Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Of Babies and Flying

Have you ever experienced flying with a baby? What were your worries and how did you cope with it?

I for one, am worried about flying my baby. The trip to Germany will be her very first plane ride and I am worried because it is going to be a long flight, 13 hours to be exact. I have been reading endless articles about travelling with a baby and have been asking my friends who flew their babies and asked for some travel advice. But as they say, you never can tell what it would be like unless you are in the situation itself.

So here are just a few of my preparations for the impending journey:

  1. Prepare a first aid kit. Even if airplane cabins have their own first aid kits, there just might not be something for your baby there. It should include the following: prescription medication if your baby requires one; a digital thermometer; baby acetaminophen or ibuprofen; liquid soap; antibiotic ointment; sunscreen and lip protection with SPF 15 or higher, with both UVA and UVB protection; sterile bandage and tweezers; insect repellent - use 5-10% DEET for babies and 25% for adults; calamine lotion or hydrocortisone cream; sterile cotton balls and cotton buds; and cold pack. You may also want to bring electrolyte replacement solution that's made just for babies if there is a possibility of your baby contracting diarrhea.

  2. Prepare a change of clothes for the baby and yourself. You just never know if your baby will throw up or mess their food all over their clothing to render them unwearable so that it is a must that you have a change of clothes handy in your carry-on bag.

  3. Air pressure can be painful for your baby's ears. Make sure that you see a doctor before air travel to make sure your baby is fit to travel. If he/she has ear infection, you might want to postpone the flight at a better time. Also, keep you baby comfortable by giving milk or a pacifier to distract them. A feeding before and after the flight is best.

  4. Keep the baby entertained. Have a goody bag containing a few of their favorite toys. A board book, a baby rattle, a musical toy. Their favorite toy is a sure winner when it comes to keeping them distracted.

  5. If possible, book a seat for the baby too. But if you are on a tight budget, like me, you can always put them on your laps. But make sure to get a window seat, away from the back rows, and near the lavatory where you can easily wash up.

  6. Talk to your baby a week before the trip that you are going to ride an airplane. They may not be able to speak and ask questions just yet but they will understand. Explain where you will be going, what to expect with the place and who will be there. This will condition them that they are going someplace new.

  7. Pack enough food, milk and diapers for the duration of the air travel. You can always buy more when you get to your destination. But if you are unsure where to buy and if the brand your baby is used to may not be available in your destination, pack enough for the whole duration of your trip.
These are just a few important things and there are more essential items that your baby will need so that it wise to always be prepared. Make a checklist of the essential items that your baby needs and pack them a few days before you travel so that you won't miss anything.

Traveling with a happy and comfortable baby will surely make the trip relaxing and easy for you too.

How about you, dear Mommy? How did you prepare for your baby's travel? I'd love to hear all about your experience and advice.

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