The first time I travelled with baby Zay was when he was 6 months old. I had to travel alone to Dubai as my husband was already working there at the time. It was extremely stressful to say the least! We have subsequently moved to Dubai and I have travelled alone with baby thrice already.
From what to pack to deciding on a stroller to getting visas organized, it all requires thoughtful planning.
What you need to know:
When babies are 6 months old, the requirements are obviously different to when they’re a toddler.
• Plan in advance
• Write things down
• Be organised
1. Decide which airline you’re going to use:
If you’re lucky enough to fly first or business class then this does not apply to you, if you’re flying economy and your baby is younger than 2 years old, they can use a bassinet, however the safest option is to have them traveling in a car seat, in their OWN seat on the airline. The airline will allow this booking however some of the ground staff and crew are not familiar with it but make sure your car set is FDA approved so that you can take it on board.
I used the Baby sense baby sling until baby Zay was around 7 months old which was amazing. I then used the Boba carrier as he was getting too heavy. Refer to my previous post here for further info on the Boba – it is seriously the best and I will not travel without it.
3. Stroller vs pram:
You should not take a pram that is bulky. Your stroller needs to be able to accommodate said car seat – again plan in advance. I purchased my stroller 2 days before I was traveling and it was definitely a mistake! I purchased a Mamas and Papas kato2 and while I love the brand this particular stroller was not right for me. I was alone and it was difficult to use. I later on discovered that the company needed to oil the pram before usage (huh?) I then purchased the BabyZen Yoyo and absolutely love this pram plus I can take it on board!
4. Documents: if you’re from South Africa, you would know by now that you have to still travel with an unabridged certificate, consent documents from your husband and baby’s passport. Make sure all your documents are in place.
5. Getting into the airline: from South Africa, the best (and only) option is to use Bidvest, they provide assistance for you when you get to the airport up until you board the plane.
6. If flying to Dubai (or via): there is a service called Marhaba, if flying Qatar airlines the service is called, Maha. Generally most airports have these services to make ease of travel possible. Use them.
7. Packing: Make sure you’re not overweight, the last thing you want when you’re stressed is repacking your bag at the airport.
8. Baby’s bag (hand luggage): fill it with EVERYTHING that you need, wipes, nappies, change of clothing, food and one NEW toy so that the novelty of playing with a something new will occupy them. Remember to carry water as it can take a while for the airhostess to bring you some when your baby needs it. It definitely helps to have a TV in front of them to occupy them for a little while.
9. Your hand luggage: reading material, earphones, charger, mobile with roaming and a change of clothes
10. Breastfeeding or bottle: make sure that you take a cover up. Try to book your flight where you’re travelling through the night – for obvious reasons. Try to take a flask with pre boiled water if you’re bottle-feeding.
11. Sleep: the car seat works well as a “cot” and baby will be used to sleeping in it so it shouldn’t be difficult to put him to sleep.
12. When arriving: book a taxi in advance and again use the assistant services that airports offer.
Look out for my next post where baby and I toured Istanbul alone!
Any questions, tips of your own? Feel free to comment.
Selected images courtesy of Pinterest