As you guys may have seen on the latest Vlog, we spent the Summer back home with our families in England – and it was Honor’s first visit to the UK. I was super nervous for the trip over – not only was it Honor’s first time on a plane, but it was a long-haul flight (about 10 hours total). I worried that she wouldn’t sleep, that she would be uncomfortable from the pressure changes and teething, that we would disturb other passengers with her crying, changing her in the small airplane loo, and a whole slew of other mum concerns! Thankfully she was an absolute dream (although her jetlag wasn’t – more on that below!), and we learned so many helpful tips for traveling with a baby that I’m excited to share with you today. Watch the full video below, and don’t forget to share your tips in the comments!
Baby Travel Tips:
-When traveling internationally, book a flight that takes off around bed time if possible, so that they’ll already be sleepy.
-Request the bassinet seat at the front of the plane, which has a pull-out crib. Most airlines won’t let you reserve this ahead of time, but you can get it on check in. I took a sheet to place under Honor, as I expected the bassinet could possibly be dirty. I also took a little baby mattress, and a lightweight breathable ‘roof’ that clips onto the bassinet, blocking out light and most sound. It worked a treat and I highly recommend it.
-If it’s a short flight or there’s no bassinet at all, request an aisle seat because you’ll be up and down a lot.
-Feed your baby during takeoff and landing (a pacifier will also work), as it helps ease ear pain from cabin pressure.
-Don’t forget that you will need a passport for your baby if you’re traveling out of the country. For domestic flights, a birth certificate will suffice.
-Take extra of anything that you have to sanitize (bottles, etc), because this is pretty impossible mid-flight.
-Take extra food sachets, and formula, in case of delays.
-Include baby medical items in your carry-on, such as a thermometer, baby pain relief (Baby Tylenol or Calpol) and a homeopathic remedy that really works for Honor’s teething, Camilia.
-Take a diaper for every hour of the flight, plus extras – this may be overkill, but better safe than sorry!
-Don’t bother dressing baby in cute outfits for the plane – their PJs are easiest and comfiest. Take extra onesies, and extra tees for mum and dad too, in case of accidents.
-Try not to worry about other passengers judging you if baby cries – we had a mix of people being nice, and not so nice! But you’re doing your best, so try to keep a sense of humor if all goes wrong, you’ll get to your destination eventually!
For Your Destination…
-If you’re breastfeeding, try to stick to your normal feeding schedules (even while on the plane – apart from take off and landing) so that you don’t risk lowering your milk supply. I was amazed at how much jetlag and dehydration depleated my milk supply.
-Buy travel insurance for the family. Many credit card companies provide complimentary insurance, so look into your coverage a few weeks before takeoff.
-When you make it to your location, find out where local ER or doctor/hospital is (just in case)
-If you’ll be there for an extended period of time, look into local nannies and babysitters – a lot of hotels have childcare service too, and you can vet nannies online ahead of time.
-Cribs are usually provided by hotels, but use an unwashed sheet from your baby’s crib at home to cover it – the familiar smell calms them.
Stuff To Take
Cozigo sleep cover
Skybaby baby mattress – better for newborns up to 5 or 6 months, use your own mattress cover if not
Sapling organic cotton onesie
A few extra tees for mum and dad in case of mess
Baby crinkle book, teether
Rebecca Minkoff floral diaper bag
Disposable changing mats
Camilia teething relief
Honest Company mini soap and hand sanitizers
Baby Bum SPF
Mother’s milk and formula (can go through security, though they may test it)
Sound machine (or use the apps on your phone)
Baby Bjorn travel crib
Dealing With Baby Jetlag
-Ease them slowly into the new country’s timezone. So naps might be a little off for the first few days. However it’s important they don’t sleep most of the day, as then you’ll have difficulty getting them to sleep at night. As wrong as it seems to wake a sleeping baby, you might have to in those first few days.
-Be prepared to be up with them in the middle of the night. Honor got hungry at odd hours or was simply not tired, so a simple cuddling-and-rocking wasn’t going to get her back to sleep. Mackenzie and I fed her whenever she was hungry, even if it was off her schedule, and played with her (with soft voices and very low light) until she got tired again.
-Follow their lead, both for feeding and sleep. Supplement with formula if necessary.
-Drink tons of water to keep up your milk supply, just in case your feeding schedule gets thrown off. Try to pump at your usual intervals, if that’s part of your own schedule.