Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Flying with a Baby and Living to Tell About It

One of my closest friends, Jessica, who now lives in London with her husband and their sweet 8 month-old baby girl, just made the long trek across the pond to visit friends and family in the United States. Her traveling adventure got me wondering, “How in the world do you travel that far with a baby?!?!”

Luckily, Jessica had done her research on how to survive air travel with a little one and picked up some great tips. I decided to do a little research myself so I’ll be ready the next time we need to travel by air.

• Make sure you book your flight for the right time. Take your baby’s schedule into consideration and see if you can plan your trip for your baby’s sleepiest time.

• Book a seat on the aisle. You will have access to move around easier in case your baby becomes fussy or if you need to change a diaper.

• Check to see if your airline allows you to pre-book a baby bassinet (sky cot) before you travel.

• Board the plane first and get off the plane last to get a better chance of assistance from cabin crew.

• Bring everything you think you'll need -- and then pack extra! That way, you will be prepared in case there is a flight delay. Pack extra diapers, clothes, food (solids and/or formula if you are not breastfeeding) and snacks.

• Bring an extra shirt for yourself, too. No one wants to sit on a long flight with baby spit-up on them!

• Disposable bibs are a great idea for mealtimes on board an airplane.

• Bring toys out one by one in order to ensure get maximum use of each toy. Once your baby tires of one toy, put it away, and get out another one.

• Ask for 'bulkhead' seats. They have much more legroom, and there is a small space for your baby to sit and play. It is also a great area for you to stand and rock your baby without disturbing other passengers.

• During take-off and landing, the change in air pressure might hurt your baby’s ears. This is a great time to feed a baby (either breast or bottle) or have your baby suck on a pacifier. Both feeding a baby and sucking on a pacifier will make your baby swallow, thus alleviating pressure in his or her ears.

Happy flying! We hope your flight with baby is a success. Please share your own air travel tips when flying with babies in the comments section below.

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