How to Survive a Long Flight With a Baby?
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How to Survive a Long Flight With a Baby

Flying with a baby can be a very stressful situation. So how are you going to survive a long flight with a baby?

No one who has to fly wants to be on the same flight as a crying baby. More than that, no one wants to be this baby’s parent.

How to prepare yourself for a long flight with a baby

How to survive a long flight with a baby
Emily (6 months old) on her first 12 hours flight

First tip: change an attitude, don’t stress yourself

Understand that your baby will cry during the flight –simply because babies cry from time to time. It is natural; you do not need to feel bad about that!
More than anything you are going to do your best to make your baby comfortable (like you always do) and this is enough.

On my first flight as a new mom, my daughter was only 7 months old. It was a 12-hour direct flight and we came back home after a few weeks.

Tips on How To Survive a Flight With a Baby 

During the last few years, I took a few times long flights with my babies. I started to fly with my kids around the time they turn six months. I think the best time to fly with a baby is when they are young, not standing or walking.

Please be aware that babies need to have some vaccines before flying to foreign countries, and always consult with your doctor.

Flight With a Baby | Planning stage

1. Reserve an infant bassinet/crib

Before you order your ticket, call the airline’s customer service department and ask to reserve an infant bassinet/crib for your baby while you purchase your ticket.
The common guidelines for the bassinets are that your infant does not weigh more than18 kilograms and that their height does not exceed 74 cm.
Each Airline has it own guidelines, so please confirm with your airline the details before you make any plans.
You will need to book your flight (approximately seven months in advance) to ensure you have the right seat (first row after the washroom, middle seat).

Long Flight With a Baby: Airline infant bassinet/crib
6-month-old Emily in the plane bassinet

2. Avoid connecting flights

Try to avoid connecting flights as infants are very uncomfortable during take-off and landing time. It is also challenging to board the plane and leave with a baby and all your bags. If you can, book a direct flight.

3. Be ready to entertain

Buy for your baby or kid some new and interesting toys which are small enough to keep in your carry-on luggage. Introduce these toys for the first time during the flight.

  • If you fly with a toddler, I recommend having a tablet with his favourite videos and a kid’s Headphones.
  • If you fly with a baby who is sensitive to noise, bring Noise Cancelling HeadPhones with you.

4. Be ready to feed

You can take your baby food and formula with you on the plane. While there are normally restrictions on liquids and food, airport security knows how to deal with parents who are travelling. Pack all foods in one Zip bag for a fast security checkup.

If your infant or toddler doesn’t have their own ticket and he is sitting on your lap, he or she will not get any food during the flight.

Flight With a Baby | Getting ready

1. What to pack for a flight with a baby

  • Diapers and wipes.
  • All of your baby essentials.
  • Advil or Tylenol.
  • A blanket for your little one.
  • Three pairs of extra clothes.
  • Small toys that your baby can play with.
  • Extra clothes for you!
  • Baby food and baby formula
  Flight With a Baby: Getting ready
Pack Light: Naomi and I caught a flight to NYC with one carry-on and one diaper backpack

2. How to Pack for a flight with a baby

First, if you fly alone, I recommend packing only one backpack with all your stuff.

How to survive a long flight with a baby

Inside your bag, pack a small bag with two diapers, a changing pad small pack of wipes and small diaper cream. This bag you will be able to take with you to the washroom. You can use a Zip bag for that. Keep this small bag where it will be within your reach during the flight.
The plane washroom is just too small to take your diaper bag with you. In addition, you may be asked to leave your diaper bag in the overhead storage containers.

3. Baby Carrier

Take your best baby carrier with you. Your baby will be able to sleep on you. As an added bonus you will be comfortable and hands-free.
If you fly alone, it will be essential to have a baby carrier. You will need free hands after giving your stroller at the gate and before you find your seat on the plane.

Using baby carrier during a long flight with a baby
Using Ergobaby carrier during a flight

4. Stroller Air Travel Bag

Get a travel bag to cover your stroller and the Car seat you are taking with you. Although it is not mandatory, it will help to keep your stroller safe. Another option is to cover your stroller with a big plastic bag.

Flight With a Baby | During the flight

During the flight, soothe your baby with the following methods

  1. If you breastfeed, you can nurse during take-off and landing times and during the flight.
  2. Buddle feed and offer water.
  3. Offer your baby a soother.
  4. Introduce new toys.
  5. Babywear
  6. Walk with your baby in the aisle if possible.

There are many products on the market that will help you survive a long flight with a baby. Before you purchase something, confirm with your airline that you can use this product during the flight.

I hope you will have the best trip ever. Feel free to comment and share with us your best tip for flying with a baby.

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How to Survive a Long Flight With a Baby
Diel Gerber
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