Flying to America with a baby

I’m happy to be bringing my 1 year old baby back to America for his first time in the states ever! But I’m super stressed out, every time I’ve flown to and fro it was always by myself. Now I’ll be traveling with a 1 year old and my Taiwanese wife.

Can anyone else whose made a similar journey offer up some advice for the long plane ride? My wife is telling me not to worry but I already know the baby is gonna cry most of the flight so I’m really dreading it…

Also, when we get to the USA and go through customs we all can’t go in the same line as a family right? (Only myself and my baby have American passports)

We flew to Canada with our kids and it was fine. Depending on the flight, you might want to try and book a bassinet. They hooked it to the wall in the front of economy class so the baby could lay down.

Also make sure to bring a bottle for the baby or have your wife breastfeed the child during takeoff and landing. The sucking motion will help equalize the air pressure in their ears.

Other than that, don’t stress too much. You, your wife and your kid will be fine.


I’m a frequent flier with a 2 and a half year old. I’ve flown with her multiple times since she was 6 months.

Flying with a baby/toddler isn’t easy, but I don’t think it’s this big deal that some make it out to be. Flights already suck. Now they’ll suck just a little more, that’s all. Anyway here are some tips:

  1. catch a red eye flight so they’ll sleep most of the time.

  2. download some Disney movies on to your laptop/ipad like ‘Moana’, ‘Frozen’ or whatever TV shows/movies your kid is into before flying.

  3. bring some toys they like (don’t let them play with these toys for a week before they fly, so they’ll be extra excited to play with them), and make sure you don’t forget to bring diapers and all that shit in your carry-on

  4. are you flying with your spouse? Take turns/shifts, so neither of you feel too overwhelmed.

And finally…

  1. pray. :wink:

They’ve almost always let us go together.

oh okay cool, last time I flew into SFO some dude went in the wrong line at customs and a guard was screaming at him “WHY ARE YOU IN THIS LINE, YOU DONT HAVE A US PASSPORT WHY ARE YOU IN THIS LINE”

I didn’t want to risk it and put my wife through the stress lol

great advice, yeah we’re flying with the baby on our lap because it was so much cheaper

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There’s usually like a herding agent, I ask them, maybe once one prick said no. It may have been a bit different last time now that they’re introducing electronic terminals

Catch late night flight so your kid would be exhausted from day and in sleep mode. Also arrange shifts with your wife. If your flight is not direct to your destination i suggest you sleep overnight at airport hotel and take second flight next day. I prefer using baby carrier instead stroller. At security check don’t forget to declare baby food. You can get baby basinet if your kid is below 77cm.

We will be heading to the States in the same situation, but my kid will be 3 months old. Thanks for starting this thread!

3 months is relatively easy. They’ll just cry a bit (in which case ignore any dickhead who gives you a dirty look). It’s only when they start crawling and walking that it gets hard, as they keep trying to scramble out of their seat, throw things across seats or just climb over the seats like they’re in a play-pen.

nice, good luck. I wish there was a section of the plane for only people with babies

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Me too. I hate how hostile and unsympathetic some people are towards parents nowadays. I really make an effort to soothe my baby if she’s crying on a plane and making a ruckus, but you still get jerks giving you the evil eye or muttering bad stuff under their breath.

I did two 8 hour back to back flights with a one year old . First leg was fine , slept the whole flight. Then we transferred and the second flight had no shortage of crying. Just walked up and down the cabin with the little one. Was a bit dazed on landing and then baby jet lag. Probably don’t bank on driving immediately just in case.

I don’t even care about that , too busy to care😆

are people really like this with babies on planes? This is what I’m worried about…

Everyone here has given great advice. The only thing I would add is that you might want to make up 20-30 or so small gift bags (something cheap, perhaps edible like homemade cookies) with a little note: “My baby is making his first trip to the United States today. While it is a big deal for us, we recognize that he might not be as quiet as we would like. We apologize in advance for any disruption or noise he may cause, and we appreciate your patience. Hopefully this cooking will make the flight more enjoyable.”

Once people see a gesture like this, they automatically change from the jerkoffs who are unhappy about being treated like sardines to kind people who think of you as a nice neighbor also going through some trouble.

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Not everyone, but all it takes is one asshole.

Anyway like @geajvop said, don’t worry about them.


Gift bags for other passengers sounds nice, but not necessary. It’s a little too much. It would cause more stress to pack and handout, and a lot of other passengers may not want it (so now you’re imposing on them “here, I insist, take my gift bag!”)

I agree with all of the other advice so far. Not a big deal to take baby on flight. Be prepared with bottles, formula/milk, snacks, diapers, etc, all in a carry on bag. When your kid cries you hold, soothe, give milk. Normal parent stuff, but you will spoil your kid a bit just to avoid meltdowns on the plane.

For takeoff and landing have a pacifier and bottle ready to soothe the child.

I’ve done the US - Taiwan round trip multiple times with three kids under 5 years old. It’s not as bad as you might imagine. If the kids ain’t crying it gets a bit boring.

My personal tips for traveling with children:

Get a direct flight if possible, or no more than one stop.

If you have a stopover somewhere (change planes) then this stop should be not too long or short. I like at least two hours to change planes because everyone needs bathroom, food, diaper change, find the next gate, etc. One baby is easy enough because you just carry the kid everywhere, or push in a stroller.

Use a stroller! Instead of checking the stroller with your luggage, you push it right up to the airplane, and the crew will tag it and put in the baggage hold. At your destination the stroller is first off the plane, and waiting by the exit door.

Maybe consider signing up for global entry or whatever TSA program gets you through customs fast. Sometimes the lines at LAX can be really long, and I’ve seen people who are “pre-approved” skip the whole line and breeze through customs check.

Enjoy the trip! Everybody loves babies. (And people who don’t love babies aren’t worth your attention.)

Edit to add: I try to get the bulkhead seats so there’s just a wall in front of you (or a weird seat with no passengers in front of you). This way you can drop stuff and make a bit of a mess without too much worry.


People were okay with us, but we did some really horrible trips… three little kids, booster seats, double stroller. Our toddler was able to kick the seat in front of him when it was reclined, and there wasn’t a lot we could do. We had two kids poop at the same time, which was kind of a disaster. Neither of us slept and it was a horrible trip. I just tell you this to say that with one with you should be fine, and it’s only a finite amount of time anyway, and in the long run you’ll be glad you did it. It gets so much better when they’re older and able to read a book or watch a movie (and use the restroom by themselves). Stay strong!

Ain’t nobody got time for this shit.


If someone doesn’t want a gift bag, they don’t have to address it, and they are probably miserable anyway. I don’t understand how creating a gift bag could be more stress, but if you don’t want to do it because of stress, don’t. But if you want to win over fellow passengers, it is a low effort, easy way to acknowledge that you are inconveniencing others and make the flight more agreeable for everyone.