I have travelled a lot with my baby. He has been to America, to Spain twice, Paris recently and a few places in Ireland, such as Donegal, Kerry and Mayo.
Traveling with a baby is really unpredictable but airports are actually some of the most baby friendly places you can go!
There are lots of distractions to keep a baby entertained, loads of space for the buggy, and there is always someone around to ask for help when needed.
But preparation is key.
These are some of the things I did not know before I started traveling with Theo that would have been helpful:
1. You can bring as many fluids as you want through security!
Seriously, the security check doesn’t count for parents on the go. You can bring as many premade bottles, formulas, food and fluids you think your baby may need and no one will suspect you of terrorism. It’s great!
2. Airports are really child friendly. You can bring the buggy right to the plane door. So use that buggy to carry all your handbags and extra bits you need.
3. There’s a fast lane for people with babies so getting through security is easier than you’d think!
4. Remember you can’t sit on an aisle or emergency exit which sucks a bit. You have to sit by the window. So ask prior if you can change to an empty row. If your flight isn’t full they’d be happy to oblige. If not and if possible, travel with a friend or your partner. The more hands the better.
The cabin crew have always been absolute hero’s when I’ve been traveling. I remember once I fell asleep on the long haul to Los Angeles on an Ethiopian Airline direct ten hour flight and Theo was in the bassinet, woke up and started crying. Before I woke up to get him, one of the air hostess had him in her arms. I really can’t say kind enough words for some of the amazing staff I’ve met traveling.
5. You have to pay extra for a spare seat if you want to put your car seat on it (which isn’t necessary to bring), but if you travel at non peak hours the plane is often not busy and you can get lucky with a spare row. Otherwise holding your baby is the other option and with the right blanket and position, it’s nice and cosy.
6. Book a bassinet if traveling long haul. This shouldn’t cost any extra but it is popular so you’ll need to book well in advance. (It’s only an option on long hauls).
7. Bring loads of fluids and food pouches.(Depending on the age of the baby.) Pouches don’t spill! Also if you’re breastfeeding it comes in handy when taking off, or else give them a soother to suck on or a bottle during take-off because their ears might get affected by the altitude.
8. Bring a light buggy that you don’t really care if it’s dropped from a massive height and flung around the cargo. It may get damaged so try to avoid bringing your pram you paid hundreds of euro for if you can. I know it’s harder for smaller babies though so I used to bring the car seat on the travel system. Now I travel with the Nano buggy. It’s super light and inexpensive. I got mine in Mothercare.
When we went to Paris, we quickly found out it isn’t the most buggy friendly of cities. Word to the wise, bring a light buggy. We took a few of the trains, as we went to Disneyland and we were sightseeing a lot. We had to carry the buggy up and down some of the subway systems, so the lighter the better. 👌
9. Bring as little as possible. But by little you will still have to bring loads! A change of clothes, a blanket, three bibs, wipes, four nappies, food, etc. The airlines are great and allow for a lot when traveling with a baby. I’ve never had a problem when I rock up to the airport like the bag lady.
10. There is a changing table in the toilet. It’s compact but it’s does the job. Did I mention bring wipes? 🤣
11. Bring toys. Even if you get five minutes from that toy, every five minute counts.
12. Pre download Little Baby Bums on your iPad or phone. Those songs play in my head over and over and I can’t stop them. 🙈
13. Don’t wait for the flight for your baby to sleep. If you think that it’s going to work to overtire your baby so he sleeps on the plane this rarely happens.
It will just lead to a cranky baby that cries and is uncomfortable. SLEEP BREEDS SLEEP. The more they sleep, the more they want to sleep, so I would not recommend overtiring your baby in the hopes they sleep on the plane. Make sure he is rested and he will definitely be a better passenger.
14. A quick word on Disneyland Paris if you have any plans to go:
Be sure to use the rideshare system. This will let you and your partner go on the ride separately and the second person won’t have to wait in line. My partner could go on first and then I could just go on the ride straight away from a private ride-share entrance.
I definitely think going on a city break is harder than a beach holiday or to the Irish countryside though. Paris, as much fun as it was, I left slightly exhausted and felt I needed to check in to the Europe hotel for a spa weekend. 🤣
But on the plus side we walked about 13k steps each day so it definitely was good to stay in shape.
Last but probably most important. ❤️
15. Stay relaxed and chilled. If your baby cries, don’t stress! They’ll feel that stress and cry more. And apparently their cry is so much louder to their parents than anyone else on board the plane. So sit back, relax and good vibes only, as our babies can’t talk yet so they communicate through energy. A happy relaxed mom equals a happy relaxed baby.
I hope some of these tips help. Like I said, traveling with a baby is actually not that hard and more enjoyable than you’d think!
Best of luck, be prepared and safe travels moms, dads, babies, granny’s etc (the bigger your entourage the easier the journey!). 🤗