Tips for flying with babies or toddlers. So the travelling part of the holiday really can make or break. This is an old post reworked and here is what I have learnt after travelling with two little ones over the years (and tips from our followers)…
I must be mad but I convinced my husband to go abroad again after the flight(s) from hell we experienced last year with my 2 year old. She was very tired, we had two connecting flights and she did not want to sit on her own seat, let alone be strapped in. She screamed and screamed and screamed. So this year, she is just 3 and hopefully a little less prone to screaming tantrums (she says very hopefully!) Anyway, this year I am prepared and I have a plan. I will let you know if it works but as well as an ipad (great entertainment but can’t be used during the problem period of taking off and landing!) I am going to take lots of little presents, ie things that will entertain her (stickers, mini pot of play dough, colouring book, lollipop etc) and I am going to wrap them all up as presents and put them in a gift bag and she can only have them when the special seat belt light goes on! She loves presents and I am crossing everything that this will work. I will also put a selection of nice snacks in there. For airport entertainment Trunki’s are great but not so great when they decide they want a carry and you end up carrying a Trunki, your hand luggage and your toddler! I have also seen a few people rave about Jetkids Bedbox, they look like Trunki’s but turn into beds on the plane for your toddler.
So that’s the toddler sorted (I hope!) What about babies? We have flown with ours short and long haul aged from 7 weeks upwards. In all honesty at 7 weeks, she was great. All I needed to do was think about feeds and changing and make sure I fed her during takeoff and landing so her ears didn’t pop. So tips for travelling with babies, take several changes of clothes. Sam once pooed and it went through his trousers and onto my jeans (he was on my lap) just as the seat belt sign went on. I had to sit like that for 15 mins and although I had a change of clothes for him, of course I didn’t have one for me!
If you are flying long haul, you should definitely book the bassinet for your baby (see pic above). It also means you get the front seats with extra legroom! I have also been reliably informed that you can book the bulk head se. ats and have a baby seat fitted at no extra cost (there are only 2 on each plane though) Be prepared with everything you might need and pack your bag carefully so you can find things easily. Feed yourself before the flight. Don’t be too hard on yourself if your baby does cry, most parents have been there and know how it feels. As soon as you are able if you have a crying baby, spread the love. I’m not joking, walking up and down the plane rocking your little one might help them to go off to sleep or settle them. This has worked for us numerous times and my husband is a champion rocker to sleeper.
Did you see the article in the news about the parents who brought along little bags with earplugs, sweets and a little message in for their neighbouring passengers as their baby twins were flying for the first time? I’m not suggesting that you need to go to these lengths but I have found that saying sorry to your neighbours goes a long way and people tend to be more accommodating and less likely to tut or sigh loudly when they know that you are struggling. If they have their own children they have probably been there themselves at some point.
One to make you laugh from my friend Gill ” Pre-book the seats online. Pick 3 together and one at the other end of plane. Send husband on plane with kids while you take ages getting the pram flat at the steps to the plane. Board plane to find husband sitting with kids and only seat left is the one at the other end of plane. Sit down, order wine and chill.” and another that made me laugh, a tip for keeping a toddler entertained was to make them clean the inside of the plane with baby wipes! Emily said that it has never failed her. Passengers don’t seem to mind and you get a quiet child. Hmmm not convinced Lily would go for that!
Other tips include wine (for the parents), a blanket or Bundle Bean to go over the bassinet, extra milk, extra wipes, extra everything, plenty of entertainment (new stuff they haven’t seen before) and lots of patience! Good luck! For the full list or to join the conversation head over to our Facebook page…
For those of you who want more privacy than the airport environment might provide, this post here indicates which UK and Irish airports have breastfeeding facilities.