When to Fly
Do you always end up with a nasty cold after a flight? Bear this in mind when planning your trip. Your baby’s immune system is at its weakest in the first 6 weeks so if possible delay your trip until after that.
If you are going long haul then a night flight will help you to stick to your baby’s sleeping routine.
What to Carry On
All the usual nappy/diaper bag essentials:
- Changing: compact changing mat; plenty of nappies/diapers; nappy cream; disposable nappy bags; hand sanitiser. You may also want to pack a small bag with one or two nappies, a few wipes, a couple of nappy bags and a small tub of nappy cream that you can pop in the seat pocket to save you routing in your carry on luggage.
- Entertaining: books and toys (bring them out one by one so that your baby doesn’t get bored of them too quickly)
- Sleeping: a soft toy/comforter, blanket and/or sleeping bag, pyjamas (if you are flying at night) , pacifiers (if your baby uses one)
- Feeding: Breastfed babies – breastpads, a spare top for you. Bottle fed babies – bottles, formula (the ready made cartons are ideal for flights), thermos of boiled water if using powder. Weaned babies – a bowl, spoon, bibs (disposable ones are great) and something to eat. Take more than you need in case your flight is delayed.
- Other bits and pieces: several spare sets of clothes, muslin cloth to wipe up dribbles and sick.
Questions to ask the airline in advance:
Do you give families priority boarding as standard? (You have to pay for priority check-in with most budget airlines)
Can you provide a bassinet? (only really necessary for longer flights)
Questions to ask when you are checking in:
Is it possible to have a seat with additional leg room?
Is the flight fully booked? (you may be able to have the seat next to you blocked out to give you a bit of extra space)
Check in early.
Make sure you are nursing your baby or he/she is sucking on a pacifier or toy/sippy cup during take off and descent. This will help to equalise their ears.
Wear comfortable clothes. If you are breastfeeding then discreet nursing tops are great. I always carry a clean pair of socks in my carry-on; it’s amazing how good they feel after a long haul flight!
Try not to let other passengers stress you out. If they are looking at you it’s probably because your baby is ultra-cute, not because they’re irritated.
If your baby has a cold or ear infection then check with your doctor before you fly.
You may be interested in my related post To Drive or Fly when Travelling with a Baby?