The thought of flying with a newborn is cause for one of the largest amount of stress that parents encounter when planning for a family holiday. Mothers are worried about traveling on a plane with their newborn babies because they are very delicate. The thought of traveling with their newborn infants in a plane is overwhelming for both new mothers and the newborns. What all new mothers need to know is how to prepare well before flying. There is also a feeling of exhaustion after delivery when many mothers have not fully recovered after childbirth. Here are ten tips that can help a traveling mother make good arrangements and have a trouble-free flight with a newborn and, also make the flight comfortable for the mother and the new born.
1. What to do before the flight and what to bring for the newborn and the mom
Depending on whether you are giving formula milk or breastfeeding the child, ensure you have packed things such as warm water in a flask, formula milk powder, feeding bottles, and other essential materials. Carry extra supplies because sometimes flights are delayed in order to avoid running out, causing your new born to cry for food when in the air. Also, ensure that you carry enough clothes and diapers for the newborn.
Doctors advise that babies rest their heads on a pillow to enhance comfort during feeding. Usually airlines do not provide pillows, and if they do they are sometimes slippery and small. It is there recommended to carry your own baby pillow. In addition, if it is possible, you can roll up the baby's, or the airline's, blankets to make a cozy and soft pillow that will hold the baby in a comfortable position while feeding.
- Changing Pad
- Diaper Rash Powder or Ointment
- Formula, Bottles, and Hot water
- Car Seat and Stroller (Can be checked or stored in the overhead)
- Nursing Shawl
2. How to book an air ticket for a newborn
Infants are usually allowed to travel without any medical testing or approval as long as they are less than seven days old. While booking a newborn ticket, you will need a name and birth date to comply with airline requirements for secure flight information. Booking requires that you put the infant's details accompanied by your details. Also, specify the desired seating options, noting that regulations and fees for flying with a newborn vary from airline-to-airline.
While booking the airline tickets, do not forget to add your newborn as a passenger. If booking via phone, you simply inform the agent that you will be traveling with a newborn. Before booking the flight, be sure to check first on the fees added for an infant seat or lap. All airlines normally charge a fee for lap infants traveling on international flights. After booking a seat for the newborn, you are allowed to bring an approved car seat onto the plane for the infant to sit in during the flight. Even if you have earlier stated the birth date of the newborn, you will probably need to prove the baby is below two years of age. Present the birth certificate along with the boarding pass and your ID at the check-in even if you have already checked in earlier.
3. Changing your baby and feeding
A majority of airline toilets are fitted with a changing table. It might save you the dirty looks from passengers if you try to change your baby's diapers on the passenger's seat. Ensure you carry enough diapers. Breastfeeding on the flight is also easy since there are no regulation policies by the airlines. When taking off or, when landing, the baby's ears hurt, so a good idea is to bottle feed or breastfeeding the newborn during landing and takeoff. This forces the baby to swallow which normally relieves the pressure on the baby's ears. If not feeding during these times try to make sure they suck on a pacifier.
It is important to change the diaper once the newborn pees or poos. However, you should change the diaper around ten minutes before boarding the plane. This is because the plane may have to wait on the runway for even up to an hour. Changing the diaper before boarding ensures you have ample time before the next change.
4. Pick an appropriate time for the flight
After the first few days from birth, the mother starts understanding the sleeping pattern of the baby. However, with a newborn, changes are very frequent and can not be predicted. Even with that, you can still ascertain the best time that the infant sleeps, or is more relaxed. This can help you schedule your flight according to the best time for the baby. Early morning flights are the best since newborns that were not able to sleep well at night are normally sleep through the first part of the morning.
5. Choose a window seat
While traveling with the newborn on your lap, a window seat is best. It is recommended because your baby is more relaxed, gets a little privacy, and you have less inconveniences from fellow passengers when they want to move.
6. How to ask for a baby's bassinet
A baby's bassinet is like a tiny bed that can be fitted on the aircraft. A bassinet can be life-saving because it helps the mother and the baby sleep comfortably, especially if the flight is longer than 12 hours. To ensure you get a bassinet, you have to book early. Bookings can be made on the phone so that your baby's ticket can be given to you right on the spot. During the booking stage you should put the request for your seat to be provided with a bassinet. Do not show up at the airport assuming that the airline will accommodate the baby. After booking, call several times to keep on reminding them and make sure that it's arranged. The bassinet is free of charge and is usually installed after taking off and uninstalled before landing.
7. Know your liquids
The TSA has put limits on what types of liquids are allowed on the plane. It is therefore important to familiarize yourself with the restrictions. When passing through security, you have to remove all the juices, creams, and liquids from your luggage. Water bottles are not allowed. You are only allowed to bring a reasonable amount of liquid.
8. Dressing for security
You and your baby should dress in a simple manner. Wear shoes that you can slip on and off easily because it saves you time during a security check. Avoid wearing accessories such as a belt because you do not want to keep on removing your baby from a wrap to get through the security check.
9. Be on the lookout for special privileges
When traveling with a baby, you often have access to a lot of special services to simplify the process. Keep an eye on special security access that allows a mom with a baby to bypass long queues. Most airlines permit parents with infants to board before other passengers.
10. Ask for help
If you need any help it's always important to ask because the flight attendant is there to help. It is hectic to fly with a newborn sooner, do not make it tougher for yourself by not asking for help when, and if, you need it.