I actually started writing this post from my seat on our flight back from Florence to London. Fleur was on my lap buckled in, sleeping. That was last week, Fleur's 7th flight, she was five months old. Our first solo flight to the States now seems like years ago and it was only two months ago. I was so extremely nervous that first flight. All I could think of weeks leading up to it was a crying baby for seven hours. Luckily that was not the case for me, but I know that I am not the only mother in fear of that. With a little research and a lot of preparation these flights have become much easier one by one. During these last couple of flights I have got a bit of a system down and I thought it would be a good post to share. I am certainly no expert and I know that like every step of parenting, it gets easier over time. I hope you new mamas find my flying with baby tips helpful! Good luck, relax and breathe.
...this post is written mainly towards 0-6 months, I have yet to see my experience beyond:)
BOOKING YOUR FLIGHT
Traveling with a baby has changed the way I look at booking a flight. I use to say yes to an extremely early morning flight, excited that we would get to our destination earlier in the day, but now knowing I'll need to wake, feed and dress myself and Fleur and possibly take the tube during rush hour with luggage and the buggy, it makes me rethink it all together. Mid day flights work great!
Let's be honest, once you have a baby you realize that there is a price tag on convenience and sometimes it's worth it. I've decided that I would much rather pay £20 more for a direct flight then having to connect flights with Fleur. I would rather pay a bit more and be able to fly out of London city airport (the most convenient airport!) knowing I can take the overground there and back.
If you are taking a longer flight, make SURE to book the bassinet! Every airline has a different rule about booking this, but inquire what the airline policy is. I flew Virgin to the States when Fleur was three months old. Their policy was a first come first serve basis, however you could make a request in your reservation for it, AND I made sure to be at the airport early, on time and to get one of those bassinets! British Airways on the other hand allowed you to reserve them in advance, but their flights were fully booked. Depending on how big the baby is, how long your trip is will depend on if you want a bassinet. When we travelled two and from the States, she was three and four months and it was so nice to be able to place her in the bassinet and cover her with blanket for a few hours so you could also sleep!
Do make sure to remember to book the infant! Yes, infants on your lap do not cost an entire ticket, however there are some taxes you need to pay for this. Also, an infant is allowed baggage and usually you get seated near a window area. Do not let yourself get to the airport unchecked, with the baby and it is a surprise to them that now their is a baby on board.