How to fly with a newborn

Let me be frank: Flying with a newborn baby is not easy. I don’t care who tells you otherwise but it is not a simple task. He or she might not necessarily be a fussy traveler but jostling around a baby for +9 hours in your arms can make you cry for mercy. And I had my husband with me too!

Kyle was fussy for most of the flights. It was probably due to cabin pressure but honestly, who wouldn’t feel irritated being stuck in a tin can for 5 hours? But everyone we met were so kind and helpful. The flight attendants made sure we were comfortable and everyone around us were more empathetic than anything.

And bring your stroller with you. It helps so much with EVERYTHING. You don’t have to carry your baby the entire time and when you do carry him, you can place your diaper bag and other carry-on items on the stroller instead. The airlines simply check it in for you at the gate with no cost. It’s a win-win situation.

Documents you might need for international travel:

  • Passport is required for the baby.
    – We had to get Kyle’s passport photo taken when he was only 2 weeks old. It was difficult since he was crying the entire time and didn’t know how to sit up yet. My husband had to crouch and hold him by the neck as his picture was taken. Your fingers are not allowed to show in the picture. And make sure the baby isn’t wearing white. Thank goodness I had an extra yellow onesie in my diaper bag! The quick change probably didn’t help his mood. 😀
    – Kyle looks like an angry 70-year old man in his passport photo. We will all have a good laugh about it for many years to come. 🙂
  • Birth certificate
    – No one asked us for his birth certificate but I brought it along just in case. You never know.

What you’ll need in your diaper bag:

  • 2 pacifiers
    – Just in case you lose 1. And unless you feed your child, popping in a pacifier during take-off and landing will help with the cabin pressure. Kyle hates pacifiers; so feeding it was!
  • 2 diapers for every hour until you reach your destination.
    – I managed to squeeze in 15 and by the time I reached home, we had 5 left. Better safe than sorry! However, I did see that the Miami airport sold diapers at those convenience “stores.” You know what I mean.
  • Baby wipes
    – I had a travel size pack that had 12 wipes but all moms know that 12 is NOT enough. I also packed as much as I could into a Ziploc bag.
  • 2 short-sleeved onesies and 1 long-sleeve.
    – Some poop slightly leaked through his diapers in the airport before departure. Who am I kidding? Slightly leaked? There’s no such thing as slight when it comes to poop!
  • 1 swaddle
    – The swaddle was a nice way to refrain his little arms from wiggling everywhere. It also helped when the airplane became a bit chilly but you can always ask a flight attendant for a blanket.
  • Dry formula in a secure Ziploc bag
    – I calculated all the feedings he needed plus 2 more servings just in case.
    – After we loaded the conveyor belt with our carry-on items in Curacao, we handed them our bag of formula and the bottle of milk I had made before we left our apartment. They promptly gave it back to us. That was it. And in Miami, it was just as easy. Before we stepped through the metal detector, I simply announced that we were carrying formula and they just let us through after seeing Kyle in our arms.
  • However many empty bottles you might need for your trip.
    – I didn’t even want to bother cleaning the dirty bottles. I just went to the bathroom and rinsed it with water.
  • 2-3 burp cloths.
  • Anti-gas medicine
  • Newborn fever medicine
  • Toys to keep him entertained.

Happy travels!


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