Bernie is 18 months now. We will be travelling yet again for our summer vacation. It should be better now. The first time was to the same destination and it was chaotic. The turbulence when landing did not help our already confused situation. Bernie cried to desperation. this time around I have learn’t a few tricks:
Book the aisle and the window seat
I know this sounds weird. However, every time we booked these two seats, there was no other passenger in the middle seat. This will allow free movement of the baby especially for a super active baby like Bernie. More so, we get to use the extra seat for the baby bag since it can be hectic reaching to the compartment often. The aisle seat is also important when it comes to the diaper clock. In case you do not get both of them, go for the aisle seat. It allows for easy movement when you have to soothe the little one or even walk out.
Pack enough snacks
Do not depend on the plane’s baby food. The advantage of packing your own baby snacks is that you get to choose what your baby loves most. For instance, during our recent flight to the Faroe Islands, the plane did not provide or even offer anything for Bernie. We always use Atlantic airways. Here is their website in case you decide to visit the unspoiled most beautiful place in the world, the Faroe Islands. https://www.atlantic.fo/en/ .During our trip to Kenya,however, Qatar airways http://www.qatarairways.com/us/en/onboard-experience.page was very baby friendly. In spite of us packing our own baby snacks, they also provided plenty. It depends on individual airlines.
In regard to packing snacks, ensure you pack them in disposable ziplock bags. They take less space on your carry on. Furthermore, ensure you pack mostly dry snacks like corn, crackers and fruits. Do not forget to pack your snacks as well.
A hungry mum is an angry mum
Pack his favorite toys on the baby carry on
We have always forgotten to bring Bernie’s toys with us. This turned out really tough for us. An 18 month old baby will get bored really fast. They need constant entertainment by either using the toys or you have to play the toy. Bernie was bored with Mr. Potato provided by Qatar Airways and I was his truck, baa baa black sheep, moo moo cow, oink oink pig and the rest for almost six hours from Doha to Copenhagen. This was so draining for both of us that he fell asleep immediately we landed. One more tip on his toys, ensure you don’t bring a noisy one. You don’t wanna play the alarm for the sleeping passengers with the shakers.
Pack his favorite book
A book can be a great distraction to switch between the toys. If the baby has a favourite one the better. In case you are into the routine of reading before bed, this could serve as a reminder to his night time routine which will lead to him falling asleep faster.
How to deal with the turbulence
Have you ever sat down with a baby yelling his lungs out for about 10 minutes? Those have been the longest ten minutes of my life. In spite the many times we have flown with him, it seems to be new every time. It is advised to breast feed the baby during the take off as well as landing. This sounds so easy until he doesn’t take neither the breast nor the bottle. However, during our recent trip from the Islands, we managed to keep him occupied with his favourite song , itsy bitsy spider. Rógvi came up with another tip where he put a wet tissue in the disposable glasses and covered Bernie’s ears. It worked at first or rather until we were almost landing. The best way to deal with turbulence from my experience, is to keep the baby distracted.
Dress the baby in layers
Airplanes can either be warm or cold. If the baby is dressed in layers the better for the cold times. If it’s a warm day, then you just reduce the amount of clothing. I often dress Bernie in very soft and comfortable attire for travelling. Often times, a pair of soft pants and a short sleeve onesie is enough. I usually carry the jacket by hand or dress him in it.
Pack a back pack as opposed to the traditional diaper bag
A back pack is easy to carry while holding the baby’s hands or even strolling him. They are easier to pack as well since most of them come with smaller toiletry bags where you can put in a diaper and wipes for the immediate use. It also occupies lesser space in case you don’t get an extra seat. I make good use of the outer pockets where I ensure I pack a diaper and a small pack of wipes. The details of the baby bag include about ten extra diapers because accidents do happen,the snacks, extra change of clothes, a thin blanket, the toys, the book and the basic baby stuff.
Avoid long lay overs
We had a seven hour lay over at Doha, not to mention missing the lay over tour bus which mean’t being stranded at the airport for 7 hours. Thing is, we did not check how long the lay over was on the return journey. We assumed it would be the same time as when we booked. This was a long seven hours of sleep deprived parents with a less than one year baby who needed constant attention. To make the matters worse, he was so fatigued to sleep on the return plane. You do not want to be a victim. Ensure you have checked the details of your ticket. Second, a shorter lay over is just enough. You only need enough time to change the diaper, freshen up, feed, stretch and you are set to go.
In conclusion, just be as relaxed as possible to avoid stressing the baby. Don’t forget to smile to the little one as well.
If you have more tips share on the comment box below.