Emma’s Tips for Taking a Baby Abroad #travellingwithanewborn #travellingtips
When can babies travel on a plane?
It is advisable to wait until the baby is 4-6 weeks old before taking them on a aircraft. This will because they are less susceptible to germs carried around plane’s air condition systems.
Remember your baby needs a passport to travel abroad.
Make sure you are adequately insured.
Air travel with a baby can be unpredictable and certain conditions may prevent him/her from flying – ear infections etc. So you may have to delay / change your flight, ensure you will be covered.
Before you travel.
It may be worth looking into booking a separate seat for your baby, this way you can take the baby’s car seat and this allows them to have their own space while sleeping on the plane and you a well earned break from having them sitting on your lap, especially if it is a long flight. You may be expected to sit the baby with you for takeoff and landing.
If you have not booked a seat for your baby, ask at check in if the flight is full. If not and you are lucky the airline assistant may keep the seat beside you empty, or offer you a seat next to a vacant one.
Ask the airline about baby facilities and services on board the plane before you travel so you are aware.
If you are going to hire or use a car while aboard then your baby will need a car seat. Many hire companies offer car seat rental but this does not guarantee that it will be suitable for your child. Better to take yours.
Packing for your baby.
When travelling with a baby remember plane space is at a premium. Unless you have booked a seat for your baby they are unlikely to be given a luggage allowance and therefore their equipment, clothes, food will need to fit into yours.
When packing baby creams and ointments they should be packed in the hold luggage where possible. In the case where you need to take them on the plane with you ensure they are in containers of no larger than 100mls capacity. They then need to go into a clear plastic zip-top bag. This bag should be no larger than 1 litre in size. You may carry one bag per person. You may take multiple containers in each clear bag but they must be held within the bag and the bag must be able to be done up.
Breast milk and formula are exempt from this rule. You should take only enough food for the flight if you are bottle feeding, with perhaps a little spare in case of delays and such.
You are usually expected to have your baby with you when checking through with baby milk, so don’t send your baby off with anyone while you go through.
If your baby is formula fed look for the ‘careline’ telephone number on the container. You can call and ask if this particular brand is available in the country you are visiting.
It is advised to give baby ready made formula while on holiday rather than using the foreign water to make up bottles, so pack enough to last you until you can find a store.
To help keep your baby comfortable throughout the flight dress him/her in a few light layers which are easy to put on and take off with the changes in temperature.
At the airport.
Allow yourself plenty of time at the airport when travelling with your baby. Remember everything may take a little longer and you may have a last minute nappy or clothing change to contend with.
Some airports offer fast-track custom or immigration points for families with very young children – definitely worth looking out for.
Use a pushchair to get around the airport, baby then has somewhere to sleep. You are usually allowed to keep your pushchair with you right up until you board the plane. The more lightweight your pram the better and easier you will find it. Ensure you take off any unnecessary equipment as it may get ‘thrown’ into the hold.
A baby sling / carrier can be very useful; it leaves your hands free for carrying things.
Change your baby’s nappy immediately before the flight, if you are lucky he/she may not need changing again until you arrive.
It may be worth putting a set of spare clothes for yourself in the hand luggage just in case your baby is sick and it misses the muslin/bib and covers you. Definitely pack a change of clothes for the baby.
On the plane.
The changes in air pressure on take-off and landing can cause ear pain, so breastfeed your baby or offer a bottle at these times to encourage sucking.
Breastfeeding on planes is easy but can be a bit cramped. There are ways to be discreet about feeding however if you prefer more privacy ask the cabin staff if there is somewhere with a little more privacy and space they could offer you.
If your baby is formula fed and you usual heat their milk up, remember it may take longer than usual on the plane, so ask in plenty of time before you baby is due a feed. Make sure your baby is offered plenty to drink while travelling as air travel can be quite dehydrating.
Occasionally, your worst nightmare may come true and your little one may cry inconsolably throughout the majority of the flight. This is not much fun when you are cooped up in a plane cabin with a group of strangers. If this happens, just put on your thickest skin, ignore any horrible looks or worst still, comments. Keep calm and try your best to sooth your baby by walking up and down the aisle when possible, sing to them, check their nappy, offer them a feed, or try winding them.
Protect your baby from the sun at all times.
Slip a t shirt on
Slap on a hat
Slop on sun cream (factor 50)
Babies under 6 months should not be exposed to the hot sun at all.