Up, Up and Away

15 Aug














One of our followers is off to Australia this week so has asked about how to pull off a long haul flight with a 6-month old.

 Here are a few top tips to make a flight more enjoyable:

Go with the flow. The experience is going to be easier all-round if you try to relax. At home you might stick to a strict routine, but when in transit listen to your baby or child’s needs. Allow them to sleep and eat when they want.

Take extras! If you’re bottle feeding take extra milk, it’s important for baby to suck at take-off and landing to prevent ear pain, so if you don’t use dummies – and baby isn’t drinking water – make sure you have enough milk to cover these extra feeds. For older children a lollipop or juice with a straw is a good idea. To comply with the airline fluid  restrictions take an empty sippy cup and ask them to fill it on board or buy some cartons once you’re through security.

The above rule applies to food as well – a child who normally has three meals in 24 hours could decide they want six or may go the other way and barely eat at all. Check with your airline before you fly – some provide baby food  but may have a limit so pack a few of their favourites as well!

Invest in a few new toys which don’t come out the bag until you are well and truly in the air. Usborne’s ’50 Things To Do On A Plane’ Activity Cards (http://www.usborne.com/catalogue/catalogue.aspx?id=3005) are perfect for children aged 3+ when you’re running short of ideas. For babies, some new toys (preferably with lights rather than sound) or soft things they can throw around are ideal.Oh and don’t feel bad if you put baby in front of the in-flight entertainment screen – the pictures without volume will keep them entertained for a short while!

Do take pyjamas and changes of clothes. Although you are not sticking to routine it is good to get them into their jammies before a big sleep…plus it gives you something else to do! In fact, it’s worth taking an extra outfit for everyone as you don’t know when travel sickness could strike!

If you have a buggy or pram with a removable seat, ask the airline if you can take this on board with you. Some allow it and that way baby can be put to sleep in it comfortably.

As with any trip, take their favourite things that are familiar to them. If you use a musical toy for bedtime at home or a comforter it’ll come in very handy on the flight.

Split your flight into one hour slots. It’s far easier to get through one hour than 24, and you soon feel the time is flying past by dealing with each hour individually rather than looking at the flight as a whole.

If you’re travelling with someone and it’s your night-time but baby decides it’s really not theirs take it in turns to entertain them… don’t both stay awake as you’ll both cope much better if you have had some sleep or know you are definitely going to get some. If you’re on your own, try to sleep when baby does and don’t be scared to ask the flight attendants for help, in my experience they are always very willing.

Take extra blankets or a gro-bag. There is nothing worse than having a cold child – they won’t get a proper rest if they’re not comfortable.

Try to carry everything you need in a backpack rather than a shoulder bag as it’s easier if you have both hands free.

For children who are walking use a backpack harness it’s much more relaxing if you know exactly where your tot is at all times when in the terminal. For babies, a sling is the perfect in-flight companion as you can stroll up and down the aisles with them in it.

And last but not least remember a happy parent makes a happy baby, so if it all goes to pot remember that it’s only for 24 hrs and you’ll be back on track before you know it!


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