One thing I find a coping mechanism for my grief is to plan travel and adventures as I feel it gives us something to look forward to and a different focus for the future. So this weekend I’m spending a little time planning our travels for the first half of the year, which also include two family weddings on opposite sides of the earth!
I’m often asked how we can consider travelling to the other side of the world with an 8-month-old baby well we have done it before with Violet when she was just 7 months old. I can highly recommend you travel with your baby’s while they are little, as even though they won’t remember the trip believe me the new experiences they will have and people they will meet will shape their personalities. You can like us take lots of photos to show them when they are older too.
If like us you unfortunately lose your baby at 15 months old then at least you will have more happy rich memories of them from travelling and spending more time together as a family. Priceless!
Anyway for those of you who might be considering taking my advice and travelling with your little ones here’s a blog post I wrote a few years ago after our first long haul trip with a baby Violet to New Zealand. I hope it inspires you to travel more in 2019!
Ten Top tips for flying with a baby
After travelling over 22,000 miles from UK to New Zealand and back via Singapore and Bali with a 7-month-old baby Violet in 2016 we now have some top tips for anyone flying with a baby.
Request a bassinet – If your airline is long haul then you should be able to request a bassinet for your baby which will mean you will need bulkhead seats so make sure you select these when checking in and choosing seats online. A bassinet will prove useful not just for when your baby sleeps but they can be propped up to play with toys too.
Outfit change – it goes without saying that you will have spare outfits for baby but make sure you have extra clothes for yourself in your hand luggage as there’s nothing worse than having to sit covered in baby vomit for the entire of take off/landing plus then 30 minutes of turbulence because the seat belt seat is still on.
Easily removable clothing – sleep suits and onesies we’d recommend for flying plus a zip up fleece or dressing gown anything snuggly and easy to remove. Layers and press studs are your friends.
Hats – we’d recommend packing a cotton hat for your baby as airline air conditioning can be fierce and surprisingly the vents seem to be above the bulk head seating so right near the bassinet.
Mini-change bag – if you’re on a long haul flight then a smaller change bag will be handier we bought one that was a mat that folded out with room for 2 nappies, wipes and change of clothing. It fitted into the seat pocket so saved time and easy to grab in a rush.
Extra muslin cloths – take the large ones as these are multi-functional serving as dribble wipers, blankets if baby gets chilly, a stand in change mat, sunshade or a scarf for mummy!
Lounge access – If you are flying long haul and transferring on your journey then it might be worth investing in the use of an airport lounge as this can make a big difference when it comes to heating milk, food and changing your baby in a relaxed environment. Often lounge access isn’t too pricey either if you book in advance.
On-board dining – Some cabin crew will have the good sense to ask you, if you’re travelling with another adult, if you’d like your meals to be staggered so you both get to eat by swapping baby duties. This is a great idea and why not ask if this is possible when you board the plane.
Hand sanitising gel or spray – these no water needed hand sanitisers are a god send when you are on an airplane and its difficult to access a toilet to clean up before food.
Toys, toys and lots of toys! Again it goes without saying but the more you have for your little one to do the better. We had a set of toys and books easily accessible for on board the first plane and another set in our other carry on so we could swap them over for the second connecting flight so she wouldn’t get bored.
Finally I advise you to relax – yes it sounds ridiculous to say this when you’re flying with a baby, possibly feeling totally stressed out like all evil eyes are on you the passenger from hell, but try your hardest to also make the journey as relaxing and as enjoyable for yourself, as your baby will pick up on your vibes so smile and see it as an adventure. Experience it through their eyes so the journey is exciting and new!
Happy flying! x