For my upcoming long haul flight, I knew I had to plan ahead for traveling with an infant. I have always thought that being on a plane with a baby would consist of me holding her in my arms for the whole flight where she would literally sleep like a baby. But no. Long haul flights are never fun even for us adults but for children, they are a nightmare. Limited room to roam around and play, having to sit in one place and be quiet and calm isn’t something children are used to. To mentally prepare myself once again for a flight with a 9 month old infant this time, (which is a whole different playing field), I gathered some tips that I think might help ease you and your child for the flight.
1. Timing is Key:
When I booked my flight I was in two minds of whether or not I should book a night flight where my daughter could maintain her usual sleep cycle and just sleep through. Then I hesitated at the thought she might not be able to sleep in a plane and therefore I would end up with a very cranky baby on my hands. So I booked the flight early. By early, I mean after she usually wakes up in the morning. This way she could take her naps in the plane and I wouldn’t have to worry whether or not she had a good nights sleep. On the plus side she would arrive at the destination tired and ready for a goods night sleep and would adjust relatively well to jet lag. This leads me to my next point, if you’re traveling during the day you need entertainment.
2. Come Prepared:
This is essential. Think of every toy, or things that you know will distract them and bring them all. By the time they play with them for a while, you entertain them, feed them, walk up and down the isle a little- it will be nap time. Then when they wake, repeat the process. You have to be patient and distract them so that they don’t make a fuss and disturb other passengers but it’s okay because you don’t have anything else to do anyway. Make them your number one priority and you should be fine.
3. Bring Extras of Everything:
You never know when a mess up can happen. While feeding, nappy changing, or perhaps an upset tummy. A change of clothes for the both of you is a wise option. That way you know you will land in style. On the topic of Diapers, especially if you have a connecting flight to catch or in the case of delays/cancellations you MUST bring more than you think you need. A screaming baby with a wet diaper isn’t pleasant. Neither is the smell. Sorry.
4. Book a Baby Bassinet:
Most flights offer baby bassinets where you and your baby can have some much needed space. You can sleep well knowing your child has the option of sleeping in the bassinet rather than on your lap. You have to book this with your airline in advance, as most airlines need to come prepared. The standard weight the bassinet can hold is usually up to 14kg and 83cm in height-which means if your child is under a year, it’s roughly a good size.
5. Skip the Queue:
This may sound absurd, but you are blessed with a privilege when traveling with a child, trust me. Instead of waiting for the security/personel to ask you to come forward, skip the queue yourself and ask to be moved through the airport quicker. This will save you a tantrum at security and you can trust you will arrive at the gate in time. Don’t be shy or worry about other passengers in the queue. I am pretty sure they will thank you later if your baby is content and not moody from standing around waiting for hours.
Those are my top tips for flying with infants, if you have ANY more, please do not hesitate to let me know! BON VOYAGE!