It seems pretty daunting isn’t it? You’re a new mum and still trying to figure out your rhythm and groove with this whole new parenting thing at the comfort of your own home.
But your best friend since kindy is getting married and she would absolutely be devastated if you’re not there, so of course you have to hop on that plane and travel interstate (or even abroad) with your baby.
Or maybe it’s a long awaited family reunion that beckons, and Nana adamantly insists on seeing her granddaughter for the first time.
Oh well, for whatever reason that you have to travel on a plane with your kid, here are some helpful tips to make it less daunting (and even enjoyable!):-
1. Be wise in booking your flight times. You would want to avoid peak times, the crowd, and the long lines. Plus, you wouldn’t want to be around business travelers who most likely wouldn’t want to be around babies and kids in the first place. Here’s a quick tip below:
YES – Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays
YES – Late morning, middle of the day, early evenings
NO – Friday mornings, Sunday evenings and Monday mornings
NO – The day before or after a holiday
If you could schedule your flight around nap time, that would really help.
2. Help their ears pop. Breastfeed or give your baby a bottle during take-off and landing. If you have a toddler, give your child snacks or anything that will get them to swallow.
If you experience any drop in pressure in cruising altitude that makes your child unsettled, here’s an awesome trick: Ask a flight attendant for the following (for each child): steaming hot water, paper towels, 2 paper cups. Pour steaming hot water onto paper towels and stuff them into the bottom of two cups. Hold the cups so that they’re sealed over your kid’s ears. That should help and stop them from crying. You can even do it for yourself too.
3. Bring a good wrap or baby carrier. I’m such a big fan of baby-wearing, and our Ergobaby carrier is probably the most used baby item we have. It’s super handy in helping you navigate through airports and during the flight itself. Do note that your baby needs to come out of the carrier during take-off and landing and has to have their own seatbelt even whilst in your lap.
4. Pack extra clothes for the baby and yourself in the nappy bag. Why? Because poonami can happen at 40,000 ft high.
5. Bring a soft blanket. Planes can get pretty cold, and it can double as a nursing cover too.
6. Bring whatever comforts your baby. Be it a pacifier, cuddly toy, or something familiar that would remind them the comfort of home even when in a strange new surrounding.
7. Leave out the shame. Yes, there’s a high chance that there would be disapproving looks from judgmental people, or maybe some nasty comments about your parenting when your baby is having a meltdown. But you are doing your best and following your instincts in comforting your child. You don’t have to worry about those people. It’s very unlikely you’ll ever see them again anyway! So just focus on the task at hand – make the trip as comfortable as possible for your baby and yourself. Take a thousand selfies, especially if you’re traveling for the first time, and make wonderful memories! You got this!