We recently went on our first flight with our baby, who is almost three months old. We didn’t brave a long-haul flight, choosing instead to fly to Gran Canaria (which takes about four and a half hours from Leeds Bradford Airport).
Based on our (limited) experience, here are our top tips for flying with a baby:
- Pre-book seats so you can sit next to each other. Having a baby on your knee for the best part of five hours doesn’t make for the comfiest of flights, so it’s good to be able to easily pass your little one between each other. On some airlines it’s free to pre-book seats, but on others it’s not. Either way, it’s worth it. Do it early if you need to get a bassinet for a long-haul flight and, if you want to make sure you get it right, ring the airline to sort everything out. We’d also recommend aiming for an aisle seat in case your little one needs some jiggling to calm them down!
- Arrive at the airport early. By the time you’ve taken the baby out of the car seat (if you’ve driven to the airport), put the baby into the pram, taken the baby out of the pram to get on the shuttle bus, put the pram onto the already overflowing luggage racks…the list goes on! Get there early and allow yourselves time to faff!
- If you’re going to be taking milk on-board for your baby, be prepared to taste it as you go through security! A little weird, I know, but don’t be surprised if this happens during the fun routine that is airport security. You should also make sure you’re taking milk, liquids etc in the right size containers.
- We didn’t do this as our little one was asleep for take-off and landing, but we have heard that it can be good to feed your baby during these times, to help equalise the pressure. If this doesn’t work, you can also try a dummy.
- Be prepared to be stared at! This could be in the form of looks of adoration or, if you’re unlucky, looks of annoyance as your little one fails to settle. However this makes you feel, just console yourself with the fact the flight won’t last forever!
- Rather than taking your whole changing bag to the toilet for a baby change, take one nappy, some wipes, and some nappy rash cream. Space is at a premium in there so only take the bare essentials in with you!