10 Tips to Ease Flying Long-Haul with a Baby

Today’s post comes from gust blogger Nicola. She has a successful blog, Jetlag & Mayhem, also based out of Hong Kong, primarily focused on family traveling. Be sure to visit her site if you have a few angels (or devils) of your own.

Flying long-haul with a baby can be a painful experience.  I have flown many times with my two young kids and their behavior has spanned the spectrum of vomiting all over me before we’ve even sat down o to practically being applauded as we exited the cabin for their exemplary behavior.  Here are 10 top tips that might help ease your journey:

  • Choose your airline wisely.  Check out what’s on offer for babies in terms of bassinet size, confirmation of bassinet, luggage allowance.  When flying back to the UK, Virgin and BA have the edge as they offer a ‘car seat’ style sky cot that fits older babies more comfortably.
  • If you did book a bassinet seat, reconfirm with the airline and/or your travel agent a week before.  Reconfirm again at Check-In (I’ve still been seated in a non-bassinet seat despite reconfirming this again and again!)
  • Don’t overpack your hand luggage, especially if you’re flying on your own.  Outside of food and diapers, babies really don’t need too much!
  • Buy a decent baby carrier.  I normally take my stroller straight to the gate and then switch the baby in to my Ergo which leaves my hands free.  I also find my Ergo useful on the plane if the baby is refusing to sleep in the bassinet.
  • Be prepared to open bottles and taste milk/food at security.  Hong Kong is relatively easy to get bottles filled with water through but Heathrow in particular is very strict.
  • Give bottle/breastfeed on take off and landing as the sucking motion will help with the pressure change.  Hopefully it will also make them drowsy!
  • If you are travelling alone, make friends with the people sitting next to you (unless they run a mile).  I have always relied on the kindness of strangers to nip to the bathroom or even have a play with my baby while I sleep!
  • Always pack a black pashmina in hand luggage.  If the cabin lights are blaring and you’re trying to get the baby to sleep, you can create blackout over the bassinet or in your baby carrier.
  • When you disembark the plane, double check where the stroller will be.  I have spent ages waiting for a stroller, only to be told it’s being sent to the luggage carousel.
  • When you get to immigration, look harassed/upset.  They are more likely to rush you to the front of a big queue.

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