This is another very interesting topic regarding traveling with young children. I already wrote about how to enjoy a shorter flight with a baby here. Now we’ll see if it’s even possible to enjoy a longer flight with a baby. I will also write how to enjoy any flight with a toddler in a separate post as that’s a whole new topic. I flew with both of my babies on long distance flights a few times so I believe it’s important not to just survive, but also enjoy the flight.
Really? Enjoy a long flight with a baby?
Yes. It is possible. First of all you have to be relaxed about it and be happy with your decision to go travel far away with a baby. It’s one of the best choices, really. So gather your confidence and know that you’re not the only one flying far with a baby. There are many babies flying all the time with their families. Of course, it’s not the same as flying by yourself or should I write flying without babies and kids of any age. But it can be a great experience instead of just surviving the flight. You will definitely be tired, but it’s possible to be tired and happy! All parents know that.
How to get ready (yourself) for a long flight with a baby?
In my experience, it’s good to rest as much as possible at home (or at a destination, where you are) the day before the long flight. Nap with your baby or at least lay down and rest. Don’t do too much, just do what’s necessary. I also think it’s better to pack and get ready a few days before the flight so you can rest the day before the departure. Rest is importan,t even before flying, because with a baby, parents won’t rest a lot during the flight. Try to eat light food (fruits and vegetables) a day before the flight, it’ll help you feel comfortable during the flight. Wear comfortable (really comfortable) clothes in more light layers.
How to get a baby ready for the long flight?
Try to stick to the baby’s daily routine at home as much as possible. At the airport try to tire the baby, keep the baby awake if possible. This is so important if you fly during the night. Even if you have a daily flight, try to plan a baby’s nap at the time of takeoff. We usually had night flights when we flew long haul. So both my babies slept well during the flights. But we kept them awake as long as possible at the airport and also until the takeoff. If your baby is already eating solids, also plan light meals for the baby and try not to offer some new food which may cause any inconvenience. Dress the baby in a few light layers (comfortable clothes).
What to take with you on a long flight with a baby (hand luggage)?
I’ll get into this topic more detailed in a future post, but here are the most important things. For the baby take additional clothes to change into if necessary, enough diapers and wet wipes. Some light clothes to change yourself might be a good idea (it’s easy to get dirty while taking care of a baby…).Take enough milk and baby food (depends on what are your baby’s habits). Also take some snack for yourself (I prefer nuts or nut bars). You can get water on the plane and there is some baby food usually available (depends on the company). They will also give you blankets and pillows. Take some small, lightweight toys for your baby as well. I always had a baby carrier. We use Boba 4g carrier. It was so helpful (read below).
Will a baby sleep during the flight and how?
Well, all babies sleep on the longer flights, but not all the time. If it’s a night time flight, your baby will usually sleep quite a lot. Usually with a baby less than one year old you’ll be seated in the place on the plane where they put a baby bassinet. The bassinet is useful and it’s good to have it. My baby did sleep in a bassinet, but not all the time. He slept there a few hours and later on in my lap. My second born slept in a carrier during two very long flights (12 hours each). I put him in the carrier (Boba 4g) once we boarded the flight and he fell asleep then and he slept for almost 9 hours, a few in the carrier and a few in my lap (same same). I found it best to be lucky and have a few more seats on the plane so the baby can sleep next to you on two seats. You can use plane blankets to make the baby more comfortable.
Will you sleep during the flight?
To be honest, you won’t have the best sleep. You will most probably have many shorter naps. That’s why it’s important to rest a day before flying. Just rest and sleep as much as possible. But you can still get some rest while traveling for many hours by plane with a baby. If your baby falls asleep in a plane bassinet, that’s great and try to sleep while the baby sleeps. However the baby sleeps, try to sleep or nap while the baby does. It’s your best bet. I actually managed to sleep on all flights with both my babies. Even when one of my babies slept in my lap the whole time I had a few short naps.
Accept help if it’s offered (and ask for it too).
Usually flight attendants will ask you if you need anything when you travel with a baby. I always had the best experiences. They always offered any help possible. Take it. Take the water offered or baby food. If they want to hold the baby, give them the baby for a few minutes and res tor eat. If they start to entertain your baby, let them do it. And of course, if you need anything, ask. Never hesitate to ask. Everyone is always (well mostly) helpful if you need anything while flying with a baby.
Sounds possible, is it really?
Yes. I must say flying long distance with a baby is not easy, but totally manageable. And now you know you can enjoy it. Just don’t expect too much, be prepared and plan your trip according to your baby’s schedule and needs. You’ll be fine. Specially fine if you travel as a family. I did some flights by myself with a baby. That’s a topic that needs a different post. As I wrote before, baby can enjoy flying, even long distance. Babies love to be held and close to you and they usually like to see different faces, environments,…
I will write more about flying with babies and toddlers. It’s a topic that needs attention I believe.
Thanks for reading,