Flying with a baby…

The time has come to take Emily our four month old on her first proper adventure. We are off to Italy tomorrow to the Puglia region for two weeks of sunshine, exploring and hopefully a little relaxation too. This will be our first time flying with her and although I’m not feeling anxious about it, it definitely isn’t as easy as just packing a suitcase for two, jumping in the car and then relaxing on the aircraft with a G&T and Lonely Planet guide! (Hopefully there might be a little of this as we are going with Emily’s grandparents so I’m sure they are looking forward to some quality Emily time on the aircraft and beyond!) Anyway I’ve been doing quite a bit of research about flying with a baby in the build up to our trip and have found all sorts of useful info and tips, which I thought I would share…
Here’s my Baby travel checklist:
  • Pre order baby formula to Boots stores airside in UK airports and pick it up after security. It is possible to take baby milk and food through airport security, although you maybe asked to open and taste it. You can of course take baby food and liquids but having not gone through airport security with a baby before I’m unsure how strict they are so this would be an easier option. When ordering on the Boots website you can pre-pay and choose the collection date.
  • For steralising bottles, dummies etc, I’ve just discovered these genius Steriliser bags, wash up your bits and bobs, fill the bag with 60ml of water and pop it in the microwave. There are also the Milton solo travel steriliser that doesn’t require a microwave. Just add water and one quarter of a Milton sterilising tablet to complete the process.
  • For a long time I’ve been looking for a small, lightweight stroller to travel with. I came across the Mothercare XSS Stroller and then discovered that it was no longer available to purchase due to Mothercare closing down. The original price was £129, which I was fully prepared to pay but after scouring the Internet for weeks in search of it I eventually found one on eBay. I was so pleased to have got it for £50. This stroller is brilliant, it only weighs 3.9kg, comes with a carry bag and folds up so small that it can be put into an overhead locker on an aircraft!
  • Many airlines will allow passengers with infants to check-in a car seat, buggy, travel cot or push chair at no extra charge, this takes the strain off wondering how you will pack all these extras. We are flying with easyJet to Italy, they allow two baby items for free, anything extra can be purchased as hold luggage. Children over the age of two are allowed the same baggage allowance as adults. With an infant under two a small changing bag is allowed. We have chosen to take a car seat and out stroller, as I mentioned the stroller has its own bag but I’ve purchased a bag to protect the car seat in the hold.
  • Families are often given the opportunity to board the aircraft first, great for getting sorted out and settled in your seats. AND relax!  We have also paid for upfront seats with easyJet, which allows you to board first and also take on a handbag or rucksack as well as a wheelie case.  Perfect when travelling with children, who knew such a small person could need so many things!! Not to mention her wardrobe, I’m sure Emily has more clothes than me!
  • Instead of taking our bulky changing bag I bought a compact changing mat and organizer that’s small enough to carry in my own bag, a great little invention if you are limited on space.
  • I’ve packed toys, bottles and dummies in my hand baggage to keep Emily entertained in the air, having something to suck is a good idea for babies during descent to help them equalize the pressure in their ears.
Useful websites:
  • Travel Mamas – This is a fantastic website with so much on family travel.
  • Taylor Hearts Travel and The Travel Hack both have fantastic blogs on travelling with a baby in tow, I’ve found them so helpful when planning this trip, check them out!
The last trip Matt and I took was a ‘babymoon’ in Iceland when I was 6 months pregnant, it was an exciting adventure, northern lights spotting, glacier walking and hunting out incredible waterfalls, it was a great last trip before I got too pregnant to fly and a really different trip, plus our final trip away as a two. This trip is going to be completely different and I’m looking forward to making new memories with our mini adventurer in tow!