Wilder’s first flight from Denver to Los Angeles was a piece of cake. We were so impressed with how he sat quietly for three hours watching his iPad and occasionally looking out the window. We were particularly impressed because he had just sat for eight hours in the car from Montana to Colorado and was immediately plopped on a plane. I remember thinking how perfect it was that the universe had blessed me with a patient little traveller baby. Unfortunately, some things are just too good to be true. Our multiple flights to Finland really tested my family’s patience. Let’s face it. Nobody likes sitting on a cramped and stuffy aircraft for over nine hours with a bunch of strangers, and babies are not immune. So here are some tips for getting through (and possibly enjoying) a long flight with a baby.
Book Flights with Short (But not too short) Layovers
It is important to try to arrange your flights so you are not sitting and waiting in an airport for any longer than you have to. A two to three hour lay over is the perfect amount of time to get through international security and back on your next flight. Don’t book a flight departing one hour from when you land. Trust me. Or you will be like us, sprinting through the airport and begging the plane to come back to the gate (which by the way they totally did, but many are not so lucky).
Another great way to book flights is to book an extended overnight layover (if you have the time and the money). This way you can get a hotel and relax before doing it all over again tomorrow.
Bring Headphones That Go Over the Ears
This one is self explanatory. Keep your baby entertained…but silently entertained.
Book a Seat with a Bassinet
Did you know that most international flights have bassinets that you can request? My colleague told me about it, and it has changed the way I book tickets. Well, for now anyways.
Come Prepared (Seriously)
While waiting for our flight to London, I asked the lady at the gate if they had milk on the plane or if I needed to buy some in the airport. Both women assured me that there was milk on the plane. Well you can imagine the utter terror I felt when the flight attendant told me that they have never served milk on this airline. Panic set in, and I had to emotionally prepare myself for the nine hour flight without Wilder’s beloved “baba”. All the pep talks in the world could not prepare me for all the tears and screaming that followed. So in short, bring milk, snacks, diapers, wipes, and believe me, an extra set of jammies.