A Handy Guide to Flying with a Baby for the First Time
If you’re going on vacation for the first time with your baby, you’re probably feeling some pressure. What if they don’t adjust to the altitude? What if they cry the whole time and you get irritated looks from those around you? Flying with young kids can be difficult, but you shouldn’t be intimidated. It can be a lot easier if you stick to a few rules of thumb:
Crying is Inevitable – It’s Also Okay
Flying in an airplane must be extremely unsettling if you’re a baby. Anybody that puts themselves in the baby’s tiny shoes should understand that crying is probably inevitable. It’s also likely that people around you will be a bit annoyed by it, but try to not care. For some people, switching off the ability to worry about what other people think about you can be difficult.
If you get very affected by this, consider bringing some small treats or snacks to give to your immediate neighbors as a pre-emptive apology to demonstrate that you’re not being blind to their experience, but it’s something that can’t be helped.
Go for Morning or Night
When you’re looking for a flight time, if possible you should book one that’s either very early or around bedtime. In an ideal world, your baby will drift off to sleep intermittently. To stave off your baby waking up and crying sporadically, have a bottle (or breast) on hand to offer comfort whenever they start.
In fact, it’s recommended that you give your baby a feeding while you’re taking off and landing. This is because sucking and swallowing can help to rebalance the pressure difference and popping ears, which can be a source of great discomfort to a baby as they can’t rationalize the pain.
Keep Familiarity in Mind
It’s important that your baby’s stress is kept as limited as possible. One way to help with that is to keep their surroundings as familiar as you can. Wrap them in their favorite blankets on the flight and keep their line of vision focused on you.
You should also drive to the airport whenever possible as your own car is a more familiar environment. Airport parking can be a nightmare but nowadays, it doesn’t always have to be expensive due to parking tech solutions like ParkON that can give you significant savings.
Pack spare clothes for you, your baby, and your partner if they’re present. You might feel that this is over-preparing, but you do not want to endure a 10-hour flight with a baby sick on your clothes and neither will your seat neighbors.
Flying with a Baby for the First Time: After the Flight
After the flight, you’re likely to experience jetlag if you’re flying to a different time zone. What you may not know is that your baby can also experience jetlag too and find it a bit hard to adjust. You should make sure that you and your baby get fresh air and exposure to daylight as it helps everybody adjust. If they’re getting too sleepy, you should have some activities prepared to help to keep them awake during the day so they can adjust to their new sleeping schedule.