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Flying With Babies

Key Factors to a trouble free journey

Allow More Time

Due to the amount of extra luggage required for a young baby always allow extra time to pack the car, for stops on the way to the airport, to empty the car and board the bus to transfer to the airport, to pass through check in and finally to prepare your baby for the flight.

It is, recommended that babies are fed and cleaned prior to the flight and the timing of feeding should take this account. Even low cost airlines who normally charge you for everything they can think of, seem to have some compassion when it comes to travelling with babies.

Airlines will normally provide complimentary water and sometimes even baby food. If you do get stuck and find yourself missing something, don't hesitate in asking to see if the airline staff can help once you are onboard.

Once on the flight

  • Take plenty of water to avoid dehydration.
  • A towel for changing nappies.
  • Check with the airline to see if a bulk head cot is provided and pre-book because these are usually on a first come basis.
  • Ear pain is a common problem and sucking to keep the air waves will help and a handkerchief or paper towel soaked in hot water and placed in the bottom of a plastic cup held against the child's ear will also help.
  • Have your meal after your partner or if travelling alone ask if it's possible to have sandwiches as eating a meal one handed is difficult.
  • Most airlines will heat up milk bottles but it is worth getting your baby used to cold milk.
  • Walk up and down the plane carrying the baby to relieve sitting in one position.

All UK airports are baby friendly with rooms allocated for changing. Even some of the off airport car parks have baby changing areas for you to use.

Summary

Allowing sufficient time and good preparation are the key factors in making the flight and the journey to the airport as trouble free as possible. Driving down the day before and using a airport hotel parking deal will also help in this regard. If your baby cries on the flight, don't panic and start apologising, most travellers have experienced the same with their children and will more likely be sympathetic than annoyed.

By David Cook

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