Babies on Airplanes

image001Planning an airplane trip with your baby can be a daunting thought, especially when memories of those days come to mind when a simple trip to the grocery store seems overwhelming. Most babies do not take to travelling via air as well as others do. Hence, the apprehension that comes with having a baby on board still stands on solid ground. This situation, however, can be worked out. Not all babies have trouble in travelling without creating a fuss. In most cases, it is the smaller ones that get uncomfortable and whiny when cooped up in small spaces or exposed to new surroundings. By preparing well in advance and following a few practical tips, you can ensure that travelling with your baby does not become a nightmare.

When Is It Safe to Take Babies on Airplanes?

For any new parent, having to travel with a baby may seem a horrific concept. However, there is no standard minimum age restriction when it comes to babies boarding planes. Rather, a baby’s minimum age is relative to every separate airline and can vary from 2 days to 2 weeks.

Many airlines have different rules when it comes to travelling with babies, concerning not only age but other matters, too. Some airlines make it imperative for the mother to present a note by a general practitioner that it is safe for them to travel. In some, a baby does not require a ticket at all and is allowed to travel free of charge. Other Airlines may charge a small percentage of the adult’s ticket.

The uniform rule is that your baby will need a passport to travel. This might take a few weeks to process so it is best to keep that in mind while planning your journey.

The biggest concern for a parent on board should be the passengers. This is not only concerning the fact that the baby might create a ruckus. Rather, it is important to note that your baby would be travelling with hundreds of other people. These people carry germs and diseases that your baby stands exposed to. It is best to keep these sanitation needs in mind whilst packing and to keep some extra precautionary items that keep your baby safe from new germs.

How to Take Care of Your Babies on Airplanes

1. Purchase a Ticket and Bring a Car Seat

The basic rule for having a baby on an airplane is to purchase a ticket and bring a car seat. This is integral knowledge for anyone travelling even the shortest of flights. Do not take this matter lightly even if you are travelling with a baby who can sit on your lap throughout the flight. This is imperative due to two reasons:

  • By bringing a car seat, you will be giving them an environment they are used to. When they are buckled up in them, they do not want to move around, play with things or make a fuss. It also helps them understand that they are locked in them and it could take a while before they get out of it. It helps them psychologically understand the concept of travel and helps them be comfortable through the flight.
  • While travelling anywhere, your baby’s safety should be your biggest concern. A car seat ensures your child’s safety in cases of turbulence or accidents.

Important Notes: Know How to Install a Car Seat

After you have brought the car seat and purchased a separate ticket for your baby, it is vital to know how to install that car seat. Your child is your responsibility and someone else might just misguide you. You cannot take that risk when it comes to something as important as your child’s safety. Research has shown that most babies who have suffered injury or loss of life in severe turbulence or accidents did not have car seats or they were not properly installed.

2. Opt for Airlines That Are Child-Friendly

This does not only concern airlines that do not have a stressed ground and cabin crew. Rather, the most child-friendly airlines are those that are well versed in child safety. In some cases, the aircraft personnel may misguide new parents and cause severe mishaps during the flight.

Some airports have an empty gate near the bathrooms that have changing facilities. These are places where you can leave your child to crawl around for a while when you have to use the bathroom. There are a few necessary facilities that some airlines may have that will make a big impact on your travel experience.

How Can You Keep Babies Calm During the Flight?

You can keep your baby calm during a flight in several ways. These simple steps can determine the difference between a good and a bad flying experience:

Methods

Descriptions

Stay calm

The baby derives its mood from you. If you remain cool and collected, there is a high chance that the baby will, too.

Give the baby a pacifier

Comfort your baby from the ear popping. You can also feed your baby on takeoff and at landing.

Wear your baby out

In this way, the baby will be too tired to create a fuss and will sleep for a portion of the flight.

Walk up and down the plane

If your baby is tired of sitting in one spot for hours, walk up and down the plane with it. This will help your baby to relax and have some fun. However, if your baby is crying and the walking does not help, then just sit down; you do not want to disturb the passengers.

According to your baby’s routine

Try to determine flights that play well with your baby’s routine and do not upset it.

Play with your baby

Think of the flight as uninterrupted playtime and an opportunity to spend some quality time together. Make use of this time to bond with one another.

Gaze out the window

Let your baby gaze out the window. The new sights and calming hum of the engine could be a good experience for your child.

What Supplies Should You Take for Your Babies on Airplanes?

While travelling with babies on airplanes, keep these supplies with you:

  • Take nappies, wipes, diapers and spare clothes for both you and the baby.
  • Baby food is available on the flight but take along something your baby is fond of.
  • Baby spoons.
  • The restrictions on liquids that you can take on a plane do not apply to baby food. You can take bottled breast milk, regular milk and formula with you.
  • Boiled water in a baby bottle.
  • A few favorite toys, a blanket or sheet that has a familiar smell for the baby.

Several Tips on Travelling with Babies on Airplanes

Apart from having the necessities, adopting the right attitude and carrying ample supplies, here are a few tips that might help your travel experience:

Tips

Descriptions

Courtesy

Your child doesn’t know what it is doing, but you do. They cannot be possibly aware of any inconvenience they are causing and cannot apologize for them. Make sure to do so on their behalf and be calm and rational at all times. The only thing worse than a crying baby is the parent that is indifferent to the disturbance the baby’s crying causes.

Plan in advance

While booking your tickets, do not forget to mention that you are travelling with a child. Mention that you will be bringing a car seat or a safety restraint for your baby. This will help the airline prepare in advance and give you a seat that will help your flying experience. It is usually preferable to have a seat by the window near the front since the back of the plane is noisy, uncomfortable, and vibrates more than the front.

Luggage

Travelling light is not an option when you are travelling with a baby. If you can find a check-in or skycap, then it is best to let them handle your luggage. Do not forget to tip them a reasonable amount. In case you do not find one, then make use of your stroller. Get a separate tag for it at the gate and drop it off at the last check-in. You will find it when you land along with your luggage.

Pack extra

While packing your baby’s food and milk, make sure to keep some extra at hand. This is to avoid any hassle at the security checks on the airport. Some airports ask you to taste the baby food at check-ins. Just make sure there is enough so that the baby does not go hungry after a few hours. Carry a two-day’s supply of everything.

Keep an eye on your baby

It is easy to lose your baby in the airport; it is easier to injure your child whilst lugging bags around. Keep your child out of harm’s way of any large bags that someone may accidentally smack it with. Besides, be wary of strangers who might accidentally drop a carry-on on them.

Prevent the ear popping

This can be a very uncomfortable experience for the child. Give it something to suckle on such as a pacifier or a bottle. This will keep your baby’s ear safe from pressure.

Change diapers

Changing diapers on a plane can be tricky. People do not like witnessing a diaper change in the cabin so it is best to do so in the lavatories. Do not change in the cabin unless there is a distance of at least three empty rows. If it is a short flight, wait. If it is a longer flight, then do not occupy the lavatories for a long time. Try to change fast, leave the lavatory clean and return to your seat.

If you want to get extra knowledge about more tips on flying with babies, you can watch the video below: