1.) Bring a bottle for take off & landing.
It will help with your little one's ears. Also bring a snack. The swallowing action helps the ears.
2.) Bring the car seat, even if you don't buy a seat for your child.
It's safer for take off and landing and they have a place to sleep! Jack was considered a lap child but was able to sit in his car seat on the flight there and home since it wasn't a full flight. When you check in, ask if it's a full flight and explain that you have a lap child but would like to use the car seat if there is a seat available. The lady at the counter changed our seats so there would be an empty seat between us. The man at the gate also did this for the flight home. Oh, and both times they put us at the very back of the plane, I'm talking last row.
3) Buy a car seat cover/gate check bag.
Even if you're checking the seat. They have a strap and make carrying the seat around through the airport much much easier! I bought one for $15 at BabiesRus.
4.) Ask for a plastic cup when the flight attendant is serving drinks.
Our American Airline flight attendant gave Jack a plastic cup and he was so happy and into it until we landed!
5.) I don't recommend traveling alone with a baby.
My husband was traveling with me, but if you do have to travel alone ask about a special pass so a friend or family member can help you to the gate. If this is not an option, ask someone to help until you reach security.
6.) Bring an umbrella stroller.
They're lighter and easier to fold up... and as long as you have a normal large plane you can store it in an overhead bin. If you're on a regional jet, you'll probably have to check it due to space.
7.) Don't forget the gate check tag for your stroller or car seat if you plan to drop if off at the entry way by the plane!
They're usually sitting at the desk at the gate. Ask for one if you're not handed one. And be sure to fill out the info. on it.
8.) Remember where you parked.
I always remember because I use to be a flight attendant but my parents didn't know where to go to get on the shuttle or the lot they were in. In Columbus, they are by colors... (red lot is long term, blue is short, etc.) So make sure you figure that out!
9) Security will allow you to bring bottles of water/breastmilk/mixed formula through.
I had bottles of water and they had me open them and they waved a small white tester over it.
10.) If using a car seat, place it by the window.
It's safer there. In the event of an emergency, the car seat could be blocking you from moving by quickly. You have to unbuckle your child and then try to squish by the giant car seat.
11.) They have changing tables in most Lavatories.
Ask the flight attendant where they are located, so you're not walking all the way to the front for nothing.
12.) You may need a seat belt extension.
For the car seat. I would just ask for one when boarding and passing the flight attendant. He/she will bring you one if they can't grab it at that very moment. And if you happen to not need one, just hand it back to the flight attendant while he/she is doing checks before take off.
Try to relax and most people will be helpful and understanding!
That's all I can think of right now, but if anyone wishes to add to the list feel free to list your tips below!