Your baby’s first experience on a plane can be a historic moment. It can also be your biggest test as not all babies enjoy flying.
It’s advisable that both mother and child take it easy for at least a couple of months before flying and it helps to ask your pediatrician when it’s safe to fly. Some airlines may even require a doctor’s certificate attesting to this.
Secondly, it’s important that you approach the process with a cool, calm mind; don’t stress about the journey. Here are some guidelines to help in that endeavor:
1. Plan ahead: You can’t control the trip but you can plan ahead and be prepared for most possibilities. Prepare a checklist of essentials to carry, down to the last wet wipe. Check with the airlines about their regulations regarding baby food, etc. and pack accordingly.
2. Pack extra: Pack a little more than you think you’ll need – not just for the baby but for you too. From clothes (for both) to diapers and meds, it doesn’t hurt to have extras. But do try to keep within the allowed baggage limit or you will have to pay extra.
3. Boarding: Airlines tend to seat parents with babies either first (usually) or last. Some suggest boarding early to avoid the rush. Others suggest boarding later so the baby doesn’t need to be confined to the small space until necessary.
4. Entertainment: If your baby is fond of particular music or has favorite toys, make sure to carry them on the flight. It’s a way to distract their attention. Leave the noisier toys at home so that you don’t bother other passengers.
5. Takeoff and landing: The pressure in the ear canal can be discomforting, and some babies are more affected than others. Feed your baby or give her a pacifier during takeoff and landing as the sucking motion can relieve pressure on the ears.
6. Seating: See if you can move to a space that has an empty seat next to you. Airline staff are generally accommodating if the flight is not full. The extra seat allows you to place the baby next to you instead of carrying her throughout the journey. You might also want to pre-book a bassinet so your baby can sleep more comfortably.
7. Cabin bag: You should carry a diaper bag with baby essentials as cabin baggage. This is particularly helpful in case of loss of luggage or if you’re transiting for long hours.
8. Take help: It’s always easier when flying with company. But if you’re flying alone with the baby, don’t hesitate to ask for help, even from strangers and staff. They may be more receptive to rendering assistance than you expect.
9. Mosquito protection: There have been many incidents where mosquitoes were rampant on flights. To keep your baby safe, use Goodknight Fabric Roll-On or Goodknight Patches when flying. Made with 100% natural active ingredients, they are certified baby-safe by a pediatrician. Always have them in your travel kit.
10 .Medication: Carry a list of relevant medicines prescribed by your pediatrician for colic or any other emergency that could leave your baby in distress during the journey.
It’s not always going to be easy flying with a baby, but it can be a smoother experience if one is well-prepared. So, keep these tips in mind, rest easy, and enjoy your trip.