep an eye on your kid’s favorite teddy or doll so as not to induce panic in your child should their source of comfort get lost through security.

3. At security, put all the baby’s bags into one container and let security know there are liquids. Put your own things into another container, along with laptops, iPads or phones. While one parent loads the bins, the other should go through the screening machine with the baby.

4. You will often hear announcements to proceed to the aircraft gate up to an hour before boarding time. Reality is that 20 minutes before boarding time is more than enough time. Most airlines will allow passengers with kids to board following priority boarding.

5. Try and get to your allocated seating as soon as possible so that you can get any bags in the overhead bins closest to you. It’s best to book seats near the front of plane to make getting on and off a lot easier.

6. If you’re traveling with a baby, time a bottle feed for takeoff. When the plane is close to the start of the runway you can start bottle-feeding to help naturally relieve pressure building up on their ears. Likewise, during decent you should try and bottle-feed again, as the pressure difference can cause discomfort.

All that’s left is to grab your bags and start your family adventures! You can check out the blog BabyWheels for more information on navigating airports with babies and toddlers, as well as tips on planning and packing for young children.

How do you navigate air travel with small children? Share your tips in the comments below!

Stacey is a writer with an eye for design. She’s been with Global Connections for 10 years, directing the creative department. Her passion for the written word is equal only to that of rescuing dogs and playing volleyball.