We are about to embark on our very first holiday abroad with a baby. We first took Jake aged 2 and even though he was still in nappies, he had far fewer needs. As long as he had toys, games and stickers he was a happy boy! So, this year he is 4 and the tablet is probably going to be played the entire time (if he has his way!) but William is just 5 months which has made me feel a little more anxious. But to combat this I have done my research and this is my flying with a baby checklist:
We are leaving William’s pricey pushchair at home and taking Jake’s cheap stroller instead. I’ve heard how they aren’t exactly treated with care when boarded and I would rather leave it behind and not risk any damage. We are going to use the stroller all the way up to the gate for ease and for carrying our bags too!
If you didn’t want to take a stroller to the gate, you could opt to use a sling for your baby. Your hands are then free to carry your bags and you don’t have to worry about trying to navigate through the crowds.
(obvious one!) The amount you need will depend on the length of your journey to the airport and then your flight. I always leave the house with 3/4 nappies on a normal day so I would base your decision on what you believe will cover you. The last thing you want to happen is getting on the plane and running out because your baby has already had 3 teething poos!! (we all know how those can be) Over prepare so you aren’t caught out. As a guide, I would probably say think one nappy change when you arrive at the airport and then a change an hour for the flight, a change on arrival and 2/3 emergency ones. So, on my journey, I would need 8 nappies.
Update: I am now a cloth nappy convert and have travelled to Florida with these too. You can read all about how to manage this here.
Take a new packet so there is no chance of suddenly running out or why not give reusable a go?
Nappy cream is a must if your little one suffers with nappy rash. You want them to be comfortable during the journey.
These are used in abundance here at the moment. William is a very sicky baby so I know I will need to take 3 in my bag just in case. They are so handy and can be used for older siblings spills too.
□ Changing mat
Don’t use the ones they provide in toilets, that’s if they offer any. I have no idea how clean they will be (not very!) plus if there isn’t one it can be uncomfortable for your little one.
□ Breastfeeding cover or shawl
Depending on how you feel about feeding in public you may want to consider purchasing a breastfeeding cover. You could also layer up your clothing or use a muslin draped over your shoulder. However, don’t feel that you have to cover up and certainly don’t do it for others, only do this for your own privacy or your baby’s needs. You are entitled to feed your baby at any time you need to so please don’t be nervous about doing so.
□ Teething remedies
Teething can be one of the main things that will cause problems with screaming on a flight. I would definitely recommend including teething gel, granules and Calpol/Nurofen sachets (all can be bought once through security don’t forget!)
□ Teething toys
Anything that will help with their chewing needs and distract your teething baby.
Take more than one because you know how easily they seem to vanish! They may want to suck on this during take-off to prevent their little ears from popping.
Anything they love to keep them entertained.
□ Change of clothes
This will be for both of us because I am usually the one who takes the brunt of the vomit but also because he is breastfed and can often be a messy feeder! I would recommend 2 sets of clothes for your baby just in case.
□ Arrival clothes
If you leave chilly England you will probably be in your jeans, jumper and shoes but when you arrive in a hot country you will be immediately regretting that choice. I like to carry a pair of shorts and sandals in my bag for me and the children and will wear an appropriate top underneath the jumper. Also, have the sunhats in your hand luggage ready for the kids. If you are heading off to colder climates then think about being able to access warmer clothes/jackets once you land.
First of all, think carefully about the space in your bag and how much you will need but then take into account the amounts you are permitted on a plane and double-check how much can be ready-made. You don’t want to be throwing milk away at security. Don’t forget that you will probably be able to purchase ready-made formula once you are in duty-free.
Sometimes the air conditioning on planes is just ramped up too high and it can get really chilly, especially for a baby as they can’t move around to get warm. This will also help during their naps or could be folded over and used as a pillow for your other child.
If your baby is old enough to eat, don’t forget some light baby snacks and fruit for them.
I will keep you posted on how it all goes for us flying with a baby for the very first time.
If you need tips for flying with a toddler or young child you will find some great ideas in this post and if you want to find out how we got on taking a toddler abroad pop over and read this post here.
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