Flying alone with my one-year-old -my experience and tips

Since my daughter was born we took several long and short plane rides. Majority is to our home land India. The plane ride from Germany to India takes 10 hours (straight flight) and 14 hours (transit flight). In most of the plane rides we three travelled together but when my daughter was one, for the first time I got to travel alone internationally, here I am gonna share that experience with you guys.

My daughter was one-year-old when I took my first flight alone with her. It was already her third time flying internationally, but both me and my husband were there in those trips with her. She was just 5 months old when we took her first time on flight, it was quite easy as she was not so mobile and only on breast milk. She slept mostly and was quite manageable. But this time she completed one and was super active baby girl, eats solids as well as breastfeed, walking, won’t sleep for longer etc… and adding to those I was sick before my travel 🙁. I had very bad sinusitis which made me think it’s going to be a nightmare. I was in fear thinking how am I going to survive the whole long 10 hour ride.

Finally the day came and I took some medicine to ease my pain and boarded the flight with my little princess hoping everything goes well. Guess what! I survived. Yes, I survived the whole 10 hour flight with some awesome tips I got from fellow moms, some research and few of my own techniques. Whatever advise u get or research you do before you start, at the end it’s all in your hands to manage your kid. Just think and prepare their needs. Here are few tips from this new mama which might give some clues for you to get ready for the flight run with your prince or princess.

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Make a safe and handy place for your documents. According to me carrying a backpack for your baby’s essentials is the most comfortable thing for a long flight journey. In addition to that, I would recommend to take a small slash bag with you to keep your documents handy as it is to be shown several times in the airport. There are certain situations where your kids him/her to be carried in hand even though you take stroller along with you, so having a slash bag along with your backpack is more comfortable than carrying a handbag which is going to fall from your shoulder when you deal with all tantrums your baby gonna do. Also you can’t take your documents every time out from your backpack which is difficult with kids and chances of missing documents may happen. Slash bags are handy option for your documents when traveling with kids.

Back-pack for your baby things. As I said earlier backpack is the best thing for international flight travel. Don’t pack more, try to understand your baby’s important needs and pack accordingly. When I travelled I packed one packet of diaper and I ended up only with 3 diapers for the whole 10 hour flight. I also packed more clothes which is unnecessary. Put on some comfy clothes to kids, it will do for sure. Few extra clothes are more than enough. Do some homework and try to fit all the essential things in a single backpack.

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Things to keep your kid engage. Kids can easily engage themselves with what they have, so don’t over think and pack all their toys. My daughter played most of the time with headphones and magazines which was in the plane. Buy few new little toys and surprise them one by one in the flight when they fuss, that will make them happy and let them sit for a while. Buy crayons and a colouring book which are kids favs. Stickers will also do a great job. Interacting with co-passengers was one of the thing my daughter enjoyed. She loved to see many new faces which kept her busy ( I hope no one was annoyed 😝). Singing rhymes, me doing silly magic tricks, playing peek-a-boo, reading books, colouring, telling all kinds of aeroplane stories, doing finger puppets etc., are some of the things I have done to engage my daughter. Some may even work for you, give it a try!

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Foods to be carried for your one-year-old. Check your airlines website for the quantity of liquids and solids to be carried for your baby in flight. It is ideal to carry a bottle of water for your kid as we can’t expect good quality of water in flight and also we don’t want to mess up with different water and end up in sickness until we reach the destination. I always carry boiled water for my daughter like most Indian do. If your baby drinks milk, carry that as it is helpful for takeoff and landing. Bottle foods are big no no for me, hence I carried homemade food and snacks from home. Certain homemade food and healthy snacks which are ideal to be carried for one-year-old are as follows,

  • a banana
  • Boiled mashed sweet potato
  • Dal rice (Indian dish for babies) (if you are traveling in meal time)
  • Finger fruits like grapes, apple cut into pieces, pomegranate etc.,
  • Raisins
  • Nuts
  • Lollipops
  • Cheese strings
  • Biscuits or crackers
  • baby carrots
  • pasta

These are the foods can be carried. Food I took not only filled my cutie pie’s tummy but also mama’s tummy.

Keep hydrated and get some food in your belly. I know we moms will sometimes forget us as we are always focused on our kids. Just stay hydrated as much as possible. We can be in zen mode only when our body is hydrated and energised with some food otherwise our mommy monsters may come out. You may need super energy to keep up with your kid, so eat some snacks and stay energised. Pack some extra snacks for your baby so that you can eat too. Don’t make your taste buds work more when you eat airlines lunch. Finish everything provided for lunch as it’s gonna help for sure when your kids extreme energy or over tiredness kicks in no time and you need that super power to manage them.

Prepare for landing. Landing will upset most of the kids than takeoff. Get ready before you land. Don’t give any water or milk one hour before landing as there are chances for them to refuse while landing and end up in eat pain or tummy pain. Make them drink or suck something while landing which prevent their ear from popping. Lollipops will help sometimes. Distract them as much as possible. Make that cheerful mommy come out even though you are fully exhausted. Play their favourite game and sing their favourite rhymes. Giggling will make them divert totally or make them less sick. If possible make them sleep (that occurs very rare). If nothing helps just let them cry it out, keep calm and don’t stress yourself. Crying out is sometimes better as it may help in relieving from ear plugs so, don’t freak out. If you stress, the situation will go worse. Most of the co-passengers will understand and if someone reacts just ignore them.

I hope this blog help you guys. Don’t over think, just go ahead and face it. Your baby will understand you more than anyone else. They will make us smile and laugh most of the time in flight when we are stressed and tired. Most terrified flight journey will go smooth. Take it as it goes with little preparation. Happy journey dear moms.

Checklist I made for my travel (it may help some)

  • Diaper
  • Wipes
  • Formula or expressed breast milk ( if you need)
  • Medication ( if your kid needs some)
  • Plastic bags for diaper disposal
  • Change of shirt for you and baby
  • Spare pants for baby
  • Pj’s ( if it’s a night flight)
  • Sweater (in case of chilly in flight)
  • Your baby’s favorite blanket
  • Sleep toy (if your baby has one)
  • Passports and documents
  • emergency contact numbers (written)
  • Immunisation medical record for your baby
  • Bottle of water
  • Sippy cup empty (for water or milk if your kid doesn’t take bottles)
  • Food (listed above)
  • Baby spoon
  • Toys
  • Books
  • Baby rhymes playlist in iPad or mobile phone
  • Stickers
  • Crayons and colouring book
  • Cotton plug for ears in case
  • Socks
  • Candy or lollipop.
  • nasal drops (in case of stuffy nose or congestion).

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