By 15 weeks old George had been on five flights and clocked up an impressive 34 hours of flying time. We know a thing or two about the basics that you need to have in your hand luggage. In this post I’ll address the infamous milk myth and provide you with a basic checklist to help you get started.
Generally each baby is allowed their own bag and we all know that space is limited. Throw in the curve ball of a 100ml liquid cap and a baby who needs to feed every couple of hours and you may believe you have a recipe for disaster!
This checklist is designed for a long haul flight (between 10 – 15 hours) where your baby will require several feeds and change between day and night. If you are packing for a short haul flight, you can lower the number of each item required. Bottle feeding or breast feeding, the basic items still apply.
What you will need:
- 2 x change of clothes (sleepsuit and vest)
- Blanket or swaddle cloth
- 3 x Muslin cloths
- 3 x Bibs
- 5 x Nappies and nappy bags
- Baby wipes
- Thermos flask
- Sterilised bottles
- Ready to drink milk or milk powder dispensers
- Calpol (baby paracetamol)
- 2 x Dummies (with clips)
- Sterilising water spray
- Antibacterial wipes
- Hand sanitiser
FLYING WITH A BABY: THE MYTHS
When travelling with a baby you’re allowed to take enough baby food, baby milk and sterilised water for the journey. In the UK there is no legal limit to how much you can take. However check with your airport before you travel.
You can carry breast milk in hand luggage even if you’re not travelling with a baby but you cannot carry frozen breast milk in your hand luggage.
Individual containers of breast milk must hold no more than 2,000ml. Each container will need to be screened at the security point. Airport staff might need to open the containers to screen the liquids. This also applies to ‘ready to drink’ milk which is packaged in 200ml bottles.
Take enough nappies (and nappy bags) for the duration of the flight and then a couple spare for when you land or if your baby has a nasty case of the poos. Before flying ensure your changing mat bag is ready with nappies, nappy bags, hand sanitiser, nappy rash cream and zip sealed bags (for soiled clothes).
You can request a blanket for your baby when on the plane, as an alternative to taking your own or for additional warmth/comfort. I use them to pad out the gap between the seat and the arm rest for short haul flights when you have to carry/hold your baby.
I recommend storing most things in zip sealed bags. It makes items easy to see (the bags are clear) and therefore locate. You can label them if you wish or come up with a system that works best for you. Wrap larger items tightly to maximise space within your bag.
Be sure to take your baby’s medical book and proof of travel insurance (the basic information will suffice) . If travelling alone with your child you may be asked to prove that you have the right to take them abroad and that you are in fact their parent or legal guardian.
If your baby is on any medication securely pack that in the hand luggage alongside any other irreplaceable items (for me there are cold water sterilising tablets. Keep all liquids (including water/ready to drink milk) together in a clear bag, store in a side pocket for ease when going through security.
We never travel without Calpol and sanitising spray. If the dummy is dropped, a quick spray and it’s ready to go. The spray is water based and under 100ml so can be carried on a plane. On a long haul flight the plane reaches alitudes that make our ears pop. As adults, we know to suck a sugary sweet or blow our nose to help relieve the pressure. However babies can’t and it hurts their ears. You can feed your baby on take off and landing but if they don’t want to eat they won’t eat. As always with Gemma and George we try to inform you so you can make a decision that is best for you and your baby.
Packing for your baby can really be a stressful experience. Take your time and leave yourself a few days to add or remove items. You can’t think of everything and almost every country will have the basics should you forget them or run out e.g. nappies and wet wipes. Once you’ve landed I guarantee that you will leave one or two items in the suitcase on the return flight!