Are you thinking of travelling with your baby but are unsure about travelling with your tiny human? After all, we know that it takes a lot of effort and planning just to get to the shop these days!
Hopefully these tips will motivate you to explore the horizon with baby under one arm, and suitcase, pram, travel cot and all other baby paraphernalia under the other.
Tip 1: Get to the airport early
When travelling with a baby most airlines require you to check in at the airport. Added to the fact that everything takes at least half an hour longer these days. If you want a stress free check in – get to the airport at least 40 minutes ahead of the usual time. This way there is less queueing and if there are any hiccups there is plenty of time for everyone.
Tip 2: Plan to fly during sleep time
Consider flight times - book your flights during nap time or overnight so your baby will sleep through the majority of the flight. Breast or bottle feed on take off so your baby is less likely to have ear problems and will hopefully sleep the rest of the way. The air conditioning on long haul flights is arctic so you may need a snowsuit (preferably footless) even if you are going somewhere tropical.
Tip 3: Can your pram / stroller handle being thrown around?
Your pram will have labels on every part e.g. one on the frame and one on the capsule. Then you hand your pram over while boarding the plane but now your pram is in the hands of people that see your pram like any another suitcase. You need to ask yourself – “if I threw this pram out of a second storey window, would it stay in one piece?”. If the answer is “No”, you need to either bring a pram travel bag or you need to remove the precious pieces that would make the pram redundant. With our pram we removed the wheels and the bits that enabled the capsule to clip into it and then much later found out that my mother had our pram bag all along – thanks mum!
Tip 4: Pack for 12 hours
Flights can be delayed without warning and when travelling with a baby you have to be prepared for any situation. This means thinking ahead about what your baby’s needs will be in the next 12 hours. That way, if you are stuck in a boarding lounge where all the shops are closed and all your stuff is in your large checked in suitcase you will be all smug with your doomsday-preppers-level planning.
Tip 5: Don’t always jump the queue when boarding
Some airports have special family only security lines where you get to jump the queue and are treated like royalty. Almost every airline in the world had a meeting one day and agreed that less crying from children on flights = happy passengers and crew. You are always invited to board the plane early which can be a good thing and this option is tempting . . . unless your baby is a little bit older and mobile. In this case, the least time squashed into a small space the better right? If so, send your partner ahead like a donkey with the bags and stay behind as long as you can.
Tip 6: Hygiene
Keeping things hygienic during transit is important for your baby’s developing immune system. Always carry cleaning wipes and wipe down all the surfaces that you will be using. If you are using a dummy make sure you have plenty of back ups, all with dummy clips because you cannot un-see a dummy falling on the floor in an airport toilet – so clip up! Lastly, hand sanitiser is a must to carry.
Tip 7: Know what to expect at security
You will need to take the baby out of the carrier and put it through for x-ray (the carrier not the baby!). Plan ahead for this, carry the baby in your arms and then use the carrier after security. It is usually helpful for one parent to be the baby person and the other to be the bags person.
Airlines are all very generous with any food or milk you will need for your baby you don’t have to get it all out unless they ask you to after the first bag scan.
Tip 8: Are all your baby care items travel sized? (under 100ml/mg)
Most airports are strict with their carry on items i.e. over 100mg or 100ml. At one airport we had a normal size, 100ml, nappy rash cream (the ones which get all over your hands) and I wasn't allowed to take it onboard a 12 hour flight! No nappy cream! This is why we’ve made our Organic Nappy Rash Spray available in a handy travel 50ml size so there is no disputing with airport security over our travel sized spray. An added bonus is the spray-on feature because nappy changes at airports or on an airplane need to be fast.
Tip 9: Check the oversize area
So you’ve made it to the other side yay! If you need the toilet or another nappy change make sure you do it before you pick up all your luggage as it gets pretty awkward with a pram in a busy toilet. Hopefully your pram is in one piece because you’ve followed tip 3. Can’t find your pram? If it’s not on your carousel with your suitcases it will be at the oversize section which usually doesn’t take too much longer.
Tip 10: Breastfeeding on the go
You may need to go through security all over again on the other side but you made it and can embrace anything now! Tackling the skill of breastfeeding whilst the baby is in a carrier is especially handy when airport queues are longer than expected and start to overlap with feeding and holiday time!
~ Go get that horizon guys and happy travels!~