Flying With Baby, What You Will Need
Traveling With a Child
So, you must be super excited about traveling overseas. Italy, France, Japan? Well maybe a little more excited for the actual visit, not so much the traveling part. Taking care of an infant in your own home is hard enough, but taking them on a 10+ hour flight is a whole other story! Although it seems scary and nerve racking to book those tickets with such a young person, it is possible to get through the flight with out wanting to rip out your hair. Here are a few tips and tricks to remember!!
When traveling with an infant (meaning still bottle or breast feeding and still in diapers), it's important to be prepared. Now, this doesn't mean to bring 18 carry on bags with the babys entire dresser stuffed in them! What this means is to think about what you will need to survive the hour or so you'll be waiting to board the flight, the duration of the flight, and the time spent in the airport after you've landed. Depending on where you're flying to, you may be in the airport for a while trying to get through security checks, customs, and baggage claim. So keep that in mind when counting how many diapers you need to bring with you.
* Diapers/wipes- try to keep count on how often your child needs diaper changes during the same hours that your fight would take place. So if your flight is 10 hours long, and you depart at noon and arrive at 10:00 pm, pay attention to that time frame for a few days and bring the appropiate number of diapers. However, keep in mind to add a few extra diapers and wipes for the time your spending in the airport.
*Extra change of clothes- When I say an extra change of clothes, I mean the comfy pajama type of clothes that are not going to bother your child. No one will care what your child is wearing but him, and if he's not comfy, you're going to hear about it (WAA! WAAA!). Be sure to pack enough extras incase of leaky diapers, spilled milk, or spit up food.
*A Favorite Toy/Blanket- It's always a good idea to bring something the child is familiar with when traveling. If your child will only sleep with a certain blankie, bring it! Also bring along a toy or 2 that make noise and can keep him entertained. Something I would do is I would go to the store, let my baby play with a few different toys, see which one she played with the most and buy it. However, when we got home I would pack it in our carry on and only give it to her on the plane or in the airport when she seemed a little cranky. This way, she wouldnt be bored with it, by the time we were traveling. It would be like a nice little surprise.
*Milk/Food/Snacks- This part is tricky, because every airline is different on what they will let you pass through security with. My suggestion is to call the airline a few days before your flight, let them know you have a baby, and what is acceptable to bring through security (products and quantity) with out the risk of getting it tossed. Usually they are pretty good about letting you bring formula, you may just need to buy the bottled water after you pass the security check point. With bottled milk, I was able to only bring 1 bottle, then had to purchase any other bottles i needed from the airport. Something you may want to consider is getting a cooler to keep your milk fresh if it's a long flight. Alot of airplanes will not let you store it in their fridges on board (due to lack of space). You can actually get a traveling cooler (looks like a bag or purse) and it can hold up to 4 or 5 bottles in it. As for snacks, depending on the age of your child, bring plenty! Try to avoid anything too sugary or messy. Remember you will be in a small area for a long time, the last thing you need is a hyper, sticky mess throwing lollipops at your head!
*Pacifiers/bottles- Something to remember, when the plane departs and descends back to ground, your ears pop! So think about how annoying that is for you, an adult. Imagine what you're baby will think! Smart thing to do is if your baby takes a pacifier give it to him as soon as you start to depart, and as soon as your pilot makes the announcement that you're about to land. The sucking notion naturally helps soothe the babies ears from popping. If your baby does not take the pacifier, then give them a little water or milk in a bottle and let them suck on that during that time.
*Meds/First Aid- It is always a good idea to keep a thermometer, a bottle of infant tylenol, some baby neosporin, bandaids, and anything else you keep in your first aid box with you during trips. You never know what may happen when traveling and you always want to be prepared. Also, a word of advice from one parent to another, bring yourself something for the headache you may get if your child just doesn't want to cooperate!! You will need it!!
Something to consider is to try to get the plane tickets during the hours that your child usually sleeps. If this is possible, it will make it easier for you if your child sleeps for most of the flight! Other wise, make sure to get a good night sleep before your flight and that your baby also gets a good night rest. Alot of people say to keep the kids awake all day before the flight so they will stay asleep for the entire time. DON'T TRY THIS! In my experience, this is a bad idea. When your child misses a nap this makes them more irritable. Keeping them awake all day may backfire, and only freak them out when they board this huge plane that they have never seen before. So the best thing to do is to keep your baby in the best mood possible. Keep them well rested and happy!
Traveling with a child can sometimes be a real pain, but it makes a huge difference if you're prepared to handle it. Keep in mind that you don't want to over do it with packing your carry-on, but you also do not want to under do it! So start counting diapers and bottles a few days before the flight and keep that number in mind when packing (with a few extras for the extra time spent in the airport!). Try to keep calm even if your child doesn't give you the most pleasant flying experience. Remember you'll be landing in an exotic new country soon!!! Have a safe flight and a fun vacation!!