Travelling alone overseas with an infant

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The whole idea of travelling alone with an infant sounds petrifying!!! I am sure most of us would either skip it or wait for a companion to accomplish such a mission. I had no choice either way so had to take up the scariest challenge by myself.

With all the good and bad experiences I had during my recent travel to India from San Francisco (24 hours journey!!!), I would like to share them so that it gives a heads up to all those who are planning to travel but are apprehensive.

Immunizations

Get the necessary shots for your baby and yourself.

Most important TRAVEL LIGHT!!!

It is difficult to imagine travelling light with all the baby stuff you would need. Believe me, I decided to travel light but ended up with 3 hand luggage and a baby in hand.

You can use the stroller most of the times but be ready to be without one during the security check and after entering your respective gate. Make sure where your stroller is going to be when you check it in at the gate, because if they put them in the cargo, you won’t have it during the transit and get it back only while collecting your baggage. Luckily, in my case, Dubai airport provided complimentary baby strollers to use.

Medications

Carry all the necessary medications for you and the baby in your hand luggage. There is no liquid restrictions when you travel with your baby! But check it first with your airlines.Tylenol, Motrin, Benadryl, Pedialyte, etc as per your pediatrician’s recommendation.

Don’t forget to carry some pain killers for you!!! Trust me you would need them! 😀

Keep Motion Sickness tablets handy as well.

Some tips

  1. Ensure you get a seating with bassinet while your make your bookings.You get ample of leg space with such seats. Also try being at the airport well in advance to collect your boarding pass. Sometimes, bassinets are given away on first come basis in spite of booking one ahead.
  2. Pack your diaper bag light and wise.
  3. Breastfeed, bottle feed or give pacifiers during takeoffs and landings to avoid ear pain due to air pressure changes. But if your baby is fast asleep, don’t disturb him.
  4. As far as possible don’t do the diaper changing during the rush hours especially an hour or two after takeoff and before landing. Generally there is a big queue outside the washroom during these time where you either have to wait or have to wind up things hastily that might make your baby cranky.
  5. Don’t hesitate to give your baby some Benadryl if he is too cranky and won’t calm down at all. But take your pediatrician’s advice before.
  6. Don’t carry too many of your baby’s favorite toys. It will make your luggage heavier. Just 1 or 2 of his small light weight favorites would be more than enough. The airlines give you some baby toys as well. Load some of your baby’s favorite songs or videos on your phone or tablets to entertain him if necessary.
  7. Make friends with the neighbor passengers. Some might help you taking care of the baby while you eat or go to the restroom. Don’t depend much on the air hostesses. In my case they rendered no help at all !!!
  8. My baby doesn’t like the baby carriers or slings so I could never use it during my travel. But you could use one instead of a stroller if your baby is light and comfortable in it.

These are some tips based on my personal experience. Would love to hear the adventurous experiences and inputs from all those of you who have bravely traveled long distances alone with your infants!

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