When it comes to your first flight with a baby, there will be hundreds of things going through your mind from packing lists to ‘what ifs’ – trust us, we’ve been there! We took on a 13 hour flight with a four month old and have since travelled four continents with him. We have learnt that there are a few things not worth worrying about;l
Babies cry. Your baby will most probably cry at some point on the flight and it’s better to accept that before boarding than panic when it happens. Your little one will pick up on how you are feeling so mentally prepare yourself for it in advance.
More likely than not, you will be more flustered about it than the other passengers (who are likely to have headphones on and be engrossed in a movie, oblivious to your little ones whimpering). In our experience, those who do notice the crying baby tend to try distracting them by playing games or offer sympathetic smiles to mum and dad.
When we flew 13 hours to Cuba with a four month old who cried periodically for various reasons. We had the following comments:
“He really made you proud didn’t he?” (Man sat next to us)
“He was such a good boy, he didn’t even cry” (he did, they didn’t notice)
So don’t worry about it! You’ll be off the plane before you know it.
Most toilets on a plane actually have pull-down changing tables. This came as a surprise the first time we flew with a baby – who knew you could fit a changing table in those teeny toilets? It’s quite cramped though so we do sometimes change our little one on our laps or at our feet if we have extra leg room (not poopy ones!) which is much quicker and easier.
Be sure to pack more than enough changing supplies and spare clothes in case of flight delays. We once spent an extra two hours on board a flight circling a storm over the Caribbean!
You might worry about how you are going to entertain your little one for a long journey. Little babies might be enamoured by just staring at your face as you talk to them. Older babies might need more entertaining, especially if they are crawling / walking. But every baby is different.
We have found it best to take 3-5 different toys (e.g a teddy, a board book, a jingly/activity toy etc). This means you can be prepared for different moods whilst still travelling light. We actually fund that our eight month old was more entertained by a plastic cup than any of the toys we had on our four hour flight to Turkey! Crayon-in-a-cup actually entertained him for 30 minutes.
Otherwise there are so many people to look at, air hostesses to play with, windows to look out of and aisles to pace up and down so if your little one is not entertained by toys, they will likely be happy people watching. Our little boy is particularly fond of flirting with old ladies and air hostesses!
Do you have any tips for flying with a baby? Comment below!