We had a very good flight with the baby from Lima, Peru, to Amsterdam yesterday, a 12.5 hour intercontinental flight with a 5-month old baby. So here are a few tips about how to fly with a baby.
First: Tank up before flying, make sure baby’s tummie is good and full. The same thing is true for adults BTW, flying on an empty stomach is a bad idea.
You also want to keep the baby awake before the flight (in our case the flight left at 8:35pm), and, stating the obvious, change diaper before you get on the plane.
Second: Pick a fun place to go.
Look at that screen, are there any of those destinations you wouldn’t want to go to? Iquitos, Arequipa, Tarapoto, all places I want to go. I mean, if you’re possibly going to annoy 200 perfect strangers with a fussy baby, it better be worth it 😉
Third: Get all the necessary supplies to fly with baby. Diapers, bibs, a change of clothes, some extra baby food, paper towels, toys, etc. Brianna was also checking out some new sunglasses at the mall before we left… but we ended up not getting them because they made her look too pituca.
Fourth: Pick good seats…
The best seats for flying with a baby are in the front of the airplane, because there’s less noise and vibration.
And the most important part about flying with a baby: Request a crib!!!
Before we left, Patricia read online that most airlines carry baby cribs on long flights, which KLM confirmed on its website. We called ahead of time to request a crib, and the baby slept for most of the flight.
How we got our good seats is a story in itself. KLM opened the flight for online checkin 30 hours before departure. We checked out the seating chart beforehand and decided we wanted the first row behind business class, where there is extra legroom and a nearby bathroom. Right when the online checkin opened up I tried to select our favorite seats, but to no avail… No matter how desperately I clicked away on my laptop, I was unable to change my seat from the dreaded 43B (second-to-last row, middle seat). So I called KLM (thank goodness for Skype) and was told that I couldn’t select my seats online because I was traveling with a baby, but that our seats could be changed at the airport. We decided to go early to the airport and when we asked if we could have better seats, the agent told us he had already given us the first 2 seats for baby, 10 H&J. First row behind business class, with extra legroom, space for a baby crib and a nearby bathroom. The exact same seats we tried to select online! Que buena suerte!!!
Other than that, the cabin crew aboard KLM was very nice, Brianna even got her very own KLM bib!!!
UPDATE 12/22: while flying with baby was easy, adjusting to the time difference (6 hours) has been H*LL. Nada de dormir at night, wake her up in the morning and half hour later she falls back asleep. It takes her until 2:00pm-ish to fully wake up, and until 4:00am-ish to finally sleep at night.
HELP: any experience with babies adjusting to a time difference, please let us know!!!
Congrats on surviving your first cross Atlantic trip with an infant. We flew Iberia from MIA to LIN back in 2006. I had no clue some airlines offer cribs. We didn’t have a crib for our daughter, but fortunately we sat next to a nice couple from Switzerland who literally babysat for us so we could get some shut-eye.
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Oh god… You can’t imagine how happy I am to have found such accurate info 🙂 THX!!!