Last month we got back from our first family holiday. Since then I've had a lot of questions from you my readers regarding flying and travelling with a baby. Well we learned a lot of tips to help your flight go smoothly and calmer. Here are ten things to make traveling with a baby easier and stress free.
1. Stay calm! If you are calm and relaxed then your baby will most probably be too. If they sense that you are stressing and arguing with the other half then they are more likely to get frustrated and it can easily change your babies mood. Be as prepared as possible so you're not rushing around looking for passports or your sunglasses an hour before leaving for the airport!
2. Depending on what airline you are flying with try and get a seat for your baby too. If you have the funds to buy a seat then go ahead - but it not then do what we did and go as far to the back of the plane as possible. No one wants to sit next to a baby on a plane especially a long flight. We were lucky enough that no one sat next to us so we had a seat in between us for Amelia. The air stewards we're lovely too and directed us to the back of the plane. On the way back the flight was full but we somehow managed to do the same and still got a seat for Amelia. Even though she didn't sleep it allowed us to not have to hold her the whole flight and she sat quiet happily for most of it playing.
3. Feed during take off. If possible try and delay feeding your baby before getting on the plane. I'm so glad I did this because as soon as we set off I fed her and she fell asleep. Babies don't know how to pop their own ears so this will help with taking off and landing to relieve the pressure.
4. Try to fly during nap time of bedtime if possible. Our flight was at 7am so Amelia slept the two hour car journey there then was awake from 4-7 and then slept once I fed her on the plane till 11am even though she woke a few times due to the noise and turbulence, she would fall back to sleep. Flying with a sleeping baby is a zillion times better than flying with a screaming wide awake baby.
5. Take turns holding/looking after the baby. I am so glad Andy co-operated with this. As usually anywhere else I look after her unless I ASK him. So when Amelia was awake we would take it in turns so the other one got time to themselves to eat/drink and relax. This also made it easier for Amelia as she wasn't getting bored with just me. If she's frustrated you can usually pass her to someone else and she'll be happy again so that was good as she didn't loose interest.
6. To make things easier at the airport I'd recommend either handing over your pushchair at check in and using a baby carrier that way you don't have to take baby out of pushchair if they have fallen asleep, fold up the pushchair through security and whilst getting on the plane, it would make it much easier! Or if you don't fancy doing that then I'd definitely recommend taking the pushchair all the way to the plane. The air stewards will take it off you once you board. You will have priority to get on the plane first before everyone else, well after fast track passengers but still it makes it a thousand times easier than having to queue to longer with a screaming baby. As we were flying at 7am on the way out it was freezing waiting to board the plane and luckily the first class passengers all allowed us to squeeze past them instead of waiting in the tunnel to the plane.
7. Take new toys - I was advised by a friend to take some new toys and I am glad that I did. Babies love new toys to play with and it makes things interesting for them. I packed about 4 new toys for Amelia and she played with them for ages! We also took some episodes of Jungle Junction and Mickey Mouse of my iphone for her to watch, next time I'd definitely take the Ipad as its bigger and will keep her entertained for longer.
8. If your baby is old enough take some snacks. Amelia had only just turned 6 months so she wasn't actually eating table foods at this point however I did pack some Ella's Kitchen pouches just incase. We didn't need to use them but I'm glad I packed them. Also the Boon Spoon, we used this on the flight home and it was super handy as it didn't make a mess and I was able to feed Amelia without having to squirt the food out onto the spoon.
9. If flying on a longer flight then try and get a travel cot. Most long haul flights provide these at the front of the plane. Another bonus is that you will have some extra room too and are more than likely to be next to another family so not too bothered about your baby making a noise. However I do believe you have to ask for these in advance.
10. Pack some plastic food storage bags. These are so handy to have in your changing bag for those smelly poo explosions or after messy meal times. Seals the smell away completely and can easily be put into the suitcase later to be washed when you arrive at the destination.
I hope this information is helpful to some of you as I know I would have been far more relaxed knowing some of this. Just remember to be relaxed and well prepared and it should be a breeze! Overall I found that travelling with a baby was easier than I had expected. Which I am quite thankful for!Have you got any other tips for travelling with a baby?