I have a very expressive, intelligent and emotional baby, who will soon be a year old and this is when we decided we should not give a damn about anything and just go ahead with moving continents for work and travel with baby in tow because-
A) everyone says babies are resilient and they adjust to anything and
B) it’s better to move and travel now or never right? and
C) we are basically selfish parents who love traveling .. hehehe
So, this post is not about us but about some things I learnt from this very long journey with my almost one year old, that might be useful to other parents planning the same thing, or might not be useful at all- who knows- because ‘every baby is different’? Without further dilly dallying, here is my list 🙂
- I think it is better to split your flights and travel into multiple legs, than a straight forward continuous flight of 8-10 hours. Specially if your child is like mine, who can’t nap for very long, or wakes up easily and hates confined spaces. The economy seats are really tightly spaced I must say. So we broke our journey into three legs and that actually helped us
- Most of the times, you will get the front seats which have more leg room, but we saw, on both our flights, we didn’t get a bassinet for the baby. So unless you’re carrying a car seat with you and have booked an extra seat for your baby, be prepared to carry your baby on your lap or in your arms the entire flight. It isn’t comfortable- both for the parent and the baby, sadly
- Have a plan on what you would feed your baby, if they’re not exclusively being breast fed. My baby is formula fed and she eats three full solids type meals too. So it was a major challenge for me to figure out what to feed her on the journey. What I did find out though is that my baby didn’t really want to each much throughout the journey. So I stuck to some Indian rice crispies, plain marigold biscuits, bread and banana. One of my friends suggested carrying jar baby foods from Heinz or Ella’s garden, but I couldn’t find them before leaving from India
- With regards to formula, we calculated that she would need around 6-7 bottles for the entire journey. So we had those many bottles and some extras too, just in case. Luckily, our baby likes her milk at room temperature, so you can get mineral water and make formula for the baby on the go. This really helped us a lot, since she was full and the bottle acted as a soother too, since she has self weaned herself from the pinky/pacifier/soother 🙂
- Another thing I learnt was- I am really at a loss when it comes to entertaining my baby on the flight, or in any closed space. The only thing that worked for a little while was making her watch nursery rhymes that I had downloaded on my phone, but even that held her attention for just 10-15 minutes! She wouldn’t want to watch any in flight entertainment cartoons. We had carried some of her books with us, so that helped for another 10 minutes and we tried to walk with her on the flight, but that was tough, since the flight walk way was very small and since it was an overnight flight, it was difficult to move freely, as the lights were dimmed. My daughter loves to move around and gets irritable when she has to sit at one place for more than 15 minutes at a stretch, so the only thing that worked was trying to get her to sleep as much as possible..lol!
So, these were the the things I experienced on a long haul flight travel with my baby. I would be be lying if I said it is very easy to travel with a baby- babies are a lot like dogs or puppies I feel, they need space and sunshine to flex their muscles and hate being in a cramped up space for that long. But don’t let that deter your travel plans. Because, in our 12+ long journey covering two continents and three stop overs, my baby cried for a total of half an hour (in intervals)- yes I noted that down, just for this blog..lol! So I think we did better than expected..hahah!
Has anyone else experienced anything similar and tips or remedies to keep your baby engaged or get her comfortable on such journeys? I’d love to hear your thoughts 🙂