Flying with an infant means one thing for the parents: You’re busy. But this is also one of the more rewarding and fun times to travel with your baby. They’re alert, you can usually figure out what they need when they need it, and they’re still quite easily distracted. Unlike newborns, babies of this age are at least in the beginning stages of a routine, and while that makes your life easier as a parent, an understandable fear is blowing that routine by hitting the road. Fear not!
Flying With An Infant 6-9 Months Old… For us, this was a very easy time to travel with Hannah. Not yet mobile, still on a mostly liquid diet, and a fairly defined routine of eat and sleep times. In terms of getting around, she is easily carted in an infant carrier, pretty content to ride in a pram, and safe and snug in the infant carrier car seat used with or without the base.
Biggest Concerns… Our biggest concerns when flying with a baby this age were keeping her (quietly) busy and hoping to avoid her getting sick. Hannah was just shy of 8 months when we visited family in Germany and England.
The author and his family in London
The Reality… Ok, I’m not gonna lie here. We totally lucked out. We flew Emirates via Dubai and their ground staff as well as air hostesses are amazing. At the gate you get priority boarding and don't have to queue at all. You just walk to the front where there is special waiting area with chairs and plonk down until somebody tells you to board. You leave the pram at the door of the plane where somebody wraps it in plastic. When you de-board your pram is miraculously there already.
We managed to pre-book a seat in front of the dividing walls and we had a nice bassinet for Hannah. She slept most of the time except the occasional feed.
As always, changes of clothes are recommended for baby and you, as well as plastic bags to put them in. Here your carry-on bag will be more full of diapers (and possibly bottles) than toys or snacks, but if you’ve started solids already, the small foil packets of food are so much easier to travel with than jars. If baby is bottle-fed, the weight of the pre-made formula may outweigh the convenience of not having to mix it.
Personally I’d travel with the can of formula powder (easier going through security as well) and mixing with bottled water once you’re at the gate. At this age they are usually just as happy to play with the seat belt buckle or safety card than any toy you could pack for them. Speaking of security, we had no issue taking liquid baby formula in bottles through the security at Heathrow.
Get baby used to room temperature bottles and food, so you don’t have the additional hassle of heating en route.
A cloth carrier or sling doesn’t take up much room in your carry-on and is useful to keep your hands free – especially if you’re flying solo – keep in mind you’ll have to take baby out for taxi, take-off, and landing.
You’ll be busy and will have your hands full when flying with baby at this delightful stage, but still relish how (relatively) easy they are to distract and comfort.