This post is also available in: French
Stella Ryne shares her experiences flying with a baby alone to help other moms in the same situation have a smoother experience. Let’s give Stella the floor.
I love to travel. Travelling helps me connect with my friends and family and reach places I love to visit. When I had my baby, I was afraid I would have to stop travelling, but my husband and I decided not to stop doing what we love. Our baby is a big part of our life; we love her to the moon and back. And we decided to include her into things we love to do.
Flying with a Baby Alone Involves Planning
Travelling with baby alone means exactly that – you are on your own and you have your baby to take care of on the plus side. I learned during my many travels that there are things you can do to help yourself enormously. Planning ahead is the keyword. I found out that only if I plan ahead and get everything ready using experiences – both mine and of my friends and family to prevent most of the unwanted events.
Booking a Flight
At the time when I book the flight, I always say I will have a baby with me. I also explain that it would be great if I can get a window seat or sit next to the aisle. Most of the companies will meet my needs. It is in their best interest as well to “pack” us where we will be the most comfortable and other passengers will be less likely to be bothered by my flying with a baby.
Airplane Check In
While still on the airport, use a bathroom. Change a diaper and do your business.
It will be much easier to do these things now rather than in an airplane’s bathroom. The plane is probably small and changing tables can be a little awkward. Also, I find it very difficult in a plane bathroom to balance a diaper in one hand, wiggling baby on a changing table, and stay in balance myself.
At Your Seat
Once you are safely tucked in in your seat with your baby, you can start to relax. If your baby is a lap baby, start getting out toys and other things to keep them busy. On the other hand, I find taking a seat for my baby much better and easier for everyone.
For example, I take my car seat and fasten it to the plane seat. Here, my baby can take a nap, play, and have a snack. Quality car seats like Mother’s Choice can be very useful, especially if your travel continues by car later. I also bring a stroller, which is very handy if I have to change planes or simply need to find my way at the airport.
What to Bring when Flying with Baby?
During many flights with my baby, I have learned that there are some must have things I have to pack and bring with us. The main package is in cargo, and I collect it upon landing. But my handbag or backpack is filled with the stuff I need access to while next to my baby.
When flying with a baby, the items I pack and bring on board with me are:
- Extra diapers
- Spare clothes for baby
- Spare clothes for me (if something messy happens)
- Healthy snacks
- Bottles with water and liquids for baby
- Baby books
- iPod to play sounds my baby loves
- Favourite pacifier
- Antiseptic wet wipes
All those things will be more than handy when you are travelling with your baby.
Take a Nap
I found it best if my baby takes a nap during the flight. It is not always easy to achieve, but if you fly during baby’s nap time, it can be done.
That’s especially true if you have your car seat. You can tuck your baby in, talk to her, sing to her, and she will soon be napping. At least mine does so. This nap will give you some time on your own to relax, hydrate, and have a snack. Your being comfortable can go a long way toward making this flying with a baby alone experience a smooth one.
Ask for Help
It might surprise you how many people are ready to help out. When I get off the plane, for example, there is always someone ready to grab my luggage while I take care of baby.
Once landed, feel free to ask for help from people if you don’t have anyone waiting for you. One time, I had a very nice man help me with my stroller and my luggage, help me get a taxi, and escort me to this vehicle too. I find people are ready to help, and they never miss a chance to smile at my infant.
Visit Airport Bathroom after Landing
When you land, visit the airport bathroom. I always change diapers and deal with any possible mess there. While the plane travel has ended, now you have to likely go by car to reach your destination. Before getting into the vehicle, though, I find it very useful to take my baby for a little walk around. This way she has a change of scenery, and I have the opportunity to stretch my muscles.
A Final Tip for Flying with a Baby Alone
The best tip I can give you for your next trip is to stay calm and try not to show your stress. Your baby feels your emotions, and, therefore, can start to feel anxious too. Besides, with the advice above you’ll have an easier travel time. What is most important is to keep your focus on baby; give them support and show them good times. The most important is… have fun!
About Today’s Writer
Stella Ryne is an art historian, traveler, conscious consumer, and a proud mother. When she is not trying to improve the things around her (and herself, for that matter), she likes to lose herself in a good book.
She’s deeply into green practices, cherishing the notion that sustainable living and sustainable travel will not only make us far less dependent on others regarding the dwellings we inhabit and what we eat, but also contribute to our planet being a better place to live on. Stay in touch with Stella via Twitter and Facebook.
This post is also available in: French