Your life is full with your baby (which is a good thing) and with your baby items (which may not be so good always). Your baby needs diapers, wipes, toys and teethers. You stow away food for her in several small non toxic microwaveable containers. She needs changing after every meal. What more, she may even have developed the habit of sleeping in a particular bed, or in the arms of her nanny.
All this is fine and manageable until the time you have to fly with your little one. Now you suddenly realize that an airplane seat is too small to accommodate her whole world. Here are some tips for mothers flying with their infants.
1. Strap your baby to yourself
Always strap your baby to yourself with the help of a baby carrier. Use a strong and reliable carrier. Do not skimp on the money since you will need the carrier for a long time. Strapping your baby to yourself is safe and fuss free for your baby, leaving your hands free to push your luggage and for other formalities at the airport. If you are still recovering from your C section, strap your baby to your back. Your baby will definitely enjoy the attention she gets from other fliers. Just make sure to stand away from passengers carrying heavy luggage.
2. Keep the flight attendants informed
Always let the flight attendants know that you are flying with an infant. Believe me, they will be more than willing to help. Also, they may be able to provide a few great tips from experience.
3. Never hand over your baby to anyone unless very sure
Do not trust another person simply because (s)he seems to be a friendly co-passenger standing in the same queue to board the same flight. If at all, you have to rush to the toilet, wait until your security check-in is over. Then, hand over your baby to an on-duty flight attendant (preferably female).
4. Carry a single bag
Even if you are allowed an additional bag, carry a single bag for your baby essentials. Your baby will not need as many things as you think. For domestic flights, a single change of clothes is enough. You can carry two feeding bottles of water and baby formula.
5. What to feed your baby during flight hours
For a four hour flight it will suffice to carry two feeding bottles of water and baby formula. You can carry some mashed fruits that your baby really likes and will eat without any fuss. Now is not the time to experiment with her eating habits. If your baby has started eating regular solids, keep a packet of her favorite finger food handy.
6. Wipes and diapers
Keep them very handy. Babies are unpredictable. Your baby might not need a change throughout the journey (what a wonderful thought) or she might need changing even before you can take your seat. Do not embarrass yourself with apologies to co-passengers. Instead politely ask them if they may shift a little for they might not enjoy the sight of a dirty diaper. Also, you do not have to change the diaper right away. You can wait for sometime until it is a little more convenient. Use wipes profusely to wipe the palms of your babies' hands. You do not want your baby to get sick by sucking on everything she can lay her hands on.
7. Screaming babies
This happened to me. My generally happy daughter, started to scream as soon as the plane took off. For a few minutes, I was flabbergasted not knowing whether she was having a panic attack or was in real pain. Both ways, I was worried about whether we could make it through the remainder of the journey in good health. I unstrapped her and pretty soon she was comfortable. Turns out my popular daughter did not like the fact that she was not getting too much attention from the co-passengers. Well, after her brief screaming stint, she got all the attention she wanted for the rest of the flight.
8. During takeoff and landing
Try to nurse your baby or let him suck on his favorite teether during takeoff and landing. This is said to help babies deal with changes in air pressure that may cause ear problems. However, you have nothing to worry about even if your baby refuses to be nursed.
9 Getting off
Be in no hurry to alight. Let the rest of the passengers deboard the plane. You can then take the help of a flight attendant to strap your baby back, and continue on your journey.
You can preserve your baby's first flight ticket as a memento and get her picture clicked with the flight attendant. Back home, not only can you check one milestone off your baby's list, but you can also clean up all that mess in your baby's room, now that you know not all of it is really required.Published On: Thursday, August 7th, 2014