Friday, August 10, 2012

International flying with an infant

With two long international flights under our belts, and a few domestic ones also, I feel like we may have some advice to offer those who are about to undertake it.  None of this is new information, it's spattered all over the internet, but here you go just the same:

1. Bassinet seats - they didn't work for us since Tegan is not a great sleeper and was pretty big by the time we flew back to the states.  If your little one can sleep on their own in new places though, make sure to reserve a bulkhead bassinet seat!  Airlines vary in their bassinet reservation practices.
2. Get a seat for the baby if you can, the extra space is invaluable.
3. We packed 2 diaper bags, one we kept at our feet and the other in the overhead as back up.  During layovers I restocked and rotated out toys.

4. Bring some favorite toys and some new ones to entertain.  Also, the seatbelt or safety card can be fascinating new objects to explore (side note: some safety cards are better laminated than others, check yours before your sweet one eats the corner off the first page).

5. Pre-boarding is great for getting your stuff on the plane without everyone breathing down your neck to get past you, but not an easy time to sit on the hot plane with baby waiting for takeoff.  If there are 2 of you, have 1 pre-board with all of the stuff and the other hang out with your tot and board towards the end.

6. Nurse, bottle, or pacifier on take-off and landing to help their ears.  We also used a straw sippy cup when Tegan wasn't into nursing.  I recommend waiting until the plane is speeding down the runway to take off before starting any of these otherwise they are done before you are in the air.  Nursing is tricky in those tight spaces - watch their head sticking out into the aisle!  Bonus - sometimes these things combined with the rumble of take off will put them to sleep.  On the way down we started once we noticed our own ears popping.
7. Those things you don't want them to do on a regular basis at home (watch TV, play with your phone, eat sweet puff finger foods)?  I say go for it on the plane!

8. When the seatbelt sign is off walk and stretch as much as you can - you never know when you will be in turbulence and for how long.

9.  Your baby will cry, it's ok.  Most people we've talked to say they feel for the parents more than anything else.

10. Some immigration/passport checks have special lines for pregnant women, families with children and elderly - look for them (Taiwan and Bangkok both have them).

11.  Bring a blanket to lay out and play on during layovers.
12. Find the other babies/kids on the flight.  Let the kids check each other out; commiserate with fellow parents.

13. High fives all around when you land - you made it!

1 comment:

  1. We've only done 1 international flight- but these are all really great suggestions! Way to go!