Flying with a baby is one of parenting’s most daunting early challenges. Not only do parents have to navigate the stresses of air travel ⏤ airport traffic, flight delays, long lines and the ever-changing pandemic regulations ⏤ but they’re doing so with tiny human cargo (and additional baggage as well!). But with a few insider tips, your trip with your little one will be made manageable! ?
P.S. Check out these articles for your future travel with your little ones!
- 16 Tips For Flying With Young Kids (From Moms Who Travel!)
- 15 Tips For Travelling With Young Kids (& Avoiding Tantrums!) During The Holidays
- 5 Tips For Travelling With Your Baby For The First Time (From Personal Experience!)
How To Travel Around The World With Your Baby
1. Get to the airport early
Being on time becomes more important than ever especially when you have a baby in tow. Airport stress is dictated by your departure time, and flying with a baby takes significantly more time than travelling on your own. Arriving 90 minutes to two hours before your flight ensures that no matter how long the check-in lines are, (or how slowly they’re moving ?), you’ll never have to sweat missing your flight! You'll also have the time to get you and your baby prep for the flight, such as feeding the baby, and getting some food for yourselves, once you're inside the terminal.
2. Have a checklist for all your baby's essential items
This might be a no-brainer, but having a list definitely helps you keep in check of what's missing and what's not! It cuts out a major stress of not having anything important your baby needs missed out ? Here are some important things you should pack for your next trip:
- Babywearing or carrier: you'll be hogging so many baggage, so you'll need to leave your hands free and this is definitely a life saver. Choose a carrier style that's comfortable for you and your baby. For instance, stretchy baby carriers like MOBY Classic Wrap allows you to take the baby in and out freely without having to retie or refasten; all hands-free. It also doubles up as nursing cover if you're still nursing!
- Light & compact single travel strollers: Strollers are a big investment and the options can be overwhelming, so you definitely need to make the right decision for both you and your baby to move around with comfort and ease. You'll want one that closes with just a one hand, and if you need a little help choosing one, we got you covered with 13 different options right here.
- Well-stocked diaper bag: Diapers, breast pumps, formula milk, light snacks, handy Ziploc bags for all types of situations, if you get our drift, baby wipes, extra set of clothes; these are some that are a must-have in your bag. And you'll want a carry-on bag that's easy for pick-and-go. Choose a carry-on bag with outside pockets so items that are most likely to be needed are easily accessible!
3. Take note of all important documents required for your child
Of course, this goes without saying: bring your baby's passport! If you're wondering about whether you should purchase plane tickets, we've got an answer for you. While a child under 2 years is generally considered an infant and can fly free, different airlines might have different policies. For instance, such a policy may only apply for direct flights with no stopovers, or domestic flights. Do check beforehand on the policies of the airline you've chosen ?
P.S. Here's a tip: if you are travelling with an infant under 1 year old, choose a full-service carrier. The flight cost of your infant is cheaper for full service carriers than budget airlines, and they offer baby amenities such as bassinets, baby food, wet wipes and disposable bibs. Full-service carriers charge a percentage of an adult fare (about 10%) plus taxes. Budget airlines usually charge a flat fee for the infant, anywhere between $100 and $150, depending on the location.
Many countries do not require a child under the age of 12 to show proof of a Covid-19 vaccination, a negative Covid-19 test result, or wear a mask. However, you should check the rules and regulations of your destination country, just in case ?
4. If you can, spend a little more and get an airplane bassinet
If you're going on long-flights, having your baby carried on you the entire flight will get a tad uncomfortable. There are many different types for you to check: detachable cots like airplane bassinets, bulkhead seats for extra legroom for you and more! Some airlines even offer extra add-ons on their seats such as mesh parts, Velcros, zip fasteners, restraint harnesses built in for extra safety on board. If the airline you chose does not offer any of these, why not bring a portable blackout cover? It can also be used later on during your trip when you've reached your hotel room for your baby's crib. Make your flight journey as smooth and comfortable for you and your baby! ?
5. Try to fly during nap or happy time
The goal of flying with your babies is to make it as seamless as possible, so try to choose a timing when they aren't too fussy and much easier to handle at. Perhaps it's when they are napping, or perhaps when you know that they are at their happiest timings, and for most babies, that's usually at the morning ? Whatever it is, accommodating to your baby's 'best' timings will give you much less of a headache especially when you're handling important matters such as check-in, unloading your baggage, and others.
6. Nurse or feed your babies during take-off and landing
This is like the most important tip ever on the list! The reasoning behind this is simple: babies' ears are especially sensitive to the changes in air pressure during those phases of the flight and the result of the uncomfortable sensation is usually a meltdown that will earn you those annoyed stares from other passengers ? By nursing or giving them a bottle, the swallowing keeps their ears from popping and making them (and your fellow passengers) uncomfortable. If they don't feel like eating, give them a pacifier.
7. Bring things to do on the plane to keep your babies occupied
When you fly with a baby who is between 0 to 3 months old, you really don’t need to worry about bringing any travel toys or books for your baby! Chances are good air travel with your infant will be spent between feeding and watching your baby sleep on the plane. From 6 months onwards however, your baby may start taking more of an interest in a few travel toys as well ? Your baby will likely be entertained enough by everything around her on the plane, so to keep them occupied, bring a bunch of teething toys, baby books, colourful texture toys and more. Here's another tip: don't spend too much on these items; it's possible your baby might have dropped it along the way and it could be lost. Find cheaper (but safe) toys that are similar! ?
Traveling with an infant might seem like a nightmare, but it doesn’t have to be — if you plan ahead, pack properly, and arrive at the airport (early and) with the proper mindset! If you're looking for some destination ideas perfect for you and your baby, we got you covered with these articles! ?
- 14 Best Family-Friendly Destinations For The June Holidays
- 14 Incredible Muslim-Friendly Destinations For The Whole Family
- 12 Family-Friendly Destinations With Affordable Attractions You Must Experience