My friend Jessa asked for advice about travelling with children, and I thought I'd share it with all of you. Jessa is travelling with an infant, so it's way easier, I think, than having 2 toddlers with you. :)
1) When you book the flight, make sure you let the airline know that you have an infant with you (usually they charge 10% of the actual ticket to pay for the infant ticket). Also, inquire if they have a bassinet available on board, so when the baby is sleeping you have your hands free. Try to book the flight in the evening, if it is possible. Chances are the baby will be sleeping the whole time, and it helps if it's a little darker everywhere.
2) Pack light. Here are the essentials for your diaper bag :
Milk/water - breastmilk or formula milk - Put the bottles inside a ziplock bag. If you're afraid that your bottled breastmilk might spoil, pack a small ziplock bag with ice, then put it in a bigger ziplock bag with your milk. The airline will let you bring it on board, as long as you present it at the security check point. Make sure you give some time for this, as travelling with a baby will make your security check a little longer. They'd have to take you out of the line, and assess the milk.
*For formula milk, better to bring the formula, and clean water, then mix it all up when the baby needs it. Better so the milk won't spoil.
Diapers (maybe 1 change every 2 hours? Assess your travel time from home to airport, on flight, then from airport to your destination)
Wipes - one travel pack would do it
Some toys - to keep baby busy - like a toy to munch on, shake, a small book
A change of clothes for Mommy and Baby - now that it's summer, this should be light too. You need this in case one of you throws up! Haha.
Gate check your stroller! Airlines will let you bring the stroller all the way to the airplane, then gate check it. This will be way easier than carrying the baby in a carrier. You can also use the stroller to put your diaper bag in.
Medication/diaper rash ointment - only if your baby needs it
3) Suitcase - depending on the length of your trip, pack light. If you can check in your suitcase, much better, if not, I guess you can just put the baby in a carrier instead of a stroller, then just drag your suitcase with one hand, diaper bag on your shoulder, and baby in your body.
4) Do not hesitate to ask for help from other passengers. They will likely help you hold your baby while you go to the bathroom for a little while.
5) Try not to care if your baby gets fussy and cries the whole flight. Try to ignore the unsympathetic stares and just remember that babies cry and your co-passengers just have to deal with it. You won't see them after the flight anyway, so KEBS SILANG LAHAT!
6) FEED YOUR BABY DURING TAKE OFF AND DESCENT/LANDING - This will help the baby's ears not to pop when you're ascending and descending. If the baby is sleeping anyway, then don't wake him up to feed. But if the baby is awake, make sure something is in his mouth - whether milk or a soother, this should help not to pop the ears.
7) There is a diaper changing area in the restroom of the airplane, in case you haven't noticed. Just look on top of the toilet seat and you'll see it there.
8) If it's not a crowded flight, you can ask your seat mate to go find another seat so you have more space with the baby - or just tell them you want them to have a quiet flight - that will drag them out of their seats.
9) Relax and enjoy the flight. Hehe. Easy to say, pero kayang-kaya yan!
Kevin's first flight from Tokyo to Manila at 2 months
Balitaan mo ako, Jessa!