Posted on May 11, 2011

Flying With A Baby by Clare

Guest post/ travelling with kids
This post is written by the lovely Clare of Baby Abroad! For those of you flying with a baby this year; here are some really helpful tips for you! Thank you Clare x
Photo courtesy of jyri via flickr.com
Flying with a baby.
1.    Booking a flight for your baby:  Airlines classify an infant as any child under the age of 2.  Infants can travel on your lap and you’ll be provided with a lap belt to put around your baby and attach to your own.  You can take a 5 point harness car seat on board, but if you do, you’ll have to buy an extra seat and your baby will still have to sit on your lap for takeoff and landing. 

If you’re flying long haul make sure you book a bassinet for the baby to sleep in.  You’ll then usually be given the bulk head seats that have space for the bassinet.  It’s best to book this with your airline asap to ensure availability. 

2.    Packing for the flight with your baby: Think about your normal daily routine to list out what you need and add a few spares.  As a start consider nappies, nappy sacks, wipes, muslin’s, spare clothes (including a spare top for you, just in case), dummies including a sterilised spare, made up bottles to add milk powder to, premeasured powder and baby food, spoons and bibs if baby weaning/weaned (see baby milk and food rules in 5 below) or spare breast pads for breastfeeding mothers. Depending on the age of your baby, pack soft books, non musical toys and teethers. I tend to take trusted favourites that you know hold their attention for a while.

3.    Baby baggage in the hold: If you need a car seat when you get there, you can take your own. Most airlines allow you to take them for free for children under 5.  You generally have to check them in first, then take them to the large baggage desk and after the flight collect them at your destination from the baggage carousel.  Taking your own is more reassuring if you’re hiring a car on holiday and saves on the hire costs too.  Some airlines will take travel cots in the hold, but most charge and some stipulate that you have to include the cot within your weight allowance.

4.    Baby baggage in the cabin:  Some airlines, particularly for long haul flights, allow infants separate baggage, but many do not.  You are likely to have to carry your infant’s things in your own baggage.  Check with your airline beforehand.

5.    Rules on taking baby milk and food on an aeroplane:  The rules on liquids are different for baby milks and foods.  You are allowed to take sufficient for the duration of your time at the airport and on the flight, and I feel it would be reasonable to allow enough for delays too.  The 100ml limit does not apply to baby milk.  Going through security control, you are highly like to have to taste one or more of the bottles or food jars (so do take food you like the taste of!).  Alternatively, Boots sell ready milks and jars in some airports, but you should check opening times of course before hand and on your return journey this option may not be available.  You can find more on the security restrictions on http://www.direct.gov.uk.  Note, if you take ready milks with you through security you may have to open and taste them, but this doesn’t apply to milk bought the other side of security in the airport lounge.

6.    Buggies in the airport:  You’ll generally be able to take the buggy right up to the aeroplane, where you’ll then leave it by the door or at the foot of the stairs.  Your buggy will be put in the hold and you won’t get it back until the baggage carousel.  This means walking from the aeroplane through passport control to wait for your baggage while carrying your baby.  A sling or carrier for a baby is invaluable for this time.  If you prefer to use a carrier for the whole time in the airport, you can check your stroller in with your luggage.

7.     Babies ears on takeoff and landing:  Some suggest timing feeds or using a dummy for takeoff and landing as the sucking sensation could alleviate any ear discomfort.  Many babies don’t suffer any problems and my own have often slept through take off.

8.    And finally: I know it’s hard to do, but if your baby is crying on the flight, avoid the glances of other parents, don’t keep apologising, just try and relax.  If you’re stressing, it’ll make things worse for you.  Concentrate on your little one and think about how you’re going to enjoy yourself when you finally get there!

This article was written by Clare Sparks of BabyAbroad (www.babyabroad.co.uk) the baby travel website.  Head on over to the BabyAbroad site for more information on flying with a baby and other helpful baby and child travel information.

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1 Comment

  • Reply KARA May 11, 2011 at 8:17 pm

    This is a fantastic post, we unfortunately have not had the chance to take our little one on a plane, some of this info was super interesting as my son has disabilities so it has made me aware of what I would need to sort in advance.
    Thanks so much

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