Bring your child’s birth certificate!
We flew Southwest Airlines and a birth certificate was required (policy here), but in researching other airlines, it looks like not everyone requires it. However, if your child is close to 2 and/or looks older, you may be asked to prove their age so never a bad idea to bring it!
Buy a cheap stroller to travel with and gate check it.
This seriously saved us at the airport. A few nights before, I went to Target and bought this $20 umbrella stroller. My goal was to find a stroller that was inexpensive, lightweight, and would survive airplane travel. We took it with us through security and when we got to the gate, we asked for a tag so we could gate check it.
Pack extra in a carry-on bag.
This, so much this. You never know when there is going to be a plane delay or cancellation, or if your baby is going to get sick, etc. In your carry-on bag, plan on bringing one diaper per every hour that you plan to be at the airport, plus a few extra. Pack an extra change of clothes for you and your baby. Seriously, if your kid pukes or has a blow-out, you do not want to be sitting in that mess! Bring an extra bottle or sippy cup and lastly, extra food (TSA info here and here).
Don’t overthink entertainment.
Bring a toy or two (plan on bringing ones that you don’t mind if they get dirty, lost, or destroyed), but don’t spend too much time thinking about ways to keep your child busy during the flight. At this age, they’re pretty easily entertained. My daughter spent half the flight napping, and the other half playing with napkins and an empty bottle. Who knew one could get so much entertainment out of ripping up a napkin for 45 minutes? Thanks Southwest for the napkins, and thank you flight attendant for the easy entertainment!
Try to Relax.
It’s hard, I know! I was so worried about my daughter screaming on the plane or her having a blowout mid-flight, but everything went much better than expected. We sat in the back of the plane and that really helped drown out the noise. She even had a few screaming fits on the way home and when we landed, everyone around us commented on how they never heard her!