The idea of flying with my little one was daunting … the idea of being stuck in a window seat with a wriggly eight-month old who is use to having free reign to roam the house … this sounded like something I never wanted to do. If I could guarantee she would sleep the whole time, I’d have no problem but the idea of screaming, wriggling and being stuck made me worried.
Every mother wants to help their child over come obstacles, they want them to grow, be healthy and happy. And they certainly don’t want to have to pace the aisles of the aircraft for 8 hours. I am often flying and don’t get anxious about it, but this was like learning how to do international travel all over again!
Heading to Florida we had 8 hours of flying on the way there and 9 hours on the way back, our stop overs were enough for us to run from one gate to another, give her a couple minutes (literally) crawling time while my friend power-shopped for food. Before heading on our adventure I gleaned all I could from seasoned traveling mamas and used them. But there were a couple that really were the most helpful! Here are couple pointers from my lessons learnt:
1. Ziploc’s are your friends!
That is right, forget the usual terrain of your diaper bag … overhaul it for your flights. Everything in Ziploc for different occasions, and multiple. Why you ask?
Firstly, don’t show them all your tricks that you have in your bag – quite literally! This gives you the chance to bring out new things one by one. It also keeps all the toys in one spot, all the snacks in one spot and all the liquids so that you can take them out easily for security.
Secondly, it is so hard in a tight space to get your diaper bag out and take it into that TINY bathroom for a diaper change! This way, just grab your ziplock of diaper change gear and go! Keeping it simple!
2. You can take whatever liquids you need through security for your baby if they are under 2 years!
An air hostess kindly shared this with us as we were on our way from parking the car to the terminal, I could have kissed her! Embrace this rule and use it to your advantage, have those bottles filled ready to go, have pouches of food, what ever you need for your baby to use.
This is a saving grace as you will find your baby will need to drink at take off and landing to help with the pressure change. Also, food is a great way to keep them happy and content, part of me wonders if she gained a couple pounds in those short 8 hours!
Pack the snacks… more than you think you’ll need, and load the bottles!
HERE’s the GOLDEN NUGGET!
3. Bring whatever your baby usually needs to sleep.
You may not be able to create a dark environment, you may not be able to give them all the space they need to lay down but the more you can bring that will relax them, the better. The hope being, that they will nap at some point.
Pack their blankie/lovie, or put a quilt under their crib sheet for a few days prior so you have something that smells like home to put down for them to lay on. The sound of the plane will help with white noise naturally, and the motion tends to work like a car if you’re able to book another seat for their car seat.
People are generally really understanding when it comes to babies and flights, they know you’re doing all you can. Most have been parents in this exact spot, and often will offer to help where they can (bless the man, who ever you are, who played peek-a-boo for an hour with my baby!)
Give yourself some grace, remember that this is just a short space of time and it is worth it for where ever you are going!
p.s. Don’t be afraid to ask to swap seats – you are your advocate!