On Long Hell- I Mean, Long Haul Flights With Baby

Plie 100%

Adelyn, 7 hours into the flight on Malaysia Airlines

The almost 14-hour flight from London to Malaysia with our 9 month old daughter  (not to mention the 13-ish hours return) will forever be burned in my memory as The Ordeal or What Did I Do To Deserve This?

I had read that Night Flights are better “because your baby should sleep through the flight”…”Babies are lulled by the white noise of the plane”

The converse of that is that if your baby doesn’t take to flying not only is your baby really cranky and overtired and not sleeping, but YOU are also wide awake when your body and mind is telling you that you should be sleeping, trying to placate the wailing banshee that your bundle of cuteness has turned into.

But hey – your baby might be a great flyer.

For anyone who wants to be prepared for all outcomes though, read on!

Logistics

  • Dress your baby in layers and take an extra onesie. It gets cold on planes!
  • Heck, pack an extra top/set of bottoms for yourself too in case of messy havoc during the journey
  • Most airlines will let you wheel your stroller right up to the plane – when you check in, just make sure they know you have a stroller in case you need to be given a luggage tag.
  • You’ll be given a baby seatbelt once you’re seated – it’s just a mini-version of a normal airplane seatbelt that you loop onto yours. Even if you’re carrying your baby in a carrier already, you’ll still need to belt up the little one using the one issued by the flight crew.
  • If you requested the bassinet at check-in, it’ll be installed after take-off. The bassinet should have some sort of zippable band that runs across the width which acts as a sort of seatbelt when baby is lying down in it.

Things to Soothe

  • Calpol – (and a medicinal syringe to adminster) this was especially true on the return flight when Adelyn was still ill and feverish. If your baby is teething and cranky – you’ll also be glad of it.
  • Baby’s usual blanket/muslin for the bassinet – make this as homey as possible
  • Baby’s comforter
  • Teething toys

Things to Distract

  • A new toy or book (preferably things that don’t make noises though)
  • FOOD. If you need formula – take extra in case of delays/hunger/thirst. If your little one is weaned – for snacks, I recommend the Organix range of biscuits for low-mess, high-enjoyment, or the melon wedges that so often come with your meal tray.

Things to Just Make Life Easier On You, Tired Mumma

  • Anti-bacterial wipes – I see planes as germ incubators so, if you’re like me you’ll want to disinfect every surface within reach of your baby.
  • Eye Mask – for those moments where you are able to get some shut-eye
  • Nice hand/face cream – pamper thyself, feel human again
  • your preferred Baby Carrier – handsfree comfort for you, especially if you need to wander the aisle ad infinitum to comfort the little one.
  • If you’re breastfeeding, be sure to wear an easy-access top. Also it’s absolutely essential that you stay hydrated, so keep on drinking water.
  • Toy straps – handy popper-buttoned straps that you can use to quickly loop toys to e.g. the bassinet or the seatbelt, so that you don’t have to keep on picking up toys off of the floor when your baby lets go
  • a travelling companion – your partner, a grandparent, a friend, the nice person sitting next to you. If you have someone to share the journey with, it’ll just make life that little bit easier for you.

Any tips or questions for future journeys? I’d love to hear from you!