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  5. is there any way that i can prepare to take my baby on a plane?

is there any way that i can prepare to take my baby on a plane? Lock Rss

Hi all, i was wondering if there is any way that i can prepare my son to flying?. He is only 11 weeks old at the moment and we won't be going on a plane until he is 8 months old, but it is going to be a long haul flight, 1 hour, then 4.5 hours then 12 hours then another 5 hours and finally another hour (ONE WAY!!). then we have all of that to look forward to again on the way home smile yay!!.
i was thinking that there is no time like the present to get him used to this before the big day but i don't know how? any ideas? my then 5 yr old daughter will also be coming... is there any way to keep a 5 yr old entertained for that length of time? hopefully she will sleep most of the 12 hour flight. I hope they have built in screens in the back of the seats. i know that will surley keep her entertained....... i think that they should invent a baby/toddler/child play area on a plane, that way my worries will fade away.

Aleks, SA, 5yr old girl, 9yr old boy&bubs 10.4.04

I have flown to Australia and back 5 times sincehaving Maya (10 flights all up!), although that is much shorter than what you're facing.
I found it much easier flying with a small baby that slept ost of the way. last time we went she was 14 mths and just wanted to run around the plane!
I would suggest you book a bassinet, and make sure to confirm it. Bubs might not neccesarily sleep, but at least he will be able to sit up in it. Also, on the plane, request baby food about 1/2 hr before you actually need it as it seems to take ages for them to organise. I take a lunchbox for Maya with snacks in it to keep her going. This might also work for your 5 yr old, just make sure you empty it before you get off the plane so you don't get zapped at customs!
Check out what the baggage allowances etc are. We found it cheaper to buy a second hand carseat in Aus than take her seat from here as Qantas charge 14 per kg for it. Also they will only permit certain stypes of pram/stroller.
Some people recommed sedation. I have never done this, and never needed to. It also helps to either give bubs a bottle or a dummy when you are landing to help with ear pressure.
With regards to your 5 yr old, she will probably sleep some of the way, but the staff are generally really good. I remember my brothers aged 5 and 8 anoying the hostesses for icecream bars all nite on the way from NZ to the US! They will give her an activity pack, but make sure to pack stories, coloring books etc. Also a familiar blanket or toy for her to help her settle.
One last thing - take spare clothes for you and the kids just n case they spew/poo all over you or themselves! And they often have showers for public use in transit lounges so you might get a shower while you'r on a stopover.
Good luck, and enjoy your trip smile. Hope this helps.

Mum to Maya Grace 02-03, Sienna & Mercedes 10-06

Hi smile thank you soo much for your reply. It sure does make me realise that i do have a lot more to prepare than what i first thought. I only really thought about clothes for the kids incase of poo's and upchucks. but not really about who was to be wearing it (naming myself). I thought about books for my 5yr old but not as much as snacks and it never came to mind about snacks for my bubs as he is too young atm to eat them but i'm sure that i would have realised came the time for it. Thanks for the customs advice too oi never would have thought about that. Do you know what kind of stroller/pram they allow? I have a 3 wheel jogger, that i was hopeing to bring along. I guess that i should just ring Qantas to make sure.
Thanks again. smile

Aleks, SA, 5yr old girl, 9yr old boy&bubs 10.4.04


I found a website that might be useful to you:

Also some other information:

Tips for Air Travel With Babies

The following is written by a work colleague who did a lot of long flights between Australia, Canada and Europe during the time her kids were babies. As you will see, it is crammed with extremely useful tips for staying sane with babies on long (or short) flights.


The following is based on my experiences of international air travel over large time zones with a baby. The following can be scaled down as appropriate for shorter distances. Good Luck!!! Remember remain calm at all times as the baby will quickly pick up your mood.


Seating - If possible request a seat with a bassinette not in the centre as the movie screen is often above this seat and is very distracting for the child when you are trying to get them off to sleep. Also ask if you can have the side without the toilet sign. One time I had this above the crib and it went on and off all night. I eventually covered it up using clothes pegs to hold something in place.

What to bring??? Everything you are going to need!!! It is not advised to count on the airlines to provide anything. For me this included the following:

Food - enough food for the trip and then some in case you get delayed, the baby decides to start a growing spurt etc. I found it best not to count on food from what you get served as you generally want to try and eat with a minimum distraction/ disturbance from the baby. Note planes do not have microwaves. They will heat any food by putting the container in hot water. Not all flight attendants will store the food in their fridge so try and bring food that does not go off easily and store it in sterilised containers to help reduce deterioration.

Milk, Formula - If you are bottle feeding bring more than required for the same reasons as above. Bring 2 bottles (see the Travel - Formula section below for an explanation). If you are breast feeding bring some formula/bottle as over they extended travel you might find you supply is not adequate. If you are breast feeding, fluids on the flight becomes quite important. Consider bringing a water bottle for the flight attendants to fill up as the glasses of water are so small.

Clothes - A change or two of clothes for the baby and yourself (the baby may be sick or spill things on you).

Nappies - Again more than enough nappies as the baby might all of a sudden get the runs or you might get delayed.

Bedding - Bring along a familiar blanket or sheet. This will also provide something to put down on the ground during your stopovers. As well any aids your child needs for sleep toy, dummy etc.

Toys - Bring along that toy that amuses your child in his/her worst mood (I had this big caterpillar clipped to my bag). Best put the toys away from the child a week before the trip so they are sort of new. Don’t forget any toys they need for sleeping.

Others - I packed the different things into zip lock bags to maintain some semblance or order in the bag. They were also useful for keeping some things refrigerated with ice when the flight attendants wouldn’t but things in the fridge. Bull clips and clothes pegs for holding blankets etc up.

Leave behind- the good book for yourself. If you have any spare time you will be sleeping and it will only weigh down your already heavy bag.

Prams/Carriers - I brought a baby sling for the child and an umbrella style pram that I used mostly for the heavy bag that was carrying all of the above mentioned stuff.

I found it best to back things into zip look bags. For example all the nappies in one bag, another bag for food, another clothes etc. This allows you to keep some order in your bag during travel.

For as long as possible before leaving try and maintain a reasonably strict routine of sleeps for your child. This will facilitate maintaining the routine during the flight and re-establishing the routine on the new time zone when you land. The couple of days preceding your trip if possible take an afternoon nap when your child does to stock up your sleep reserves.


The first thing I did when I got on the plane was talk to the flight attendants and explain that their death would result if they woke me up for a meal etc. My plan was to sleep when the baby slept and if that meant my meal was cold so be it. I generally found they were most cooperative. The flight attendants are generally quite busy so don’t count on them for much support. This way if you do get some help it is a pleasant surprise (which I never got).

Baby Sleeping and Eating Patterns - The plane is not the place to start time changes for your baby. I found it best to maintain the sleeping and eating patterns of the place you are coming from for the child. Just leave your watch on that time and do as you would at home. I found the baby did not become over tired or cranky making for a relatively pleasant flight.

Your sleeping and eating - SLEEP WHEN EVER THE BABY SLEEPS. That means putting your head down immediately. Everything else can wait (except maybe the toilet). Try and be prepared before you put the child down, ie have water for yourself and formula. Resist the movies. If you do this you have some chance of arriving with a bit of sanity. Even if the flight attendant says the meal is coming in 5 minutes ask it to be held, as you might only get half an hour and not be able to sleep for quite a while after. Otherwise, eat when the meals come or as you like.

Sleeping - I found that my baby was easily distracted by the people walking by. To over come this I hung a blanket down from the overhead locker. In cases where your child is too big for the bassinette you can use it as the structure from which to hang the blanket from, when the child sleeps on the floor. Airlines don’t really allow the child to sleep on the floor but if you set it up while they are busy, and they sleep (or pretend to be asleep) when they finally notice, hopefully they won’t wake you (I was lucky). When the baby is falling asleep get out of eye contact from the baby and if necessary let them cry for a bit. The background noise of the plane really dampens the sound of a baby crying.

Formula - The flight attendants often get busy just when you need a bottle. They do not have microwaves on planes so heating a bottle up takes some time holding it in hot water. To get around this and have a bottle whenever you need one, ask the flight attendant to fill your bottle with boiling hot water (they have a tap for this). Keep this wrapped in a blanket or something and when you need it either add some cold water from you water bottle or another bottle (if sterilised water is required) to dilute to the right temperature and then add your formula. This way everyone stays happy.


Once you have arrived start immediately with the same eating and sleeping routine you used at home for the new time zone. I found I had to wake the baby after 2 hours of morning and afternoon naps (she normally slept 1 - 1½ hours at home). Put them down even if they are not displaying any signs of tiredness. I also recommend that you take naps as well and early to bed as nights won’t be good for a while. For a 12 hour time change I found it took 7-10 days to get my baby on track. The rule of thumb is that it will take 1 day to adjust for every hour of time change.

As with the plane, try and make the bed as similar as possible to the one at home.

Gabriella, Chiara & angel called home

Thank you soo much for that reply, it is full of useful info..... i never even thought of half of that stuff on there, it looks as if i'm going to be in for a rough trot, but i can and have to do it.
once again thanks

Aleks, SA, 5yr old girl, 9yr old boy&bubs 10.4.04 here is another website you might find useful???

Steph VIC Mummy to one gorgeous boy

Thank you Stephanie, i appreciate it smile

Aleks, SA, 5yr old girl, 9yr old boy&bubs 10.4.04

About prams - I took my 3 wheel jogger the first couple of times. Qantas don't charge for it, but you have to put it in a stroller bag (they provide these) and check it in. I bought a $30 umbrella stroller to use at the airport as you are allowed to take these right up to the plane, and they giv eit to you when you get off at the other end.
I don't bother with the pram now as mum and dad bought a pram at agrage sale in Oz so we just use that.

Mum to Maya Grace 02-03, Sienna & Mercedes 10-06

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