What every new parent should know about flying with baby

November 29, 2018
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    When you have a baby, it doesn’t mean your travelling days are over. Here are tips that will make your journey smoother and more stress-free.

    We can’t guarantee your trip will be perfect (babies, as you know, are unpredictable), but it will be decidedly more pleasant.

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  • Bring his favourite things
    2 / 10 Bring his favourite things

    You’re heading to a foreign place, so it’s natural that your young child will feel more insecure and unsure of his surroundings. Bring along a favourite blanket, pillow, teether or rattle — the familiar objects will soothe him a little.

    Books, snacks and toys can also serve as a distraction when he starts to get cranky on the plane. These will be a real godsend when that happens.

    Related: Mum robbed while on holiday with baby: We were left with nothing!

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  • Check airline’s requirements
    3 / 10 Check airline’s requirements

    If you have a baby travelling with you, the 100ml restriction for liquids, aerosols and gels in carry-on luggage do not apply for baby’s milk, medicine and food. You’re also allowed to bring milk powder onboard, as well as hot water in a flask. Just present them at the security checkpoint.

    Most flights should provide warm water too, if you request for it. But best to double check with the airline, to be sure.

    Related: Travelling in Bhutan with 1 year old: How this family did it

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  • Use a carrier and backpack
    4 / 10 Use a carrier and backpack

    Make sure you reach the airport early, so you have ample time to check in and clear security. To make the process a breeze, make sure you’re hands-free by putting baby in a carrier and using a backpack diaper bag.

    Once you’re through, try to play with your child and tire him out, so he can fall asleep more easily on the plane.

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  • Before you board
    5 / 10 Before you board

    Change your baby’s diapers just before you board so you don’t have to wrestle with that in the plane’s tiny bathroom (barring any poop incidents). Needless to say, bring along a changing mat and wet wipes.

    Tip: Be one of the last few people to board, because you don’t want to be stuck with an angsty baby in close quarters with nowhere to run.

    Related: These Singapore kids have been travelling around the world since they were babies

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  • Be prepared
    6 / 10 Be prepared

    Pack extra clothes because you never know when there’d be a poop explosion or a puking disaster. If weight is an issue, bring your own baby-safe laundry detergent so you can do your own washing. Pack enough diapers to last at least two days so you have time to get more at your destination.

    If your baby is bottle-feeding or if you are breast pumping, bring along baby-friendly dish-washing liquid and sterilising tablets. Simply wash your bottles, teats and breastfeeding equipment with warm soapy water, dissolve a tablet in a non-metallic container filled with cold or lukewarm water (giant ziplock bags work too) and pop your items in. They should be ready for use in 15 to 30 minutes (depending on the brand).

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  • Give baby something to suckle during take-off and landing
    7 / 10 Give baby something to suckle during take-off and landing

    If you’re still breastfeeding, get your nursing cover ready and latch your baby as soon as you feel the plane pick up speed for lift off or prepare for landing. The sucking motion will help relieve painful air pressure.

    Alternatively, a pacifier or bottle-feeding your baby works too, but make sure your baby is relatively upright when he is using the bottle.

    Related: This Singapore couple’s Taiwan holiday with their baby – on a motorbike!

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  • Soothe baby on plane
    8 / 10 Soothe baby on plane

    We suggest picking an aisle seat, because you’d want to be able to pop in and out of your seat easily to change diapers or soothe your baby. In fact, consider choosing seats on opposite sides of the aisle, so you and your spouse can take turns.

    Take baby for a walk along the aisle to calm him down, or put him in a carrier and make rocking movements to send him to sleep. Patting, singing and talking in a low soothing voice can help, too.

    Related: Travelling with babies and toddlers? Top tips and activities to keep them happy

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  • Go according to baby’s schedule 
    9 / 10 Go according to baby’s schedule 

    For flights, opt for a morning one near baby’s nap time. Babies tend to fuss more as evening approaches, so if you pick a late flight, you’d run the risk of having to put your baby down for bedtime way past his bedtime, which can mean only one thing — good luck with that.

    Your baby will usually require naps every two to three hours, so make sure your travel activities are scheduled around that. Plan for one or two activities in the morning before heading back to your hotel for baby to nap.

    Once he is refreshed, there’s less likelihood of a meltdown during evening activities. Bring along a pram or carrier for baby to catch a few winks, but outdoor naps are usually short and non-restorative. Remember: A tired baby is an angry baby!

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  • Pack mini goodie bags for fellow travellers
    10 / 10 Pack mini goodie bags for fellow travellers

    We all know how nightmarish it can be to be cooped up in a plane or a restaurant with a shrieking baby. A small gesture to those around you may soothe the pain, or at least, make them more forgiving.

    Include earplugs, a sleeping mask, snacks and a handwritten note expressing your appreciation. It’s bound to make them feel better about the whole experience.

    (Photos: Shutterstock)

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