Flying With A Baby In Tow

If you had a choice when flying, you’d probably choose to sit beside an adult rather than a mother and baby, and when you’re the new parent you’d probably rather not fly at all. When it’s not avoidably, however, all you really want is get to your destination with the least amount of crying and upset. Fortunately, seasoned travellers know exactly what to do to make flying with a baby less traumatic.

Hand baggage is baby baggage Now that hand luggage is reduced to just one bag on many airlines, it’s important to realise that this is where you must keep all your baby essentials. Make your hand luggage a nappy bag or your child’s main travelling bag.

Avoid packing too much into one small suitcase that must be stored in the overhead locker. Instead, pack a smaller bag you can store under the seat in front of you – unless you are travelling with another adult who can hold the baby while you retrieve, open and rummage through the bag for wet wipes.

Accessorise Many parents opt for a baby sling when flying, as this leaves your hands free for luggage. Even if you’re travelling with a buggy, you might have to pick the buggy up from the baggage carousel at your destination, so having baby attached to you and your arms free is a great help.

Sleeping babies are cute babies Aim to keep baby awake in the hours before take-off. If you’re really lucky they’ll sleep for the duration of the flight. If this isn’t possible, remember their favourite toys and make sure you’ve had plenty of sleep, so you can keep the child entertained yourself.

In-flight entertainment As well as nappies, wipes and ready-made feeds, have something absorbent handy to clean up inevitable spillages. During take-off and landing, giving your child a drink will help with ear discomfort (it opens the eustachian tubes between the middle ear and mouth, to equalise pressures). If breastfeeding, a shawl comes in handy for discrete feeding.

Like anything else, once you’ve flown with a baby in tow a few times, you’ll know what to expect and what works best for you both!

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