My six month old nephew, gorgeous Jax, recently embarked on his first flight. No short hop for him, this was straight into big boy territory; a 12 hour flight from London to Hong Kong followed by 2 hours from Hong Kong to Phuket. Jax turned out to be an absolute trooper. He slept for 8 hours in the British Airways car-seat style bassinet, pleasantly surprising his parents who were bracing themselves for the worst. Of course with an Auntie who can’t help but dish out travel advice left right and center, how could he not shine on his first longhaul flight! Unfortunately I can’t really take credit for his behaviour but I have asked my sister-in-law Emily to share her top 10 tips for flying with a baby.
Chamomile has been used for centuries as a natural way to calm down and aid with sleep. We packed some chamomile tea bags and brewed up the tea using hot water (already in bottle) before we boarded. Jax happily guzzled it down when we got on board. For more information on using chamomile tea with an infant, check out this Kind Mommy article.
Research Your Airline’s Bassinet Offering
We used a previous Jetlag & Mayhem article on how to securing your infant bassinet booking. That said, once we got on board our British Airways flight, we realised our six month old was actually too big for the standard bassinet. Luckily British Airways also carry a version for older babies, in the style of a bouncer seat. It’s worth measuring the length of your baby in advance so you know what to expect!
Get Your Documentation In Order
If your baby requires special medicine, make sure you carry a doctor’s note for the prescription. This will save you hassle going through security. It will also make it easier for you to obtain new medication (if necessary) at your destination.
If you are flying from Heathrow’s Terminal 5, head to Zone A as that is the designated ‘Family Zone’. It’s a pretty good airport for family facilities, with a Stay & Play Adventure Zone near Gate A7.
We found the staff at Heathrow very friendly and accommodating. We had no hassle going through Security with all our liquids. This included bottles filled with hot water and food pouches.
If you are bottle feeding, carry more bottles than you think you’ll need. Fill up the bottles you have with boiling water before getting on the plane (either at home or after you get through Security). This way you won’t have to worry about urgently seeking boiled water onboard from an air hostess.
Layer baby up with blankets, rather than clothes. This way you won’t need to wake them if it’s too hot or cold onboard the plane.
Download the brilliant Baby TV app on to your phone before you travel.
Check if your cab company, hotel/villa, have car seats available so you don’t have to schlep yours. It’s just another hassle to have to worry about carrying, particularly if you are traveling solo with a baby.
Distribute baby powder formula across different suitcases, in case you lose a case. This is particularly important for us as Jax drinks a specific formula for his reflux issues. We don’t want to have to worry about seeking it out on arrival, especially in a more developing country.
As Mrs Jetlag & Mayhem always tells us, it’s all about the packing cubes. They really are genius. You can buy them cheaply on Amazon and it’s useful to have everything separated.