Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Travelling with Young Children: What to Know?

My recommendations to people who are planning a lengthy travel with their babies and toddlers especially by plane are as follows:

Photo Credit

1) Apart from a front baby carrier, make sure you arrange a cot for your baby to sleep in on the plane. The best way to do this is to enquire about it while purchasing your ticket as well as checking in approximately two hours in advance as they generally work with 'first in, first serve' policy. They only have a limited number of baby bassinets they can offer on planes. Also, keep in mind that there is an age and weight limit to the use of the cots on planes for safety purposes.

2) If your baby is breastfed and you prefer to be covered while feeding, make sure you bring something to serve the purpose with you. Some businesses sell 'breastfeed covers' but you can easily make your own in less than half a minute and it doesn't even involve any sewing! Take a large shawl with you, fold it in half lengthwise, pretend it is a top that you can wear and where your shoulder is (the one that is not close to the folded end), attach a safety pin. This shape simply allows you to 'wear it' and lay on your shoulders while having the flexibility to bring your baby/toddler under it and breastfeed comfortably. This is not only an easy and functional breastfeed cover, but is also something that you can wear to keep yourself warm with and it doesn't have to add to your luggage weight at all as you can get on the plane with the shawl on you. It can also easily become a little blanket over yourself or your baby while having a little nap or a read/watch. (I will be making a visual post on this breastfeed cover sometime soon. Stay tuned!) 

3) While taking off and landing, make sure your baby/toddler suckles something, whether it be you (if breastfed), a pacifier or their own fingers. This allows babies to handle the pressure that builds in ears better, hopefully totally pain-free. 

4) Bring some age-appropriate toys/books with you. Taking a few favourite toys of your child is always a good idea. However, I also suggest that you take some new toys/books to catch their attention and make them curious so that hopefully they spend some time with them. Take them out one at a time. 

Some books come with a hook that allows you to attach them to some other objects so they don't keep falling on the floor. As for the toys, if you can attach some nice cheap baby rings to them, do so as they will help them stay still (they can even chew on them). 

If your baby is teething, bring some items such as teething rings to give him something to chew. 

5) If your baby is attached to a certain object, do not forget to bring it with you.

6) Keep some large objects (such as a hair accessory for yourself) handy. Sometimes, your everyday objects keep them busier than their own toys. 

7) Depending on your baby's age, bring some plane-safe foods, drinks, snacks with you. Sometimes, it takes a while before they serve you on the plane and babies are not the most patient human beings on earth as you would be well aware by now. Your baby's milk and food is not subject to the same maximum restrictions for aeroplane cabin baggage. You are allowed to carry enough for your baby's journey. 

8) I always take some extra clothing and other necessary items than usual in case your baby reacts differently on that day (vomits, has a diarrhoea, spills food/drinks on him etc).  

9) Back to the toys again.. Make sure your toys are not too hard or noisy for the plane. Not everyone is patient, has a baby or can emphasise.

10) Keep a nice bib or two handy with you. There are some bibs that has a 'waterproof side' and the other side is nice and soft. It may become your best friend on the plane. One side is the best for drinks or fluids in general, the other can be used for solid foods. It is also preferable especially on the plane if it has a pocket as well as it makes it less messy. Also, make sure it is easily washed and can dry fast. 

11) I would not wear any jewellery while travelling with a baby or a young child. To me, it is a safety issue (both mine as well as my baby's. Some babies tend to pull things and a family member's ear was ripped while her baby son at the time decided to use all his strength and pull the earring off her mum's ear). 

12) Especially if you will be transferred from one plane to the other during your journey, you may want to consider bringing a lightweight stroller with you.

13) Don't forget your 'must have' items (eg. wet tissues, nappies, change mat, some bags to put dirty clothes/nappies in etc.)

14) Walking on the plane is one of the most favourite activities babies/children tend to have. So, try to make sure you are well rested and are wearing some comfortable shoes and clothes as you may have a good workout walking up and down with your little precious one during your travel.

15) It can be an overwhelming experience for your baby, so try to be patient. You being calm will surely help them in a positive way as well. Whatever you do, keep in mind that it is a new experience for your baby and try to capture/feel the excitement they are likely to have in their eyes while it is there.  

I hope these recommendations are of some help to you. I am sure there are many other tips that people with experience would have in mind. Please do share your tips with us all in the comments section below. 

Enjoy your trip to wherever you are planning on going!


Jane from Lil Pip said...

What a wonderful resource to any parents traveling with young babies. Makes me actually happy that mine a little older now though! But since I already did lots of traveling with them, I kinda feel like I've already experienced what you are writing about.

Well done putting this together.

Mrs. Lucky said...

Thank you Jane for taking the time to leave a comment here. Well appreciated. I am glad you've found it useful, even if not so much for yourself anymore.

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