Posted on September 07 2016
So, my son Casper is 9 months old. We've just taken his 15th flight! Can you believe it? Insane right but I've been back and forth to Ireland lots this past year and we've also been to Spain twice for holidays (yes we are so lucky!).
His first flight was four weeks old, and we're now seasoned pros.
I've put together my top tips to help anyone who is travelling with their <1 year old. (Note a lot of these are tips for travelling alone with your babe, but prob still help when you're with your partner/friend, and these tips are for short to medium length flights).
I travel with: Stokke Sling, car seat, buggy base, buggy clips, checked in bag & backpack
- Check in your bag and keep backpack, sling, carseat and buggy base.
- Buy milk / food when you get through security. If you bring milk or a bottle of water through security they will test it. To speed things up bring an empty sterilised bottle and little / no food. Go straight to Boots and buy a ready mix bottle for the plane and any food you need. If you need snacks for the plane try and get the 'no mess' kind. (For those breastfeeding it is much easier!)
- Feed your baby food before the flight, I've not done it on the flight - I imagine it would be a nightmare!
- Change baby's nappy and go to the loo yourself just before they announce gate. Note that most baby change don't have toilets, so it's worth going to a disabled loo and most have baby change units and then you kill two birds with one stone!
- Check in on your phone and add your boarding pass to your wallet (iPhone or Android equivalent) means you won't loose a piece of paper, or baby won't eat it.
- Walk up to priority boarding, show your boarding pass (having not paid priority boarding) and they will let you through! Super tip! No one else knows you haven't paid for it!! I do this every time.
- Don't forget whatever soothes your baby. Dummy, blanket, teddy! Even bring a spare. I lost a dummy just before boarding a flight and it was the worse one yet.
- When v little bring a full change of clothes (actually maybe do that all the time). Casper did his biggest poo ever just 10 mins before landing (his first flight too) - let's just say everything went into the bin!!
- Travel with the same bag and always put the same things in the same places. You may need things in a hurry and you won't have time to faff looking for them!
- Don't forget the buggy clips and don't leave them on the buggy - again personal experience. If left on the buggy base they will break!
- Ask for help! I have Casper in my sling, a back pack or two on my back and a buggy to bring down the stairs to leave outside the plane (cheapo airlines!) you can't do that on your own so work on your charm and get someone to help with the lifting
- Leave your buggy base and car seat folded up at the bottom of the plane - have baby in sling and backpack on your back. Remember you can have your own carry on and baby changing bag.
- Keep an eye out for a spare row and get in quick. Your neighbors will thank you for moving and you'll have less prying eyes esp if feeding.
- Don't drink much on the plane, esp if on your own. You don't want to have to go to the loo with your baby.
- If you time the flight correctly baby will be ready for a nap. Get the soothing apparatus out, keep your bag close in case you need something. I always keep milk in a bottle to hand just in case he has trouble with his ears. He never has. The dummy helps with that.
- Other than that some inflight entertainment such as a Lara & Ollie Teething Necklace or Bracelet can help too!!
- When the plane lands I get the sling on, get him in and get people to get our bags down.
- Pick up the buggy base and car seat/stroller etc at the front of the plane and head towards security/baggage pick up
- Remember to ask for help. People love babies so they will be happy to help, especially if you are on your own.
Good luck travelling and hope these help!!