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Top tips for flying with babies

Long-haul flights are tiring enough without the addition of an infant, but following these tips will make flying with baby a breeze.

1. Doctor, doctor

Take your baby to the doctor for a check-up before you fly and be prepared in case he or she falls ill mid-flight. At a minimum, pack baby paracetamol, nose drops, saline, chest rub and a thermometer.

2. Nighty night

If you are travelling with an infant long-haul, try to book a night flight with a bassinet. Be sure to put in a request when booking as numbers are limited and bassinets are generally allocated to the youngest babies on board.

3. Carry on

You’re better off having more than you think you’ll need in your carry on than being caught short of necessities like nappies, wipes and medicines at 30,000 feet.

4. How you roll

Most airlines will allow you to keep a lightweight umbrella stroller with you until you board your flight.

5. Hands-free

Baby carriers are your friend. They not only make it easier to handle tickets and passports but are also useful for calming an unsettled tot at the airport or mid-flight.

6. The right formula

If you’re formula-feeding, pack enough sterile bottles and formula for the duration of the flight. Just remember to request boiled water from the airline staff before you need it so there is time for it to cool.

7. Food for thought

If your baby has started solids, most airlines offer infant meals, but it is a good idea to BYO something your baby is familiar with.

8. Layer over layer

Layer clothes on bub as cabin temperatures can change, and stow a change of clothes in your carry-on luggage in case of accidents.

9. Suck it

Plan for your baby to feed or suck on something during take-off and landing. It will relieve the discomfort of changing air pressure in the ears.

10. Hydrate

Flying can be dehydrating and your baby may want to feed more frequently, so keep yourself hydrated.

11. No rules

Throw out your sleep-time rule book. Be prepared to walk, coo and cuddle your baby to sleep as necessary.

This article appeared in volume 55 of Holidays with Kids magazine. To subscribe to the latest issue, click here.

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