For first time mums or dads flying with a young baby can be daunting. It took me six months to build up the courage to fly with my firstborn so now I’ll tell you why the best things come in small packages and why travelling with tiny tots is the easiest time to do it.
1 They don’t move – put them down and yip, they’re exactly where you left them. This is not the case with an older child. No newborn demands to walk up and down the aisles of planes, jump on the seats or kick the passenger in front of them so try to relax and enjoy your trip.
2 When it comes to sitting on your lap young babies are light and they’re small – when you’re travelling with a 23 month old ‘infant’ you’ll know what I’m talking about.
3 New babies tend to sleep a lot, especially on a propeller plane with lots of white noise. Travelling with an older baby who has dropped his/her naps brings further challenges.
4 Young babies actually look like their passport photos.
5 When you start weaning you’ll be packing endless little pots of pureed goodness so the first six month is the lightest time to travel. And if you breastfeed you don’t need to carry any milk paraphernalia with you. Freedom!
6 Generally people will help you if you’re travelling with small children – I was surprised at the levels of kindness and empathy extended to me. Lots of people are on your side.
7 Never guaranteed but you often get to led to the front of the queue at passport control and security if you’re travelling with a buggy.
8 A little baby has little outfits and little nappies so you get more bang for your buck in packing terms. Often you get 10kg luggage allowance for infants whether they’re one month old or 23 months old.
9 Small babies don’t suffer from separation anxiety the way older infants often do, so if you’re bursting for the toilet you can leave your baby with dad/granny/anyone you feel you trust without the screams of MUMMY, MUMMY, MUMMY ringing in your ears. Fellow mums travelling alone often pool together on flights to support each other.
10 Milk fed nappies don’t smell so bad before you’ve started weaning – trust me! When an older child delivers a ‘present’ on a small aircraft everyone knows about it. Waft, waft.