– A planning guide for young moms to fly without worries
While I don’t have children and don’t usually blog about parenting topics. Loads of my friends are new moms, and when I came across a recent press release from Mango airlines, I thought the tips they shared were really helpful and so I wanted to share them with my readers too.
I would love to know what you think and if you would like to receive more tips and tricks like this.
Having to think of an extra little person in the family when planning your flights can complicate matters slightly. Noone said adulthood and parenting were all peaches and cream. However, flying with a little one does not need to be overwhelming, and should not stop you from traveling and living your best life.
The question around babies flying on planes, that is asked most often is: why do babies ears hurt when cabin pressure changes during take-off and landing? The answer is, as adults, we naturally adjust to changes in air pressure through our Eustachian tubes, which connect our ears, throat, and nose. In babies, these tubes are narrower and sometimes they don’t open as easily, which can lead to pain, and a fussy, crying baby. There’s no quick solution for this one, but sucking on a bottle or dummy is said to ease the pain in little one’s ears.
There are a few things you can do to keep your baby calm and receptive to soothing techniques in-flight. Follow Mango´s easy guide to prepping for a smooth lead up to your flight and a fuss-free journey.
Calming your baby (and yourself) before the flight:
· Your baby will pick up on your energy and nerves. To avoid panicking about flying with baby – try focus on having a mindset of calmness and having fun with your new little buddy. Calm energy is your biggest asset right now.
· Give baby a bath with a few drops of chamomile or lavender essential oils in the water before your flight to help them relax ahead of traveling. You could try a diluted mixture in a spray bottle generously spritzed onto their pillow, car seat and clothes for extra calm.
· Having your baby in a body-carrier i.e. uBuntuBaba is not only very soothing for you both, but it also makes for an easier trip through security as you will be asked to remove your baby from their car seat or stroller. This way your hands are free, baby can remain asleep. Walking through the plane will also be easier.
· If your baby is under five months, swaddling is recommended for flying to keep them feeling safe and relaxed.
· Try playing the same music to your baby for a few weeks when you put them to sleep at home and bring it along with headphones and some small toys to minimise overstimulation from the people around your baby.
Planning your flight:
· Mango allows infants under two to travel on your lap during flights. Whoop whoop! They do charge a small fee of R130.00 (ex. Vat) for infants-in-arms to travel. A seat belt extension will be provided for safety reasons.
· If you can, buy a ticket for your baby and use the car seat in the plane allowing for minimal disturbances.
· Try and choose your flight to match your baby’s schedule. All Mango´s local flights are less than two hours, so it’s easy to plan your flight around nap time.
Check-in, seats and boarding:
· Mango does not require an unabridged birth certificate for domestic flights, but you will be asked to provide your infant’s birth certificate at check-in, along with their passport. Having these documents readily available will assist with a quick and smooth check-in experience.
· Check-in and select your seats as soon as you can to give yourself seat options. An aisle seat allows you to move freely but a window seat provides more privacy. The choice is yours.
· Generally, you can ask to board early with your infant, but if your baby is niggly, get some help from a flight attendant to store your luggage first, and board last with baby in your sling.
During your flight:
· An infant’s immune system isn’t fully developed yet so make sure both you and baby drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated and fight off traveling germs better. Aint nobody got time to be sick when you land at your holiday destination.
· To help combat potential ear pain, keep your baby close to you during take-off and landing, and encourage breastfeeding, drinking from a bottle or cup or sucking on a dummy.
· Don’t take too many nappies, they take up space and you can always buy more.
· With baby in the front, opt for a backpack baby bag to keep both hands free and for even weight distribution.
· Travel lighter by selecting clothes from the wardrobe that are interchangeable (for adults and tots) and crease resistant. Vacuum bags are also a great way to save space. That also means more space for SHOPPING at the holiday destination!! Although, baby-daddy may disagree with the last part of this tip.
· Pack a second, smaller bag with just essentials such as two nappies, a baby grow, a small pack of wet-wipes, a thermometer, a feeding bottle and hand sanitiser for quick access.
Checklist: One week before your flight
1. Has your baby been suffering from any nasal congestion from a cold or allergies? Ask your pediatrician to check for any sign of ear infection and whether you should give your baby an antihistamine/decongestant for the flight to reduce swelling of the Eustachian tubes.
2. Make sure you know what your maximum weight allowance is for all your luggage and baby equipment to avoid last minute repacking or extra fees that you were not planning for.
3. Contact Mango´s medical bookings division on 086 10 10 214 to request that Mango make their special infant restraints available to you if you need it, or if you aren’t sure.
For more information on fares and to book your Mother’s Day weekend away see www.FlyMango.com
Happy flying moms! I hope these tips make your next trip a little bit more enjoyable. I would love to know what you think in the comments section.