10 Tips for relaxed flying with baby& child

Many parents are reluctant to fly with their newborn child. Although parental leave is a good time to do so. Many reactions and advice from friends and acquaintances tend not to expect the child to do this. Flying with children under the age of two is more enjoyable than you might think. Whether short-haul or long-haul, here are my tried-and-true 10 tips for relaxed flying with baby.

1. Choosing and booking the right flight

Lufthansa A380

All flights that do not upset the usual rhythm are super. So night flights are ideal, because the child will sleep well on your lap or in the bassinet. Parents also get some sleep with luck and are not so on the ropes, especially after business class flights.

On night flights I usually sleep 6-7 hours in the bassinet. During the day, I prefer to play on daddy’s lap and not sleep at all … not even in the Bassinet. Also prefer to fly in the morning than early in the morning at 6 o’clock. Just getting up early and traveling to the airport eats up sleep time and you arrive at the airport unrested.

Cheap flights can be easily found through flight search portals that compare different airlines and travel portals and display the prices. Good are swoodoo.de or momondo.de. From there you will be linked directly to the providers.

Booking portals like opodo.de or expedia.de are like their own travel agencies. You are a mediator. You sign a contract with them and not with the airline. This means that services and changes must always be made through the travel agency. Travel agencies pay extra for these services or bundle them into packages that can be booked for a fee, often disguised as insurance. This of course increases the airfare again. When booking directly through the airlines, these services are usually included and free of charge. Also, booking portals often make the airfare optically more favorable by calculating out transaction fees depending on the means of payment. Only after payment the total price is shown.

Better to pay baggage fees in advance than to be caught unpleasantly off guard at the airport.

An important tip: Make sure that the prices for your flights are inclusive of baggage. Mostly the search engines offer the cheap "light fares" and these only allow hand luggage. Suitcases can then be booked in addition in the ordering process, but of course cause additional costs. If you plan to take luggage with you, I recommend you to note this in the filter settings and to get the right airfare displayed right away.

If the fare on the airline’s website is the same as on a travel portal, it is recommended to book directly with the airline. The reservation of a Baby Bassinet can be done after the booking confirmation simply by calling the hotline of the airline.

2. Baby Bassinet booking

Sigi in the Baby Bassinet Lufthansa A350

The reservation of a baby bassinet is free of charge with most airlines and is done via service hotline. Some airlines also offer this online (e.g.B. British Airways). The allocation is based on the first-come-first-served principle and the number of available bassinets depends on the type of aircraft used.

Therefore call immediately after receiving the booking confirmation. If the trip was booked before the child was born, the child can be added to the system from the day after the birth.

Here are the service hotlines of the main airlines for Germany Austria and Switzerland:

Airline Telephone Accessibility
Lufthansa +49 69 86799799 daily 24 hours
Austrian Airlines +43 5 1766 1000 daily 8:00 – 20:00
Swiss +41 848 700 700 daily 24 hours
Eurowings +49 180 6 320 320 daily 24 hours
Condor +49 180 6 767767 24 hours a day
TuiFly +49 511 2200 4321 Mon-Fri: 7:30 – 22:30
Sat-Sun: 8:30 – 21:00

As a rule, bassinets are not offered on short-haul and medium-haul jets. This applies to flights on Airbus A319, A320, A321 and Boeing 737 aircraft. Almost all airlines offer baby bassinets on long-haul routes. So also Lufthansa. Low-cost airlines such as Ryanair, Easyjet and Sun Express do not offer bassinets on their planes.

3. The right choice of seat

On short-haul routes up to 4 hours, they mostly use Airbus A319, A320 or A321, as well as Boeing 737s of various lengths. These all have three seats per side (2×3). There are window, middle and aisle seats, separated only by a narrow plastic armrest. The distance to the front row has been reduced considerably over the last years with all airlines, so that one has very little distance to the back of the front seat.

If the person in front reclines his back, you also have to shift your sitting position backwards, otherwise it will be difficult to hold a baby upright.

As a single traveler with a child

If you are traveling alone, the number of seats often depends on how often your bladder presses or whether you want to stretch your feet out in the aisle because of your size. Window seats tend to be better with babies, as you have a surface to lean on and a possible activity through the view out the window. Also, you don’t have to keep getting up for other passengers when they need to go to the bathroom.

Two with child

Two people should choose the window and middle seat. On less busy flights it is also worth trying to reserve the window seat and the aisle seat in a row and hope that the middle seat remains free. Middle rows are assigned last when checking in online and are also filled last when checking in at the airport.

It is often worth paying extra for an extra seat pitch if the flight is longer than two hours. This gives you more legroom and makes it easier to play with your child on your lap. If these seats are located at the emergency exit, you have to check whether (small) children are allowed to sit there at all. No objects or bags may be stowed on the floor at these seats during take-off and landing.

On long-haul flights, the Airbus A330 or A340 are ideal. Here there is a 2x4x2 seating in economy class and you can always book window and aisle seats on the side. In business class there are usually only 2 seats together. How to sit undisturbed.

4. First to board last to disembark

Sigi in the Aegean Economy Class

Almost all airlines allow families or travelers with children to board first. This is due to the fact that you usually walk along the gangway with the stroller until you reach the entrance of the aircraft, and only there you fold up the stroller and hand it over before boarding. This is then stowed by staff in the baggage area and after landing again brought directly to the entrance of the aircraft. So you can walk with the child in the stroller again relaxed the gangway into the terminal.

Be on time at the gate before departure

Therefore, it is always advisable to be at the gate in time for boarding. Better still a few minutes before, so as not to miss this window of opportunity.

It is important that a "Delivery at Aircraft" flyer is attached to the bassinet in addition to a suitcase tag with the flight details. You get this at check-in at the airport. If the stroller is not marked in this way, it will be delivered like the other suitcases via the luggage conveyor belt and the child will be carried into the terminal and through passport control. This can become very difficult and exhausting in time.

This is how you behave best when landing

After landing it is best to stay on the seat and let all other passengers get off first. Because it takes a little while to get the stroller back to the door of the plane. So you do not block the exit and can still comfortably occupy the baby. If you are not pressed for time because of a connecting flight, this waiting time on the plane is practical, because you are usually exactly at the baggage carousel when your luggage arrives. So, you don’t waste any time.

5. Always with stroller& Baby seat

Stroller and child seat when traveling

We always take the infant carrier with us when we travel by air, click it onto the stroller frame and drive it around the airport. We pack the tub attachment (for babies who can’t sit on their own yet) full of light travel essentials, put it in a special stroller transport bag, and check it in normally as a suitcase. This way, you have both the baby car seat for car trips and short shopping tours, as well as the tub as a sleeping option with you on vacation. A travel cot for children is only useful at a later stage.

There’s so much to see in the airport, so many people laughing at me, and I’m always there laughing back. The main thing is that someone deals with me& In the baby car seat I quench less, because I can look out, what to get and not lying in the stroller "trapped" are.

6. This belongs in the diaper bag

Especially on long distances it is important to have the following things with you:

  • some baby food you are used to
  • Various toys to fight boredom. (Don’t be afraid of rattles. The noise level in the airplane is so high due to the air conditioning that you can’t hear anything in the next row.)
  • Inflatable pillow, so that you can put your arms down better if the baby lies on you for too long. Or just ask the airline for a pillow. The good ones always have some with them.
  • Burp cloth and wet washcloths
  • nursing scarf to get some privacy and to be protected from the looks of other passengers
  • 2 x change of clothes (something can always go wrong)
  • 4-5 diapers and diaper bags with fresh scent
  • absorbent changing pad for on the go and if necessary. foldable couchette
  • Pacifier, teething ring and infant nasal drops for pressure equalization
  • Tea or water, possibly substitute milk
  • Baby blanket, since the airlines have less and less on board

7. How to equalize the pressure

The best way to equalize the baby’s pressure during takeoff and landing is to breastfeed. Should it sleep, just let it sleep. Most of the time it does not even wake up.

Best help is to clear the airways with nasal drops beforehand. This usually prevents earaches completely. It is enough to drip the drops shortly before takeoff in the plane, because they work quickly and last up to 8 hours.

Otherwise, a pacifier or, for older children, a piece of candy to suck on. also Schnulli lollipops from Haribo help. The main thing is something that the baby or child can suck on. It swallows automatically and does not even notice that the pressure on the ears changes.

8. These medicines help

Also you should consider having different medicines or homeopathic remedies with you. Here is my preferred selection:

  1. Nose drops
  2. SAB Simplex to calm down
  3. Caraway suppositories against flatulence
  4. Suppositories against fever, pain and vomiting
  5. Cooling chamomile ointment for teething

9. Ask and bind the flight crew

toy box for flights with Lufthansa

You are not the first mom or dad to fly. Board staff usually have babies and toddlers with them on every flight and in every class of travel. There are defined processes for this.

Therefore, let them explain to you how the additional seat belt attachment works, in which lavatory there is a changing table and what other things there are to consider. The nice flight attendants will also inform you as soon as your stroller is ready to be picked up at the aircraft entrance, if you ask them to do so.

Most of the time the stewardesses and stewards come up to you on their own and bring some toys with them.

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