As an expat, it’s inevitable that you fly a lot. This can be exhausting at the best of times, let alone with a baby. Before Baby O was even one year old he had travelled on an aeroplane with us TEN TIMES!
So here are my tips and tricks for flying with a baby:
Book a night flight
If you can, book a night flight. Then (hopefully) your baby will sleep through most of the journey. Our flight to the UK is seven hours. We have been very lucky, and Baby O usually sleeps through the whole leg when it’s a night flight!
Make sure you request a bulk head seat with bassinette as soon as you have booked your flights. Ring up a few days before you fly again to confirm. Get tough if they tell you one isn’t available when you arrive at the airport. You’ve got to stand your ground!
Ask for help
I have travelled twice by myself with Baby O. You have to ask for support and help from flight attendants, otherwise it’s just not possible. I shouldn’t have to say it, but be nice to your flight attendants and they’ll be helpful in return. It’s not their job to become a support nanny, so play nicely!
When travelling with babies – more is definitely more:
- Definitely pack spare clothes… the air pressure can produce some rather explosive nappies! Also take spare bags in case you need to put these dirty clothes in something. I have actually thrown a pair of jogging bottoms away from an overly explosive nappy that managed to fill the tracksuit bottoms too as I didn’t have a plastic bag!
- I find travelling makes Baby O even more hungry than usual! Take snacks (if weaned) or extra milk if still young.
- Take blankets (it gets cold on plane) and additional layers
- Toys, iPads, snuggle blankeys – anything you can fit in your bag. Try to leave the noisy toys at home though!
Check in buggy/stroller at the last possible time
Don’t check your stroller in when you check in your suitcases. Get the luggage label put on it and check in before you board the plane.
Find out where you pick the buggy up from at the end of the flight. Some airlines leave it outside the door of the aeroplane, whereas others send to the baggage collection belt.
We have a “cheapy” stroller that we travel with. It’s heart-breaking to see how much they get damaged.
Take-off and landing
Your baby won’t understand why his ears pop. Give them something to suck on – milk, food, dummy etc to help ease this.
Be ready to taste your milk!
You can take baby food and milk through security… but you will have to taste the milk as its liquid. That’s an interesting one; particularly if you’re tasting your own expressed milk!
Clean up your area
I’m not a cleaning freak… but do get a baby wipe to the arm rests and trays etc. Also… have a good old clean of the changing table in the toilets!
Finally… try not to worry what other people think
The more you worry the more stressful the situation. We’re all grown-ups. We know babies cry. If people have issues it’s a reflection on THEM… not YOU!
Good luck and happy travels!