Flying can be a hassle without a small baby, but with one it can seem like a triathlon. On top of making your gates and packing your bags to just under 50 pounds, you have the unwanted position of “the baby that always cries’” mother. The strange sounds, ear popping, and weightless sensation can be overwhelming for a little one. But don’t cancel those tickets now! You can make airplane travel a breeze with a few easy tricks and a little airport savvy.
One way to avoid discomfort for your baby is simply getting them to sleep through the entire flight. This may sound a bit far-fetched, but with a little sleep schedule manipulation you can ensure sweet dreams while soaring. Schedule your flights around your babies’ normal nap time if possible to not disrupt sleeping habits, but if this isn’t possible, it shouldn’t take too long to get back into a regular schedule. If your baby doesn’t fall asleep until in the air, don’t worry, a little sleepiness is perfect for takeoff. Yawning will be a handy tool to pop those tense ears.
Naps can’t always be counted on so you should always be prepared for takeoff with a bottle or Sippy cup. The sucking action will help to pop your little one’s ear quickly. It will also help to calm them down with the loud possibly scary noises of the plane. This method may seem a little outdated with today’s liquid security measures: there is no way you are getting a drink on board. No fear, just bring an empty Sippy cup and buy juice or water past the door. A pacifier, if you use them, can also serve the same function.
A Comfortable Carriage
Let’s face it, hold a squirming baby is no fun, for them or you. For your next plane trip, consider bringing along the car seat. Surprisingly, for a price, you can bring your baby in his or her car seat. While this costs more, it allows your child to rest comfortably for the flight. You can hold the seat in your lap or purchase an additional seat. I recently flew home from Europe and on these long flights you are able to request in flight cribs in certain seats. Obviously this takes a little preparation to get the correct seats, but once this is done you may procure a crib which fits comfortably in front of you. They seemed comfortable to me, and the peaceful snoring I heard made me think the babies agreed as well.
Flights are tricky things and chances are that you will get stuck at least once on the tarmac. This could be two minutes or it could be two hours, either way you should come prepared. Pack extra diapers, snacks, a few favorite (but small) toys, and, most importantly, extra clothes for both of you. While this isn’t just for a long tarmac wait, it is invaluable to a flight. There is absolutely no person alive who likes to sit next to a soiled baby or spit-up covered mommy. This can be especially bad on a held up plane because there is little to completely no A/C on an immobilized plane. Pack an extra outfit for baby and T-shirt for yourself, just in case.
All of these tips will not guarantee a tear free flight, but it will enable you to handle whatever drops out of the sky without a crash landing.