Florida Guide > Travelling
Travelling with infants
We have travelled to Florida for many years and as a Health Visitor and mum of two girls I feel well qualified to offer advice to others contemplating a long haul flight with small children. On most flights to Florida you will find others with infants, so you will not be alone. Providing you plan ahead and are well prepared the flight should be pretty easy.
Firstly be prepared for the journey, if you are travelling with infants who are formula fed, it would be best to take ample cartons of ready made formula feed which can be poured into an already sterilized and sealed bottle. Recent advice from the Department of Health (UK) discourages the making up of infant formula in advance. The other option would be to ask the cabin crew to fill your sterilized feeding bottle with recently boiled water, allow this to cool for about 30 minutes before adding the infant formula powder and then cool rapidly in cold water until it is at a suitable temperature for your baby.
Ensure you have enough feeds for the journey and take extra in case of delay. It is also a good idea to take a tin of the babies usual formula milk with you, packed in the suitcase. Often if you change over to a different formula it can upset your babies delicate digestive system and you really do not want an unhappy infant during your long awaited and precious holiday.
If you are breast-feeding, life is much easier. You will not need to pack all the extra equipment and your baby can remain happily on the milk it is used to getting, always ready and at the right temperature. Feeding your infant on take off and landing, or giving your infant a dummy to suck, will also help ease the discomfort that they may feel in their ears. If your baby becomes upset during take off and landing due to ear discomfort and they are over 6 months old, it may well be worth considering giving a dose of paracetamol or ibuprofen about 1 hour before your flight takes off and again before landing. (talk to your Doctor or health visitor for advice, and always ensure you follow the correct dosage instructions on the medicine) Ibuprofen is preferable as it also reduces any inflammation as well as reducing the pain.
If you baby is at the weaning stage it is a good idea to take some ready made weaning foods in jars or tins with you for the journey. Though these are available in most supermarkets in Florida. Also ensure you have a plentiful supply of bibs, I found the disposable ones were great, a large packet of baby wipes and a couple of changes of clothes always comes in handy as well.
Depending on the age of your infant, food can also act as a good distraction for the moments of boredom. Try things such as raisons, especially the ones in small boxes, bread sticks, sponge fingers (the trifle ones) etc. Small toys are another good distraction, especially if they are new to the child. You do not have to go and buy them, just borrow a few different toys from a friend. I always found this quite useful, being able to pull a new toy out of my bag, just as my daughter was about to burst into tears and deafen the unfortunate passenger in front of me.
Most of all try to share your infant with your partner, so you can take frequent breaks and try to relax enjoy your flight.
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Page added on: 1 November 2008
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