Harv and I took Dillon to Crete when he was 6 months old. I was dreading it. I had heard so many horror stories from friends and family on their baby crying during the flight because of the pain caused by changes in air pressure and even said to Harv let’s just stay in the UK instead. I’m so glad I listened to Harv and we went abroad for our first holiday in almost two years. The whole experience was so easy, stress free and calm. Fortunately we managed to avoid any disasters, tantrums and tears.

Here are my top tips for flying with a young baby

Before you fly:

  • Your baby will need their own passport, which will last until they are 5 years old so best to send off the application for the passport at least a month before your trip
  • Your baby will also need their own ticket, even if they will be sitting on your lap
  • If your baby is under two years age, you will need to hold your baby in your lap unless you prefer to take your own car seat. The airline should provide an extension seat belt to strap through yours and around your baby. This is all dependant on airlines and length of flight. The airline you fly with should have guidelines for flying with a baby so best to check those before you book
  • Pack a selection of toys, books and activities in your hand luggage to keep your baby occupied during the flight
  • Keep a blanket or two with you in case your baby feels cold on the plane. Plus it helps to keep them snug when they are sleeping
  • Pre-prepare your baby’s food if possible. Cabin crew are very helpful at providing hot water to warm your baby’s food up
  • If your baby is over 6 months old, keep some cool boiled water on you and give to your baby during the flight to prevent dehydration

During the flight:

  • The younger the baby, the easier it is to travel. It’s simple, the younger your baby the more they’ll sleep. The older your baby is, the more likely he/she will become frustrated with sitting still and not being able to be mobile
  • Ensure you have plenty of food and drink packed for your baby so your partner or travel companion can feed your baby too. Make sure you have these at the top of your hand luggage so they’re easy to take out when you pass through customs
  • You will have to hold your baby when you pass through customs and fold your buggy to be passed through the scanner
  • One of the ‘perks’ of having a baby flying with you is you automatically qualify for priority boarding which is great for helping you settle into your seat and to prepare everything you need for the plane journey
  • If you are worried about your baby’s ears popping on the plane, try giving your baby some calpol 20 minutes before take off, and before landing if it is a long flight
  • If you can time take off and landing with your baby’s sleep time, they won’t feel the air pressure in their ears so much (some babies are lucky not to feel anything)
  • If your baby is awake try feeding your baby on take off and landing to help with changes in ear pressure
  • Changing nappies in the plane toilet isn’t as stressful as you imagine. Yes the toilet is a bit of a tight squeeze, the changing table pulls down just above the toilet so you have enough room to change your baby. We took our own changing mat to place on the changing table as sometimes plane changing tables aren’t the cleanest
  • And my top tip of all is invest in a cheap pushchair which you wouldn’t mind being thrown about in the plane. We bought a £20 Hauck stroller from Toys ‘R’ Us which we kept with us right up until boarding rather than taking our Bugaboo (I really didn’t want this thrown about in cargo). The Hauck stroller folds up quite small and is much lighter to transport

I hope this helps with your preparation for your trip. Happy travels everyone xx

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