With all of the stringent check-in procedures and airport rules to remember, air travel is stressful at the best of times – throw in the added anxiety of flying with a temperamental infant and you’ve got yourself a recipe for grey hair and high blood pressure!
Luckily, with the right advice and great tips for flying with a baby, traveling with an infant need not be the traumatic experience that you expect it to be. Here’s what you need to know.
Do Your Research Ahead of Time
Different airlines have different policies in place when it comes to flying with children, so be sure to familiarise yourself with your chosen carrier’s rules before boarding.
The vast majority of airlines allow infants under the age of 24 months to be seated on their parents’ laps. Baby restraint devices are available to secure an infant during take-off and landing and when seat belt signs are illuminated. A cabin crew member will offer the device to a parent prior to take off.
However, if your little one is still very young, you might want to consider reserving a baby bassinet (subject to availability), especially if you’ll be travelling long-haul. Keep in mind, though, that these bassinets usually cannot be used by infants that weigh over 10kgs and they need to be stowed away during take-off and landing.
Book Your Seats and Meals in Advance
Travelling with an infant means that your baby will be sitting on your lap for the duration of the flight. You can ensure a much more pleasant journey if you book a bulk head seat for yourself in advance. This will mean a lot more leg and breathing room throughout the flight.
If you’d prefer, most airlines also make it possible for you to book a separate seat for your child even if they are under the age of 2. In this instance, you’ll be charged a child-fare and should bring a recognised and listed front-facing baby car seat along (if your child is under the age of 3).
As far as meals are concerned, carriers generally offer special baby-friendly meals. However, it is important to order these at least 48 hours before your flight. If you are bottle-feeding, you are also welcome to carry breastmilk and/or formula on board with you, and the cabin crew will usually be quite happy to warm the bottles up for you. If you’re breastfeeding, you can always feel free to feed your baby in your seat.
Does your little one have a favourite toy or teether that is sure to keep him busy for a while? Maybe he loves to listen to a specific story? Pack anything and everything that you think might help to make the journey less stressful for the both of you.
Also, be sure to come prepared in the event that you’re forced to endure any flight delays. Most parents will agree that there is no such thing as having too many nappies, wet wipes or extra clothes in their baby bag!
If you’re travelling with your partner, suggest that he or she boards before you and the little one. In doing so, he or she will be able to stake a claim on the overhead baggage compartment for your extra items and ensure that the car-seat (if you have one) is ready and waiting. You and baby can then make a last-minute entrance – thus reducing the amount of time that you all have to spend on board, and reducing the chances of early boarding boredom and tantrums!
Extra Tip: Make travelling lighter and easier by opting to rent or borrow bigger items such as prams, cots and even car seats once you have reached your destination.
If you worry that your child’s screams and cries will annoy other passengers, make an effort to speak to the other travellers around you before take-off.
If you’re worried that you’re the one who is likely to get uptight and stressed when your child acts up, do everything that you need to in order to calm your nerves before and during the flight. Remember – the little ones are sure to pick up on your tension, and this can often exacerbate their own reactions and behaviour as a result.
Relieve Ear Pressure
We’re all familiar with that unpleasant feeling that we get in our ears during take-off and landing – so you can imagine how bad it must feel for a baby who has no idea what’s going on. The good news is that you can relieve some of the pressure by giving your little one something to suck on, like a dummy or a bottle.
With Cheap International Flights on your side, it’s so much easier to enjoy a pleasant flight to your destination of choice. Not only do we provide you with solid advice on flying with children, we also offer you the opportunity to get your hands on cheap flight tickets to popular locations all over the globe. Visit our website now to see for yourself!