Tips from frequent flyers to make it easier to fly with your baby
For most new parents, the thought of flying long-haul with their baby is terrifying or at the very least exhausting just to think about it. To allay your fears and give you some strategies to make it easier for you, we’ve brought together seven frequent flyer mums who have some great tips and tricks they have learnt along the way.
- Fly before your baby becomes mobile! Newborn babies are great travelling companions as the drone of the aircraft generally sends them off to sleep! Pack your carry hand luggage carefully to be prepared for travel sickness, etc. I have a packing list here. Lisa from Travel Loving Family
- Research your airline before you fly and see if it meets your family’s needs. For example, baby bassinet restrictions vary from airline to airline. Here is my handy bassinet seat comparison chart for over 50 airlines. Carrie from Flying with a Baby
- If the bulkhead seat is unavailable and the flight is not completely full, play the ‘empty seat tactic’. Ask to be seated near the rear of the plane and depending on the seating configuration book the window and aisle or two aisle seats with a gap between you. These are the last seats on the plane to be filled and if no one takes them, you’ve scored yourself some extra room to lay your lap baby down flat. Keri from Our Globetrotters
- Put your nappies/diapers into a zip-loc bag, along with your wet wipes and nappy sacks and keep it in your seat pocket or underneath your seat. It saves you from having to delve around in your bag or rummage around in the overhead lockers every time you need to do a nappy change – just grab your bag and go. Marianne from Mum on the Move
- Err on the side of over-pack. A diaper per hour, a whole travel-package of wipes, one or two spare outfits, a shirt for mommy, more snack varieties than they could possibly eat in the time we are out of the house, and pain relievers just in case. This should alleviate any stress on your part and therefore will help baby feel calm and better adjust to the new surroundings. Christine from Tapped Out Traveller$
- If at all possible, try to breast or bottle feed baby on take-off and landing to relieve the pressure on their ears. Nicci from Travel with Boys
- A baby carrier is essential for keeping your hands free and very convenient for carrying baby when walking to baggage reclaim. Carrie from Flying with a Baby
- If your baby cries (which most will), just take deep breath and try not to stress. The more stressed you get, the more your baby will cry. It can be hard with a bunch of strangers around you (some will be so kind, others will not), so try to forget they are there, and concentrate on your baby. Nicci from Travel with Boys
- New parents always ask where they can go that the baby will like. But the truth is the baby doesn’t really care. Think of the first 12-15 months as your bonus year. You’ll probably modify how you travel and where you stay, but you can still travel where you want to go and do what you want to do without having to consider what the kids will like. Take advantage! Eileen Gunn at FamiliesGo!
We hope these tips help you to fly better with your baby. No matter how well (or not) your flight goes, the flight will land and it will be worth it in the end.
If you want to know more about using a baby carrier when you travel, check out A Baby Abroads story on five places you cannot visit without a baby carrier.