Flying with a baby: some easy tips on making the trip manageable
I'm not going to lie, when we booked our flights to the UK for January 2020, I was really nervous about flying with our 3 month old.
Would she sleep? Would her ears be okay? Would she scream the whole way?
All these questions and more were running manically through my head, causing me much anxiety. So, I did a bunch of research on how to best get her from A to B. I wanted her to be as comfortable as possible, which would in turn, mean we were kept as sane as possible!
Overall, she was amazing. She slept most of the way and was peaceful and happy while awake. There was only one time where I thought she was going to have a complete meltdown but we managed to calm her before it got out of control *wipes sweat from forehead*.
So here are my tips for travelling with your little one…
Wear your baby!
Baby wearing is easier on your back and frees your hands to carry passports, tickets etc.
Feed on take off and landing
This helped her ears and acted as a distraction from the noise and movement. I think of my boobs as a pacifier now, so any time she started to fuss on the flight I whacked her on. I’ve been told by our MCH nurse that you can’t over feed your baby and I also saw it as extra hydration for her. Obviously, even if you're not breast feeding you could give a bottle or dummy, anything to get their jaw moving which will encourage their ears to pop.
Request the bassinet
We flew Emirates who do not guarantee bassinets for everyone who requests them so we made sure we arrived at the airport 3 hours early to give ourselves the best chance, which paid off!
Amazing for baby to sleep in but also acts as storage for nappies, sick towels and the like when they’re awake. I packed a jersey wrap that acted as a fitted sheet.
Sky Baby travel mattress
Sky Baby is a compact pillow and mattress, and is useful in helping your bub feel more comfortable on your knee. It is designed to work with the airline infant belt, or can be used without it. Being lightweight and compact, it fits nicely into hand luggage or can be clipped onto a bag.
Again, this gives your arms a good break. I was able to eat and use the entertainment device while Evie slept on my lap. The only thing worth mentioning is if your baby is overly tall it's probably not a great option as their legs will dangle over the mattress. Evie is 54cm and I don't see her making use of this mattress again after this trip.
If you get a bassinet on the plane, this is a great way to block out the lights and set the mood for your baby to sleep. CoziGo also reduces your baby’s exposure to in-flight germs keeping baby healthy.
This also acts as a pram cover that has a UVP 50+ rating so we'll get use out of this again when we're in the Australian summer.
Normal sleep suit
We use the Love to Dream sleep suits every night and wanted to keep this consistency on the plane. I took our 1.0 tog suit on the plane with us, so she slept with that and a onesie underneath. Evie naturally runs quite warm so this was enough for her but I had another blanket in case she felt cold. One mistake I made was only packing one sleep suit in carry on. So I had to wash in the bathroom when she had the inevitable poo explosion. Luckily it dried in time for her next sleep!
Pack the Panadol
Evie had been suffering from a cold in the days leading up to our trip. On doctors advice, we kept her dosed up on Panadol for the duration of the flight to prevent further discomfort. Though she probably won't need to be dosed up the whole flight home, I'll still be giving her some before take off and landing to ease her ears.
Check in your pram
Emirates allow you to check in a pram in addition to your usual baggage allowance when travelling with an infant. I did have concerns that it may be damaged (baggage handlers aren't always super careful!), so I purchased the UPPAbaby Travel Bag which protects your RumbleSeat or Bassinet so you can travel with ease.
By registering your travel bag online, the TravelSafe program covers any damage caused to your RumbleSeat or Bassinet during air travel.
Other hand luggage essentials:
1. Bibs & burp/sick towels
2. A change mat, nappies, nappy bags & wipes (I packed about 20 nappies for the 24 hour trip. Probably overkill but I was scared of running out!) Colette Hayman have a great range of nappy bags with mats included.
3. 6 changes of clothes for Evie. We went through 5 outfits in the 24 hour trip.
4. Dummy if you use one
5. Small toys for a distraction
Thoughts for next time….
I’ll pack Gripe Water to help with gas as I think she struggled with this on the plane but also the night after.
Oh, and another sleep suit or 2 for those poo explosions!