As it is traveling is a difficult thing that requires a lot of preparation but traveling with a baby is a different matter altogether. It’s not only a hassle if the kid is prone to throw tantrums but because they need round the clock attention, no amount of groundwork is enough. Here, mothers who have traveled with their kids share their insights on how to make your trip as smooth as possible with your children in tow.
Always ask the airline you are purchasing your ticket from if they have a baby bassinet available. If they do, book it as you buy your ticket and if they don’t, you may want to check other airlines first. If you can’t find any with a bassinet free, don’t worry, an infant is the most happy when he or she is cuddled next to his/her parents, says Deepti Dhakal. On her way from Sydney to Kathmandu, she had a bassinet seat so she only got out her front baby carrier during the transits. However, on the flight back the same baby carrier made her seven-month-old baby travel the distance without any fuss. The fact that both her hands were free and the baby was still snug and safe meant an easier time to fill out forms and handle the luggage. The check-in activities and the motion of the plane help to lull the baby to sleep, especially when they are engulfed in the parent’s warmth.
With an infant with you, make sure your hand luggage has nothing but the things you need for your baby. Have a few sterilized empty bottles on hand to get you through the journey without having to worry about washing and sterilizing on the go. Find out if your airlines also provides baby food, as some do, so that you don’t have to pack a lot of it. Buy a compartmentalized box in order to carry milk powder or any other formulas you need in the same place. Carry a small heat retaining bottle with you and fill it up when you get through security. Coffee shops usually fill your thermos with hot water for free, as do the cabin crew.
forget to carry plenty of diapers and stash them in any extra bags you may have, like your handbag, as well. This will help you save time looking for one in times of emergency. Since the baby is going to a new environment and possibly sees a change in weather, it is always a good idea to pack medicines for him or her.
with a toddler is trickier than traveling with an infant. Toddlers tend to fidget more and don’t have much patience, which might make all the waiting seem terrifying, especially for a new parent. Bhumika Pant has travelled to and fro UK alone with her daughter and claims that, although the most dreaded, it turned out to be one of the easiest journeys for her.
sure you have things to keep your child engaged for a long time in your hand carry. This can include their favorite toys, coloring books and sometimes an iPad with full charge works wonders with crying babies. Download a few hours’ worth of your child’s favorite cartoon. Some airplanes also have a few cartoons or animated movies in flight. You should also arm yourselves with stories you feel like your child would like to hear. A thrilling story about a hero defeating a villain can be adjusted according to the child’s preferences and will keep them engaged for a while, often eliciting follow up questions long after the story is told.
notice your fear quite quickly, so keep calm if you come across a particularly nasty patch of turbulence. If you panic and hold your baby tightly, they may think something is really wrong and start crying with no signs of stopping. Let your baby walk around the plane and explore, but always keep an eye out to make sure they don’t get into trouble. Check in your pram too so that when you arrive at your destination, you will have one right out of the airplane says Barsha Ghimire. Some transits also have a stroller to help you carry your baby around easily.
3 to 6 year olds
This age group is fairly easy to travel with as they understand things and listen to you to some extent. However, they spend a good portion of their time online or in front of the T.V and they aren’t interested in looking out of the window and living in the moment says Esha Poudel. Her six-year-old daughter needs to be constantly engaged in conversations for her to not be jittery and bored, even in a two kilometer car ride.
Arm yourself with games such as I spy, two truths and a lie, name place things etc to keep them occupied and their imagination running. A game of name place things can run for up to an hour if they insist on using all the letters in the alphabet. And if any of these don’t work, you can always threaten them with an ‘airplane police’.