Guest Blogger: Marni Kent: traveling internationally with infants
By Marni Kent 2012 all rights reserved
“This is grown-up kind of poo. I’m in this airplane and they didn’t have these fold down tables to change her on; it’s just a tiny little bathroom. I couldn’t put her on the floor. I had to jam her head in the corner and lay her across the toilet and kneel below her and it was brutal. I was like, ‘What did you eat?’ I had to walk back to get her because she was sitting with the nanny and trying to sleep and that whole plane smelled really bad. I had to wake her up because it was just really mean to all the people around her. Now I’m so committed to potty training.”
- Your child’s lovey or blanket.
- A light blanket, jacket or sweater for your child that you can add or remove depending on the temperature of the plane
- Any electronics or cameras you are travelling with as these often “disappear” from checked baggage and most airlines will not cover them. In a pinch, saved pictures on a digital camera are great entertainment for toddlers and small children.
- A magazine can double as entertainment for a child. Send them on “treasure hunts” looking for a picture of something specific in the magazine, or flip the pages asking them to make up stories about the pictures they see. For very young children, it can be entertaining just to look at and name the pictures in a magazine. An empty sippy or bottle if needed.
- Non perishable food for your children, especially if you’re travelling during mealtime. I’ve never successfully gotten baby or toddler food on a flight, and while older children may be able to eat the meals, many airlines are cutting back to light snacks or nothing at all. Nothing makes kids grumpy faster than being hungry and having nothing to eat. If you cannot bring something from home, pick something up in the airport. If your child requires special utensils (E.g. a baby spoon) bring one.
- Our favorites: sliced cheese, freeze dried fruit, Cheerios. puffed wheat. You’re likely to be in close quarters with other kids, so avoid allergens like peanut butter. If your child is old enough for solids, avoid liquids like applesauce (which need to be declared separately at security).
- If you have a baby who drinks formula, it’s easiest to bring powdered formula and mix it with water on the plane. Note: Never use tap water from the airplane bathroom to rinse or fill a bottle as it may not be safe.