Surviving the plane ride with a teething baby

By Elisa Reeves, ONE.CHEW.THREE

We recently jetted off on a family getaway to Fiji with our two boys, 2 and 4, in tow so I thought we’d share our hot tips for making the plane ride enjoyable, ahem, manageable.

Planes are small and if you’re a tad cheap like us, your tot is probably also sharing a seat. Four people crammed in to three seats and two of those people don’t normally sit still for more than 5 minutes at a time. What could go wrong, right? Especially when one is pushing through those dreaded molars!

We survived the 5-hour trip (just) with these essentials but we also tackled long-haul to Canada with an 18 month old a couple of years ago. Our advice for international long haul – just don’t! Back to Fiji it is, then.

If you’re anything like me, I avoid the aeroplane toilets like the plaque. But nappy changes in that teeny tiny loo? Not so avoidable, especially with a teething bub, nappy rash and the need for more frequent changes. It’s small and crammed and not made for more than one person, including tiny people. So make it easier and have those wipes in an easy to use nappy pouch or container that requires only one hand. And when you’re heading for the dreaded nappy change, a nappy and wipes is all you need. The nappy bag stays at the seat.

While still on the rear, a multi-purpose cream is essential. Teething and nappy rash go hand in hand. Make sure you have a great coconut or natural based balm, that can double as a nappy cream and a skin cream and save precious room in your nappy bag. With an addiction to moisturiser myself and a tot also prone to eczema, all that dry air causes havoc to our skin and it’s perfect to soothe dry spots without filling the nappy bag with our usual supply of creams. Just remember to watch the size – 100mls per container and all creams must fit in a clear ziplock bag of approximately 20cm square.

And it goes without saying a teething tot needa a teether. One that doubles as a toy is even better.

As much as we hate to admit it, when boutique wooden toys aren’t doing the trick, the iPad it is. Just make sure you download a variety of games before leaving – saves the mad rush while taxi’ing down the runway to download a few before the internet shuts off (true story). As this was us, we put absolutely no thought into what we downloaded and madly clicked on whatever we could. Luckily, Fruit Smash was among them and popping those fruit, popped away the time! But, there’s heaps of age appropriate educational games out there too and with a little bit of research, you’ll be able to make the most of the flight time without the screen time guilt.

If you’re tot is anything like mine, a headband for me is essential. He might think hours of pulling my hair is a great time passer, but I sure don’t. And teething babies love to chew anything and everything. We love a stylish wide knot as an everyday essential, but it’s particularly great long hair out of sight (and out of mind) while we’re in such a confined space. And don’t forget a silicone necklace. Whether you’re nursing your baby or not, they are great for babies to touch, hold and fiddle while you’re sitting so closely together.

Don’t forget how cool planes can get – so a jacket, socks and a wrap or two are always going to be needed. Sunshine Coast to Fiji route included! And snacks - lots of snacks. Because not even us adults think much of airline food so a fussy tot - forget it! Space them out and between toys, snacks and games, you should have enough to mix it up and keep the boredom at bay. When all else fails, a dose of baby paracetamol and a big cuddle will do wonders to relieving that teething pain.

Other than that, time it so a nap is a given if you can and you’ll be sipping stress-free cocktails before you know it. Cocktail? What cocktail? Don’t get me started on actually holidaying with kids! 

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Note: The views and advice expressed on this blog post are those of the author and are not representative of the Pregnancy Babies & Children's Expo.

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