Tackling your first flight with a little one can be a daunting prospect. Just like most aspects of parenting, it feels like a step into the unknown, where anything could go wrong and you are powerless to do anything about it. But also like other aspects of parenting, it is not as terrifying a prospect as you might think, provided you make some basic preparations.

The point is, there are numerous great deals available on international travel, and a selection of agents each trying to outdo each other to offer you the best deal – take a look at https://www.feefo.com/reviews/thomas-cook for a case in point. So it seems a shame not to make the most of what’s available and start showing baby the world at an early age.

Buy a seat

Under-2s do not have to have their own seat, but unless you are starting off with a very short “test flight,” you really need to buy one. More than an hour or so with a wriggling octopus is not going to be comfortable for anyone, and you’ll find it next to impossible to use the tray table.

Also, baby is likely to feel more secure with the familiarity of his or her car seat, so provided it is the forward-facing type that can be used on an aeroplane, it makes lots of sense to bring it along.

Something old, something new

A new toy could be just the thing to provide a distraction if baby starts getting bored and irritable, or if the change in pressure after takeoff causes ear discomfort. It could prove beneficial to the ears of your fellow passengers, too! Keep it up your sleeve to introduce at that critical moment.

Having said that, bear in mind that the whole experience will be something of a sensory overload, so it also makes sense to have a favourite old toy close to hand, too.

Supplies

Any new parent knows you can’t even set off for a walk to the corner shop without packing a bag stuffed with provisions and supplies, so your carry-on bag is going to have to be well stocked. Nappies and formula / snacks are obvious, but think how many you are likely to need and then pack double that. You could face unexpected delays before the flight, and who knows how long the content of that carry on bag will need to keep you going after you arrive?

Here are some other essentials:

  • At least two changes of clothes for baby
  • At least one change of clothes for yourself
  • Wipes
  • Plenty of bags for nappies, dirty clothes, etc
  • First aid kit

Withstanding the pressure

Usually, the biggest fear parents have concerns the changes in cabin pressure causing baby’s ears to pop. To be honest. It is less of a problem than you might think. For most of us, simply swallowing stops the pressure, and most babies cotton on to the fact, too.

Encourage your baby to feed or suck on something during takeoff and landing, and if he or she appears to be in discomfort, remember the distraction techniques we mentioned earlier. Good luck and happy travels!

For even more travel tips check out our previous post on stress free travel with kids