Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Flying with a Baby

I obviously can't pretend to be an expert on travelling with a baby when I've only ever flown with her twice, but I thought I'd share the things I learned and found helpful. I have to say, we were lucky that Ruby slept for the entire time on our way to England and at least for half of the flight on our way home.

{happy parents, sleeping baby}

Some of this advice depends on which airline you're flying with. As we were briefed on flying with an infant, the flight attended told us that during takeoff and landing, the baby had to be upright in the burping position (facing backwards, over a shoulder). Well, there went my plans to nurse her on takeoff/landing. On our flight to the UK, I nodded but since she didn't come back, I still nursed her on take off. On our returning flight, I listened and nursed her until we were taxiing, then moved her into position for take-off and she was A-OK. Just be ready to nurse the baby or give them a soother once you're in the air in case their ears did pop.

Since there was a chance I couldn't nurse her upon landing (let me tell ya, it's difficult to time that out when your baby wakes up hungry and it isn't quite time to descend), we brought out the soother. Ruby is funny with soothers and sometimes she wants nothing to do with it. But, ya know what? Even if she's playing with it in her mouth, it still makes her swallow and it helped her little ears from popping. So even if your baby won't take the soother, bring one and just hold it in while they move it around. It works :)

{unimpressed with the soother, but hey, no ears popping!}

Make sure to have diapers and wipes within reach so you don't have to do too much juggling when the baby needs a change. Again, depending on your airline and plane, some (like the one we were in) have one larger washroom that makes things a lot easier for changing a baby. Also, get your spouse to do it (I'm too nervous about hitting turbulence with the baby while in the washroom, so Nick did all the diaper changes - lucky me).

Last tip (advice from my lovely cousin) is to bring your breastfeeding pillow. Yes, you have to drag it around the airport, but once you're seated, the baby is comfy and it leaves your hands free so that you can eat, read a book, etc. I can't imagine having to just hold the baby in my arms for a 7 hour flight! The pillow was definitely worth it and even the flight attendants were impressed.

Hopefully some of these tips are helpful for anyone ready to travel with an infant. The anticipation of the flight was much worse than actually living it :)

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