THE ONE THING… You Need To Pack Before Taking A Baby On A Long-Haul Flight

Capsule’s Emma is going on her first long-haul flight since having a baby and so put a call-out for the one thing people would recommend before taking a baby on a long-haul flight.

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I absolutely love travel, but have always hated long-haul flights because I don’t sleep and I’m claustrophobic. Luckily, I decided to have a baby so that I would never have time to worry about my own neurosis ever again. This June, my husband and I are off to The Middle East & Europe to finally introduce to our infant to the other side of his family, which means all the great bread you can imagine, plus also having to endure a 17-hour flight with a child. So, I put a call out to the Capsule community about what I need to know before taking a baby/child on a long-haul flight and you DELIVERED.

“Just give him the boob, if you are breast-feeding. My trick is feed them till they are zombified on the long haul. If that does not work, hand over them to the flight attendant before you lose your mind. Flight crew is much better at handle a crying baby than an insane parent.”

“Take those formula packets or formula pre-sorted. Extra clothes (for you and them), lots of nappies. Also take a carrier to help get them to sleep when you can. I’ve stood for 2 hours with my boy in carrier with my nursing blackout blanket over my neck and his to guarantee a nap and therefore less tantrums.”

“Extra blankets for covering them up, making a tent to cover them/you/the seat while they sleep.”

“Take spare clothes not just for baby but for yourself… my daughter vommed on me and then shat through her nappy on the way to LAX whilst sitting on my lap and I got to fester in the same clothes for HOURS.”

“Sucking on the way up and down helps their ears – so breastfeed, bottle, dummy, whatever.”

“Stay as calm as possible. Babies cry! It’s okay.”

“Snacks snacks snacks (because they won’t necessarily eat the food you order for them). Order the food ahead of time and try and get yours delivered at the same time (otherwise he’s eaten and ready to play by the time you get your food possibly an hour later!); run around at the airport in between flights; trap him in at a window seat. Be kind and give yourselves grace because it’s going to be long and tiring and you probably won’t sleep much.”

“Do whatever it takes to survive.”

“Please don’t be afraid to ask the flight attendants for help. They love baby cuddles and have a few tricks of their own for entertaining little ones, especially during the night when everyone is sleeping! There is a dedicated crew that are not taking their rest and a bubba is always a welcome sight to pass the time as often we are just waiting for someone to ring the call bell or wander down to the back galley.”

“Bassinet and if not absolutely book another seat if your budget allows (sometimes airlines are generous and give you an extra seat!) and depending on your airline one of those seat bed things maybe a goer. ALL THE SNACKS. If you are doing a night flight then try to keep routine largely the same as home. Pjs, cuddles, books and lights out.”

“Lots of champagne for Mum…. Just to get through it!”

“Sucky lollipops for ears – you can get good sugar free ones. Pack Pamol, just in case.

If you’ve got a spare seat, there’s a vid I saw where you can use a blanket to make a nice hammock from his seat across the foot well so he can lay flat right next to you. Pack all the sensory toys and have all the lowest of low-key videos pre-downloaded onto an iPad.”


“I separate my son’s favourite toys / books / snacks in to plastic zip lock bags and bring one bag out every 20mins or so (take 6-10 bags of different things and rotate, with a little Cocomelon tunes screen time for 5-10mins every hour). I also used a dose of Pamol 30mins prior to sleep time and had son’s pillowslip with a small drop of lavender oil on it which i used at home for the week leading up to departure. And I packed a gazillion changes of clothes and wet wipes in my cabin bag.”

“Have low expectations but know that all flights do eventually end, and in the long-term this is a very exciting thing to do.”

What People Recommended To Buy:

For older kids, this ride-on suitcase/seat/bed

Riff Raff White Noise Sleep Toys – little cuddlies that play white noise

Many votes for suction fidget spinners, which you stick to the window or seat in front of you: like these ones.

Lots of people recommended a travel pram that you can take on the flight – it is definitely worth checking with your chosen airline though. I (Emma) found with national flights that some planes were a yes to travel prams, others were a no.

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