We’ve just flown on holiday to Lanzarote, a four hour flight with Baby B, who turned 11 months, and H, who is 3.5 years old. We’re not new to flying with a baby, we took the girls to Majorca when B was 3 months old. We were quite dubious as to how flying with an 11 month old and 3 year old, aka the threenager, would go, specifically unsure how B, who started moving at 5.5 months, crawling everywhere and cruising the furniture constantly, would cope. We were also unsure because the week before she’d been trying to take her first steps; doing that I’ll-just-let-go-and-launch-myself-at-you thing. Well, we are safely here in Lanzarote and I can say the flight went well. How? Well we took some supplies for the airplane, followed our tried and tested plane strategies, some we used flying with Toddler H to Majorca at 18 months, and some new methods.
We chose a 6am flight, figuring we’d all have slept a bit, then the girls would be tired and catch up on sleep on the airplane.
Did it work?
Yes it did for Baby B – although she did cry for half an hour of our car trip to the airport (at 3.30am!). She had two good naps on the airplane though so it worked really well.
I think if we’d have flown at night or on an evening flight she might have been ok too.
Tips for in the airport:
Keep your buggy with you until you board the plane.
Avoid drinks – Try to make sure little ones don’t drink much in the airport so they don’t end up with a massive uncomfortable nappy, and do change nappies just before boarding. Obviously H is potty trained so the same strategy works for making sure we don’t have an ’I need the toilet shout’ during take off!
Boarding the plane
We always board last, to ensure as little time on the plane as possible. I say last, we just usually join the normal queue instead of taking the chance to board first. One last toilet trip/nappy change isn’t a bad thing…. and of course means we’re not holding baby B on our laps for extra time.
We have a SkyBaby travel mattress which helped keep H comfy and sleep nicely at 18 months and I can safely say also works at 4 months old and at 11 months old.
The SkyBaby has a pillow on it which is really such a saviour – I have much less dead-arm when she’s asleep! I’d thoroughly recommend one.
Take off & landing – Avoiding ear popping!
One of the best tips for when the plane takes off is to breastfeed during the take off and landing, or give little one a drink to sip. It is definitely best to try to refrain from feeding little one just before you get on the plane. Obviously the same applies for bottle fed too! I can say both of these from experience as we had the same strategy with Toddler H when we flew to Menorca when she was 18 months old – we just gave her a drink to sip during takeoff.
H did the same this time, sipping her drink through taking off, and on the landing she had some fruit claws to eat as well.
We gave the girls fruit pouches to drink on the way home as the flight was mid morning aka snack time. This also worked superbly, and I’d recommend it again! We actually had tantrums because H saw the pouches being checked at check in on the way and so had to give her one as we were sat waiting to take off!
Toys for flying with a baby /11 month old / one year old
We took quite a few little toys perfect for flying with a baby, but also just for other journeys too. We used several strategies we’ve always used and recon these are good for flying with a baby from age 9 months to 18 months and above probably (see my flying with an 18 month old post for details as most of these are in there too!) –
1. Small toys – cups, bath toys,
2. Buckle toy (B might be a bit young for this though)
3. Favourite cuddly
5. Pushchair toy
I’ll write a separate post next week on everything we had with us.
We took a thin cotton blanket to keep B snug getting to the airport and in the pushchair in the bus from the car park. We also kept us with us so she could have it if the plane was cold.
And not forgetting…
We love Organix snacks and snacks such as the cheese biscuits, and carrot cake bars are great for both girls.
We also took cereal in our Nom Nom reusable pouches and in snack tubs so they could both munch away and have breakfast in the airport (or plane – my intention, but they had other ideas!)
Breadsticks a necessity for most little ones!
Baby food for the flight is allowed in hand luggage. I was really paranoid so we did double check at baggage check in, and were assured it was fine. We took 3 food pouches, one 100g, one 120g and one 130g and at security we just had to put them in a separate tub for the X-ray machines. We were told we might have to taste some of each, but didn’t in our case. I did see other parents having to try formula though.
I’d always fly with food pouches if we could as they’re easy to use and filling. B had one at roughly breakfast time and so did H as she was complaining she loved the purple one, and to be fair I had promised her a purple pouch was hers.
That’s the majority of things we do when flying and all my main tips for flying with a baby and particularly flying with an 11 month old who is trying to walk and can crawl and cruise everywhere.
I’ll update this if I think of any others once we’ve flown home!
I’ve popped a few links below which might also be useful for travelling with kids and some of our family holidays abroad:
- Packing for a family holiday – Ibiza – 2 suitcases for a family of four!
- Tips for Flying with an 18 month old toddler
- Tips for a long car journey with a 2 year old toddler – lots are true for flying too!
- How I choose a Family Holiday with a baby and toddler – must haves!
- Why Menorca is perfect for a family friendly holiday
- Menorca Family Holiday – Jardin De Menorca
- Majorca Family Holiday – Bon Aire
- Lanzarote Family Holiday – Los Zocos Resort
- Ibiza Family Holiday – Tui Magic Life Cala Pada
- 10 things to do on a family holiday to Lanzarote