Jumping on a jet plane with a baby is a daunting thing to do. Whether it’s a short domestic flight or a long haul journey overseas…the feelings of nervous anticipation in the lead up the flight can leave any new Mum feeling anxious and worried.
For our first trip from Brisbane to the UK, Dan and I prepared for the worst. Literally three days before we took off our little monkey decided to start crawling. He’s also not the best at staying still, hates sitting in your lap and has the attention span of a goldfish.
We thought we were in for 24 hours of hell.
Here’s what really happened…and how we dealt with it.
Ever had trouble with your ears when taking off and landing? Imagine not being able to express it, other than wailing in pain. Yep, that’s what it’s like for a baby. Easiest way to deal with it? Breastfed or give them a bottle. The swallowing helps and will ease their pain.
Settling an unsettled baby
Trying to settle a screaming baby is tough at the best of times. Add the pressure of an entire flight full of people giving you side eyes or cursing under their breath, and it can become all too much. Just remember, most people have been there themselves at some point in their life…and the singles and young couples without a baby will probably have to deal with it one day too. The flight WILL end and it will soon become a distant memory.
Keeping a watchful eye
Gone are the days where a long haul flight meant watching one or two of the latest blockbusters, sipping a red and catching a bit of shut eye.
Regardless of whether your bub sleeps, one of you (if you’re lucky enough to be travelling with someone) has to stay awake at all times in case they fall out of the bassinet. Yep, it’s a thing…especially if you have a restless sleeper. Those things aren’t deep and one wrong move could see them taking a nose dive for the floor!
There’s no escape!
In all honestly, flying with a baby isn’t terrible…it will be as good or as bad as you make it out to be in your mind.
The thing about a plane is that there is literally no escape. You can’t just “pull over” or take your bub into another room. You’re stuck there in that aisle.
Get your head around it and you’ll be fine. Overthink it and it will be the longest 12 hours imaginable.
You’re allowed a few tears. It’s a tough gig and sometimes it will feel like time has stopped. The looming jetlag after arrival also doesn’t help, but like with everything you do as a parent, you’ve just got to push on. After all, a holiday awaits you on the other end of it!
If you’re still reading, you’re probably thinking it’s all doom and gloom. But I promise you, it’s not. Flying with a baby DEFINITELY has its upsides.
Jump the queues
No more waiting in those dreaded queues at the airport. If you have a baby in tow you’re a priority customer! We were lucky enough to skip to the front of the check-in and bag drop AND security! Plus, you get to board first. Winning!
Stretch those legs
Book early enough and you’ll be lucky enough to bag a bulkhead seat…AKA the best seat in the house (in economy at least). These seats give you so much extra leg room, we couldn’t even reach the wall with our feet when we stretched out. Luxury!
Trolley dolly love
Nothing makes you more attractive as a customer than having a cute baby in tow. The air hosts and hostesses will bend over backwards to make sure you and your baby are comfortable…it’s actually in their best interests to keep your baby quiet. I’m talking trays getting cleared first after eating, extra food and snacks, and entertainment for your little one. AND, if you’re desperate for the loo while your better half is snoring away, they’re happy to hold your little one and keep them safe.
This was basically our flights in a nutshell. For the most part, Benny was a little champ and surprised us with his adaptability, humour and stamina with each passing hour.
Questions about flying with a baby? Comment below to ask away!