Keep Your Baby Happy and Quiet on Your Next Long Flight With This Genius Tip

No parent looks forward to their first flight with a new baby. However, whether it’s for vacation or to visit relatives, it’s just a fact of life now that at some point, you’re probably going to have to board an airplane with a child in tow. The younger your child is, the more difficult it is— enough so to ruin what should be a convenient, quick way to travel long distances. Don’t you wish there was a way that airlines could somehow help you out?

Well, in addition to the many in-flight freebies that airlines offer, it turns out that there is something that many airlines can do to help make your flight with baby a successful one, and Lifehacker is here to tell us about the incredible thing you can request on a flight to make the whole experience smoother and easier: a bassinet.

Some airlines – including United, American, US Air, and Virgin America – actually offer bassinets to parents for your baby to rest in during the flight. These portable cradles attach to the bulkhead walls, giving your baby a place to rest in comfort and you relief from holding him on your lap for the entirety of the flight. Plus, it makes things safer for everybody involved!

The only downside to this offer is that the number of bassinets on each plane is severely limited— sometimes to as few as one cradle per plane. So if you know that you’re going to need a bassinet on your next flight, be sure to make your request early! Here’s your step-by-step guide to making sure you get one:

  1. Book your flight as early as possible on one of the offering airlines. If you can’t reserve one simultaneously with buying your ticket, you’ll be able to do so once you have proof of reservation.
  2. Check the airline’s website for a plane layout, looking for seats that face a bulkhead wall or even one specifically labelled as “cradle-friendly.” If you’re able to, reserve those seats!
  3. Call to confirm your bassinet reservation with the airline before your flight, then confirm again. And again. And again.

It’s so great to know that this service is available to traveling parents. Every little bit helps when it comes to reducing travel stress! Did any of you know about this tip before? Check out Lifehacker’s original article for more info, then share your favorite traveling-with-kids tips in the comments!