Here are a few handy tips for flying short-haul with a baby...
1) Don't book a 5pm flight. Seriously! For some reason, we thought getting on a plane with a 3.5 month old at Witching Hour was a good idea...
This photo above captures the moment I realised how stupid this idea was. My daughter was screaming and I had to resort to tearing off my t-shirt and covering her with it to try and calm her down (my baby was easily overstimulated and after 4pm had zero tolerance for anything and everyone - especially a crowded airport.)
Luckily covering her up worked and she slept for the rest of the flight... Crisis narrowly averted and lesson well learned.
2) Pack a spare change of clothes for baby, and maybe even for yourself. There's nothing worse than being 10 minutes into the flight and feeling something damp on your leg, then lifting up your 5 month old to find their pants (and yours) are covered in fluorescent baby poo from a nappy explosion...
3) When you're checking in, find out if the flight is full. If it's not, ask nicely if you can have the seat next to you blacked out (especially if you and baby are flying alone.) Most of the time the staff are super accommodating.
4) Breastfeeding on take-off and landing is a good idea to help babies equalise their ears. If you don't breastfeed, then offering a bottle or dummy is a good idea.
5) Don't stress. Really, what's the worse that can happen? Your baby screams the whole flight? It's not fun and it might mean a few hours of hell for you and those around you, but that's just life with a baby sometimes. Parents need to travel too! So don't let this fear stop you from flying. Especially because once your baby is a toddler you will look back and wish you had taken more trips before they were mobile!
Georgina Dowden is a mother, midwife and lactation consultant (IBCLC).
In her day to day life, she looks after her two beautiful children and also supports other families on their parenting journey.
If you would like to get in touch sleep/settling support, click here:
Home visits for breastfeeding support available if you live in the Northern Rivers of NSW.