Surviving a long-haul flight with a baby or toddler. A Hypnobirthing Mum’s Tips
Today’s blog is a little different from my normal blogs as I tend to write about birth preparation however, I have just come back from the most fabulous holiday and I thought I’d pass on my tips for surviving a long-haul flight with a baby/toddler. Our flight was 10.5 hours which is a pretty long time for a nearly 2-year-old to keep calm and happy in a confined space. As my little boy hadn’t turned two he didn’t get his own seat which was quite challenging!
Tip 1 – Call your flight provider and reserve a bassinet seat
These seats are usually in the middle section of the plane near the doors. They have extra leg room, so if you have a crawling or walking baby they have room to stretch out and play. They also have what looks like a pull-down changing table that smaller babies (up to approx. 12 months) can lay out on. Check with your provider as the use of the bassinet will depend on the child’s weight. Also, it is likely if it’s a big plane you’ll be seated with other families with babies so you will all be in the same boat! My little boy was too big for the bassinet but we did bring a pillow which he sat on to give mummy’s lap a break.
Tip 2 – Bring a pillow
Leading on from the previous tip a pillow is a godsend on a flight. This can be used as a comfy aid to lay baby on, on the floor or to save your legs a bit if baby is on your lap. I used it to pop my elbow up when my son had a 5-hour long sleep on me.
Tip 3 – Feed baby on take off and landing
Breast or bottle fed if you feed baby during take off and landing the sucking motion helps their ears to pop. However, if they do get sore ears don’t worry too much about any associated crying. The crying will also help relieve pressure in their ears!
Tip 4 – Take snacks, snacks, and more snacks
If your baby is already on solids take plenty of snacks. This will give you a few minutes piece as they tuck into a box of raisins. Snacks can be a great diversionary tactic as well if they start to get a bit fidgety or worked up.
Tip 5 – Take plenty of books and toys
Take some easy to pack books. If your little one has a couple of favorites keep them aside for a week or so. Then when you take them out on the flight they will be extra happy to see them again. Take a few new toys. They don’t have to be expensive (I took an aeroplane Duplo set) but something new might keep their attention for a little longer. On our flight back we were sat next to another family with a 15-month-old. Both babies ‘shared’ their toys for about an hour!
Tip 6 – Entertainment, bring your own or use the in-flight entertainment
Most flights have in-flight entertainment. Our flight had a kids section with Pepper Pig and Finding Dory to name a couple. My little one is not interested in TV but I am sure this would have been useful if he was. Alternatively, I would recommend putting some of their favorite programmes on a tablet or smartphone.
Tip 7 – Breath!
I think my final tip is the most important. If your baby decides to scream the house down take a deep breath and don’t panic. This is a different environment for them, they are restricted in terms of space and stimuli it is likely they will cry at some point! Don’t worry about what other people think. You are trying your best and guess what, babies cry it’s how they communicate. Remember you are either going on or coming back from a fabulous holiday where you will have or have had the chance to spend quality time with your baby and make memories that will last a lifetime. It is highly likely you will never see these people again so who cares if your babies screaming interrupts their in-flight viewing.
Top traveling tips from Ruth the Hypnobirthing Teacher at Bucks and Berks Hypnobirthing
Thanks for reading: Surviving a long-haul flight with a baby or toddler. A Hypnobirthing Mum’s Tips
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