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Top tips for Travelling by Air

The following are prompts rather than specific recommendations for Babies to School age children.

  • Ideas for What to Take
  • Toys: A familiar toy for every hour on the flight.
  • Clothing: A spare outfit or two in hand luggage. Layered clothing including a warm jumper for the air con on the plane.
  • Favourite Blanket / Bedding / Comforter
  • Food: Normal daily requirements plus an extra two bottles – one for take off and one for landing to decrease the risk of popped ear drums.
  • Spoons, bowls, bibs, & wipes
  • A cool bag and pack for any food
  • Lots of plastic ‘zip loc’ bags – for rubbish, anything wet etc…
  • Tissues/cloths
  • Teething relief product
  • Transport – buggy, pram, sling etc….
  • More changes of nappies than you think you will need plus cleaning materials, nappy cream and nappy sacks
  • If you use aromatherapy Lavender may help sleeping on the flight and also with the jet lag on arrival.

The flight attendants should have hot water (however it does depend on the power supply given to them in the aircraft kitchen, it may take 30mins after take off before they have it!). Remember to take a jug to warm bottles, although long haul flights will have hot water jugs that you can use. If you feel it is necessary to take a portable travel bottle warmer just in case.

Before Boarding the Flight
Take a last change in the airport Parent Room. Make good use of these facilities, as you never know how long it will be before you have these facilities again.

Top tips for the Flight
Children under 2yrs are not usually given their own seat, and for takeoff and landing sit on the parent / primary carer’s lap with a special belt which attaches to the belt that they are wearing. To avoid any unnecessary wriggling around and possible tears during take off, try to leave putting the infants belt on until the final call for flight attendants to sit.
Encourage your infant to suck on takeoff and landing, this can be a bottle, soother, drink or with older children a sweetie.
If you use a stroller or buggy, ensure it is fully collapsible and ask at check in if there is provision to store on the plane – this always helps to free up hands for luggage.
If you have any concerns or problem on the flight ask to speak to the flight Purser. The Purser will usually do their best to advise and help you through the flight.

Jet Lag
When travelling through time zones, Jet Lag in infants can prove very tiring for both the child and the carer. To limit the effects of jet lag remember these key points:

  • Rest and sleep as much as possible on the journey and flight to and from your destination.
  • Drink plenty of fluids – water is best, too much is never enough!
  • Allow your child to adjust to the new time zone gradually. Give them food in small amounts when they request food outside of the new meal times. Always give water / fluids when requested.
  • For each hour of time difference allow one day of adjustment. For example: 3 hrs Difference = 3 days adjustment, 1 hour each day.
  • Try to give your child plenty of natural light during the new day and make sure the new night bedroom is dark. This avoids confusion over the new night and day pattern.
  • Establish the same routine pattern that the child is already familiar with as soon as possible, working it into the new time zone.
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