One of the best perks of having babies with a Caribbean man, is that your in-laws *fingers crossed* will be living in the Caribbean. Mine happen to live on the beautiful island of St. Martin. So when our second baby was 5 months old we went to visit them to show off the newest addition to the family. The only thing separating us from the white beaches, hot sun and good food was a 9 hour flight. I think every parent flying with a baby dreads being “the family” on the plane with a screaming little one the whole entire flight. So here are a few of my tips for flying with a baby.
1. Don’t forget to pack these items
I don’t need to tell you as a mommy to pack the basics, such as diapers, feeding supplies and extra clothes in case of a poop explosion. But also don’t forget to pack some extra blankets because the plane can get very cold. Your baby’s favorite toy will be a great distraction when needed, so also bring that. And if you are bottle-feeding, bring a thermos flask with you. This way you can ask the flight attendants to fill it with boiling hot water and when it comes time to make a bottle you will have everything you need to make it fast and avoid a baby meltdown. Make sure you also have a bottle of (cold) water to mix it with to get it to the right temperature.
2. Request an isle seat
If possible, make sure you get an isle seat. You’ll need to go to the bathroom multiple times to change your baby’s diaper or perhaps walk around to calm her or him down. It will get annoying for the passenger sitting next to you if they keep having to get up to let you pass.
3. Avoid ear pressure
One of the main reasons a baby cries when the plane is taking off or landing, is because of ear pressure. We sometimes experience that too and it can be very uncomfortable. To avoid this from happening to your baby, try to schedule the feedings during these times. The sucking action will help equalise your baby’s ears. If it isn’t possible to feed your baby during take off and landing, then let them suck on their dummy or pacifier. This will also do the trick.
4. Keep baby items easy to reach
Keep all the important baby items you will need during your flight in an easy to reach place, such as under the seat in front of you or in the little storage compartment in the seat itself. This will save time and effort. Also bring a pacifier clip with you on the plane to avoid having to wiggle into uncomfortable positions trying to reach the pacifier that your baby “accidentally” dropped on the floor.
5. Ignore the dirty looks
Babies cry sometimes, this is just a fact of life. So even if you prepare for the flight as best you can, the chances are you are in for at least 1 or 2 baby meltdowns during the flight. You’ll quickly find out that some people have no patience and will start sighing and/or start giving you disapproving looks. If you are like me, this will get your blood boiling in about 3.5 seconds. But as you know a baby picks up on their mother’s frustrations and will probably start to cry even more. So it’s very important to remain calm and unfazed. Your full attention should be given to your little one, so just ignore the dirty looks.
So those are my tips for flying with a baby. I hope they are helpful to you. I’m sure you will survive. Just don’t forget to re-check your baby’s carry-on multiple times. Imagine the plane doors closing and then realising you forget the baby’s bottle!
Do you have any other travelling tips for mommy’s? Let’s help each other out.