SOME IMPORTANT TIPS FOR TRAVELLING WITH A NEW-BORN
Travelling with a newborn can be quite scary. Everyone has been on at least one long haul flight where a newborn seemed to wail from the beginning to the end of the flight. Now it’s your turn to travel with a newborn and you are understandably worried. How do you keep a newborn happy while aboard an aircraft? Well, while the little ones almost always prove to have a mind of their own, here are a few tips that have worked in the past for keeping a baby happy, during a long haul flight.
1. Make sure your baby is old enough to travel.
At what age is a baby old enough to travel? The answer to this question will usually depend on who you’re asking. Some people swear a newborn can travel at 2 days, others say two weeks. However, if you’re going on a long haul flight with your newborn, it’s better to wait 5 weeks.
2. Get The Baby A Passport
Newborns are so tiny that it’s easy to forget that they need their passports too. If you’re planning a trip with your newborn, you should plan to apply for their passports. If you do not have enough time to get a passport, you can pay some extra money to expedite the process, so that your baby’s passport would be out in little time.
3. Travel a Few Hours at a Time
Don’t go flying 14 hours straight with a baby, he or she will get cranky and you’ll be miserable trying to pacify them. Book your trip in such a way that you have a stopover after a few hours.
4. Budget for Baby’s Fare.
Again, even though newborns are so little, airlines would usually charge you a little extra to carry them on your lap. So you need to factor this in your expenses when making a budget for your trip. Fortunately, this amount is usually not much.
5. Get the perfect seat
What is the perfect seat when travelling with a newborn? Well, an aisle seat makes it very easy for you to get up to use the restroom especially when you need to change the baby’s diaper. Some international flights provide baby bassinets, you can also request for this from the flight attendants to make it easier to hold your baby during a long flight.
6. Travel Light
Don’t pack too much baby gear. Travelling light would make your journey a lot easier and give you a lot more room to hold your baby. If you have to travel with a lot of stuff, put them all in the check-in luggage. Take only the simplest and most important baby items along on the flight.
7. Wear Your Baby.
Use a baby carrier to strap your baby to your body. This is a much easier option than lugging around a stroller in the airport. With a baby carrier, it is easier to navigate through stairs, and escalators while carrying your hand luggage. There is a chance that your baby would nap better in a carrier too, as she would be so close to you.
8. Don’t Fill Up Your Luggage Diapers.
It is usually very tempting to travel with a lot of diapers, but remember the importance of travelling light. Travel with just enough diapers to last a day or two of your trip, you can buy diapers when you get to your destination. Only pack a lot of diapers if you’re travelling to somewhere so remote that you’re certain you wouldn’t find diapers.
9. It is Easier to Breastfeed
Well, this is not a rule. You can bottle-feed if that’s what you’re comfortable with. However, making a bottle can be a little stressful while aboard. Sometimes you need help from the flight attendants to warm the bottle or get a clean bottle, it’s much easier to get a good breastfeeding cover to breastfeed your baby at intervals.
10. Remember to have a Car Seat
It is against the law in many countries to have your baby in a moving car not strapped in a car seat. So remember this and make provisions for a car seat on arrival to your destination or travel with your baby car seat
11. Walk Straight To The Front Of The Line
Yes, this is the one time where it is cool to jump the queue. People in unique situations such as people with small children are allowed to priority boarding. You can make use of this opportunity while going through the security line and while boarding. It’s much easier to get into the aircraft and settle down long before the other passengers come in, to crowd the aisles.
12. Know The Protocol For Security Screening
If you’re using a stroller, you would have to collapse this when you get to security, carry your baby in your arms while you put the stroller on the conveyor belt. You may need to hand your baby off at the other side of the line, and then walk back to go through the metal detector on your own. You need to be organized at the security queue else you’ll be frustrated, put all your electronics in the same bag so that you can easily empty them in a tray and pack them back in your bag at the other side of the queue.
13. Use Baby Apps On Your IPAD
You can play music to lull your baby to sleep or play those rain sounds that are almost always certain to induce sleep. It is much easier than having to travel with a noise machine.
14. Let Strangers Help Out
Of course, you can’t hand over your baby to just every stranger that asks, but you could let them help with your other things such as lifting your diaper bag into the luggage compartment, helping your retrieve a diaper bag, let the flight attendants warm your bottles when you need them. If you happen to be travelling alone, remember that you don’t necessarily have to do it all by yourself.