Today’s guest blogger is Ben Wolfson and he has a lot of experience travelling with his young children. Today he shares some great ideas to make your airplane travel with a baby easier. Take it away, Ben!
I’m from the UK, my wife is from New Hampshire and we have a 5 year old son and a 2 year old daughter. We have flown back and forth across the Atlantic multiple times with the kids, so the following post represents our personal experiences and what we’ve learned from them.
Flying with a Baby
Flying with a baby is both the hardest and the easiest time to fly with kids.
It’s the hardest because you cause all sorts of problems at the airport, and it’s the easiest because they’re still at the point where they’ll sleep most of the journey and won’t be affected by jet-lag.
Here are some things to expect on your journey with a child of up to a year old:
Carry On Bottles
We ended up having to bottle feed both of our kids, but the following is still applicable for when you’re trying to wean them.
You’ll obviously need enough water and/or milk for the entire flight, but this goes against the 3 oz limits of liquids that the security guards will enforce.
Make sure you give yourself extra time to get through as they may want you to taste some of it for you.
Also be ready to challenge them if they ask you to open prepackaged milk as this goes against your passenger rights.
Car Seats & Strollers
It always boggled my mind at how much stuff a baby needs. Fortunately, this is one area where airlines are sympathetic to parents. You are normally allowed to bring a car seat as part of your free hold baggage and a stroller which you can bring right up to the gate. It’s worth investing in a lightweight one that folds up easily so you can get going quickly at the other end.
With a baby, you’ll always get priority boarding as it can take a while to get yourself set up.
It’s always worth changing their diaper before you board so you don’t have to do it during take-off.
For a long haul flight, you’ll be offered a “sky crib”. This is not a beautiful hanging basket, merely a cardboard box that they place on a fold on down tray in front of you. The baby can sleep in there but it can’t be in place for take-off, landing or turbulence.
Even if you don’t do so normally, it’s highly recommended that you give your baby a pacifier or something to chew on during these times to help with ear pressure.
Above all, at any time of your flight, keep your cool and ask for help! Everyone will do what they can to help avoid having a screaming baby on board.