Part 1: Flying with Babies

Hello there! As a maternity and newborn photographer, I've been fortunate to capture countless beautiful moments in growing families' lives. But when it comes to flying with little ones, even a seasoned traveler can feel the pressure. Worry not! After numerous flights with my own kiddos, I've gathered some game-changing tips to make flying with babies more manageable.

mom and baby on plane sat next to window- aurora maternity photographer

1. Invest in a One-Handed Closing Travel Stroller

Navigating the airport with a baby can be challenging, especially when you have to fold and unfold your stroller quickly. A one-handed closing travel stroller is a game-changer, allowing you to manage your little one effortlessly. Having easy access to a large basket underneath means you won't have to carry your diaper bag the whole time. Amazon has many for around $100.

(Note: if you have a connection, your stroller may not be returned to you at the gate. It may be sent to the final destination. So be prepared to carry your baby and your carry-ons.)

woman holding baby on her hip and pushing a stroller- aurora maternity photographer

2. Baby Wear!

Consider using a baby carrier during your journey. Not only does it keep your hands free for other tasks, but it also provides comfort and security for your baby. It's a win-win for both parent and child. You can use your stroller to carry all your bags, and if your stroller is not returned to your gate, your hands will be free to carry your carry-ons.

woman with baby in baby carrier at the airport- aurora maternity photographer

3. Contact the Airline in Advance for a Bassinet

Many airlines offer bassinets for infants, providing extra legroom and a cozy spot for your little one to nap. The bassinet for younger infants, or baby seat for older infants, attaches to the wall in front of you. It was a huge help when I needed a break from holding my little one to eat or give myself a little break. If the airline cannot guarantee the seats, book the extra legroom seats that are not directly next to an exit. They are usually in the middle of the plane. You can google the plane you are flying on for the seat plan. The Seat Guru website is also a great resource for checking out you seats before you fly.

When you are taking off and when the seatbelt sign is on, baby will need to be on your lap. The cabin crew may give you a small seatbelt that will loop through your seatbelt to secure your baby on your lap. (I think some American Airlines don't provide this belt). Once the seatbelt sign is off, baby can sit in the bassinet or seat.

BABY GIRL IN A BABY BASSINET ON A PLANE- aurora maternity photographer
baby sat in baby seat on a plane- aurora maternity photographer

4. Opt for TSA Pre Check

Investing in TSA Pre Check is a game-changer, streamlining the security process and saving you valuable time. Note that not all airports, especially in Europe, may offer this option.

5. Organize Your Bags Efficiently

If you are travelling internationally, most airlines allow you to check in a case for yourself and your baby (even if they are a lap infant), a stroller and a car seat. If you have booked a seat for your baby, you can take your car seat on the plane with you (check details with your airline) so that your baby can sit in the car seat during the flight.

Take three carry ons. Yes 3!

Check in your larger luggage and car seat (if not using it on the flight), then streamline your diaper bag to essentials. Pack more diapers than you think you'll need, along with milk, snacks, infant painkillers (for those earaches). If TSA Pre Check isn't an option, organize electronics and liquids (that have been put in a clear bag the night before you travel) into one easy access section for swift security checks. Once you get through security, transfer non-essential items into your rolling suitcase, lightening your diaper bag load. Your roll on will be filled with extra diapers, spare clothes for everyone, and don't forget a change of clothes for yourself. Trust me when I say don't forget your extra clothes. One time my baby vomited all over me mid-flight! I had to wash my top in the sink and put it back on wet because I didn't pack anything for myself!

Your third bag will be a smaller bag that's filled with toys. See later point 3 in Part 2 below.

6.Dress your baby in a footed onesie

I recently travelled with my baby. I dressed him in a cute Christmas outfit with rattle socks. Big mistake. I was constantly looking for lost socks! Dress your baby for comfort and convenience.

7.Nurse your baby or give them a bottle for take off

This will help relieve the pressure in their ears. For older children give them a candy to suck on. Take infant painkiller in your carry on just in case their ears hurt too much.

view of sunset, ground and wing from airplane window- aurora maternity photographer

Part 2: Flying with Older Children

Now, let's make air travel a joy with older children.

1. Technology

For older children who may find traditional headphones uncomfortable, consider options like headband-style headphones. These are not only comfortable but also practical for extended wear during the flight. Ensure all electronics are fully charged. Don't rely on the internet. Download or screen record your little ones favorites.

2.Don't rely on technology

A proviso to the above point. Technology can be overwhelming for little ones, especially when they are tired. Make sure to pack a variety of toys and activities. Such as stickers, drawing supplies, mini cars, a tub of play doh. window clings, small books.

3. Thrill Them with Dollar Store Surprises

Head to the Dollar Tree before your trip and grab 10-20 small toys (how many will depend on the length of your flight). Wrap them in colored tissue paper, keep them in a bag, and let your child pick a surprise at intervals to keep them engaged and excited. Keep all the toys in one easy access bag so you can get to them easily.

4. Snacks

Airplane food may not excite the little ones, so load up on their favorite snacks. If you have time, consider making sandwiches or lunchables in case your little ones don't like the plane meals.

airplane meal in tray- aurora maternity photographer

my favorite products when flying

(amazon affiliate)


(Tap picture for Amazon Link)

I love my grey backpack diaper bag from Amazon. It has many easy-access compartments which ensures that everything I need for my little one is readily available, making on-the-go parenting a breeze. The side compartments provide swift access to wipes, saving precious time during those quick clean-up moments. Beyond its functionality, the best part is its affordability, this diaper bag offers exceptional value without compromising on quality. It's truly a parenting essential that exceeds expectations without breaking the bank.


(Tap picture for Amazon Link)

I'm in love with the Tissue Box Activity toy for my baby – a recent lifesaver during our flight. My son has a slightly different one. But I love that this one has a mirror. It kept him engaged, sitting still on my knee while he pulled out the fabric pieces. The design not only captivated his attention but also made the journey much smoother for both of us. It's become my go-to travel companion for hassle-free and entertaining experiences on the go.


(Tap image for Amazon link)

Headband headphones for kids offer a comfortable and secure fit, eliminating discomfort during extended wear. With an adjustable design and kid-friendly aesthetics, these headphones are lightweight and practical.