Traveling with babies can be a surprisingly delightful experience, as long as our fulfillment of their basic needs is kept pretty much on schedule… their schedule. Babies aren’t as fragile as parents sometimes fear. It’s most likely that your baby enjoys the trip.
Babies aren’t as fragile as parents sometimes fear. It’s most likely that your baby enjoys the trip. Babies often find flying soothing and usually fall asleep listening to the hum of the engines, which by the way, disguises the sound of a baby crying very well.
By three months your baby is a pretty good candidate for flying. It isn’t a good idea to bring your baby for air travel before this age. In the first week, the baby’s heart and respiratory systems couldn’t cope well enough with the reduced level of oxygen during the flight and at the age of two months, your child would still be susceptible to infection and should avoid all crowds, especially in a closed environment, such as the airplane cabin. The best part is that a three month old baby also can’t run around.
There is no evidence that flying is unsafe for babies, if they are healthy. If you fly with your baby on either long or short flights, you should follow these guidelines:
- Pack well in advance and check that you have all necessary documents. Children are sensitive to parental anxiety. Minimise your baby’s stress by reducing yours.
- Prepare a bag for your baby for use on the flight and include favourite foods, snacks, toys, diapers, wipes and so forth. Drinks and food, take more than you think you’ll need for emergencies and the inevitable delays.
- If you are breastfeeding drink plenty of water whilst flying. .
- Some of the Airline Companies cater for small children’s needs. You can check this out when you are booking and can pre-order special food for your baby.
IN FLIGHT ADVICE
- Feed baby both during take off and upon landing. Swallowing encourages baby’s ears to clear ‘airblocks’. Also make sure your baby takes appropriate feeds and doesn’t become dehydrated.
- Keep your baby cool. Remove hats and extra clothing. When you check your baby, if he or she is sweating or the tummy feels hot to the touch, take off some clothing. Don’t worry if the baby’s hands or feet feel cool, this is normal
- Place your baby on their back to sleep.
Some experts advise to give baby massages, usually two or three days, before and after flying. Massage before flying helps the baby to be more relaxed, in hope for a smooth flight and massage after flying helps the baby cope with jet lag, or other differences at the destination. Anyway, as long as there’s no contraindication for massaging the baby, such as muscle or bone disorders (fracture, dislocation, or ask your doctor for more information), massages won’t harm your baby if done gently.
Baby Massage Technique
Use natural oil like organic sunflower or olive. Make sure your hands glide easily and for the best results use a firm touch.
- Pull baby’s leg through your palms and fingers, hand over hand, from the thigh to foot, repeat three or four times. Give your baby’s leg a gentle shake. Now do the same with the other leg
- Then massage both legs together. Place your hands on the inside thighs and pull downwards around the back of the thighs, down the back of the knees, calves and feet. Repeat three or four times.
- Now stroke firmly two or three times down the front of the legs.
This will help relax your baby’s legs and feet and stimulate their circulation. The baby’s hands feet and head are the coldest parts of their body until their circulatory system is fully developed.
- Lay the weight of your open, relaxed hand on baby’s tummy and, without pressing but rather using the relaxed weight, your hand, massage their tummy clockwise, the same direction as the baby’s digestive system. Now lay your relaxed hand across your baby’s tummy and gently press from side to side (not downwards) between the hips and the ribs. This stimulates the large and small intestine and will
- Place your hands on the centre of your baby’s chest and massage upwards and outwards, over the shoulders. Draw both arms down vertically through the centre of your palms repeat a few times and give the arms a gentle shake. This will relax your baby’s arms and shoulders and stimulate the circulation of their arms and hands.
- Rest your hands on the front of baby’s shoulders and using their relaxed weight draw them downwards over the chest, hips, legs and feet. Repeat three or four times before turning your baby onto their tummy.
- Once on their tummy, if they can, help your baby to bring their hands forward so they can rest on their elbows.
- Now stroke firmly, using lots of oil, hand over hand several times, down your baby’s back.
- With a relaxed open hand, stroke clockwise several times around the base of the spine and buttocks
- Now rest both your hands on the back of your baby’s shoulders and stroke downwards two or three times over the back and down the legs to the feet.
- Remember to place your baby on their back to sleep and on their belly to play.