Holidays are awesome! My husband and I went on so many before our little bubsy was born. Japan, Thailand, Indonesia, Portugal to name but a few places! We even managed to visit Ireland and Hungary when I was pregnant.
Despite being such seasoned travellers, when it came to our first family holiday, I was a tad bit stressed. We decided on Dubai as the first international destination for our bubsy to experience (more on this awesome place in a later post).
The thing that made me most anxious was the 7 hour flight with a 4.5 month old. Friends (the baby-less kind) kept pointing out how the noticed babies screaming during take off and landing. To say I was nervous about the flight would be a complete underestimation of my feelings!
So I did what nervous mothers do best. I scoured the Internet for ideas and tips about what to take on board and ways to soothe baby. Thankfully most of the sites/blogs were really positive about the experience. I’ve linked a few of my favourite posts at the end.
And when the dreaded flight arrived, it was all a bit fine Anticlimactic, I know. Sorry. But it really was fine. Here’s a few things I did/found that helped make the experience a bit less stressful:
Call the airline! As soon as you’ve booked your flight, call the airline to request a bassinet seat! Unless you don’t want one, that is. They get booked up pretty quickly. We were fine for the flight to Dubai. On the way back, all the bassinet seats were booked up; mainly by those who wanted extra leg room-what is up with that? I was allocated a bassinet seat and my husband was given a seat adjacent to me but separated by the isle. We just arrived at Dubai airport early and requested to be sat together (which Emirates sorted out 😘).
Leave baby sleeping. Ours were morning flights so I changed my bubsy into his travelling attire the night before. I woke him up around 30 minutes before we were due to leave. Just enough time for a quick feed and nappy change. This meant I could ensure all the last minute things were sorted without having to worry about him.
Buy a cheap stroller. The last thing you want after investing hundreds in your pushchair is for it to be damaged in transit! Hence I bought a budget stroller – the Joie Nitro (awesome stroller and a review coming up in a later post). At £39.99 from Home Bargains, it was a steal. We also bought a JL Childress Cover as added protection.
Invest in a good baby carrier. We bought the Ergobaby 360 for a wallet denting £139.90 (we bought it with the newborn attachment so it can be used with bubsy number 2)! But it was completely worth it and I wish we had purchased this when our bubsy was born. He prefers to look out and about so the flexibility this offers was perfect! Handy for putting him in once we arrived at Dubai airport.
Take toys. My handbag was full of his toys. We had a few rattles (not too noisy as didn’t want to irritate fellow passengers) and a few teethers. We also took a few stuffed/cuddly toys. Some were brand new which meant bubsy was entertained for longer with them.
Ear defenders. Although you don’t have loud music on airplanes, you do have other kids who are bound to get upset just when yours falls asleep. Sticking a pair of ear defenders on really helps drown out excessive noise and keeps your baby asleep 😄. We bought Banz Mini Earmuffs as they’re suitable from 3 months onwards.
Feed on take off and landing. The sucking action will help to prevent your baby’s eats getting blocked. My baby’s still breastfed so it was quite easy. I used scarfs and a cape to help me be discreet. As it happened, my baby got hungry a little too early when we were landing. I gave him a dummy to encourage him suck. I completely recommend the MAM Air range as my bubsy refused to take any other brand!
Stand by the toilets. Ok, I’m not being weird or gross. Flights can be really long and no matter how many toys you take, baby will get bored! My husband took our bubsy for a walk around the cabin and then stood by the toilets (the aim was to get bubs to look out the window and amuse him). But he found that quite a few people came up and chatted to him/played with our baby. That really helped to pass and hour or so (both for him and put baby)!
Bassinets and turbulence. Sod’s law that as soon as I put bubsy in the bassinet, the captain turned on the seat belt sign! Grrrr. It was really annoying because he would have just fallen asleep and I would have just finished arranging all his blankets. We had to take him out straight away and that meant he would wake up 😔.
Formula. The 100ml rule didn’t apply to formula at Birmingham or Dubai airports. Although my baby is breastfed (and detests formula) I took a couple of bottles incase flying did something to my milk supply. I had read that airports make you taste the milk in front of security so I was prepared for this. However, at Birmingham they have a fancy machine that checks the bottles without opening or tasting them. The 100ml rule does apply to all other things like nappy creams so make sure you pack travel sizes.
Hope you find this useful and happy holidaying to you! It’s a magical experience travelling with your baby.
Here are some blogs/websites I found really useful when planning our trip: