Travelling long haul with a Baby on a plane

Travelling with children on a long haul plane flight,  can be at most a nightmare or at least a headache but when it comes to travelling with baby this can be a very traumatic experience. There are plenty of things to consider when travelling on a plane with babies.


Some airlines are great with kids and families and others aren’t so great. You should be able to check you buggy and car seat in for free. The good ones let you take your buggy right up to the plane door. Many won’t let children fly in First or Business class but some do. Those that are child friendly have great goody bags, baby bags and have inflight staff who help you and baby fly with ease.

The very first time I flew with young children was long haul to the US. All was well until we came into land, the lights went up, my baby boy was woken up from his nap and started crying. Then the male flight attendant came over and shouted into my face that I should “USE A PACIFIER!”. Boo went stratospheric, and the rest was a really stressful landing and disembarkation. Not the best way to start a holiday. So check the list on line and the reviews and make sure you fly with a family friendly airline BEFORE you book the tickets.


“Make sure you have a valid and up to to passport for you and your children” To get the right seating arrangement for your family make sure you contact the airline a good month before you travel.  Make sure you can get the right allocation of seating which includes a “bassinette”. This is an inflight travel cot that attaches to the front bulkhead of the plane. This bulkhead is basically the wall before the front row seating area in economy or premium economy. This area usually has very good legroom so you have space to move and deal with a baby.


Over pack this with the essentials such as food, formula, nappies, wipes, spare clothes (more than one set for you and your baby) and some toys and a blanket from home. You really don’t want to run out on a plane, so better safe then sorry and stressed!


Getting through security with a baby can be daunting, especially if the baby is screaming at the top of its lungs. Do not expect to get sympathy from security staff so make sure that you have all your liquids divided into 100ml bottles. Put them in a a clear plastic bag and take them, and your baby wipes, out of your bag before you put your bags through the scanner. If you don’t the security staff will confiscate all and any bottles over 100ml’s.

Follow the to BAA Guidelines below and you should be OK:

  • Baby milk and sterilised water, Baby food in liquid, gel or paste form  – you can carry what is needed for your journey and they can be over 100ml. These will be subject to additional screening by security. Any milk that is not specifically designed for the child or water that has not been sterilised cannot be allowed through security and will be disposed of.
  • Expressed breast milk – expressed breast milk can be taken in unlimited quantities, as long as it’s in individual containers that are no larger than two litres per container. The milk cannot be frozen, but cooling gel packs or ice packs can be used to keep it cool. You can carry expressed breast milk even if your child isn’t flying with you.


This is something you can’t control. A baby can scream incessantly for any number of reasons and other passengers will get annoyed at you but keep calm and ignore any passengers that frown or complain. Make sure you have away of relieving the in flight air pressure in babies ears when a plane is either landing and before take off by either feeding them (bottle or boob!) or giving them a dummy to suck on.
Another trick I was taught was to get 3 cups from the stewardess, 2 empty and 1 with hot water. The trick is to put a paper towel in each cup with some hot water to warm them up. Make sure the towel has soaked up all the liquid then put the cups on babies ears – it helps to relieve the pressure from babies ears.
A third, and more obscure but still effective, trick I got from a friend to four kids,  who is a mum in a multi national family (so the kids fly a lot to see family) and a long haul stewardess, based in Hong Kong, is to put Yu Yee oil on the soles of their feet. I have no idea how or why it works but it does – chilled out baby and chilled out you.
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