I love travelling, and I make it a mission to travel at least twice every year. Whether it is a short haul flight or a long haul flight, I love the experience of flying, visiting new countries and immersing myself in new cultures.
I remember when I was pregnant with my little girl, it was a worry of mine that I will not be able to travel as much with a baby. But I decided that there is nothing stopping me from taking her along or leaving her with my parents for a few days. Although, I do prefer taking her along, for her memories and because I miss her too much if I leave her.
Here are some top tips when travelling with a baby/toddler:
Depending on the age of the child, take some activity books and colouring pencils, just something to keep them busy. I know that my daughter wants to run around since she has discovered her legs, so I bring books and her favourite toys on the flight. Also, it is worth downloading a few episodes of their favourites shows or nursery rhymes to watch.
Try and give the child something to drink during take-off and landing. This can be a sippy cup, breastfeeding, or a pacifier/dummy just something for them to suck to avoid that weird ear-popping effect that happens during takeoff and landing. I learnt this the hard way! Yup, I was that woman with the screaming baby that you probably gave evils too!
Ensure that you are comfortable. This is very important. I usually clothes that allow me to move around freely such as leggings, flats and t-shirts. It will be even worse for you if you are tottering around in heels, running after an energetic toddler who thinks you are playing a game!
I like having little snacks with me, snacks that I know my daughter will like. Stay away from the chocolate and sweets because that will make the child even more hyper than they need to be. I take some bananas, pineapples and oranges, since those are her favourite fruits. I take enough water in case she gets thirsty.
You are allowed to take formula milk onto the plane. I think security make you do something weird like taste it. Basically taste it, and if you don’t kneel over and die then it is safe! I bought a milk dispenser from Asda, designed for pre-measured portions of milk powder, enough for three feeds, just so that I don’t have to measure out the formula on the plane, whilst holding a screaming baby!
If you are breastfeeding, please do not be ashamed to whip out the boob on the plane when the baby is hungry. I know, you might feel abit awkward, especially if you are travelling alone and there is a middle aged man sitting next to you, but hey, a content baby is better than a screaming hungry one. For some privacy, you can bring a light sheet to cover you. But if you don’t have it, just feed your baby girl!
Don’t forget your baby’s timetable. In the hustle and bustle of packing, rushing to the airport, going through security and boarding the plane with a baby can cause you to forgot your baby’s timetable. When do they usually take naps, when do they usually get hungry and want a feed, when do they usually play. Remember these times, and try to accommodate them. If the time for her/his feed is coming up and you know you will be on the move, try and have a bottle ready so that you can pop the bottle in their mouth without much fuss.
Most importantly, try and stay calm. Even if your child is having a cry or a tantrum, it is in your best interests to stay calm. The more you get stressed, the more stressed your child will become. Count to ten, and try to find out what your child wants. The key is being prepared, so writing a checklist when packing is helpful.
I hope this is useful for the mothers out there