The Christmas getaway is approaching and internet searches for advice on ‘flying with a newborn’ and other parent travel queries are up 66 per cent.
That’s according to travel specialist eShores, which has revealed holiday horror stories from solo parents travelling with babies to highlight some of the challenges that need to be overcome when flying with little ones. Plus, the site has rustled up some top tips on dealing with them.
Scroll down to hear about untimely poo explosions and breast-milk fiascos at security…
‘They tried to reject my milk at security, saying it was more than 100ml. I had expressed three days in a row and nearly cried’ – Lizzie, 30, Leeds
The Christmas getaway is approaching and internet searches for advice on ‘flying with a newborn’ and other parent travel queries are up 66 per cent
Before you travel, double-check baby milk rules and be prepared when you arrive at security. You can carry breast milk in hand luggage (a baby doesn’t even have to be present), but it can’t be frozen, and individual breast-milk containers must hold no more than 2,000ml. A baby must be present when transporting formula milk and baby food in hand luggage. There is no legal limit on amounts, though.
Lizzie was asked to place each bag of milk in its own X-ray machine security tray – 16 in total, reveals eShores. And she pulled up the UK’s baby milk policy to show staff and ensure nothing was binned.
Top tip: Pre-order formula milk from an airside Boots store.
‘I had to go to the loo with my baby on my lap because I didn’t realise flight attendants would offer to hold her’ – Emily, 33, Manchester
At check-in, see if there are any extra seats on the flight and if the airline would be willing to move you and the baby to an extra open seat (stock image)
MY VOMIT HELL
By Travel Editor Ted Thornhill
On an A380 flight from Johannesburg to London Heathrow my 18-month-old girl was sick all over me while she was on my lap as we made the approach for landing. I was jammed in between people in economy and the seatbelt sign was on, so I couldn’t get up to access my bag in the overhead bin, which had all the wipes. The flight crew came along and gave me some, but it still made for a rather uncomfortable end to the flight.
‘During the flight, the flight attendants may offer to hold the baby if you need to use the toilet or need a break,’ says eShores, adding: ‘Post-Covid, they also usually offer to wear a mask and gloves, if you prefer. And instead of trying to fit your suitcase into the overhead bin while baby-wearing, just ask someone to help you.’
Top tip: At check-in, see if there are any extra seats on the flight and if the airline would be willing to move you and the baby to an extra open seat.
‘We were in line at Manchester Airport for over two hours before we realised there was a family line’ – Ashley, 25, Hull
Remember, most airports have a dedicated family security lane.
Top tip: If the family lane is closed, says eShores, ask to fast-track in the normal security line – ‘it doesn’t always work, but it’s worth a shot!’
‘A male flight attendant threw a blanket at me while I was breastfeeding and said it was to make me “more comfortable”‘ – Priya, 27, Essex
Remember, you are legally allowed to breastfeed on a plane.
Top tip: A cardigan with pockets is a good item of clothing for breastfeeding mums, says eShores, as they cover you up and you can store your phone, passport, tickets, headphones and other necessities in the pockets to save you from rummaging through bags while trying to look after the baby.
‘I dropped my much-needed coffee all over myself and my baby because I couldn’t reach my boarding pass’ – Nina, 30, Southampton
Top tip: A wrap or sling will keep your baby close to you and your hands free for holding coffees and accessing pockets.
‘After a massive poo explosion from my three-month-old son, I had to sit in the mess for the remainder of the four-hour flight. At least my baby had a lovely dry change of clothes!’ Clint, 34, London
Top tip: ‘Babies under 12 months old go through three outfit changes a day, and travel doesn’t change that,’ says eShores, adding: ‘Always take an extra change of clothes (or two) for the baby in your carry-on luggage, as well as a change of clothes for yourself.’