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Short haul plane travel with young baby

My sister had a baby in May (my gorgeous new niece!) and she was asking my travel tips for their first adventure in August. She lives in the UK and they initially wanted to take the car and drive over to France.  I told her she was mad and should embrace the option of budget airlines for short haul travel and go by air.  I honestly think that traveling by plane can be a lot easier than a loooooong car drive, particularly if you are still breastfeeding.

Things to remember:

  • If you have a big buggy (eg Bugaboo Chameleon), check with airline how they can store it.  Are you able to take it to gate or do you have to disassemble the whole kit & caboodle at check in
  • If you do have an enormous buggy, maybe it’s wise to invest in a cheaper, lightweight one for your trip?  We travelled with friends who had to undo their entire buggy every time they went through security which wouldn’t have been fun if the parent was traveling alone
  • Check the updated liquids policy, this seems to change all the time.  You can carry formula in powder versions and sometimes ask for boiled water on the plane.  I have also used bottled water on planes, I really don’t think it’s going to harm your child for a few feeds!  I have also carried on cartons of premixed Aptamil.  If you think security are going to remove these from you, you can call ahead to the airport Boots and reserve some to pick up
  • Take your baby carrier with you e.g. Baby Bjorn.  You might have to wait a while for them to deliver the buggy to the aircraft door or in some cases it’s gone straight to the luggage carousel.
  • Carry lots of nappies & wipes!  You never know if you will be delayed. If you don’t want to carry a big changing purse you can also buy a disposable changing mat.
  • If taking formula in bottles, overfill them as you will have to drink some yourself at security (gulp!) to prove that you are not taking dodgy chemicals on board
  • If your buggy/car seat is going in the hold, invest in a bag for it (available online pretty cheaply to avoid damage)
  • 1 or 2 changes of clothes for baby.  I have had a vomiting incident within seconds of sitting down on the plane
  • Change of top for you!  See above
  • Bibs if you are bottle feeding
  • Blanket (If you use a big muslin for breastfeeding this could also double up)
  • Grobag (You might want to ignore this for really short flight)
  • Several dummies
  • Calpol sachets – just in case
  • I don’t reckon young babies really need many toys and you should save room in your hand luggage for yourself!  If they are getting to the chewy stage and like something to hold then a wooden ring or a magical Sophie Giraffe is good  http://www.sophiegiraffeusa.com/

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