A couple of months ago, I and Rayaan have come to India from Sydney. It was a really long flight – 13 hours and Rayaan was only 4 months old when we traveled. I had to do a lot of preparation to make him feel comfortable through the journey. During most of the travel he was a happy baby but still the last few hours were very distressing for him. Today, I am sharing with you the Top 20 Traveling Tips For Plane Travel With An Infant. Hope these tips will be useful for you as well. Also, I have explained these tips in detail in a video. If you less time scroll down and click on the video link.
1. Co-ordinate flight timings with baby’s sleep schedule- Try to book your flight according to your baby’s sleep schedule. This will keep your baby at ease and will also give you relaxing time. In my case, my travel hours were from 9:45 am AEDT to 11 pm AEDT and these hours did not match with his sleep time at all. That was the reason I had to do thorough planning to keep him busy and feel as comfortable as he would at home.
2. Book baby bassinet- Book a baby bassinet in advance. Most of the airlines have bassinet seats for infants. The problem is these seats are only very few in number. My plane has just three bassinet seats. We booked ours at the time of booking the ticket itself. Bassinet gives the baby his own space to lie down, sleep and stretch the body when needed. So, check with the airline you are traveling and book the bassinet in advance.
3. Carry baby bedding and blanket- I traveled by Air India and it provided a baby bedding and blanket. Honestly, I prefer to carry Rayaan’s own bedding and blanket than using the airline provided ones. So, if you too are concerned about the hygiene of your baby I would suggest carrying your own baby blanket and sheet.
4. Invest in a good baby carrier- Baby carrier is a must, especially if you are traveling alone. You do not know for how long you will need to carry your baby up and down the plane so better carry him in a carrier. It will save your energy and make you less tired. Also, if you are new to a baby carrier, start using it a week or two before the flight, so that not only you but the baby also become used to it.
5. Baby’s check-in luggage- In addition to a foldable stroller, some airlines allow check-in luggage for baby. Check that with the airlines so that you pack the stuff accordingly. Air India allowed me 10kg check-in luggage for the baby.
6. Rest as much as you can- Take proper rest before boarding the flight. If your flight is at daytime make sure you take sound sleep before the flight takes off.
7. Dress-up your baby- If the flight timings are early morning, make your baby ready the night before so that you save that time the next morning and reach the airport at the right time. Better to reach their early rather doing last minute check-in and going through all the anxiety. Dress him in comfy loose clothes that are convenient for a nappy change.
8. Keep your cabin bag light and minimal- If you are traveling alone it is very important to carry as minimum cabin luggage as you can. You would not want to increase your hassle by carrying more than what you can easily carry along with the baby.
9. Be mentally prepared to tackle all odds- No matter how much preparation you do before travel certain things can still be off your list. In my case, I was not mentally prepared for Rayaan’s security check. When I had to unbuckle everything at the security check I was kind of distressed. The security person asked me to remove the baby carrier and get its security check done. I did not know about that and was put off by the idea that I will have to put him again in the carrier. So be prepared, you might have to unbuckle and re-buckle the baby.
10. Baby’s favorite toys- Carry your baby’s favorite toys in cabin luggage. This will keep him occupied, even if only for a few hours.
11. Pacifier &Pacifier clip- Pacifiers are a great relief for parents. Carry 2-3 sterilized pacifiers along with a pacifier clip. When the baby is not hungry but still crying because of exhaustion a pacifier can calm him down and help sleep.
12. Diapers & cleaning stuff- Pack 7-8 diapers, cleaning wipes and nappy rash cream in a separate handy bag. The number of diapers may vary depending on your baby’s daily needs. When you board the flight, take out this bag and keep it near you because you do not know when you are going to suddenly need it.
13. Extra clothes- You baby might do spit ups and poo/wee leakage. So pack few extra clothes for the baby. Keep an extra clean top for yourself as well since you do not know if he is going to spit up on you.
14. High energy food- Your baby might not allow you to eat your food according to flight’s meal time. So, pack some energy bars or high-energy nuts for yourself as well. You will need ample energy to carry the baby, console him and keep him happy.
15. Baby food, sterilized bottles- If you have started the solids or your baby is formula fed then carry separate food containers for him and some already sterilized bottles.
16. Nursing cloth- If you are breastfeeding keep a nursing cloth handy all the time. Firstly, since you never know when you suddenly need to soothe your crying baby. Secondly, you do not want fellow male passengers staring at you while you are catering to your baby’s needs.
17. Feed.. feed… feed- While on the plane feed your baby more frequently than his usual daily routine. This will save him from dehydration and also keep him calm. This is mainly for breastfeeding mothers as you can never overfeed a baby with breast milk.
18. Make it comfortable for the baby- Spend time with your baby, play with him, talk to him, make him giggle. Help him enjoy the flight.
19. Make friends with fellow passengers- If you are travelling alone those friends might prove the best people in the whole world during the travelling hours.
20. Drink minimum- The low temperature of plane can cause dehydration but if you are travelling alone I would suggest drinking as minimum as you can. This will reduce the restroom trips. But yes, at the same time do not keep yourself dehydrated and do not miss on any opportunity to use the restroom while the baby is sleeping.
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