So it goes without saying that having flown for 9 years of my life I am pretty confident in the whole traveling abroad thing. However when I gave birth to my son I felt myself feeling extremely anxious with the idea of traveling with a newborn.
Throughout my flying career I had seen numerous mothers onboard struggling to settle their littles ones down and the mere thought of my baby screaming onboard in front of everyone terrified me.
However, as I gave birth in Dubai it was inevitable that I fly to Australia at some point and at just 3 months little Hamza had his first flight to Auckland, New Zealand and then another domestic flight to Sydney, Australia.
With a 16 hour flight time I was all nerves as I arrived at the airport. Thankfully my first time flying with a new born I had help as my husband was operating the same flight.
I had him in my favourite baby carrier https://zarparbebe.com.au and on my back was my https://papercliplife.com/, an essential item when traveling in my opinion due to its spacious interior and nappy changing table attachment.
Here is the list of my must have items when traveling with my newborn:
- nappies and baby wipes, not only are the wipes essential for obvious reasons but they also come in handy when you wipe down those nasty airplane surfaces, which I know you all do right?
- nappy changing pad, you can buy disposable ones at your local supermarket
- tissues, tissues and more tissues, obviously there will be some in the lavatories but I prefer to have mine on hand at all times for spillages and dribbles.
- always bring extra clothes for your little one, I had two onesies with short sleeves, one with long sleeves and an extra pair of pants and a jumper. Along with that I always carry spare mittens, socks, hat and blanket. MAKE SURE that you also pack an extra shirt for yourself, I learnt the hard way and walked out of the plane looking like a train wreck.
- I have a small zip bag that is filled with items such as; nappy rash cream, baby moisturising cream, a thermometer ( you never know when you might need to check his temperature when out and about so always have one with you even if you’re not traveling ), diaper bags, nail clippers, Paracetamol drops and Panadol, compressed towels, nursing cream and a few other bits and bobs.
- a breastfeeding blanket to cover up while breastfeeding in public
- extra pacifiers, I especially love the ones that you can attach to your baby so you’re not spending your whole flight reaching down to pick them up off the floor
- I also try to pump some breastmilk into a bottle before the flight so that during times where it might be difficult to breastfeed, such as takeoff and landing I have something to soothe him.
- breast pump ( if you use one ), I love my https://pumpables.co/
- any lightweight feeding set and baby food if your baby has started on solids, I also have a small bottle with drinking water and a spare bottle in case I need to pump on board
- It goes without saying that you should also pack things for you such as; chargers, a small book to read, lip balm etc
The biggest tip I can give you is to prepare, prepare and prepare. Give yourself plenty of time to sit down and write a list of what you will need inflight so you don’t find yourself in tears onboard because you forgot to bring an extra onesie after an explosive nappy situation. Seriously though …. DO NOT FORGET! ><
Now I know that the next tip of mine might seem a bit extreme and is not always manageable but I found that it helped me a few times. That is try to book your flight according to your babies nap time. For example, if you’re taking the redeye flight then try to get a flight that departs during your babies bedtime. I am aware that not all of us are able to have a consistent bedtime for our little ones but if you do notice any kind of sleep trend then use that to your advantage where possible.
Now as this is my first born these are the items that I personally found made my flights easier but please feel free to comment down below any other things that I may have forgotten so I can add them to my list next time I fly.
On most airlines where the flight time is 3 hours or more there will likely be a baby bassinet that you can ask for inflight, of course there are restrictions like height and weight of the baby, ( these vary from one airline to another ).
I was lucky enough to be in the bulkhead seat where the bassinet was available and so I would place Hamza inside whenever he wanted to sleep. Please bear in mind though that whenever the seatbelt sign comes on you MUST remove your baby from the bassinet. I know that the last thing you want to do when you finally got your little one to sleep is to wake them up but I’m also pretty certain that the ultimate last thing you would want is something to happen to your baby during turbulence.
Now a lot of you have reached out to me and asked me about takeoff and landing with my baby and how it was for us … thankfully so far he has taken it well and hasn’t caused such a scene due to the difference in pressure when landing, however I always made sure I was prepared with a bottle of milk or would try to time it so he would be hungry enough to breastfeed. It really helps them equalise the air pressure in their ears so that they’re not screaming franticly in your arms.
I honestly think that flying with your baby the younger they are the better, because as a newborn they aren’t very active yet and so you’re just having to feed them and insure they sleep, whereas the older they get the more curious and energetic they become and so dealing with that on board becomes a lot more ‘hands on’.
It goes without saying that you should always consult your paediatrician/doctor first before flying with your newborn to insure he is healthy enough to do so and that his vaccinations are up to date. But I do strongly encourage any Mums out there to fly with their babies and to not be afraid to do so.
It really is a wonderful experience, so don’t let the fear of the unknown stop you from taking that well deserved holiday or trip to visit your friends and family. You pushed a small human being out of you … so you got this one Mama!
As always, sending you so much love!
Love Jessica Cairney.