If you've just popped out a little cherub, the thought of traveling abroad probably doesn't spring to mind. But wait! Don't throw away your bucket list quite yet. With some preparation, travelling with your baby can be an easy ride.
But when is it safe? What do you need to pack? How can you stop people glare fireballs at you on board? Let me help calm those nerves with this guide.
The Age Old Question
At what age should a baby take their first flight? Sure, they’ve been living in the closest thing to complete comfort up until now but that’s all about change. Some doctors say six months is old enough and some airlines set three weeks as their minimum age requirement.
It's best to ask your paediatrician before making any decisions since every baby is different and may not develop consistently according to milestones.
Apparently being super cute isn’t enough proof of identity when crossing borders. Your child will require their own passport even if swaddled from head-to-toe while carrying ten toys (believe me).
You don't have time or want stress with last-minute rush fees so make sure everything is confirmed well ahead of time by checking out requirements on official government websites.
- Make color copies and digital backups of passports.
- Keep one printed copy stored safely in case of emergency.
Safety First... As Always
Firstly check into airline policy regarding specific travellers’ car seats because typically children under 40 pounds are required to sit in FAA-approved restraint kits during take-off/landing phases but after that it comes down to whether or not parents feel safer letting them nap upside-down!
Opting for those cool family couches which convert into beds however may slap an extra charge onto your ticket ta-daaaah(hate those!).
What to Pack
You’re already attempting to carry your weight in baby gear so it’s essential that you pack wisely. Here are some things not to forget if don't want the "I left my glasses at home" regret.
- Diapers - 8 hour flight and even half a day's worth will vanish with higher altitudes!
- Formula, bibs or burp cloths.
- An extra outfit for both baby and yourself (a personal poo-nami experience)
- Pacifiers or teething toys.
- Blankets, thermals...whatever warmers do what they think will work best!
Pack everything else here except sharp objects like nail clippers; undigested fluids such as breast milk/formula may explode under pressure too which wouldn’t look great on baggage reclaim!
Check & double check all important paperwork is packed because way back when human brains didn’t have snapchat memory storage built-in by design.
Handling Your Baby
Let their politeness speak volumes…rather than screaming bloody murder before boarding has even begun. But then again babies are unpredictable creatures right?
It's important that infants stay hydrated during flights - most doctors suggest feeding them whenever they express need throughout duration of journey. That way, it'll help prevent ear pain from change of cabin air pressures.
Remember maintaining hand hygiene is equally vital since kid kisses + sneezes = no holiday fun for anyone.
Dealing with Fellow Flyers
There was once a time where ‘prior warning’ meant calling ahead from landlines however nowadays people can plan via apps & social media exchanges but this doesn’t mean everyone will be expecting cranky cries throughout their selected re-runs of Friends.
Assuming guilt usually only results in guilty behaviour so simply approach those seated around you prior beginning appreciating every single scratch or nasal crinkle made by little ones well-dressed friends.
Landing - What Comes Next
It can become tempting sniffing newborn’s head to produce brain hormone responsible for happiest mood levels (dopamine) while plane lands, but don’t forget about post-flight conditions.
Stressors such as jetlag may manifest itself in different ways so observe your little bundle of joy closely and take it nice & slowly.
Like oil and water, airports require paperwork since they vary depending on destination. Therefore if flying internationally then you might need supporting documentation such as birth certificates which are not stand-alone passports mentioned earlier.
Make sure all vaccinations recommended or mandatory by specific countries are covered before reaching customs though medical experts advise against exposing children too young to unfamiliar health risks; that being said most tourist areas have adequate facilities already in place.
A Final Note
Don't let the idea of traveling with a baby distort what's meant to be a unique experience. It can be an enjoyable adventure but just keep some realistic expectations (especially when trying to barely walk up airplane aisle). Blending new life adjustments with interests isn't easy without healthy dose of laughter thrown into mix!