Air travel with a baby can be a daunting prospect. It has many parents thinking back to their carefree days of travel, looking at those poor parents struggling to keep their babies settled.
Having travelled overseas a lot with our boys, I’ve done a ton of trial and error. We took our firstborn to 10 overseas countries in his first year alone. And now we’re taking our 6-month-old along for the ride.
Along the way, I’ve developed some tips and tricks to reduce the stress of flying and travelling with your bubs.
8 must-haves for toxic-free travel with a baby
1. NAPPIES. NAPPIES. NAPPIES. When deciding on the number of nappies to pack in your carry-on luggage, count how many you would go through in an average day, then compare that against your total travel time (from the time you leave your home to the time you arrive at your destination). It’s always important to add an additional 2-3 nappies above this number as a precautionary measure in case there are any flight delays, bub has an upset tummy, or you lose your check-in luggage which contains more nappies for your stay.
Eco disposable nappies don’t have the nasties in them that mainstream brands contain.
2. BABY WIPES. A natural companion to nappies. The great thing about baby wipes is that they can be used beyond those baby bottoms. Planes aren’t the cleanest environment, so baby wipes are handy to disinfect your surroundings, such as that tray table your bub decides to use as a drum. The best part is that baby wipes come in travel sizes, so no more lugging around a giant packet.
Ecoriginals makes great biodegradable, eco baby wipes that come in a travel pack of 10.
3. BABY CHANGE MAT. While most domestic/international airports and larger airlines do have change table facilities, it can give you peace of mind having your own change mat on hand to put on top of it. And in those instances where there isn’t a change table available, a change mat will be your saviour.
4. MUSLIN WRAP. A versatile, must-have travel item is a muslin wrap. Not only are they great for swaddling/wrapping baby for sleep, they’re also perfect as a breastfeeding cover, blanket and even a neck pillow when rolled up.
Mama Maya makes wonderfully soft, 100% organic muslin wraps with beautiful spotted designs. A bonus is that the sale of each wrap provides funding for a birthing kit and caregiver training in a developing country. Stylish, socially conscious and practical.
5. BABY BALM. Air travel can be so drying on bubs skin, so it’s important to keep it moisturised. A wriggly baby and a small tube of moisturiser can sometimes end up being a messy affair, so opt for a baby balm instead. Baby balm stays hard in its pot and then melts on contact with the warmth of bubs skin. This is also a great product to have on hand for your baby’s bum and as a hand crème for mum.
Badger Balm’s Baby Balm is compact, easy to apply, smells great and is gentle on the skin.
6. HAND SANITISER. An absolute must-have for air travel. Cannot travel without.
Dr Bronner’s organic hand sanitizer spray is easy to use, smells great and comes in a compact size. It doesn’t leave behind any residue on your skin, so there’s no chance of it irritating your bubs skin when you pick up them up for a cuddle.
7. TEETHING TOY. For those with a teething bub, a great teething toy will save them from reaching for anything and everything to put in their mouth.
One.Chew.Three’s teethers are made of non-toxic silicone and naturally anti-bacterial beechwood. Easy to clean with a cute design, these teethers are great for bub to gnaw away on in-flight.
8. FORMULA/BREAST MILK. Flying can be extremely difficult on bubs’ eardrums. It can cause them immense pain as their ears become blocked, particularly during the ascent and descent. Have either some formula, pumped breast-milk or your breasts ready for bub, as the swallowing of fluid will make the eardrums pop, much like how it does for us when we swallow.
And finally, don’t forget to bring along a sense of adventure and whole lot of patience!
Babies can sense stress from their parents, so it’s important to stay calm and be patient no matter what bub throws at you. It’s going to be an adventure for you all, so strap yourself in and enjoy the ride – and a couple of movies while bub is fast asleep!