surviving long haul flight with a 1 year old
Believe it or not, it is something that I’m so proud of. It’s a hard challenge as a first timer, especially because iola isn’t an easy-to-pleased baby. Thank God, I (we) survived the ‘nightmare’, if only I could include it in my CV..
I surely had anxiety before we flew, lots of scenarios in my mind. How if A.. how if B.. etc. I was so worried that she would scream (which she did), or cry out loud (which she did), or couldn’t stay still (which she did). Lol!
One thing for sure, keep calm!
She is just a baby (or a toddler). She behaves like the way she should behave – a baby/a toddler. We certainly can’t expect her to stay still and quiet the whole 7 hours (or more) flights. We, as parents, should understand her and we should accommodate her to be comfortable as much as we could. If other passengers can understand the risk of taking commercial flight, which is to share the space with a baby (or babies); we should understand our baby more than them.
Here are some tips that might be useful for a first timer:
1. First thing first: you need to be calm. Smile to other passenger sitting next to you and apologize for the inconvenience caused. If you are panic, all your acts will be uncontrolled. (Like, my husband was panic, then he dropped one whole pack of baby biscuit on the floor. And the plane wasn’t even take off yet. Failed.)
2. Prepare several types of snacks. Offer it one by one. Babies tend to get bored easily, so when they’re done with one type of snack, offer other type.
3. Bring toys they never see before. This could distract them for a while and you can have your rest for like…….. 10 mins. :D
4. If your baby fancies videos, you can download their favorites videos to your phone and play it on board. Or else, just watch on board entertainment. (FYI, my baby didn’t want to watch at all during the flights. She preferred eating or crawling around)
5. Thickened your skin. Be prepare to accompany your baby to crawl along the aisle, and let them wave to all the passengers. Need not to be ashamed, be proud of what your baby is doing. It’s cute!
6. Book a bassinet beforehand, whether you will use it or not, that’s the whole different story. I booked a bassinet for the two flights, but in the end, the stewardess didn’t let Iola to sleep in it, because she has outgrown the bassinet. Haha. So we just used the bassinet to put our stuffs (which was a lot of stuffs).
7. Drink a lot fluid, especially if you are still breastfeeding. Iola latched more during the flights, it is her way to comfort herself.
8. Bring nursing cover and sit by the window if you can. Window seat allows you to nurse more private, your husband can cover you from the middle seat/aisle seat while you’re breastfeeding.
9. Booked low sodium meals to share with your baby. Because Iola is a BLW baby, so it’s easier for us to feed her. We share meals. Or if your baby is still on purees, you can ask the stewardess to serve the baby food upon boarding.
10. Utilize anything on plane as baby’s toy. Iola likes everything new, so we dug the seat pocket and let her play with it; headphones, stickers, flight card, magazines, brochures, etc. The bottom line is: be creative!
11. Last but not least, pray!
Good luck! :)