What are the preparations and precautions to be taken on your baby’s first flight journey?
Flying for the first time with infants can be overwhelming and strenuous for both parents as well as infants. Parents are usually tensed and nervous about their baby’s first flight as their baby might experience discomfort and they are skeptical, whether they’ll be able to calm their baby down in a closed space for a long duration, with a change in the cabin pressure.
Babies might cry or fuss and it might be disturbing for other travelers and sometimes stressful for the parents, as they try and calm down their baby.Flying for the first time with your baby need not be daunting or terrifying. If dealt with, proper planning, it can be a smooth and stress- free flight.
Check with your doctor
If you are traveling with your baby just after birth, it is advisable to check with your doctor before traveling. The immune system of an infant is at a developing stage and traveling soon after birth might make her vulnerable. Some doctors discourage the immediate flying of infants, just after their birth.
Being prepared is better than being surprised. Pack according to the place, you are traveling to (climate, atmosphere, etc.) and carry an extra handbag with all the essentials required for your baby. Packing some toys for your baby to play with, might also be helpful. One should be ready with everything to deal with any situation that pops up.
Dressing the baby in comfortable clothing helps the baby feel comfortable and can relieve the baby of any irritation during the flight. Also packing an extra change of clothes couldn’t hurt. Make sure to carry extra nappies, diapers, wet wipes, and moisturizers, in case the baby soils his diaper. It is also highly advisable to carry a hands-free carrier to hold your baby.
A hungry baby can be a cranky and fussy baby and can be very difficult to manage on the plane. Hence it’s better to feed the baby before the flight takes-off. And if the baby is hungry during the flight, you can offer him fruits or any semi-solid food.
One should be mentally prepared to deal with the wailing of their baby. There’s a high chance, it might not stop soon. It’s preferable to take an aisle seat so that you can walk down the aisle and rock your baby to calm him down.
It is also advisable to carry baby pacifier to comfort the child during flight takeoff and landing. It’s better to carry some toys for your child to play with. If needed, you can also take the help of the flight crew on board.
Make sure to book your flight tickets well in advance and ask for a bassinet for your convenience. A separate seat can also be booked and most of the car seats for children are also certified to be used on the flight. It is comfortable for both the caregiver as well as the baby. If you choose not to book a separate seat once onboard, you can ask the flight crew for an open seat for your baby.
Protect your baby’s ears
Change in the cabin air pressure can cause temporary changes in the ear pressure, which sometimes leads to ear pain. To distract babies, you can give them something to chew or suck on, like a bottle or a pacifier. Its advisable to keep the pacifier to suck through the flight journey, so that it comforts the child and it keeps calm. The noise levels are also quite high, especially during take-off. Using cotton balls or small earplugs also can reduce a baby’s exposure to high noise levels.
Flying for the first time with babies can be scary, especially for a new parent. Even if the baby faces the slightest discomfort, parents are ready to attend to it. It’s a scary experience, but it need not be. Apart from following all the precautionary and preparatory measures, the most important measure is, for the parent to stay calm.
Babies sometimes tend to feel their parent’s emotions and seeing you panic they might get scared too. There is no problem that cannot be solved by staying calm. Most importantly, parents need to stay positive and calm and focus on taking care of their babies.
Even if something happens that is out of their reach, they can always ask the cabin crew for help. Apart from parents, babies are scared too and they need extra care and soothing during the flight.