A lot of parents get anxious in the lead up to taking their baby on a flight, especially for the first time. Between panicking whether they’ll get enough sleep, trying to squeeze everything you need into your hand luggage and the fear of other passengers’ judgements, it’s a lot to handle. But we’ve collated all the need to know advice from well versed parents who have done it all before and, by the end, you’ll be a lot calmer approaching your impending flight.
What Baby Food Can You Take on the Plane?
The general rule is that you can take 10 lots of 100ml clear containers of liquid through security, however this doesn’t apply when it comes to travelling with babies. You can take up to 2000ml of unfrozen breast milk, as well as formula milk, sterilised water in a bottle and enough baby food to see you through the flight. It also is important to note there are no restrictions on solid foods that you yourself can take through, so keep energy levels high and expenses low by taking through your own snacks whilst you wait to board your fight. You’re going to need it. Depending on where your baby is at in their weaning, you might even be able to take snacks they too will enjoy, killing two birds with one stone.
Our top tip is to stock up on supplies in the airport. Concerned about squeezing it all in your bag or left things a bit last minute? From formula milk to wipes and nappies, check out what retailers there are in the airport and click and collect to pick up beyond security checks.
What Does Your Luggage Allowance Include with a Baby?
Just like with weight allowance, every airline has differing restrictions. When travelling with a baby, there are certain items you need that you wouldn’t otherwise take on holiday if it was just you and your partner. From prams to travel costs, it’s a good idea to look up online any size requirements as well as costs to avoid a nasty shock on the day.
British Airways allows you take a car seat and collapsible pushchair in your checked baggage at no extra cost. In terms of hand luggage, British Airways also allows you to take an extra bag alongside your own bag for all your baby essentials e.g. a changing bag. For children over the ages of 2, they are assigned the same luggage allowance as an adult. Alternatively, budget airline easyJet gives you the option of 2 free items of your choice, from prams to travel cots, car seats and baby back carriers. For airlines like Thomas Cook, allowance can also depend on whether your infant is sitting on your lap or booked with their own seat.
It sounds obvious but creating a checklist and ensuring you have everything ready and booked lowers the chances of any stressful surprises. Ensure you’ve got everything you need sorted well in advance. Not only does it mean you have less to do near to the time to prepare other than packing, it also is likely you’ll get the best value for your money.
Save on advance bookings of airport parking, exchanging your money and of course get your baby’s passport sent off and back with time to spare. Use tools like Parking at Airports, which not only saves you on the overall cost but also breaks down the different types of airport parking so you can find the one most suitable for you and your family. We would recommend premium parking, meaning you’ll have a space onsite at the airport, only a stone throw away from the terminal doors.
It’s also a good idea to check in online as soon as you can and reserve your suits. This means you can guarantee you’ll be sat together as a family and get a seat idea for when travelling with your baby. Aisle seats are perfect for giving you the accessibility you need to move more freely around the aircraft when soothing your baby and using the changing facilities. You might also look to try and book the bulkhead seats, which are the first row behind a partition or wall in the plane. These generally offer more legroom.
Other Top Tips for Flying with Your Baby
Toys and other means of entertainment are essential. Consider toys that are quiet and unlikely to get on other passengers’ nerves. Whilst you should accept that your baby may cry and getting flustered about angry passengers is counterproductive, you can at least avoid further scrutiny with non-squeaky toys. Introduce new toys that your baby hasn’t seen before. Also be prepared with nursery rhymes to sing and silly faces to pull when all else fails.
When it comes to take off and landing, you can be equipped with sweets to suck on, or simply swallow or yawn to pop your ears. For babies, the popping of ears is something they won’t understand. Avoid the painful sensation by offering them a dummy or empty sippy-cup to suck on during these points of the flight.
In terms of dressing, ensure you and your baby are dressed comfortably. If you’re breastfeeding, ensure you’re wearing something that allows comfortable accessibility in public. Going through security, remember you will have to carry your baby through these checks, so ensure you have slide on footwear you can easily remove and be prepared to take your baby out of any kind of sling or wrap you might use. And, of course, remember to take spare clothes for both you and your baby in case of poo explosions or sick-up, as well as more than enough wet wipes and nappies.