Just the Two of Us: Flying Alone with Baby
There are many cases when a mom has the opportunity to travel about by flight, either for a holiday or to visit relatives and friends, but would rather not because of her baby. While travelling alone with a baby might seem challenging to someone who has never tried it, it can also be gratifying in its own special way. Here are some things to keep in mind if you intend to take to the skies with your tiny companion.
Smart packing & placement
Firstly, get the right bag! A generously-sized, wide-opening tote will be perfect. Empty it completely before you begin your packing. Here’s a useful tip: Prepare four separate plastic bags or any other bags made from very soft material. Categorise everything you might need while on the flight with your baby and place them into these bags. That way, you’ll know exactly where an item is when you need it, saving you the trouble of blindly groping around for your little one’s toy or that elusive pack of wet wipes. Here are suggestions on what can go where:
- Bag 1: Some diapers, wet-wipes, change of clothes for your baby
- Bag 2: Toys! Tip: A couple of new toys will hold your little one’s attention for longer
- Bag 3: Baby snacks – bring what works for baby, be it his favourite biscuits, dry cereals, etc.
- Bag 4: Your stuff – Wallet, phone, charger, snack, lipbalm, hair band, etc.
Now remember, when you have a little one on your lap or on your bosom, the ability to reach out and grab stuff from your bag quickly and conveniently mid-flight would come in handy. Believe us, the last thing you want is to be inconveniencing other passengers by asking them for room to go in and out of your seat for stuff at the overhead compartment. So, keep one all-important bag easily accessible, at your feet.
Book the right seat
A seat near the back of the plane would be the best option. It’s the farthest from first class and away from passengers who chose front seats because they don’t like waiting to deplane. These are generally business travelers who travel a lot and are known to be the least sympathetic to little lap passengers and their moms. If your child does happen to have a noisy melt-down, most passengers on board will have the noise behind them instead of in front of them where they can watch (and judge) your every move!
On the bright side, while you’re back there with your little traveling companion, you might notice a constant stream of people getting up to use the bathroom. This is a good thing, for babies are entertained by new faces! Besides, these people are relieved and happy to be standing up for a while and they wouldn’t mind a bit of distraction courtesy of your baby or toddler as they wait in line.
Be polite to other passengers
Wherever you happen to be seated on the plane with your little one, remember that it’s always better to have sympathetic fellow passengers instead of irritated ones. Smile and make eye contact with nearby passengers. A simple “Hi, how’re you doing?” together with a gracious smile and friendly nod will go far in building alliances with others on board, especially when you’re faced with a cranky or upset toddler! Offer apologies to nearby passengers if you think junior is making a little too much noise. Gestures such as these will win you more empathy as you try and pacify your little fuss-maker.
Be well-stocked for pacifying
Although you might be a health-conscious mommy who is ultra fussy about what she feeds her little one, you might want to loosen up that rule while you’re flying with your child. In fact, when you have a loud and cranky toddler on your lap, it’s the best time to make use of all those otherwise restricted foods to keep him or her suitably pacified and quiet!
Relax, you got this…
It matters not if it’s your first time flying alone with your little child or if you’ve done it before, preparing for the worst but hoping for the best will always be your best strategy. More often than not, a polite, sincere smile and taking the effort to mind your baby and your fellow passengers’ comfort will go a long way.