Our first flight with Jagódka is already behind us. Not even one, but two 🙂 At first it was 5 hours from Warsaw to Dubai, and on the next day – another 5 hours from Dubai to Bangkok. How was it? Honestly? Better than I had thought it would be! I guess I’d forgotten how it was like to travel with a newborn. We took off from Warsaw to Dubai a little bit after 1 PM. Our newborn doesn’t sleep all the time anymore (it’s almost 3 months old now!), so I was wondering how it will go… There was no need for that: the noise that the plane made and mommy’s breast were very effective when it comes to falling asleep, so Jagódka slept, ate, and drank most of the time on the plane. We also went to the bathroom once, changed the diaper, then she fell asleep again and then we were in Dubai.
The flight to Bangkok was even better. We took off at 8:15 PM, so Jagoda decided to sleep after a long day. The only problem? I needed to take the queen out of a cot attached to a wall during turbulences. She was asleep so she got a little angry that we woke her up 😉 But who wouldn’t be? 😉
That flight reminded me of a lot of important things that I forgot about when Maks got older! 🙂
Here are the golden rules that were useful for us on our first flight 🙂 We’ll focus mostly on the first flight with a newborn – if your kid is a little older and the first flight is still ahead of you – go HERE 🙂
And now back to a NEWBORN! The flight is ahead of you, your family are wringing their hands, and you’re anxious whether it was a good idea. It was 🙂 Here’s your cheat sheet! 🙂
1) If this is your first flight, start with the one that is no more than 2-3 hours. Don’t start with a 10 or 15 hours long flight 😉
Of course, it’s not always possible. Sometimes there’s no more time, sometimes you need to go somewhere far away because of family issues, but if there’s a possibility, it’s always better to go to London, Barcelona or Rome before you decide to get on a plane and stay there for 15 hours. Unless you think it’s better to be unaware and that nothing safe is worth the try 🙂
2) Don’t put all your belongings into your carry-on bag. Take what’s most needed
The basic mistake. Thousands of backpacks, bags, suitcases. I mean, you only have a small human on that plane and he really doesn’t need much to be happy. You definitely need a few diapers (5 make you feel safe), wet tissues and a cream for nappy rash – you never know when the biggest poop ever arrives. You may want to take some clothes too – again: you never know when the biggest poop ever arrives 😉 Also, there’s always a risk of spitting, vomiting, or spilling some carrot food if your child eats it.
3) Decide how many things you’ll need based on the length of the trip
If your flight is one hour long, there’s no need to take 3 different sets of clothes and 5 jars 🙂 It’s even more applicable to toys 🙂 Be logical while packing your bags!
4) Always have some diapers, tissues and clothes for change on your
It’s definitely better to put it in a bag that can be hidden under your seat/next to you rather than in a suitcase that you’d need to take out, open, and search through for child gadgets. Two diapers, a small pack of tissues and 1 set of clothes can fit even in a small woman bag.
5) Let your child wear comfortable clothes – for them… and for you 🙂
I know that tiny jeans, dresses, shirts, vests and other stuff are beautiful, but when you’re travelling, your child should be wearing things that they’ll feel comfortable in. It’s also for you, because you may need to change their diapers in a plane bathroom because you suddenly need to “put your seatbelts on”.
6) If you breastfeed, wear something that will make it comfortable and discreet for you
This is the basic thing! It’s 100% sure that you will need to feed your child! Furthermore, the kid may “suck on your tit” for the most time on the plane. The clothing that allows your kid to get to your breast really fast and without you getting naked in front of a crowd of strangers will make you 100% comfortable. I’ve been in love with Cool Mama clothes since I got pregnant. I wore their shirt on a plane from Warsaw to Dubai and their t-shirt on a plane to Bangkok. I don’t know any other more comfortable way to breastfeed in a public space 🙂
You may also need some scarf – you can hide your child while breastfeeding, and you will want to use it on the beach or to hide from the sun 🙂
7) If you use a bottle to feed your kid, take milk/porridge that can be made with just water – if it’s possible…
I’m not the best person to give you advice on that, because both Maks and Jagoda have been breastfed, but when Maks was too old for that but still cravedmilk, I used milk/porridge that you can pour into a bottle without waiting for hot water from a stewardess.
8) Feed during taking off or landing… unless your kid is already asleep 😉
They say that changes in pressure make children’s ears hurt. I never got a chance to notice it with Maks during loooots of flights (well, I did once, when he was ill), Jagoda didn’t have that problem either. I fed during both taking off and landing (with my breast or a bottle)… although Jagoda was already asleep when the plane was taking off. I hope it happens to you too 🙂
9) If it’s possible, order a “crib” – you will need it!
It’s an amazing solution on longer flights. Imagine that we never tested it with Maks – we always caught on too late. You need to book it early because usually there are only five or less per plane. The crib is attached to a wall in front of you and it can carry a kid that weights less than 11 kilos. The only flaw: you need to take your child out during turbulences.
No matter if there’s a crib or not, remember that a kid less than 2 years old doesn’t get its seat – you can only pray nobody will sit next to you.
10) Use every benefit for families at the airport or ask for them 🙂
There are signs for families with kids or infants (less than two years old) at many airports. Ask for them right away. There’s no need to stand in long lines like others do. I mean, you may be carrying you child for two hours while they will be sleeping or watching movies later 😉 You have the right to be privileged 🙂
11) Don’t let your kid nap right before the flight!
I think I don’t have to explain this one? 🙂
12) Take a blanket!
Planes are usually cold. Even if it’s summer, take a blanket for your child. You will get one on long flights, but it’s better to have yours on short ones. Emirates is awesome when it comes to that – they give cuddly toys stuffed with blankets to kids – we have four of them after two flights 😉
13) If your child needs a pacifier, take at least 2!
If one falls and lands a few rows away, you’d better not crawl under other people’s feet to get it 🙂
14) Feed whenever it’s needed
Let go of the “I feed every three hours” rule – feed whenever your kid wants it, when it cries, grumbles or is tired. The key is to survive your flight without stress – this is the most important thing.
15) Don’t stress over the “day’s rhythm”
It’s been asleep for 4 hours and you always feed it every 2,5 hours? Go to number 14 🙂 You need to make your life easier for yourself on a plane – don’t complicate it. Enjoy the fact that your kid is asleep and go read a book 🙂 Don’t you dare to wake it!!! 😉
16) Take a baby carriage that is easy and fast to fold
When Maks was little, we had one flight with a baby gondola – it wasn’t comfortable, even though we had grandparents to help us. Gondola, frame, putting these parts together and all of that… We decided we’d take a different prat with us for Jagoda (McLaren Techno XT – Maks used to use it) that you can also use as a crib, just like in gondola. It’s way more comfortable to use it in travel – at the airports, on walks, in the streets, in bars.
17) Think of what your child needs to wear based on the circumstances
If you’re about to go to a warm place in winter, don’t make your child wear a gigantic snowsuit that can’t be hidden anywhere later. It should wear something lighter – you need to cover it in blankets and run from a cab/car to the departue lounge. If you’re afraid of the cold and the wind while getting on a plane, call and ask whether they’ll use a bus or a chute – it will make things easier 🙂
18) Don’t stress over anything – your kid can sense it!!!
P.S. I think baby slings are also useful at airports, but we don’t have many experiences when it comes to them. I did put Jagoda in a Tula sling while getting out of a plane in Bangkok, though. It had an insert for a newborn. I know that it has its supporters and opponents, so I’ll leave this open 🙂 We never used slings at airports/on planes with Maks, so it’s not necessary on your first flight, especially if you only have one child 🙂
GOOD LUCK, IT’S GOING TO BE OK!!! 🙂 If you have any questions/doubts, your own rules, let us know 🙂