Looking after a baby in your home environment is a juggle, so the thought of being in a confined pressurised metal tube with hundreds of others is a daunting thought. I completely understand that. Even though I am very familiar with being in an aircraft environment and I have assisted thousands of parents flying with babies. The first time I flew as a passenger with my baby I was nervous, anxious and a little worried. I was mainly worried about the people around me. What if my baby was unsettled and cried, disturbing others around me? What if this is the worst idea I have ever had? How will I change my baby in the small aircraft toilet? What if a nappy leaks? It’s natural to worry as a new parent and I would like to share with you “My Top Ten Tips For Babies First Flight” that will hopefully make you feel more relaxed and confident flying with your little ones.
- Baby’s First Passport– Organise your baby’s passport well in advance of travel. Getting the passport photo right can be tricky. From personal experience, I found Teds Camera shop the best. You can find everything you need to know about applying for your child’s first passport here.
- Request a bassinet – As there is only a limited amount of bassinets available and with so many families travelling these days, they are in high demand, so request one well in advance of travelling. Also, do check with your airline before travel to see if your baby will meet the criteria, as there are weight restrictions. I highly recommend a Fly Babee bassinet cover that blocks out light, giving your baby more chance of a peaceful rest.
- Getting through the airport – Allow lots of extra time for nappy changes and feeds. The Ergo baby carrier was so handy as it allowed me to keep my arms free and comfort my baby while we went through the airport process of security, immigration and walking to the gate. I also preferred to ditch the nappy bag and use a backpack, meaning I could be comfortable and balanced, instead of jugging a bulky bag on one shoulder
- Try not to worry– if you are doing your best to comfort your child and they are still unsettled, please don’t pay any attention to any eye rolls you get from passengers around you. You and your baby have every right to be traveling and really we all need to be a little tolerant and patient when sharing a space with so many others. It’s not a private jet, it’s a commercial airline and we are all human. So please if you are doing all you can and your baby cries do not feel bad. I’m sure a lot of adults feel like crying when flying too.
- Nappies– Pack lots of extra nappies at least 10 more than you think you will need in hand luggage. Invest in good quality ones. Woolworths have recently launched their Little One’s range and they are fantastic quality and reasonably priced. It’s best to stock up before you travel, brands overseas (especially in Asia) don’t compare with our Australian quality. Remember to pack extra in case of delays and diversions. A little trick I did which really helps once on board with nappy changes is to keep a few nappies in a freezer bag with some wipes and keep it in the seat pocket. You don’t want to be rummaging through the overhead locker for nappies and wipes you, want them to be accessible. Wipes are your best friend; they are so handy to have. Not just for nappy changes but also for wiping little faces, wiping tray tables, getting stains out of clothing.
- First Aid – Always bring your own baby Panodol, Bonjela, etc. Always handy to have. Also keep hand sanitiser handy and be sure to use throughout the journey.
- Ask the crew – The crew are there to help you and they should offer to assist before you have to ask. Some useful questions to ask the crew are: Where is the closest infant change table? How do I use the extension seat belt? Can you please heat up this bottle? Can you please sterilise this dummy?
- Little Ears– Please make sure your baby is sucking (milk or dummy) during take off and landing. Little ears are so sensitive to the changes in aircraft pressure. That piercing scream you hear on take off and landing can be avoided if your baby is sucking during this time.
- Hydrate- Throw the meal schedule out the window and hydrate your baby with extra feeds. It is so dehydrating up there and it can really help with jetlag and recovery if you are hydrated. If you are breast-feeding make sure you are drinking lots of water.
- Clothing- Always dress your baby in layers so you can adjust accordingly as the temperature in the air can fluctuate, usually on the cooler side. Pack spare clothes for you, in case of nappy leaks or some milk comes up. If you want your baby to sleep on board dress them in their pyjamas and bring their sleeping bag and sleepy time toys. Sleep cues can help comfort a baby who is feeling disorientated and over tired during a flight. Finally pack a few wraps, as they are so handy to use during nappy changes, to add extra layers and for privacy when breastfeeding.
Hopefully “My Tips for Babies First Flight” can help you have a relaxed stress free flight with your little ones. Safe travels, Jade Szonyi
Note. This post is sponsored by Woolworths Little Ones Nappies.
My words are my own opinion and 100 per cent true.