Heading off to the airport with children in tow is not for the faint-hearted but you can make it easier on all concerned. Take a look at the following vital 10 Tips for Flying with a Baby before you leave. You’ll be so glad you did.
Here are our 10 tips for flying with a baby
1. Seating Tips
Airline travel on domestic flights in South Africa, is no different from taking a drive down to the supermarket, except much safer and more crowded. Book a seat for you little one so that you can strap them into their car seat on the plane. This is by far the easiest for you. Travelling with a baby on your lap is a nightmare waiting to happen.
2. Booking your flights
If you book your cheap flights on an online site such as Domestic Flights South Africa, call the airline afterwards to let them know that you will be travelling with a baby. That way they can plan the seating in advance so that you and other passengers have the most enjoyable flight possible.
Some airlines have rules about where to place child restraints. Booking your flights well in advance will make this much easier to arrange.
3. Prepare to Grovel
Admit it, the last thing you want to hear for the duration of your flight is a niggling baby. The same goes for the other passengers. Make sure you are on your best behaviour throughout the flight, no matter how loud you want to scream. Acting politely will stand you in good stead if things start to turn niggly or loud later on. Apologise for any inconvenience and noise, but importantly – keep reminding yourself that most people feel genuinely sorry for the hassled parent. Remain calm, it will soon be over.
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4. Don’t Skimp on Packing
Put everything you can think of out ready to pack. Then go through it and eliminate the overkill. A huge carry-on with everything your child owns will only make the flight even more difficult. Stick to the necessities and a few emergency items, including a change of clothes for yourself. You know by now what your child needs.
If you are travelling internationally, the rules change. Plan ahead for delays and unexpected layovers. It is a good idea to pack enough supplies for at least two days.
Bear the airline’s restrictions on liquids and cosmetics in mind when you pack – they apply to babies too. Pre-mix any formula that you need. Bottles of water are not allowed on a plane but the crew are always on hand to help a parent in need.
5. Security Issues
While the authorities are certainly not going to strip search your youngster on arrival, they will need to pass through the security check. It is easiest to carry them through the scanner in your arms. You will have to remove them from a baby sling if you use one. This is no mean feat if you are already juggling armfuls of luggage.
6. Boarding the Plane
Some airlines allow priority boarding for babies, but it is not always the best idea to take advantage of these. You want to limit the time your little one spends aboard, not extend it. Rather send one adult ahead to install the car seat and stake your claim on the overhead compartment. You don’t want other passengers leaning over you to reach things and accidentally dropping something heavy on your child. After a suitable delay, board with the baby and you’ll arrive to a seat that’s ready for you.
7. Take-Off and Landing
Your child is likely to be terrified of the concept of their ears popping due to altitude changes. Giving them a pacifier or an empty Sippy cup to suck on will alleviate the shock, much like yawning helps for adults.
8. Nappy Changes
Here’s an undeniable fact – babes and toddlers have the worst toilet timing. Chances are you are going to need to change a nappy during your flight. Take it to the bathroom, you don’t want to rub your fellow travellers up the wrong way.
9. Dealing with Crying
Crying is bound to happen. Remain calm and try to distract your little one with games and toys. The more stressed out you become, the more your child will cry. Don’t stomp up and down the aisle trying to pacify the child, you know that’s not going to work.
While it’s not considered best practice, you could ask your doctor for a mild tranquiliser to ease the journey. If you don’t want to dose your child up – get one for yourself!
10. Ask for Help
Airline personnel are there to help. If you are struggling with anything ask them to assist you. They may not offer assistance without being asked because they don’t want to intrude.
Booking your Cheap Flights with Baby
Plan well by booking your cheap flights in advance with Domestic Flights South Africa. Our user friendly browser compares thousands of flights to ensure you get the best prices in South Africa. Once on board, relax and enjoy flying with your baby. Just think of the happy holidays waiting on the other side.