I take my motto from the Scouts and try to Always be Prepared, especially when travelling (multiple packing lists anyone?) Add a baby into the mix and I went a bit into overdrive! I had to get my passport renewed and it arrived two days before we were due to fly out, causing a minor mental meltdown over here (I don't want to talk about it LOL)
Below is what worked for us in terms of essentials to pack, and tricks/techniques for a calm and easy flight. (I should add a disclaimer that this is what worked for us and may not work for all babies - and also, for the seasoned travellers-with-bebe, please refrain from rolling your eyes at what is probably the blatant obviousness of the contents of this post LOL As a first time traveller with the kiddo, I would have liked some info along these lines.)
- a dummy (and a spare!)
- a snuggle blanket or familiar cuddly toy
- baby wipes!
- bottle of formula/express milk (even if you are breast feeding this can be a lifesaver! See below)
- pouch of baby food and a spoon (we like Raffertys Garden pear and cinnamon) I wanted to take home made but was worried about Customs
- one or two little toys
- change of clothes for bub
- change of shirt for mum and dad! (in case of mid-flight messes)
- Ergo carrier or similar (so handy once you check in the pram!)
I packed far more thank this of course, but these are the only real essentials in hindsight.
The kiddo was a champion traveller, she handed it like a pro. We had two flights to get into Dunedin, the second being on a small, 30-seater, but she was cruisy and happy and basically ate, slept and charmed the cabin crew. I clipped up her seatbelt, wrapped her up in her snuggle blanket (which I hadn't washed for about a week, sorry!, so it smelt familiar), popped her dummy in, and she snoozed on my lap for most of the flight.
We booked the bulkheads seat with the bassinet on the longer stretch out of Sydney and it was fantastic, I highly recommend doing this! Even just to let your baby stretch out a bit and play, kick their feet, and get a break from sitting (let's face it wouldn't we all love to do this on an international flight!)
If your baby is a bit squirmy/active, don't put that infant seatbelt on until the last possible second! Some kids just hate it, even my cruisy kiddo wasn't the biggest fan (luckily once she was asleep we had no issue).
I packed everything into ziploc plastic bags for easy access and also in case of mess.
I made up a few "nappy grab bags", basically just a nappy and some baby wipes in a nappy sack, so I could grab one quickly if we needed to do a quick change at 30,000ft in a teeny airplane toilet (as it turns out these weren't needed, but better over prepared than under!)
The baby food was a good little distraction and a way to use up a bit of plane time - a bit messy with one holding her, one feeding, but we worked it out with minimal damage.
I took a bottle for each leg of the journey, because I know from past experience that if Evelyn is particularly upset (sick, in pain), she will sometimes refuse to feed, but will always happily take a bottle. I was worried about this happening during takeoff/landing (prime time for pain in little ears!), and so the bottles were my insurance policy against this happening. They weren't needed as it turns out, but better safe than sorry.
If you can get access to a lounge, this is another great flying tip, if you have a stopover. We had a couple of hours to kill both ways and being in the KoruClub lounge rather than the airports itself was fantastic.
Having a carrier like an Ergo is great for negotiating customs, security etc and even on the plane if bub gets antsy, you can pop them in and walk hands free. It was really useful to have both hands available for passports and all the other flying paraphernalia! I found the staff at Sydney customs were a bit funny about wanting me to take it off etc but in New Zealand there were no such concerns.
That's pretty much it in a nutshell! I can't really think of anything else. For a long haul flight you'd obviously need to get much more serious re baby supplies! But if your just jumping over the Tasman, it's far simpler. Let me know if you have any specific questions! Would you add anything to the list? What worked for you?