Monday, April 11, 2011

Flying with a Baby

Earlier this year, my family and I were in Lisbon for a long weekend and it was spectacular. It was the first trip with our new baby and we were a bit apprehensive about the flight and how she would deal with it.  Here are a few tested tips for flying with an infant.
  • Get to the airport on time - I'm always late. Not "forget it, she's not coming" late but just about 10- 15mins late. It's a horrible habit and though I've managed to keep it away from my professional life, my friends and family suffer till date. Add a baby to that equation and I'm a wreck. Rushing to the airport does not work because doing anything with a baby adds approximately 30 minutes to any schedule.
  • Take a baby carrier - No matter how small you baby is, you'll quickly get tired of carrying her around the airport. Any type of baby carrier or wrap which leaves your hands free is indispensable. If you are taking a long trip, you can have your stroller checked at the gate as a piece of luggage. Most airlines will check this free of charge.
  • Request a baby bassinet - This is only available on long haul flights but its so worth it to try to get a bulk head seat where the portable bassinet can be used. On KLM flights, the bassinet is attached to the wall in front of you and makes all the difference.  
  • Bring only one piece of hand luggage - Resist the urge to bring all her toys and books. For a typical 7 hour flight, all you need are 2 clothing changes for the baby (dress her in layers to adapt to cabin temperature), 2 small toys ( with low or no sound), 1 diaper for every hour of the trip, wipes, pre-measured formula powder in the bottle (the flight attendants will happily provide you with bottled water to mix it), swaddle/burp cloth and a extra top for yourself (because no one likes to smell like poo or throw up for 7 hours).  Also, bring a medium sized zip lock bag to store any stained clothing.  Stash your hand bag in your checked luggage and take only the bare minimum ( a comb, lip gloss, keys,wallet and passports)  which you can store in one of the many compartments in most good diaper bags.  
  • Feed the baby during take off and landing - This is to prevent ear pain and helps to soothe the baby.
  •  Bring a sense of humour - In spite of the best laid plans, sometimes life happens. Enjoy the time with your child!!!
Here are some of  my  "can't do without" travel essentials.  Do you have any thing you can't travel without ? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

1. DKNY Long Sleeve Cozy Sweater  2. Smythson Travel Clutch 3. Skip Hop Pronto Changer  4. Timi and Leslie Charlie Diaper Bag

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