Tips For Flying with a Baby!
Travel is a huge part of our lives between my work, our businesses and lesuire we travel by air atleast once a month.
When I first became a Mum I was quiet nervous about how I would go travelling often with a baby but over time and many mistakes made, I have learnt a lot and wanted to share my best tips on what to pack in your nappy bag for the flight and a few other handy tips! This is something I get asked quiet regularly so I hope this helps.
NAPPIES & WIPES!! : Double check, triple check! Sound obvious? Once I forgot to double check and ended up mid air with a poo explosion and NO nappies and for your information they don’t have any spare on flights. We ended up having to get the flight attendant to ask over the loud speaker if there were any parents on board with one
2. FAMILIAR SLEEPING AID:
I have found this to be one of the best ways to make sure baby naps while on the plane. What ever your baby sleeps in at home – a wrap, a swaddle, a sleeping bag or blanket make sure you bring it on board so they have a familiar sleeping space so they are more relaxed and more comfortable. Make sure you don’t wash it before you bring it either so that it smells like home and you. We use a Love To Dream swaddle bag so it is always in our bag.
Even if you don’t use one usually make sure you have one handy for take off and landing. It will help to settle baby and keep their ears from hurting and getting blocked. And if you do usually use one make sure you double and triple check that you have them with you as I have also made this mistake and Millie at nap time on a plane with an ear infection and NO dummy was not a fun time. If baby doesnt take one at all use the boob or bottle to help their ears on take off and landing - dont forget landing begins about 1/2 an hour before you touch down so this is when the blocked ears often begin.
Pack a few of their little favourite toys & a teething toy and I also find it helps to bring a new toy or item that they have never seen before to keep them interested. Another really handy thing to keep them entertained is wearing a Mummy’s “teething” necklace that they can play with and chew on. Things like water bottles and a packet of mints can even double as a toy if you forget.
5. DRESS THEM IN A ZIP OFF ONSIE AND HAVE A SPARE IN THE BAG:
I always dress baby in a zip off onesie for flights as I find these the easiest at change time and if you are squished in a airplane toilet it needs to be easy change time or you will both get flustered. Always remember to throw an extra one or two in your nappy bag too incase of “accidents”!
Download a white noise app, nursery rhyme videos or cartoons and have them on hand to keep them entertained and settled.
7. FLIGHT TIME:
This is something that took me a while to get right and I think its hugely dependant on the baby and your “routine”. For us we are pretty flexible and our babies have always napped on the go. Remi falls asleep on the boob so as long as Im there she will nap on the plane so we usually book for around a nap time. If you have a more strict routine, your baby only falls to sleep in a dark room etc. and you’re only travelling a short distance domestically I would book around their awake time so they are more happy to be awake and play. For longer haul flights we always try where we can to book over night flights as the dark cabin and tiredness of baby usually means they will asleep (eventually).
8. FEED ON TAKE OFF:
Time it so baby is hungry and have a bottle ready or breastfeed on take off – it will help with your babies ears and to settle them for a nap. If you formula feed there are usually microwaves in the airport parent’s rooms so you can have the bottle nice and warm and ready to go – otherwise the friendly air staff will be able to heat one up for you but it won’t be able to be done until after take-off.
9. WEAR YOUR BABY:
The absolute easiest way to get around the airport and on and off the plane is by wearing your baby. Wearing your baby will give you free hands to carry or push luggage and reach up to the luggage compartment when on board. It will also allow you to have a hand free for that oh-so-important caffeine hit you will need pre and post flight! This is even more important if you are travelling solo or with more than one child.
Baby Carriers - best way to get around the airport - hands free!
10. STRESS LESS, BABIES CRY!
The reality is that your baby may cry but most people will understand and it will probably annoy you a lot more than other passengers on board. If it does annoy others then that is their own issue and not yours. Your babies crying may make you anxious but a flight attendant actually told me that crying is a way to help babies ears not to hurt.
Try to go on board relaxed and stress free – your baby will pick up on your stress levels and reciprocate. If your baby cries or has a tantrum try to stay calm, breathe and remember that “this too shall pass”.
Another good way to step on board stress free is to allow PLENTY of time to get to the airport and check in before hand so that you are not rushed and flustered.
11. ASK FOR ASSISTANCE!
You will be pleasantly surprised how many people will help you when you have a baby in an airport. If you need a hand with something just ask.
Most airports and airlines will now let you take your pram to the gate if you just ask at check in which can be a massive help especially when travelling overseas as your check in is so much earlier and you have to hang around the airport for so long. Otherwise invest in a travel stroller which fits over head like the Baby Jogger TOUR or BabyZen YoYo.
Also ask at check in if there are any spare rows or rows with an empty seat. Makes flying with baby SO much easier if you have a little extra space.
Invest in some good quality luggage if you are travelling often or overseas. Make sure it pushes smoothly and on all 4 wheels. Ive been using the Samsonite “Octolite” and love it, we also have an American Tourister one which is great too.
13. CARRY ONE BAG
This makes life so much easier. When we travel I ditch the handbag and just take a large backpack nappy bag that fits my clutch/wallet inside. Having arms free seriously help so much when travelling.
14. PLANE ESSENTIALS
Inside your nappy bag have a large zip lock bag or similar with the flight essentials so you can grab it out and put everything else over head. In the bag have a snack, 1x nappy, wipes, toy, headphones, dummy, bottle and anything else you might need for the flight.
15. KEEP CALM MAMA
The most important thing I think is that you are calm too. This will help with everyones mood. Take some essential oils to the airport, have your mantras ready to repeat, practice your breathing exercises or do what ever it is that helps keep you calm . For me, I always dress really comfortably - no jeans, tights or anything restrictive as this really helps me to feel calmer and get less tummy pain and also I always travel with my calming essential oils.
So these are my TOP tips for flying with a baby. If you have some traveling tips of your own (not just for flying)I would LOVE to hear them so please comment below.