Travelling on its own can be exhausting and even more so when travelling with children, especially babies. If you’re travelling with your baby for the first time, there are some special accommodations you should keep in mind to help make the trip as stress-free as possible.
Plan Before You Fly
Babies need special care, especially when they’re travelling by plane for the first time. Here are some things you can do to ensure your child is safe and comfortable before you even reach the airport:
- It can be a good idea to plan to travel a short distance or to a location that takes less than three hours to reach by plane. If you're travelling internationally, remember that getting a passport for a baby is the first task on your to-do list
- Checking that it’s safe for the baby to travel, including taking your little one for a checkup before you go
- Booking a hotel that has 'baby-friendly' products and services, including a service that provides strollers, cribs and playpens
- Reserving an umbrella stroller and car seat (if applicable) and arranging to have them waiting at your destination or placed in a reserved vehicle
- Packing toys, pacifiers and other soothing agents to help keep the baby calm
Prepare to Travel Through the Airport
Airports are crowded, noisy and busy, which can be overwhelming for babies and their parents. All of the activity can be jarring and irritating for a baby, so try to make the trip through the airport and to your flight as quick and pleasant as possible. First, if you drive to the airport, park your car onsite and as close to the entrance as possible. Next, arrive as early as possible so you can take advantage of priority lines for checking in, security, etc. Additionally, consider taking an early morning or late-night flight when there are fewer travellers, less noise and less waiting. If you travel early or late, there’s a great chance that the baby will sleep through the flight, as well. Once you’ve boarded, ask the flight attendant about the safety procedures for babies.
Keep the Baby Comfortable During the Flight
Flying on a plane can be loud and uncomfortable for a baby. But you can make it more comfortable by using a flight plan. This plan should include making the takeoff, flight and landing as smooth as possible. It’s common for pressure to cause the ears to pop during a plane’s ascent and descent, which can be uncomfortable and frightening for a baby. The odd sensation can be painful and cause the baby to cry during and after the flight. However, you can combat ear popping by giving your baby a bottle or pacifier or by nursing. Loud noises from the plane’s engine and more can also be overwhelming, so place small cotton balls or earbuds in the baby’s ears before takeoff. During the flight, use toys or books to keep the baby entertained.
Remember these tips and, no matter where you travel, it's sure to be an unforgettable trip for you and your family.