| Posted by My Super Nanny
Are you flying overseas these School Holidays and not too sure if its safe yet to take your newborn baby quite yet?
It can be a scary feeling and your probably feel somewhat nervous if it is your first child, however, you can actually take your baby sky high at a very young age!
When is it safe?
Each airline has its own rules and sets a minimum age, which can range from two days to 14 days. Please not that for a premature baby this is usually counted from the due date, not the day they were born.
Please check with your airline ASAP as each airline is different some may require a letter from your GP saying that the baby is fit to fly before they will allow your newborn on board.
Always book in advance - know how your baby likes to feed and definitely be careful on what seat you book. You don't want to be trapped in a window seat unable to get past other passengers. Best to try and request the bassinet seats!
Does your baby need a passport?
If you’re heading overseas most definitely the baby needs its own passport. This can take some weeks to get so try and be orgnaised before your baby is born and check the photo requirements. Getting that picture with your baby’s eyes open, mouth closed and no hands of your own can be a difficult one to get!
Does the baby need its own ticket?
Yes. When booking your flight make sure you book a ticket for your baby. This doesn't mean the baby will have its own seat but they airline needs to be informed. Often where it asks you how many adults and children there will be a tab for infants (< 2). Some airlines allow babies under the age of two will fly for free but most airlines will charge a percentage of an adult fare.
When finalizing your ticket if you can reserve your seat now, do it! Try and book a bassinet seat so you can lie your baby down, especially if it is a long haul flight! If you can't reserve your seats check the earliest time for check in or check in online and put a reminder in your phone! Your seating will be a priority to you and your newborn! You don't want to be climbing over people when you are stuck in a window seat!
If you are unsure about reserving your seat call the airline and do it over the phone. They will also know which the best seats are and call again soon before you fly to confirm the seats are still booked!
Also note if you have two babies under the age of two you may not be able to travel with just one adult. Most airlines insist there is one adult with each baby.
Does your baby get check in baggage?
Each airline is different so you are best to call up and check. However, most airlines to realize a baby does not travel light but sometimes this still means you will have to sacrifice your hand luggage!
Or if you can it is best to pay for extra luggage allowance before checking in at the airport!
Most airlines will allow you do bring a nappy bag as an addition to your hand luggage. Remember to check in anything that is over 100ml. You don’t want to be throwing away baby products at the airport.
Please note these restrictions do not apply for baby food and milk.
These include :
- expressed breastmilk, formula or cows milk
- boiled water to make a feed )must be in baby bottle)
- baby food, including finger food
Make sure your carry-on bag includes:
- Wet wipes, nappies, and nappy sacks. Carry a small wash bag with them so you don’t have to haul your entire hand luggage to the loo.
- Several sterilised dummies, if your baby uses them.
- Your baby’s sheet and blanket as the smell can be comforting.
- Spare clothes. Also bring clothes for you in case you spill her drink in a spot of turbulence, or in case air travel increases the amount she dribbles.
- Baby spoons and bibs if your baby is on solids.
- A couple of favourite toys, and a new one, too.
- Muslin cloths to wipe up accidents and possets. They will also provide you with cover if you’re breastfeeding.
- Enough formula milk and food for the journey.
- A book or tablet for you, as your baby may fall asleep.
Fold-away umbrella pushchairs are not usually counted as part of your luggage. Make sure a luggage tag is put on the pushchair at check in, and attach your contact details. You should be able to let your baby ride in her pushchair right to the plane door. Then hand it to the cabin crew and collect it when you land.
The pushchair will have to be security-screened, which means your baby has to be taken out of it when you go through security.
How to keep your baby calm during the flight
Once on board, get yourself settled with everything within reach. Then try these tips to keep your baby calm and settled during the flight:
- Breastfeed or bottle-feed your baby on take-off and landing. The swallowing will help prevent that uncomfortable ear popping.
- Remember your baby’s dummy, if she uses one.
- If your baby is awake, take her for a walk up and down the plane so she gets a chance to look about and relax. If she becomes distressed later, a walk about may completely change her mood.
- Night flights are good for long-haul journeys. Look for flights that won’t upset your baby’s routine.
- If your baby is wide awake, try to see the journey as a chance for playtime uninterrupted by chores. You may feel daft playing pat-a-cake, peek-a-boo, and singing in front of other people, but she’ll love it. A happy giggling baby is a far more pleasant passenger than an embarrassed mum with a bored and soon-to-be grizzling baby.
- Your baby’s routine may be turned upside down, so she may be hungry when you’d expect her to nap. Try to offer her regular feeds.
- Ask for help from your partner, cabin crew, or other passengers when you need it.
- Walking up and down the aisle with your baby may help if she is unsettled. But it may disturb other passengers if she is inconsolable!
- Let your baby look out of the window.
- If you have to change planes, ask for a courtesy cart between gates.
- If the flight isn’t full, see if you can move to a spare row of seats.
You can find more useful information by heading to the Baby Center webpage.
Love Parents Forum x