25 tips for flying with baby
The summer holiday is just around the corner and many choose to fly with baby to their holiday destination. Before you grab you backpack and your baby and fly off to some tropical paradise, there are a few things to consider. Read the tips below to be prepared and experience a succesful flight.
1. Short haul flights
If you are flying with baby during daytime and the flight is a short haul flight, you might want to consider timing the flight with baby’s naptime. It is much more relaxing.
2. Long haul flights
If you are flying longdistance with a baby, consider doing so at night. It is so much more relaxing flying at night, because the baby will be asleep. We are always looking for a direct long haul flight at night and then stopovers during daytime. We have tried stopovers at night with crying confused baby wanting to sleep and it was not a succes. It is worth paying a little extra for the right departure times.
3. Multiple stopovers
Is it possible to reach your destination with a direct flight or do you need multiple stopovers? If multiple stopovers are necessary you might want to consider a night in a hotel during one of the stopovers to catch your breath. Flying with a baby is not relaxing, except when you fly at night.
4. Baby bassinet
When you fly longdistance remember to order a baby bassinet. It is great being able to put baby to sleep in its own bed instead of having the baby sleep on your lab. Always check up on your booking with the airline company before departure.
5. Take off and landing
During take off and landing your baby has to be seated at your lab wearing a seatbelt. Bring some interesting new toys, baby books and snacks to keep the baby busy.
6. Relieve pressure in your baby's ears
If you are still breastfeeding it might be a good idea to do so during take off and landing to relieve the pressure in your baby’s ears. If you don’t breastfeed bring a bottle with water and a pacifier – the swallowing will relieve the pressure in your babys ears.
7. What to bring in the aircraft
You will want to bring some extra clothes for the baby, but you might also want to consider bringing a new t-shirt for yourself, especially if you have a baby, who spits after being fed.
If baby is using a pacifier, you will want to bring some of those. Always have at least one extra. It might be a good idea using a pacifier clip, so you don’t need to crawl around on the floor searching for the pacifier.
Bring a blanket or duvet. The aircon can be really cold on the long distance flights.
Bring diapers, wipes and a few plastic bags to put the diaper in afterwards before throwing them in the bin.
Bring toys and food.
8. If your baby is eating porridge
If your baby is eating porridge/babyfood bring:
- A bib
- Porridge or baby food
- Plastic boxes with a lit. Then you can just put the lit on afterwards and the baby will not be able to make a mess, before you are able to take the food away.
- Thermos – with hot water. Then you can mix infant formula and porridge. You can always have it filled in the airplane with help from the stewardess.
9. If your baby is a light sleeper
If your baby is a light sleeper consider bringing earmuffs. Our boy was a light sleeper. We experienced several times that we finally succeeded in getting him to sleep. A few minutes later the captain announces something in the speakers, and then we could start all over trying to make him sleep again. The earmuffs helped our boy continue to sleep.
Breastfeeding in a airplane can be a challenge to overcome for some people. You can consider to bring a big scarf to get some privacy and it might make your baby less fuzzy and less distracted. I have never experienced that people onboard a flight was irritated about me breastfeeding, most people are a little shy and look the other way.
11. Be aware of free seats
When you enter the aircraft and everybody is seated, be aware of any free rows of seats and ask the stewardess, if it is alright that you move to the free row of seats. It is absolutely amazing travelling 2 adults and a baby to get a row of seats for yourself. There will be so much more privacy and space to handle the baby during the flight.
12. Flye hammock
If your in for a longer flight with no baby bassinet, you might want to consider a Flye Hammock. The hammock is a sling-like seat, with an adjustable 5-point harness and straps that help create an extra seating space for your lap-held baby on an aircraft. The hammock is fastened at your airplane tray.
13. Hand luggage
When you are packing your hand luggage and your bringing a baby, you want to pack smart. Everything you know, you will need, put it in the side pockets, so you can easily find it and don’t need to open up the entire bag and go through everything down there to find a pacifier.
14. Baby carrier
Bring a baby carrier so you have both arms free in order to get through security and the airport in general. If your baby is feeling safe in the carrier you might also need onboard the aircraft to comfort your baby.
15. No water from the planes bathrooms
Don’t use the water in the planes bathroom for anything besides washing your hands. Buy or bring bottled drinking water.
16. Missed flight
If you know, you have been optimistic booking connecting flights and that there is a risk you will not make your connecting flight, then consider packing for a stopover in your hand luggage. Remember medicin, diapers, clothing, blanket, food etc.
17. Dress in layers
Dress you and your baby in layers. The flights are sometimes really chilly and other times you are delayed on the runway without aircondition making it really hot. Make it easy for yourself with layers.
If you are afraid that your baby is going to cry a lot in the air, consider bringing the other passangers earplugs. They will properly not use them, but you show some courtesy and understanding by offering the earplugs.
19. Can you bring baby food?
Baby food and formula is allowed to carry through security and it can be more than 100 ml. Sometimes they test the food and sometimes you have to taste the food.
20. Your baby's favorite music or app
If your baby has some favorite music or an app. or family photos download it to your smartphone or tablet and show them to your baby, whenever he/she is bored, tired or grumpy.
21. Bring a stroller
If possible bring a stroller and check it at the gate. It is wonderful to have a stroller in the airport, instead of having to carry your baby, especially if your are in the airport during baby’s naptime. We use a Phil and Teds stroller. It is light and handy and with the extra toddler seat, there is space for 2 children.
22. What if my baby is crying onboard the airplane?
Try and comfort your baby in the same way you do at home. I sing to my baby at home, and so I did onboard the plane. I walk around with my baby in my arms and so I did onboard the plane. The only difference is, that there are people watching you, while you do it. That can be really stressful. Try to ignore them, take deep breaths, keep your pulse down, maybe just smile polite to the people watching you. Most people will bear with you as long as you are trying to comfort your baby. If you get to stressed, then take turns trying to comfort the baby. If you travel alone, the bathroom can be the only place to escape the crowd and get your pulse and stress level under control.
23. How to clean bottles onboard the plane?
I always bring a thermos with hot water. I use the water to mix formula and I use it to clean the bottle afterwards. The bottle will not get as sterile as at home, but it is the best solution available. You can always get hot water from the stewardess.
24. What are the best toys for flying with a baby?
We have tried a lot of different toys having travelled a lot with our baby. The most succesful toys have been a baby mirror – you can make funny faces, Sophie La Girafe – it is very good if your baby is teething, baby books, a baby app with baby songs and gestures. Bring new and exiting toys and consider to wrap them in wrapping paper, if your baby appreciates that :)
25. Be prepared for security
Have all of your liquids and baby food out of the diaper bag when going through security. Otherwise you will have to find hem afterwards as they see them on their monitor.