For weeks, I had been dreading an upcoming 9-hour flight from London to Vancouver with my baby. It was the longest flight I have taken with my 8-month old, who doesn’t like to sit still for a second.
So how did I (and my seatmates) survive the flight with an energetic 8-month old? Well, before departing, I asked my Facebook friends for advice and tips based on their experiences, which worked like a charm.
Here’s 5 tips that I’d like to share with you:
1. Book a bulkhead seat. Be sure to contact your airline or travel agent well in advance and make them aware you are travelling with a baby on your lap, and they will try to arrange for you to sit in a roomier seat. Not only does this give you more comfort/space, but you will also likely sit in the same row with other parents in the same situation.
2. Have more than enough supplies. When it comes to food, clothing, diapers and items to play with, I recommend taking double whatever you think is necessary.
3. Earplugs (for you and your seatmates). Hopefully they won’t be required, but in case they are, you will be happy you brought them.
4. New toy. Bring a toy he/she has never seen before.
5. Consume time. Think about how to make the time pass quickly for your child. Sleeping is an obvious solution, so try to book an overnight flight, or be sure to take a slightly fatigued child to the airport.
*Bonus tip – what not to do. Many people suggested that I try using baby-friendly sedatives. I sought the expertise of a physician on this recommendation, and I was strongly advised against it. The reason, in short, being that a lengthy flight is not the time to experiment with something new that your child has never before ingested.
In sum, expect the worst and you’ll most likely be pleasantly surprised. But whatever you do, don’t cancel a trip because of concerns of flying with your child. It’s much easier than you think.