Recently, me and my soon-to-be 1 year old survived a trip complete with 8 hour flights there and back – I am so incredibly proud of our new milestone! There was a lot of trepidation approaching the departure dates because I was really nervous about how we would deal with the flight, if she would be alright with the weather change, if traveling with babies is really as horrible as everyone seems to think!
Thankfully everything went as OK as it could have, and the baby learnt so much on her holiday. It may be true they can’t remember much of their time as babies, but it was worth it to see her running around, chuckling with glee. Along the way, there were definitely some lessons to learn. Here are 7 things to do if you’re thinking about traveling with baby:
Don’t be afraid to ask questions- of your airline, of your accommodations, of any tours you plan on signing up for. You probably already know that babies under 2 enjoy an airfare that’s 10% of normal price, but do check with your airport and airlines about special check in counters for families with kids, and even whether you can bring your car seat onboard.
As for accommodations, we made the mistake of not informing a potential AirBnb guest that a baby would be staying, and they canceled our booking last minute. So while making plans, do your research thoroughly!
Request for a bassinet on the plane
This is a lifesaver if your baby is young enough to fit in one (they should fit up to 2 years old). While you don’t have to book one with your seat, it’s a great idea to do it before the flight instead of during check in because these bassinets do run out.
Pack everything you need in a carry-on
Stuff your carry-on luggage with all the baby essentials, in case your check in baggage gets lost. Don’t worry about packing too many clothes- babies go through so many clothes! Because my daughter is not much of a puker, I foolishly assumed one change of clothes would last us the whole flight. But she vomited first thing in the morning on the way to the airport and I was forced to use her one and only set so if I was doing it all over again, I would pack more clothes including a set for myself!
It’s so easy making friends, especially with other mothers, when you have a baby with you. One knowing look and a smile, and you’re talking for hours. I was alone with my baby at our seat, and a very kind mother took turns with me to watch our babies. So we could at least eat our meals in peace!
Respect the Schedule
Try and get a flight time that works with baby’s schedule, and try to follow it as much as you can once you’ve arrived. If you’re dealing with a time difference, try your best to help them relax and sleep as much as possible; they adjust quite quickly.
Bring ALL the needed apparatus
Yup, that stroller is a hassle but it was put to such good use during the holiday as baby managed to catch a few quick naps in it while we were out and about. If your baby is a bath-tub bather, consider investing in a foldable tub because you never know, some accommodations may offer showers only which may make them uncomfortable. Basically the goal is to create a home away from home – bring their pillows, blankets, favourite toys, sound machines, everything.
Relax even if you are traveling with baby, and go with it
Mindset is really important when traveling – yup it’s going to be tough entertaining little Miss Hyper for 8 hours, for sure it will be horrifying if there were to be any delays, and you’ll definitely need to turn a blind eye to all the rolling around they are doing on that filthy carpet, but when you’re positive about it, everything is just so much easier to get through!