Travelling with infant can be overwhelming especially if it’s your first time. My baby girl first flight was when she was 2 and half months old. Doctors usually recommend to wait for at least 3-6 months for the baby immune system to develop before air travel. Especially during pandemic, it’s not safe to travel but if its unavoidable then always good to consult with a pediatrician and follow safety measures.
Here are somethings I would like to share which can make your travel easier:
- Reduce hand baggage as much as possible: Not only hand baggage but try to reduce the overall luggage. While packing try to carry only needed things. Try to courier the things that you will not need immediately. This will make your travel easier. On our first travel, we did a mistake of taking overweight baggage and had to pay lot extra for it. Also, carried 3 back bags along with the baby it was really exhausting.
- Baby carrier: Wear the baby in a baby carrier or a baby sling so that you can be hands free. If you will be using the baby carrier for the first time, its always better to try it on with the baby and see how it works before your travel day. When my baby was 2 months old, I took her in a sleeping bag so I could not carry anything else except a diaper bag. In my second travel, I used a baby carrier, I could carry 1 laptop bag, camera bag and diaper bag with me and it was not exhausting.
- Security check at Airport: Security check might be different in every airport. My first travel I carried baby in sleeping bag and the security person did not make me wait for long and helped me first. My second travel I used baby carrier and a kind girl helped me to keep my bags in the checking area tray. She even asked the security check person to help me first as I am carrying baby. But when I walked in to the security check place the security asked me to go back and put the baby carrier in the tray. I had never practiced taking out baby by myself from the baby carrier, I was too scared that I will put the baby down but it went well and was not that difficult.
- Extra diapers: Carry in diaper bag only the number of diapers that baby needs with a 1 or 2 extras.
- Baby wipes: Take baby wipes with you its very useful in cleaning baby and also you can use for yourself. Hand wash is not available in most of the baby care rooms, they are replaced with sanitizers now.
- Baby clothes and Towels: Take 2 or 3 extra clothes and towels incase baby vomits or overflow of diapers.
- Extra cloth for yourself: Carry an extra dress for you incase gets dirty.
- Blankets/ swaddles: A small baby blanket to cover the baby if it gets cold while travelling.
- Socks and Gloves: Take an extra pair of baby socks and gloves. Babies will suck their fingers hence to keep them clean its better to have a change of gloves.
- Cover baby in layers: Before you travel it can be hot and when you are travelling it can be cold. Instead of directly putting warm clothes on baby, it’s always better to first make them wear something light and then add a layer of another clothing if it becomes cold. In my first travel I did a mistake of putting on a thick sleepwear for my baby as the flight travel will be cold. But once we reached our destination the climate was hot. This made her to get red bumps on her legs, which took at least 2 weeks to clear up.
- Toys: Keep a small toy for your baby in your hand bag/ diaper bag, take something which your baby likes to keep them happy.
- Feeding: It is said that don’t feed the baby before boarding flight but its better to feed them before boarding if they are hungry or else you will have to handle a fussy baby throughout your travel. If possible, schedule your feeding so that you will be able to feed the baby while take off and landing to help them swallow to avoid the ear pain. This worked for my baby in my first travel when she was only 2 months old. I fed her during takeoff and she was sleeping in most of the travel. But did not work in my second travel, she was all playing while takeoff and she cried when I tried to feed. I just left her to play but before landing she started crying out so loud. The flight attendant asked me to keep speaking to the baby as she was crying due to ear pain. She calmed down after around 10 minutes.
- Stay hydrated: All the mommies make sure you eat well and drink lots of water during your travel. Also keep your baby hydrated.
- Pre book cabs: If you have the option to pre-book the cabs in your destination then do it, this will help you to avoid the waiting time and to avoid the last minute cab troubles.