Flying with a baby can be a stressful and tiring experience, for both parents and babies alike. Your baby will be in an unfamiliar environment, surrounded by lots of new sounds, sights and people. However, there are lots of things you can do to ensure you have the most comfortable and hassle-free trip possible.
Here are some easy tips and travel essentials to help you and your baby as you fly:
BOOKING YOUR TRIP
- Pick the right time to fly: aim to travel at the time that will be most comfortable for your baby. If flying later in the day will be easier, book a flight for that time as opposed to the morning. If you’re on a long-distance flight, try and book a night flight as this will fit in well with your baby’s normal sleep schedule.
- Choose a direct flight: if you’re travelling a long distance, avoid multi-stop routes if possible as having a direct flight will save you the hassle of disembarking and boarding another plane.
- Check with the airline: each airline will have slightly different rules about travelling with babies, such as how much hand luggage you’re allowed and whether you can take a child seat. Check your airline’s website to make sure you're familiar with all the rules.
- Buy an extra seat: even though infants under 2-years-old can sit on a parent’s lap during flights, you’ll find it easier if you book an extra seat for your little one. If possible, book an aisle seat for yourself that’s close to the toilets. This will make it easier to access any items you’ve got in the overhead lockers and get to the toilet for a quick nappy change.
- Sit at the front: choosing a front-row bulkhead seat will give you extra legroom for you and your bags, as well as the facility of using a bassinet during the flight
- Take the right documents: make sure you have all the necessary documents for your baby. For example, if your baby and you don’t share the same family name, you may need to take your baby’s birth certificate in addition to its passport.
- Take more than you need: you’ll be surprised at how much your baby will drink and eat while you fly, so packing extra milk, formula and food will help you deal with any unforeseen delays or diversions as you travel.
- Pack well: make sure you pack all your baby essentials into a bag that’s easy to carry with lots of storage and accessible pockets. You’re going to be getting items in and out of your bag constantly during your trip so having a great bag is essential.
- Normal routine: in the days leading up to your flight make sure your little one follows its normal sleep schedule and feeding routine. This will ensure it’s not too tired or restless when you travel.
- Dress comfortably: dress yourself and your baby in comfy clothing with lots of layers. This will make it easy to change the baby’s nappy and add or remove any layers if the temperature changes at the airport or while on the plane.
- Take extra clothes: having a change of clothing for your baby and yourself will let you deal with any unforeseen leakages or spillages (we’ve all been there!)
- Prepare your liquids: you can take your own milk, formula and liquid medication with you. Just make sure you put them in 100ml bottles so you can take them through security.
- Ordering essentials to the airport: Boots lets you order items online and collect them from the Boots airport shop. This can save you from having to go to the shops for some last-minute formula or baby food.
- Check your equipment: if you’re taking a pushchair with you, check its dimensions before you head to the airport. Its size will determine whether it can be taken on to the plane or have to be collected from baggage control when you land. If you have a child seat, you might be able to use it on board if it meets the airline’s requirements.
AT THE AIRPORT
- Extra time: you never know what delays you might face as you travel through check-in, security and the terminal. Allowing yourself an extra 30 minutes at the airport can help you check-in early and deal with any additional bathroom breaks and nappy changes.
- Baby facilities: many airports have dedicated areas for parents and children which can provide a welcome break from the usual hustle and bustle. Sitting there can help you rest and tend to your baby’s needs as you wait until it’s time to board the plane.
- Bathroom check: before you board have a final bathroom check so you can change your baby’s nappy. It’ll be much easier to do this in the airport bathroom rather than the small plane toilet.
- Ask for help: don’t be afraid to ask airport staff for help, especially when you’re checking-in and going through security. Also, use family lanes where possible to avoid long queues and wait times.
- Pre-board: most airlines allow families to board before other passengers to provide you with plenty of time to get you and your baby settled in your seats. However, if your baby is likely to get restless in its seat, don’t worry about boarding with everyone else.
ON THE PLANE
- Ask for help: the cabin crew are there to help you during your flight so greet them with a smile as you board and ask them for help with whatever you need. Whether it’s changing seats to somewhere more comfortable, heating your milk or formula or asking for an extra pillow or two, the flight attendants will be more than happy to help.
FLYING WITH A BABY DURING COVID-19
- Avoid if possible: it might go without saying, but we recommend avoiding international travel during the pandemic if possible.
- Bring your own changing space: if travelling with a baby is unavoidable, then try not to rely on public changing facilities. It's always a good idea to bring your own changing mat to avoid shared surfaces. That Baby Bag is a one-stop solution that will guarantee a safe changing space for your baby and allow you to carry all of your essentials during the pandemic.
- Don't forget the essentials: during this difficult time it is extremely important to carry all of the essentials to ensure you and your baby are kept safe and hygienic at all times. Make sure your backpack is equipped with hand sanitizer, baby wipes and masks to guarantee the safety of you and others around you.