Wednesday, 21 September 2011

We are going on holiday with a baby and I am panicking!

If you follow me on Twitter, you might have read that we are going to Germany in six days to a) stay with my family and b) surprise my nan who is in hospital after a hip operation and has never met Amy. I can't wait to see my family and spend time with them and Amy but I am also slightly panicking because going to Germany involves taking a plane.

Flying itself is not an issue, at least not for Ben and me, however we are taking a 5 month old baby this time and this is where things might become a bit tricky. Piles of luggage, long queues at check-in and security, waiting for boarding and an almost 2h long flight are bound to unsettle a normally relaxed baby. Also I don't know how breastfeeding on a plane will work and I really don't want to be sat on a plane with a baby that will cry or possibly even scream from take-off to landing.

Do you have any experience of flying with a baby? How did you cope and do you have any tips or secret techniques that relax us all and make the flight appear like 5 minutes?


  1. The key is to stay calm and relaxed so that the baby is too, have a list of everything you need and be very organised with liquids in clear zippable bags before you leave the house and don't forget one or two of her favourite toys. We flew with LittleT to see my family when she was about 6 months old. We had a bottle ready AND a dummy ready both for take-off and landing, that way she could choose one or the other plus she would be fed before the drive home once at the other end. It's important for them to be sucking on something at take-off and landing. Breastfeeding while taking on and off would be a good idea but the contraption they give you may make that a bit awkward, it's a baby seatbelt that attaches to your seatbelt, if you're not confident on how to use it, just ask them to talk you through it or strap it for you.

    What I did was research all the essentials that LittleT needed on a daily basis and find the equivalent brands over there and my parents had everything ready: nappies, formula, steriliser, cot and even clothes for her that we then brought back (grandparents and all that...). Babies don't have a hand luggage allowance so I bought a rather big changing bag where I put lots of nappies, bottles, muslin squares, blanket, a couple of changes of clothes for her (basically I doubled everything I would take in the changing bag on a trip out), my laptop and even a few of my clothes and my husband carried a cabin suitcase with wheels, we didn't bother taking many clothes for us and I just used my mums face creams and toiletries while there, even asked them to have toothbrushes ready for us, had to take my contact lenses liquid though. The fact that we had everything waiting for us over there just made everything so much easier and there was a lot less to pack.

    We also only took the baby carrier and my dad was waiting for us with an inexpensive stroller at the other end.

    Since you're breastfeeding you don't have to worry about formula or anything like that so that makes it even easier.

    The one thing I would say is, LittleT slept through both flights, however a few hours after arriving in Spain she threw up everywhere and a few minutes after landing in the UK she did the same, so have a change of clothes or more! She was fine as soon as she had vomited, it's the change of pressure that does that to them.

    We flew with Ryanair and no one wanted to sit next to us because we had a baby so we put Teresa in the seat between us and well protected on one side and she just slept.

    Hope that helps! It's actually really easy and she will probably surprise you by sleeping through it!

  2. I've done long haul flights with both babies, the youngest I've taken was 10 weeks, London to Sydney via Kuala Lumpur. I've never had a problem breastfeeding with the baby seatbelt on, and would definately recommend it. If you have room, a spare top for you in the carry on is a good idea, especially if you have a sicky baby (both of mine have been greedy pigs who drank double what they needed then sicked the extra back up)

    Biggest tip (and the one I wish someone had told me when I travelled with Geekling#1) is get a mei tai or woven wrap. Practice before you fly. I found a mei tai easier in airports and a woven wrap better for actually on a longhaul flight, for walking round the plane and using as a blanket. Actually, if AMy is only 5 months a stretchy wrap would still be OK, but if you are buying one, then you'll get more use out of a woven.

  3. We are only flying for about 1.5h, so not that long, so hope she'll be good for us. Will definitely take some spare clothes ;)

  4. Thanks for all your tips. I will sure stick to them x



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