Just because you are now a parent doesn’t mean you lose your sense of wanderlust. Many millennial parents are now jetting off with their babies. Travelling with a little one is easier than it once was, however, long haul flights are still the thing of nightmares, for many adults, let alone tots. But it is doable, and you can survive it! If you want to lounge and unwind in Bali, discover Machu Pichi in Peru or swim with wild pigs in Jamaica, all with your little one in tow, it’s more than doable. In this article, we will equip you with everything you’ll need to get through it.
Before you fly
First things first, the cheapest option is no longer your go to. You now need to check for flights that will best fit around your baby and their routine. Consider a direct flight, instead of transfers and also remember to account the time after you arrive getting from the airport to your accommodation. This is all time for your tot to get restless, grumpy and exhausted, all things you do not want from a baby. Even it means staying a night at the airport hotel to get your little one some rest, it will be worth it, in the long run, to make sure their needs are accounted for. This is all something to consider when you are planning your holiday destination and itinerary.
Once you know where you are going and have found and booked the perfect flight remember to request or book a sky cot for your baby. This is a cot that an be connected to the front of your seat and allows your baby a place to sleep other than your lap. Which will be a relief on a long-haul flight. Just remember to do this BEFORE you check-in as if you haven’t requested it, there’s no guarantee that when you turn up to the airport for your departure flight that your airline can accommodate this.
Continue your normal sleep routine as you would at home when travelling. Feed your baby, put them in their pyjamas and read them a bedtime story. Keep everything in the same routine as you would as if you were in your house.
Have you ever been on a long haul flight and felt the dread of seeing a baby on board. Well, now you’re on the receiving end of it! Other than the added benefit of getting to board the plane first, your other passengers will look at you with fear in their eyes. But don’t let that make you feel phased; it doesn’t have to be this way!
If you have booked a sky cot in advance, then you will get one of the seats at the back or the front with added legroom. This will definitely have its advantages as it will give you more space with your baby.
A top tip to prevent your baby from crying during take-off and landing is to nurse them if you are breastfeeding, bottle feed them or give them a dummy. The sucking motion stops their delicate ears from experiencing pain during the pressure of take-off and landing. It is a really good way to calm your little one and ensure they are protected.
What to bring on your flight with your baby
This is when it pays to be organised. You don’t want to to be scrambling around the plane trying to find your baby’s vest. A good trick is to pack each outfit in advance in a sealed bag. Then you can simply take it out knowing your little will have all their items of clothing in one place and if it’s not there, it’s because you forgot it.
For essential items, make a list. Remember to bring a nappy nag, nappy cream, nappies, baby wipes, bottles and breast pumps if you use them and a comforting item such as a cuddly toy or blanket for your baby.
Skip the idea of bringing a car seat on the plane, it will only be an extra weight to cart around the airport and it’s guaranteed that your little one will spend more time outside it than in. A baby carrier or sling is all you will need for the airport, you’ve enough luggage to worry about. An extra tip is to bring a change of outfit for yourself, this means that if the inevitable accident happens you’re covered and don’t have to spend the next four hours sitting in spit up or breast milk. And to think before being a parent how much effort you’d put into picking the ultimate plane outfit!
Distraction is key!
There is nothing better than a good distraction to keep your baby in check. This could be in the way of a new book or a new toy. Creating a distraction can help you avoid an unwelcome meltdown. When picking a new toy to entertain your child remember to choose one that will be aeroplane friendly. Don’t bring one with lots of parts that can get lost, you can actually find toys that are specifically designed for travelling. And when this fails, there is, of course, the important blanket or cuddly toy from home that will provide your baby with calming reassurance.
Thankfully on the flight, there is also plenty of distractions for parents. If you are travelling with a partner, family member or friend, split the flight into baby shifts so that one of you can get some well-needed rest and distraction from the in-flight entertainment options. You can’t pour from an empty cup so don’t put all the responsibilities of getting your baby from a to b on one parent. This is a joint effort and you can never underestimate the value of being able to watch an inflight movie while your little one is preoccupied with your travelling partner.
Surviving a long-haul flight with a baby is more than possible and with more families travelling internationally it is more common than ever! Don’t be phased and if you are itching to travel with your little one, just take the leap and do it.
Written by Sarah McCann, Blog Editor at MyBaggag.com luggage delivery specialists who aim to take the stress out of travelling.