Flying/travelling with a baby

[name_m]Hi[/name_m] all - I was wondering if any of you had any top tips for flying and travelling with a little one? [name_u]Or[/name_u] just reassurance that we’ll be okay? Haha. We have to go on a short trip with our 9 month old (flying for the first time & staying overnight somewhere else than home for the first time).

The flight is just under two hours long so not too bad and I’m breastfeeding so hoping that will help him cope with the pressure changes (I find the pressure changes painful still as an adult and really struggle with landing myself so I am a bit worried he’s inherited my ears and will find it extra hard :broken_heart: - my mum’s the same as me, just in constant pain while the plane lands, sigh.) He’ll be travelling on my lap and I think he’ll be a bit cranky about being confined to such a small space.

We’ll be in a hotel for two nights (they’re providing a cot) - is there anything you’ve found useful to have with you in a hotel, beyond the obvious baby essentials?

Thanks in advance!

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[name_f]Nine[/name_f] months already?!? Wow! Enjoy the trip with the family.

I’m not sure how it is in Europe, but I hear a lot of parents recommend bringing their own bedding for the cot. [name_m]Even[/name_m] if the bedding is provided, you don’t know what the hotel uses for detergent and how baby’s skin will fare with it.

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[name_m]Just[/name_m] some random things that come mind:

Breastfeeding should help with the pressure changes, and if he doesn’t want to be fed just give him something he can suck on.

Whatever you do, unpack properly at the hotel :joy: I used to be one of those “no need to unpack, I’ll grab things from my suitcase” people. That doesn’t work when you’re traveling with a baby.

Personally I prefer to bring our own travel bassinet for baby to sleep in, and get them accustomed beforehand. H. and B. don’t do well with sleeping in a strange environment, so that works better for us.

Plastic bags are a life saver for getting rid of all kinds of things :sweat_smile:

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I’ve never flown with a baby but we have done long road trips, and we’ve stayed at other people’s houses since he was only a few weeks old. Honestly how tricky it’s going to be kind of depends on your lifestyle and your baby’s personality. At home are you very strict on a schedule or are you super flexible and always on the go? Does baby need xyz to sleep, or can they pretty much lay down anywhere?
Regardless, the biggest things would just be to try to remain positive, patient, and flexible. Remember that the sacrifices are worth it to make good memories with him.
Bring comfort items like blankets or toys from home, and if he has a favorite pair of PJs or something that might help too.
Be prepared to use sleep sounds, whether you just let them play on your phone or you have an actual machine that does it. Even if you don’t usually use them at home, it may be helpful when in an unfamiliar place.
Also, this doesn’t pertain to your child exactly, but try not to let other people bother you. People tend to make comments and be mean about babies travelling, don’t let them get to you. Your baby is a human and deserves to take up space, make noise, and just exist just like any other person does.

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I took my daughter from the east coast of Australia to Michigan when she was 11 months old (followed by a flight to [name_u]Texas[/name_u] a few weeks later, then back to Australia). I was physically sick with anxiety before the 12 hour flight. Then our last flight from [name_f]Chicago[/name_f] was cancelled at midnight and we had to spend the night in the airport. Sounds like a nightmare right? We were perfectly fine and you will be too!!

[name_f]My[/name_f] daughter basically slept the entire time. And she was not a sleeper at all. I think she had her longest ever stretch of sleep on the airplane, the plane noise just knocked her right out. We did have a row of 4 for the three of us so that did help with space. We had a bunch of toys to occupy her but she was mostly fascinated by an empty water bottle and some pencils. :woman_facepalming: Best advice would be to wear baby out at the airport with lots of free time. Mine was walking so we did tons of laps. Find a corner where baby can crawl around and wiggle before the flight.

Another tip – bring a few more diapers than you think you’ll need, and a few extra clothes. I read other people’s experiences with babies pooping more on the plane and it was true for mine.

Have fun and good luck!

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Ach, I know - he’s getting to big! Standing up and cruising against furniture now. We are bringing his sleep sack to keep him cosy and now wonder if bringing a cot sheet would be good too to use all our own bedding. :thinking: Might be comfier for him. Thanks!

Oh gosh, this is how I’ve always travelled, too. :smile: Thanks for the heads up! Might just bring a roll of plastic bags, also…

Thank you for this reminded, this is such an important thing to keep in mind. We do use a white noise machine at home and that’s definitely coming with us! We generally follow the same routine every day but when we’ve deviated from it (like going on a day trip somewhere), our baby has always been fine - [name_u]Robin[/name_u] seems to have a pretty adventurous personality and mostly enjoys doing new things! Hopefully that means he’ll do okay on this longer trip, too.

This is honestly so reassuring, thank you. :heart: I can easily see myself getting nervous to the point of throwing up too… But really, we’ll survive!

That’s a good idea, letting them crawl around at the airport first to get those wiggles out - the one we’re leaving from is on the smaller side and pretty quiet, so should be easy enough to find a safe spot to do that. Our baby also loves white noise so perhaps he’ll sleep on the plane too. :crossed_fingers:

Thanks all, I already feel heaps better :slightly_smiling_face: It’s particularly annoying because we’re going on this trip for bureaucratic reasons (need to visit my country’s embassy in a different city…) but at the same time, it’s true that this is our first trip as a family! [name_u]Will[/name_u] do my best to find moments to enjoy too, and take pictures for the baby book.

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I flew home alone with [name_f]Flora[/name_f] when she was 9 months! [name_m]Just[/name_m] under 4 hours both ways. I relied heavily on breastfeeding then my back ups were snacks, new toys and the movie screen. It was pretty uneventful. Tough to carry her alone with our bags etc. in the end I paid extra to check in more bags on the way back so I only had her nappy bag. People were pretty nice, but aussies and kiwis generally are? We’ve since travelled loads and the easiest thing for us is co-sleeping. I was just starting to get her in the cot before we left and then went totally out the window so now she just sleeps with me wherever we go and as long as I’m there she’s ok!

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I haven’t flown with a baby but we took a month long road trip this summer with my 11 month old and 2 year old. What worked best for us was bringing our own bedding/ bed (I know space is limited though when flying) but I would definitely bring your own bedding at the least.

We also bought new toys for travelling and their favorite snacks. And any comfort items if they have one.

Another important thing for us was their clothing, you want them to be comfy and since they are strapped down or sitting/laying a lot we found clothes that dont have buttons on the back and we found seamless rompers seemed to be the most comfy

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@elleplume @LibelluleClaire Thank you both!


We returned from our trip a couple of days ago and all ended up going pretty smoothly - he was a champion on the plane and took it in his stride. He slept okay in the hotel room in the cot they provided at night (woke up a few times whereas at home he sleeps through the night now but that’s to be expected). However, he’s been on a bit of a nap strike lately and they went completely out of the window while we were away (refused to nap at all until he basically passed out on us in the baby carrier and even then he slept for just half an hour…) so he was sleepy and a bit grumpy a lot but since it was a short trip it was okay. (Luckily as of today he seems to be back to napping normally, and he slept through the night again when we got home so the trip didn’t mess up his sleep like I feared.) We were in [name_u]London[/name_u] and even though we live in a relatively large city, it was definitely noisy and overwhelming by comparison but [name_u]Robin[/name_u] did okay with it (also the 4th floor of the V&A is a great place to stop for some peace and quiet - not many people make it up there to look at ceramics and furniture). I wouldn’t recommend [name_u]London[/name_u] as a holiday destination with a baby but if you have to go there like we did, it’s okay.

We travelled very light - just brought the baby carrier rather than our pram & two cabin bags and no hold luggage. It was convenient since we were getting about on trains and busses and didn’t have to drag a whole lot of stuff with us. The cabin bags were full of baby stuff and basically just clean underwear and toothbrushes for us - worked well for a quick two night stay. :smile:

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Im so glad it went well! I feel like the planning is always way more stressful than the actual trip.

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