The Easter and school holidays have made their way round again and if you’re getting on a plane with bubs for the first time, here’s some top tips to help get you through to the other side with your sanity intact!
1. Hopping on a plane? Help alleviate bub's ear pain by getting them to suck on ascent and descent. If breastfeeding, offer bubs the breast on take-off and landing, or the milk bottle or dummy/pacifier, if they take one. Tots 6 months+ can also alleviate the pain by sucking liquid from the b.box sippy cup or drink bottle. They both have a spill-proof valve, so when it’s knocked over it won’t spill everywhere. If you're travelling to a hot country, the insulated drink bottle will keep cold drinks cool for up to 7 hours.
2. Worried your toddler's going to knock over your drink on those small plane tray tables? (which is already filled up with toys, sippy cups and activity books as it is!) Invest in b.box silicone lids -they come in a handy hygienic pouch that’s small enough to pop in the handbag. Pop them on your cup, their juice cup, any cup you want and presto! Less mess, less drama and less embarrassment – we’ll drink to that!
3. Ensure iPads and powerbanks are charged, and favourite movies are downloaded in advance. You can use screens as your go-to for a little peace while you travel or as your last resort to keep your little one occupied. But if you’re anti-screen, then ensure you stock up on playdough, activity books, stickers and crayons/colouring pencils etc. Whatever you do - avoid small toys like Lego, because if the favourite piece gets lost into an unrecoverable cavity belonging to the person behind you - game over!
4. If available (and if bubs meets the size requirements), book a bassinet on the plane. Seats with bassinets will have more legroom, which is a godsend because you’ll need to get up frequently, and if you have another little one in tow. Don’t forget to book baby food or toddler meals too (if available). If you're travelling with a partner - take turns to eat your meal while the other keeps the kids occupied. There's less chance the awkward food trays will be up-ending mid-meal by a squirming baby or toddler!
5. Check ahead what you can and can’t bring on a plane.So many times we’ve had the sunscreen that lives in the nappy bag confiscated and had to buy a new bottle at the airport when we landed. This happened to us almost every. single. time. Most airports will allow food and water in the hand luggage for infants and toddlers. Pack extra nappies, disposable change mats and plenty of wipes and extra clothes for bubs in case it’s cold on the plane.
6. Ensure you pack baby bibs and baby utensils (because somehow not every restaurant will provide teaspoons!) . Invest in a b.box travel bib + spoon set – you can fit a food pouch and the included baby spoon into the food catcher, fold it up and zip it up into one compact pouch that fits easily into your hand luggage or backpack. Less to carry, no messy zip lock bags. Plus, the travel bib is made from quick drying materials that you can just wash it under the tap in the hotel room and it’ll dry super fast. Or, you can just wipe it clean with wet wipes. There's room for a food pouch inside the zip too so you can pack everything you need for a meal on-the-go.
7. Take the pram or stroller. Prams can usually be wheeled all the way to the gate. (Check this with the airline first). At the gate, if you’re by yourself, ask staff to hold bubs so you can dismantle the pram for them. Or, if you’re uncomfortable with that wear your baby in a carrier, so you’re hands free and can manage your wheelie.
8. Request an aisle seat. This is so you can hop in and out to change bubs or need to stand up frequently and walk up and down the aisle to soothe or rock baby to sleep.
9. Remember you'll need to wash your bottles and sippy cups too! Don't forget to pack some dish washing liquid (or you can buy some overseas) and your cleaning brushes. Once you're done washing them in the hotel room, you'll need to air dry them.Invest in a b.box travel drying rack - these give you a clean and hygienic surface to dry your bottles and sippy cups wherever you are. It folds flat and compact and fits easily in the nappy bag.
10. Try not to worry about the glaring looks. Most people are parents and have all been there at some stage and will understand. Just remember you’re trying your best mama! If cabin staff offer help – take it!
Lastly, enjoy your well-deserved holiday and have an amazing time!