Last week I had the pleasure of flying with my six month old baby. Needless to say I was a bit stressed. Would he freak out on the plane? Would I be one of those moms with the screaming baby? My list of worries seemed to be endless and although I tried not to think about it on the days leading up to my flight it seemed to always be on my mind.
Being a first time flying mom is hard but if I survived you can to, here are my top seven tips for you first time flyer moms.
Give yourself LOTS of time
When I travelled before Noble I would always leave a small buffer of time usually showing up at my gate as the plane was boarding. With a baby you need a BIG buffer. Everything takes longer. Usually there are extra bags. You need gate tags for the stroller. You will want to change and maybe feed the babe before you get on the plane. You might also want to feed yourself. Giving yourself the gift of time will help take the stress off.
Nurse your baby during takeoff and landing
It’s quite common for babies to experience pain or discomfort in their ears from the change in pressure. The sucking motion will help you baby to naturally cope with any pain or pressure they may experience.
Pack snacks for yourself
I’m always sharing the importance of being prepared and packing healthy and nutritious food with you, but it is extremely important when you are going to be on a plane with a baby. The food served on planes sucks. It was not made for us health focused, nutrient ninjas. Unless you are okay with plastic and processed pack your own. If the flight is going to be more than a few hours it’s a good idea to take a meal. I love Mason jar salads for the plane because they are portable and extremely easy to eat. Fruit that travels well like apples and oranges or cut up veggies if you have the room, trail mix, kale chips, seaweed snacks and healthy protein bars are all good options.
Don’t forget your water bottle
Although you can’t take liquids through security that does not mean you can’t take an empty bottle to fill up on the other side. Staying hydrated on a plane is important for decreasing puffiness or swelling which many experience when flying. The water served on the plane in the world’s smallest cups is not enough. Drink, drink and drink some more.
Bring a big scarf
Having a giant scarf that you can wrap around you for breast feeding and snuggling to help with nap time is a must. There’s not a lot of privacy on planes and who knows who the person
on top beside you is going to be. Make your own space by bringing a big scarf. If you are like me, I’m always cold on planes so the scarf will also help keep you cozy and can be rolled up into a makeshift pillow.
Rely on the kindness of strangers
I was lucky enough to have both my parents flying with me but sometimes new moms have to go it alone. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Get to know your neighbour and the flight attendants. Let those around you help lift your bags or pass them to you. Just because you don’t have a travel companion does not mean you have to be alone. People are always willing to help if you smile and ask politely.
Organize and make the important items accessible
Travelling with babies means a lot of stuff which means a lot of bags. Try to organize what you are really going to need during the flight in a smaller bag that you can squeeze under the seat. Having a few diapers, wipes, an outfit change for babe, a few of his favourite toys plus your scarf, snacks and water bottle all easily accessible will make it easier on you and reduce stress levels by not having to be up and down and searching every time you need something.
How was your first flying experience? Did you baby love or hate the flight? What tips or tricks do you have to keep your baby calm and quite during the flight? I would love to hear your thoughts below.
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