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Ready to fly again, but now you have a baby? Here's how to make the trip smooth for everyone

The idea of flying with a baby for the first time might seem daunting, but there are easy steps you can take before and during the flight to make it painless.

FORT WORTH, Texas — It's that time! 

Time to finally head back into the sky and travel to see people we've missed for so long. IT'S THAT TIME!

But wait.

What if you had a baby during the pandemic?!

The whole idea of flying with a baby for the first time might seem incredibly daunting. But according to our experts, there are simple steps you can take to make the trip smooth.

Monet Hambrick is the Florida-based mother behind the wildly popular "The Traveling Child" website and blog. The expert traveler started flying with her oldest daughter when she was just 6-weeks-old. She shared some tips for new parents on how to make flying with an infant as easy as possible.

Her first piece of advice?

Try to be as hands free as possible.

"I wore both of my baby  girls" through the airport, she said, and she said you should, too. That way you can use your hands to push luggage or strollers.

Her next tip?

What to do with your baggage?

"The closer you get it to the plane, the better it is for your stuff to limit damage," she explained. "So, I always recommend gate checking really important items," like your stroller and car seat. They're always free to check, whether it's at the ticket counter or at the gate - but gate-checking means fewer people are handling your items.

You also want to make sure your baby stays healthy.

"First and foremost, make sure those kiddos have their well visits and vaccines" before taking to the sky, said McKinney-based pediatrician Dr. Michelle Bailey, who works in the Cook Children's network. Bailey said up-to-date vaccines are a must before flying.

And once you're on board? 

Grab the Clorox wipes!

"Wipe down the back of the tray table, the sides of the chairs, the headrest, the seat belt" - any area your child may touch or try to put in their mouths.

What to do during takeoff and landing

Both Dr. Bailey and Monet Hambrick said to make sure to nurse or give your baby a bottle while the plane is taking off and landing, to prevent middle ear pain.

And yes, breast milk and formula with water are allowed through TSA. Just visit the TSA web site to find out what amounts of water are allowed, and always give the TSA screeners a heads up about what's in your bag.

"You'll learn as you go. This is a learning process," Hambrick encouraged parents.