Have you ever been on a flight, watched a baby wail and thought, "That will never be me"? And now you are a mother, so it's time to think about how to be smart when travelling with your baby. A little bit of planning will help prepare you for various situations that may come up. Read on to learn travel tips and develop flight smarts on how to travel with baby.

Step 1: Getting your place

This is step one of a happy journey. Choose seats that afford you privacy for feeding and also offer space to keep all your baby gear. Inform your airline in advance that you are travelling with an infant for special accommodations such as bulk head seat assignments, onboard baby bassinets and infant lap belts.

Step 2: Putting things together

Organize all your baby items separately in sealed pouches or plastic bags such as clothes and accessories, emergency medical kit, comfort toys and snacks to ensure easy, quick access. Keep all of these sealed packets in one large backpack. This way, your hands are free to hold your baby, and you can locate your things quickly. Keeping all your travel-related documents together and handy is beneficial to ensure quick access.

Step 3: Packing it all up

Of course, you know the lighter the better! "How light?" you ask. A stroller, a large backpack and a small shoulder bag should accommodate your and baby's belongings for the flight. Ensure that all your bags and boxes close completely to prevent any accidental and embarrassing spills and leaks.

Step 4: To wear or not to wear

It is wise to wear your baby in a harness or a carrier while travelling. This not only reduces the chances of disturbing baby if he is sleeping but also keeps your hands free. Nothing is more frustrating than having to wake your sleeping baby for a security inspection. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) allows mothers who wear their babies in carriers to go through airport security without removing baby from the harness.

Step 5: Toys and ploys

Mix up the new and the old. Carry the chewed up soft toy and a new book. Sensory overload can result in baby having mood swings during travel. All the stimulation experienced during travel can take a toll on the emotional health of a baby. Keep baby relaxed with his favorite blanket, book, or toy. Walk around the aisle onboard so that baby is not bored sitting in one place for too long. Anything new will keep baby distracted, and familiar objects will keep him relaxed.

Step 6: Tuning in and tuning out

A baby knows only one way to voice an opinion – by crying out loud. Be sympathetic that baby is going to feel some discomfort while travelling. Try your best to comfort baby. When someone offers help or suggestions, use your judgment when deciding to accept it or not.

Be prepared, but also be flexible. Don’t get hassled about things not going as planned. Expect the unexpected and stay calm. Keep smiling and have a happy journey!