Anticipating what may happen is of utmost importance when traveling with a 5 months old baby. Be it flying alone or with a partner, your baby’s health and comfort is on top of the priority list and it requires a bit of planning. I never thought I would plunge into the idea of traveling ALONE with a baby, and definitely not with a 5 months old baby. I recently did a 14-hour international flight followed by a 2-hour domestic flight. Here are some tips that might help you if you are planning to travel with your baby.
Before you start dreaming of exotic food or a white, sandy beach, you have to book a ticket to reach your destination.
Firstly, choose front row. It’s the only place where they can hang a bassinet for your baby. Secondly, choosing the right seat can make the flight more stress free. I vote aisle seat. It was easier for me standing up; reaching for and checking my bub and preparing milk. I am mix feeding. I breastfed with ease sitting at the aisle seat as there was more space. I don’t personally like the window seat as it limits me from moving freely. I think I’ll only do that if I am traveling with my partner sitting next to me.
GET A BASSINET
Call the airline and ask if they can offer you a bassinet or not. Having your baby sleeping in the bassinet will save your energy for other things before you finally reach your final destination.
WHEN TO FLY
In my view it makes a difference whether you fly with your baby at night-time or daytime. My baby was very easy to handle when we flew in the evening as he was already asleep before take-off. There was no crying. I just massaged the back of his ears so he didn’t feel the pressure.
However, we flew to our last destination VERY early in the morning. When we arrived at our destination he was already very active as it was lunchtime. I could not massage the back of his ears because he was all over the place, screaming, kicking, crying. He didn’t want the dummy, he wouldn’t eat so the final 5-10 minutes of the flight wasn’t a joy. It was horrible.
Babies are different. Some babies would love a morning flight because that’s when they are well rested and happy. Others are comfortable at night time as they will just go to sleep.
TIP: If your baby loves dummies – take-off is the best time to make use of that thing! This is its ultimate job, help baby balance the pressure in their ears during take-off and landing.
Check in early if you can. Ask the ground personnel if they can offer you the “best seat for you and your bub”. Meaning, aisle or window seat; where you have space and they can hang a bassinet, & if possible empty seat next to you if you are travelling alone. Mads and I were so lucky on his first flight as we had the entire row to ourselves.
Mads, my baby was 5 months and 1-day old during his first flight. I was travelling with him on my own. What would make our trip to Philippines easier than a foldable stroller I could handle with one hand? So a day before our flight we bought a YOYO BABYZEN stroller. It’s amazing! It’s stable, foldable with one hand, can be stored in the overhead cabin, and just convenient for travelling. This is so far our best buy.
NOTE: The stroller is recommended for use from 6 months of age above. Mads was just 5 months old. But we did so many tummy times that he was already good with lifting his own head at 5 months. Please don’t risk your baby’s health for your convenience.
Mads had all his vaccines at 8 weeks, 12 weeks and 16 weeks done before his first flight.
If you can! Consider not to pack a week supply of diaper if you can buy some at the destination. It’s just a waste of space in your luggage!
Take advantage of this privileged! Don’t you have always wanted to board the plane first? Your baby is the key.
The most important but maybe the one that is taken for granted. At this stage babies love to chew on everything. Cloths, their own fingers and feet, linens in the bassinet, in short anything they get their hands on. They also love touching and exploring everything in the plane! Place your water wipes in the seat pocket in front of you so it’s on your reach. Wipe baby’s hands and toys to avoid hygienic problems later like infection that could give fever. That’s the least that you would want on a vacation!
THE SUPERMOM IS ALWAYS READY!
Again, I was travelling alone with my baby. The moment I reached my seat, I took out all the necessary things during the flight so I can refrain from opening the overhead cabin back and forth. What I had in front of me throughout the 14 hours flight: formula, müslin, dummies, disposable blanket for nappy changing, bottle of water and t-shirt for me, 3 diapers, wet wipes, one set of clothe for Mads, 2 toys he can chew on, nursing clothe, and my wildbird sling.
MY CHECKLIST ON WHAT TO BRING
- Baby clothes (according to the weather)
- Milk (powder or ready to drink)
- Feeding bottles
- Baby carrier/ Sling
- Wet wipes
- Diaper Bag
- Extra clothes for mom
- Nursing cloth when breastfeeding
- Water and food for mom
- Plastic for soiled clothes.
- Extra blanket for changing nappies.
Have you travelled with your baby? Any tips?