Dear Diary,

At the tender age of four, my daughter has taken trains, planes, ships and automobiles to travel across the country and even overseas. I didn’t step foot on international soil until I graduated college, so it is truly exciting to join her journey and give her a glimpse at the outside world. Years later, I feel this way, but when she was a baby, I was extremely nervous about taking her to the next neighborhood let alone a neighboring country! But when I armed myself with information, I calmed my flying fears and replaced anxiety with anticipation. Here are some tips to fly with an infant.

Flying? Be sure to call ahead. Inquire if the airline allows you to bring a car seat on board or if you need to check it at the gate. Check your car seat’s label to see if it is certified to use in both automobiles and aircrafts.  Before you buy your tickets, find out if you can sit in a bulkhead row, which provides more room to move around. If your baby is using a lap pass, inquire if it’s in a row with extra oxygen masks.

Also check the airline’s stroller policy. You’ll probably have to check your stroller with your luggage. If you’re carrying a baby, diaper bag and carry one luggage, perhaps consider bringing along a baby sling, especially if you’re travelling without another adult. Try the sling out before your trip! One brand made my baby sweat profusely, so it wasn’t useful in the summer season. And please be sure to leave extra time to get through security. Inform the TSA officer if you are carrying formula, breast milk or juice.

Click here for tips for staying at a hotel.

About The Author

Vlog Mom/DFTM Creator

Not long ago, Heather Hopson hosted a television show in the Cayman Islands. Today, she's back home writing a different kind of story as a new mom. In her 15 years working as a professional journalist, this by far is her best assignment! Growing up, she dreamed of becoming Oprah Winfrey. She was the features editor for her school’s newspaper and a teen talk show host for her city’s most popular radio station. She went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Michigan State University. After graduation, she worked as a television producer and reporter at CBS, NBC and Fox affiliates throughout the U.S. Instead of heading to Chicago to join Ms. Winfrey on her set, she bought a plane ticket to the Cayman Islands instead. She arrived five days before a category five hurricane! She lived in paradise for seven years, hosted an award-winning television show and traveled the globe with a government delegation. She also served on the board of directors for Big Brothers Big Sisters and spearheaded a Send a Kid to Camp campaign. Then, she relocated to Washington, D.C. to obtain a teaching certification and instruct 8th grade reading at a high needs middle school. She later returned to her hometown of Pittsburgh, PA to raise her daughter Caitlynn, now 4-years-old. During her 10-month-stint as a stay-at-home mom, Caitlynn inspired her to create this blog, and Diary of a First Time Mom was born on Mother’s Day 2012. Two years later, she expanded the family to include 20+ writers. Currently, Heather serves as the communications director at Allies for Children. In addition, she is the owner of Motor Mouth Multimedia, which ranked #49 in Startup Nation’s Home-Based 100 Competition sponsored by Discover Card and Sam’s Club. Recently, The Pittsburgh Foundation and The Heinz Endowments selected Heather to receive an Emerging Black Artist award to develop Diary of a First Time Mom.

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