Flying with baby? Here's what you can and can't take on the plane. By Lisa Witepski
When you’re trying to remember everything from prams to paracetamol, packing can be tricky – and that’s before you’ve taken airline regulations into account.
It seems as though babies need more gear and costume changes when they travel than Beyoncé and her crew when they go on tour. However, with her own private jet, Beyoncé has a lot more leeway when it comes to online baggage than parents with a tot in tow.
Here’s what you need to know when packing for your baby:
- On most domestic airlines, infants are allowed their own hand luggage – so you can pack their essentials in a nappy bag and still have your own carry-on luggage.
- You can bring your car seat and collapsible pram. In fact, some airlines allow your baby to travel in their car seats instead of the airline seat, so long as it meets with airline safety regulations. This is a bonus if your little one feels more comfy travelling in a seat that they’re familiar with.
- Travelling long distance? Feel free to pack a breast pump, which you’ll be able to use as soon as the safety belt sign has been switched off. You can also take a cooler bag for food and milk. In fact, this is a great idea as you won’t be able to refrigerate food on the plane. You’re able to pack the cooler bag with up to 2.5kg of dry ice; just remember to seal it carefully to prevent carbon dioxide from seeping into the cabin. It might be wise to bring a vacuum flask too, as you won’t be able to reheat food. If you don’t have a flask on hand, you can ask airline staff for a container of hot water to warm up food. If you’re giving your baby a formula feed, be sure to use a tad more water than you usually do, as security officials may ask you to take a sip to prove the liquid isn’t harmful.
- Keep meltdowns at bay by packing a bottle or dummy for your baby to suck on when the air pressure changes, as it can cause sore ears. Don’t forget a blanket – aeroplane cabins can be chilly.
In her 16 years as journalist, Lisa Witepski’s work has appeared in most of South Africa’s leading publications, including the Mail & Guardian, Sunday Times, Entrepreneur and Financial Mail. She has written for a number of women’s magazines, including Living & Loving, Essentials and many others, across topics from lifestyle to travel, wellness, business and finance. She is a former acting Johannesburg Bureau Chief for Cosmopolitan, and former Features Editor at Travel News Weekly, but, above all, a besotted mom to Leya and Jessica. Lisa blogs at whydoialwayscravecake.blogspot.com and lisa.witepski.blogspot.com, and tweets at @LisaWitepski.