Traveling with baby: Four things I’m glad I packed onboard

Baby Travel Toy - Photography by Lola Akinmade Åkerström
We took our first test flight with baby on Monday. Granted, it was just a little over an hour long but yes! she ended up being “that” screaming baby onboard. It was inevitable. We tried to hypnotize her to sleep (see picture above) before boarding our flight but it was futile. She drowned out the flight attendants as they demonstrated the plane’s safety procedures, and I prayed other passengers had remembered evacuation steps from previous flights.

Me?

I didn’t make eye contact with anyone. Totally focused on calming her down by being calm myself. I began to fully understand how those parents remain calm. You know, those parents who try without avail to calm babies down as other passengers silently hiss beneath their breaths. By not making eye contact. While a tad bit sorry for temporarily inconveniencing others, their children were and are their main priority.

I get it now.

Luckily, her screaming bouts were limited to a handful of five minute shrills. Albeit shrieks that could bring down a grown man.

Anyways, here are the four items I’m so glad I brought onboard that limited her crying. I’m not including diapers because that’s a given, lest you want your child to stink up the whole plane for hours.

Pacifier

I read online that having something in baby’s mouth during take-off and landing helps prevent or at least minimize that uncomfortable ear pressure change so I definitely had it in her mouth. Only applicable if your child actually likes pacifiers.

Toy

A toy that will hypnotize her for hours. Again, see picture above. Heck, that toy often hypnotizes me at times. By attaching it to the pulldown tray’s hook, she could use it as her personal punching bag.

Burp cloth

One for short flights. At least two for longer flights because there will be dribbling and you need something to catch the occasional curd-like spit-ups. She’s only four months after all.

Bottle

In my case, a bottle of pumped milk because it was virtually impossible to whip out and feed her due to tight seating. All I can say is “Thank God for the bottle!”

Anyways, heading back to Stockholm soon and then turning around to go to England and Scotland within a few days. Oh fun!

For those of you who travel with infants (0-12 months), what do you often bring onboard?

  • http://expatheather.com Heather

    A stylish scarf/breastfeeding cover and a fleece jacket or vest that can get rolled up to use for support (under my arm or back) to make holding the baby more comfortable.

  • http://www.lolaakinmade.com Lola

    @Dami – She might be too small for the umbrella stroller. We’re definitely going the Baby Björn/Moby wrap route for connecting flights.

  • Dami

    For international flights, you can check in strollers at the gate but beware if you plan to use it during layovers as they’ll usually check it straight to your destination. Do priority family boarding and if you have a small umbrella stroller, you can take that onboard. But emelie may be too small for that type of stroller so a baby carrier is the best way to go.

  • http://www.lolaakinmade.com Lola

    @Dami – I absolutely love my bebe au lait cover. It’s so convenient and I’ve actually had a couple Swedish moms ask me about it.

    @Kimberly – Great idea! I got a Moby as a gift and need to use it more often too.

    @Rebecca – Congrats on your 9-week old. Poo explosion!! Oh yeh :) I hear you on breastfeeding. Sounds like the way to go on flights for those of us who breastfeed. Will try it on our return flight!

    @Amanda – Solid tip, thanks! We do have a Baby Bjorn which she doesn’t like but we definitely need to use it more often, because it seems we can no longer check strollers at the gate anymore :(

    @Lisa F. – SNACKS! Yes, for both of us ;) Now I fully see how parents just avoid eye contact. Never again will I roll my eyes when a kid is screaming their lungs out.

    @Andi – We’re all learning one day at a time!

  • http://www.mybeautifuladventures.com Andi of My Beautiful Adventures

    You are so brave!

  • Lisa F.

    If only I could have used a bottle! On our first flight with C at 6 months old, I nursed him on take-offs and landings to try and avoid the ear pain. It worked, but, I did just have to ignore the few odd looks. When he was a bit older, SNACKS were key to a successful flight!

  • http://notaballerina.com Amanda

    Our big trip when R was 0-12 months was Australia to Germany and back (he was 4 – 5 months), and it went extraordinarily smoothly. A change of clothes did prove to be a must, though. Probably the most important thing was the carrier (Baby bjorn) for the transit times, when we didn’t have a pram. Kuala Lumpur airport is (IMHO) one of the most boring airports in the world, plus our transit times are inevitably in the middle of the night, so lots of walking (with baby sleeping mostly) was important.

  • Rebecca

    My son is just 9 weeks and we’ve been on several flights – both long haul (8 hours) and short (1 hour). A spare change of clothes for both you and baby as there’s bound to be some kind of poo explosion and it may inevitably end up on you…and going through immigration with poo stains isn’t the most desirable.
    I’ve been lucky, though, with travels. Of four plane rides so far, he was really fussy for one but it was the same day as his immunisations so I just fed him the whole flight – breastfeeding with a very big muslin covering us up.
    Good luck on your next flights!

  • http://www.maherfamilygrows.blogspot.com Kimberly

    If you can nurse in any way that helped my kids fall asleep on takeoff and landing. I took a Moby wrap and an ergo when my littles were that tiny. If you are allowed to, keeping the baby strapped to your front even while seated helped, too. Glad you managed to make your first flight!

  • Dami

    Elie hated pacifiers so I made use of the bebe au lait cover to nurse. Worked like a charm. At least in europe, nursing is seen as a normal thing… In the us, you just do it and try not to care. The more moms nurse, the more acceptable it’ll get.