How do you travel with a baby?
Just kidding. Or am I? I’ve seen the ugly side of sitting on a 9+ hour flight with one kid puking on anything that moves and the other kicking the chair in front of them with fervor. I was once seated on a flight next to a mother and her two little ones (2 years old and an under 1 year old). Her baby pretty much slept on me the entire flight which was great for her but I could have easily been a grumpy sod and demanded that the child be removed from my personal space. Anyway, the point I’m trying to make is that traveling with a kid is HARD. Oh so hard. People without kids or with grown-up kids seem to think that it’s completely ridiculous that parents should ever want to have a holiday, as if we should be content being cooped up at home. Well no, we also like to get out, it’s just more of a challenge.
We took LR on her first overseas trip to the U.K at the end of August to visit family and aside from praying fervently for a good flight, I made sure that I was prepared for every eventuality and tried to stay as calm and relaxed as possible – I do believe that kids can pick up on your emotions.
Our flights were 15-16 hours in total, with a quick flight change in Dubai. LR was AMAZING. On the first flight I struggled a little bit to get her to feed whilst we took off but once she was latched, she slept the entire journey. Same with the journey home. Not one scream.
Okay, so I have a very easy baby, but I was prepared for the worse and my preparations might be useful to you if you’re thinking/planning a flight in the near future.
LR is now 5 months. We flew out to the UK just before she was 4 months and returned just before she was 5 months.
So how did I prepare for this expedition? By packing the following:
- Breastfeeding cover. I think this applies for even if you’re not breastfeeding. If you’re on a busy flight and have people sat around you, there will inevitably be some creepy oak who stares at you when you try and feed. Yes, sadly there was one on our flight home. Keep the goods covered AND keep baby from being distracted with a cover. As for bottle-fed babies, it also has the same comforting affect. MonaLisa Mamas do really pretty ones.
- A dummy. Little ears can’t always handle take-offs and landings and if your baby is struggling to take a breast, a dummy or even a bottle is the next best thing to keep them sucking.
- Simple vest. Access to the puppies needs to be quick and painless. I made the mistake, on the first trip, of wearing some ridiculous breast-feeding top that was billowy and heavy and could have been used as a parachute. On the second trip, I wore a vest and it was wonderful.
- Hand sanitizer. Germs. Planes are full of them. All those tightly packed together bodies from different spaces and places. Coughing. Sneezing. Yuck. Keep the mitts clean and keep potential nasties away from you and baby.
- Chewing Gum. When I flew on my own, I liked to brush my teeth and stick to a cleanse, tone and moisturize regime as best I could. With LR sleeping on my chest, I didn’t really have the ability to get up and brush my teeth so chewing gum was my go-to option.
- Coconut oil. I’m one of those people who gets disgustingly dry skin when I fly. I’m also aware that baby needs cream for her skin and with space and product allowance, I chose to take Coconut oil with because it can be used on everything. It clears up nappy rash, keeps lips from getting chapped and smells divine too. It’s my 2016 must-have.
- Chew necklace. Depending on the age of your baby – we’re at that “must put everything in my mouth” stage – you might have an array of toys that can be salivated over. I found that the baby pearl necklaces were great because they couldn’t get lost or drop onto the dirty plane floor because it’s around your neck. It keeps baby entertained and close to you. They are currently on special at Kids Emporium!
- Wrist rattles. Another toy that can’t be easily lost, the wrist rattle is a lovely little number for attaching to your baby. Mine are a soft, plushie material and have a crinkly sound affect which isn’t too irritating for other passengers. Takealot have a range online.
- A smile. If you are polite and undemanding to the air stewardesses, I can guarantee that they will be more helpful. Just by asking nicely at the check-in desk in Manchester, we were given an entire row to ourselves. Politeness and being personable goes such a long way.
Have any tips and tricks for flying with little ones? Do share…