I admit, before I had children I was one of those people. The ones who spotted a baby in the airport and immediately starting thinking ‘please don’t be on my flight, please don’t be on my flight’.
Oh how times have changed. Now when Multidaddy and I walk into an airport we’re accompanied by not one but two babies. Now we’re the ones getting the sidelong glances.
But we still have to go places, so here are some tips to make air travel with babies as painless as possible…
– Don’t get too wound up before you go. Remember that until about 9 months the vast majority of babies will just sleep for ages on a plane.
– Get a bassinet seat so that you can eat / go to the bathroom while baby sleeps (especially important if traveling with one baby per adult).
– On a long-haul flight, fly overnight so that baby is more likely to sleep during the journey.
– Give a milk feed just before or just after take-off so that baby’s tummy is full and comfortable.
– Take a pacifier or bottle of water for take off and landing in case the change of pressure makes baby’s ears hurt.
– Use pacifier clips to keep pacifiers attached to baby.
– Use a backpack for hand luggage to keep hands free in the airport (not the most fashionable way to travel, but invaluable).
– Take some toys and attach them to a line of loopy links to prevent the need to retrieve them from the floor every few seconds.
– If baby is awake do a diaper change just before you get on the plane, this is so much easier than in an airplane bathroom.
– Disposable change mats are very useful when doing diaper changes on a plane, as are…
– disposable bibs for feeds.
And as for those sidelong stares….well I’ve noticed a few. But as I apologize profusely to each and every person who I happen to talk to on a plane I’ve noticed a phase that comes up again and again, ‘don’t worry, we’ve all been there’.
Seems there’s always a lot people on flights who are parents themselves, even if they don’t have children in tow on that particular day. Phew.