Travelling with a baby for the first time can be quite a daunting prospect, but people do it all the time. Below are a few useful tips for you when the time comes to bundle your baby onboard an airplane:
· Divide and conquer
Have one person handle the tickets, doors, luggage and the other just handle your baby to reduce germ transmission! Hand sanitizer and hand washing is very important.
· Don’t check in
Take the buggy, stroller or pushchair to the gate of the airport so you have it until the last minute. This means you have a resting/sleeping place for your baby until you board the plane.
· Wheels up
Once in the seat, wait until the wheels of the plane have left the ground before you start feeding your baby, either by breast or by bottle. If you feed when you sit in the chair, the baby will have finished before you take off and the swallowing really helps with the pressure they’ll feel in their ears.
If your baby is asleep, don’t wake them up for the feed – sleeping through take off or landing will let the ears equilibrate themselves with minimal trauma to your child.
· Swing baby, swing
Have a baby sling or carrier with you so if your baby becomes unsettled you can walk around the cabin without tiring your arms too much.
· Portable play area
Have a thick blanket with different colours on each side that you can put it on the floor or a surface to create a clean play area if you want to put your baby down to play a little. Always put the same colour side upwards so the baby is on the clean side and then fold the blanket so the clean side stays clean for next use.
· Plastic fantastic
Take toys with you that are 100% plastic – the material ones are hard to clean. Disinfect the toys when you reach your destination.
About the Author
Beth is a midwife and a lactation consultant. She has been delivering babies and helping families since 1990. She has worked in hospital settings and attended home births working for the NHS, a private hospital and in private practice. She believes passionately that women have the right to the birth experience of their choice, be it a home birth or a hospital birth, a water birth or an elective caesarean so long as it is informed choice. She has the responsibility to help the woman and her family have the information they need at a level that is right for them to help them to make choices and provide the best care possible for their baby.
Her private practice provides confidential independent support for women in their homes for antenatal classes, postnatal midwifery care, breastfeeding and parenting support. From her experience of assisting high profile families, she endeavors to ensure that they have as “normal” an experience as possible without having to worry about what the carer may think. It is important to her that the family feel comfortable enough to trust her to ask any questions no matter how small or personal, while gaining confidence in their ability to care for their baby.
She will help you find a feeding strategy and approach to parenting that is realistic and right for you and your baby, leaving you feeling empowered by the choices you make and able to enjoy this precious time. She believes that happy babies have happy parents.