Monday, 12 August 2013

Travelling with a 7 month old baby on a short 5 hour flight

My experience of travelling with a 7 month old baby...

This trip was taken a while back, so this is my reflection of it...

For those thinking of travelling overseas with a young baby who has just started first solids, crawling and exploring everything new, this is what I have to share about my overseas trip experience.

Tips for better travel

Select flights that depart early in the morning, preferably in tune with your baby's sleeping patterns.  For mine, we chose a departure time of 7.35am and arrival time of 12.35pm.  A short morning flight helps baby cope with the travel experience first time.  By the time we boarded the plane, she was tired and ready to breastfeed and sleep on take off.  When we landed at our destination, she was just awaken from a 2 hour nap.

Always book your baby meal and reserve your bassinet in advance, even if you think baby won't use the bassinet, as it comes in handy as a change table, place to rest your airline meals, baby's toys and nappy bag etc.  Saves you having to take things out from the overhead compartment several times during the flight.

Breastfeed baby on take off and landing to ease the air pressure build up in her ears.

For baby starting on solids, bring her food stuff like rice cereal, feeding spoons and bowls on board.  Empty your thermos flask and ask for hot water during flight.  Feed baby age appropriate commercial baby food offered by airlines.  You can ask for specific food, like apples, sweet potato or pear purees in commercial jars.  We were given Heinz baby food.

Bring your baby sling or carrier like Baby Bjorn or Manduca (for a toddler or bigger size baby) on board as it helps settle and put the to sleep while you do your walk along the aisle and the back galley.  My baby slept while I walk her in the baby carrier, up and down the aisle and at the back.  I do this after her feed and after the stewardess had finished serving out the meals.

Arrive at the airport early so that you can put baby in her pram and have it checked in the the gate.  The airline staff will bring it on board for you and have it waiting at stroller collection upon reaching your destination.

Pack extra clothing, diapers, baby wipes, a jacket for warmth, a hat and beanie for air-conditioning and going outdoors, extra face towels and also extra set of clothes for yourself in case baby spews on you and you need to change.

Bring just a separate diaper wallet for quick nappy change in addition to your usual baby bag of essentials.

Pack your stroller accessories like storm/rain cover, sunshades/insect shades in cabin luggage for use once out of airport.  I use the sunshade whenever I try to put baby to sleep in stroller as it cuts our the visual stimulants and lighting.

Fill up baby's thermos flask first thing in the morning before going out for the day, either at the hotel restaurant or where you have your meal.  Ask the waitress for hot boiling water.