Sofia has been on 8 flights (all from 4-12hours) in 9 months and trust me, something I have learned is when and how to book a flight with a baby for a better experience.
I think the following rules always apply.
1. The isle seat is better to stand up quickly when fussiness starts without disturbing anyone. But window is easier to lean and for privacy. You choose your preference!
2. Avoid the tail of the plane (it is busier, noisier and shakes way more) and avoid seats near bathrooms (people line up in front: less privacy & extra noise may wake the baby)
INTERNATIONAL (6-15h flights)
- Definitely, try to fly nighttime. The baby will sleep and will get to the new location rested. You may not be able to sleep but, it is also easier to deal with a sleeping baby than with one who wants to move around nonstop or yells.
- Typically, international flights have bassinets available. However, these go FAST. So book your flight in advanced if you are traveling with a baby under 1, because they are handy and so comfortable (otherwise, your baby does not have an extra seat unless you pay for it, the bassinets are free, upon availability).
- If the flight does not have bassinets available, then you most likely need to book a seat that has a double oxygen mask, which are typically on the window. So keep that in mind.
NATIONAL or FLIGHTS UNDER 5H
- Definitely, don't fly nighttime. They will be tired and their sleep will be interrupted, and then they will arrive super tired and grumpy to the location. Flying daytime is best for shorter flights.
- I would also recommend booking it so you are up in the air around their nap time. For example if her nap is usually 9:30-10:30am, then book a flight that at least takes off 30min prior to the nap, around 9am. So they fall asleep for a portion of the flight and again, it's easier for you to handle.
- I also make sure Sofia can get a good night sleep the night before, so I would never book a flight that leaves so early in the morning that I need to wake her up at 4am, for example. If they lack sleep, their not well rested, which they can get grumpier, fussier, and weaker, which also makes their immune system weak and especially while traveling, can get sick easier.
For more tips on flying with a baby like what to bring, see this post here.