Summer Letter 2016

When I first met my good friend, Stephanie Oswald, more than 20 years ago, we were both young producers at CNN. She went on to become a national travel correspondent who criss-crossed the world a few times (or so it seemed to me), started up Travelgirl Magazine, settled in New Orleans as a local television reporter and had a family.

I remember Steph telling me as we hiked in Hawaii years ago that when she had kids, she would just pop them on her back and still travel. She has been true to her word. Ever since her children were babies, they have accompanied their mom on her many adventures across the country, and plans are in the works for travel abroad.

And so, when asked to write some tips on flying with baby, I turned to my dear friend for some first-hand, expert advice. Here's what she says:

Hydration – This is important for everyone, especially babies, so be prepared to breast-feed or bottle-feed during the flight. Feeding baby during takeoff and landing can help with the change in air pressure that can be uncomfortable for tiny ears. Pacifiers work, too.

Clothing – Extra clothes and extra diapers for baby are must-haves on board. Layers are great because you can peel one away if it gets too warm. Always bring a swaddling blanket, and if your child is old enough to recognize a favorite item, such as a teddy bear, bring it along as this can make him feel comfortable on the plane or in a strange place. Rattles that aren't too annoying for other passengers and a bright, soft toy are other smart take-alongs.

Wipes – These are a must-have, not only to wipe your child as needed but also to wipe down the seating area you are in on the plane. Pack them along with other key items in a "down-sized" diaper bag for the plane, since the normal bulky diaper bag can be cumbersome.

Baby Carrier/Stroller – You can take your stroller up to the door of the plane, then put your child in his baby carrier and have the stroller checked. A stroller comes in handy when you're trying to move smoothly and safely through crowded spaces.

Tags – Put a luggage tag on your stroller, your diaper bag and your child, too! Find a way to tag a piece of clothing – for example, on a tiny belt loop or through a buttonhole in the rare case that you get separated.

Once your baby is asleep on the plane, enjoy the peace and quiet. Read a book, or take a nap yourself!

Warm Regards,

Linda Ciampa, RN