Wednesday, November 8, 2017



  • We always try to book a bassinet seat (the best we have found are the 3 seats located on the side where there is a bassinet seat - if the plane is set up 3-4-3).  Booking the window and middle seat allows for more privacy. There are fewer people walking past, and it is darker which is perfect for baby sleeping on a long haul flight especially. Usually, you have to pre-book these seats by ringing the airline in advance. Make sure you do this as they can be booked up early. Now that she is a bit older, we also prefer 2 standard seats on the side of the plane (2-4-2 configuration) as it’s nice to be seated alone and without the worried stranger next to you. Soon Lilah will be two, so then she will have her own seat. The great thing about these seats is that you have more leg room too and the bassinet can double as a tray holder for when you have finished eating. Why do they not collect parent trays first? Cue-food and drink everywhere :) Actually when she was really small, Sonita ordered the vegetarian meal so we could eat at different times. That really helped. Now, Lilah just eats whatever we are having.
  • If your toddler is in that transition age of being too big for the bassinet but not yet 2 so you are not paying for a seat, try your luck when you check-in. Ask if they have any spare seats and if you can have one in between you. We have been lucky to have success with this a few time and we were so happy with the extra space for Lilah to play and sleep more easily.
  • If you are breastfeeding, be sure to wear comfy clothing that allows you to feed easily. One of the most important things we have always tried to do with Lilah is feeding her when ascending and descending. We have never had any trouble with her ears and we think this is key! Now that she is a little older, we will give her a snack to eat. 
  • When Lilah was really small we would take our own pillow. It was a lifesaver on long-haul flights. If there is any turbulence you have to get baby out of the bassinet and sometimes she just didn't want to be in there. The pillow ensured we were both comfortable and her weight was supported if it was for longer periods of time.
  • We have found that flying at night has probably been the easiest as Lilah often sleeps most of the flight. With a baby, we find we have more carry on luggage than usual so we try to board the plane as quickly as possible so we don’t miss out on the overhead luggage space. We find that asking if they have priority boarding for babies usually works (even if they do give you a funny look haha). We also try to look for direct flights whenever possible.
  • You can usually check in two baby items for free. When Lilah was younger, that would always be her car seat and travel cot to sleep in. We would take her pram as carry on. We have always traveled with our own car seat as Lilah would sleep better in it, we knew it was safe, and also the hire ones often have an expensive daily rate.
  • Everywhere we have been, security has not minded about size and quantity of the liquid that we have for Lilah. We always stock up on the biggest paracetamol in NZ and have never had it taken from us. They also do not mind about Lilah's water. They might run it through a screening but we have never had any problems.
  • We always arrive at the airport earlier than we used to before we had Lilah. We would say at least 2 hours before an international flight. Everything is less predictable with a babe, she might need changing or feeding, she may be unsettled and grumpy. It is also helpful to be at the front of the check-in line, most are usually open but sometimes we are early. We actually prefer this as one of us can line up and then the other can go for a wander with bubs before coming back when it is open. It saves stress and feeling claustrophobic in the line.

What we normally have in Lilah's carry on:

  • Having a carry on that can fit under the seat has been very important for us. It ensures we have everything we need, even when the seatbelt sign is on.
  • A few snacks (sometimes we pack more depending on the country we are going to). Some airlines will provide snacks for babies but you want to be sure you have back up. We lived in Saudi Arabia for three years. It was more difficult for us to find packaged baby food to take traveling so we would often plan ahead and order from iherb. It is also good to have a few snacks for layovers in the airport. It is not always easy to find food on a whim.
  • A few toys/books (sticker books are life at the moment).
  • More nappies and wipes than you think you will need. We have had to ask a nearby traveling family with a babe before because we ran out. In saying this, most airlines will have a supply if you really need.
  • Change of top for Mama and Daddy when they are small (or even bigger with grubby hands)
  • Pamol (paracetamol)
  • Spill cloths and bibs when she was smaller
  • Changes of clothing for baby that are easy to change on the small changing table in the bathroom. Include something warm as it can get chilly.
  • Toothpaste and toothbrush.
  • Ipad-with some baby-friendly apps and games.
  • Anything essential that you could not be without if your luggage did not arrive.


  • Mountain Buggy Nano This was the only stroller we purchased and Lilah was comfortable and slept well in it from three months old. It fits most capsules and the best part is it can fit on the plane as carry-on luggage. We don’t usually check it in because it is a bit fragile being a pram. This has been our Number One travel companion and it has never really left our side :) We bought a sheepskin to make it more comfortable. Nearly two years on and still going strong! We often use it to carry our bags when going through the airport. Its also super easy to fold up when you are using transport like the subway in New York!

  • Baby Bjorn Travel Cot We chose this cot as it was the lightest one we could find. You have a lot of luggage traveling with a baby, we didn't want to be carrying a big and heavy bed around too. Sonita can also put it up on her own in seconds, so it is very user-friendly! We purchased an extra crib sheet to take with us. We lived in a two-story house when Lilah was born so we used this as a daytime bed downstairs (or for putting her safely in for those quick bathroom dashes). Lilah loved sleeping in this travel cot. It looks cute too. Although it is worthwhile, as Lilah is getting older we have found it is not essential that we travel with it as we often stay in Airbnb’s which are very accommodating with somewhere for her to sleep. 
  • Baby Bjorn Carrier We don't think there is anything particularly special about our choice of carrier. Just find what works for you. We have also used this carrier since Lilah was three months old. It was perfect for destinations that had cobbled alleys or were not stroller friendly. Lilah would happily fall asleep snuggled into one of us and holding our fingers.


  • We believe that good planning can make or break a trip with a baby. We put her first in every decision we make and we think that this is what has made things so enjoyable. It is important to think about where and when you go, as well as what you are going to do there. Trip Advisor has been our number one go-to site for researching about places. The forums, in particular, can be helpful as people who comment have been to the places they discuss. 
  • We often stay about 1-3 nights more with Lilah than we usually would. For example in Hawaii this year we stayed 8 nights, and probably would have stayed 6 with just us. Like a lot of places, you could stay for weeks on end and it just depends how you like to travel or what you want your trip to look like. The extra time allows us to slow down more with Lilah and have more mornings to adventure out (often the best time if you are somewhere that can get hot). 
  • We do research about the climate of where we are going and have thus far stayed away from places that can be very cold or hot. It is important to check the weather beforehand so you don’t end up being somewhere not so ideal for taking a baby out. 
  • We often hire a car if it makes sense to in some places. We find this to be much more convenient. We have more luggage than usual with a baby and it takes away the hassle of transferring to public transport. The privacy and flexibility to work around Lilah as well can take away a lot of stress. For this same reason, we will often take taxis. We do use public transport (usually best in the morning with Lilah) but sometimes traveling with a baby you just want to get home as quick as you can.
  • On a typical day, we will venture out in the morning, go home for Lilah to nap when it typically gets a bit hotter (and just to relax), and then go out for a bit in the afternoon, early evening. We don’t usually stay out late with Lilah as she likes to go to bed early. We don’t mind this and it's a good time to just relax as well. 
  • Staying somewhere spacious is well worth it. We like to use Airbnb, as there is much better value for apartments that are spacious, that have good cooking and laundry facilities. We like to still have home meals when we are traveling for a long time. Being able to do laundry is also a big bonus. Of course, we sometimes book hotels too, depending on where we are visiting and the type of experience we are looking for. 
  • The location of where you stay can also be very important. With a car, it doesn’t matter so much but without a car, we like to be within walking distance to where we want to go. We usually like to stay in local areas on the edge of the city, a little away from the hustle and bustle. We also like to check out recommended places to eat or a nearby supermarket before we arrive.
  • We find it is also important not to over plan. It is not our style to plan day by day excursions, even before we had Lilah. Rather we like to have an idea of what there is to do and see what we feel like doing on the day. Sometimes too much planning can make things less of a surprise and we find we enjoy it more when we can be flexible. That’s why it’s a good idea to have a bit more time somewhere in case things change. Some of our favorite memories are the slow days where you just wander and soak in the atmosphere and culture of a new surrounding.
  • We don’t really have any fears of traveling with her in tow. In saying that we do always research places beforehand and wouldn’t take her somewhere we didn’t feel comfortable. Being used to living overseas and having traveled a lot certainly helps. Our main fear would be if anything happened to her health but we take as many precautions as we can and have good health insurance
  • Don't expect everything to be perfect. After all, there are the tough days at home so why would it be any different traveling? Laugh it off, go with the flow. Tomorrow is another day! We struggle to think of a time when we have regretted taking Lilah out and about. The pros exceed any possible cons for us.

    NB: This is based on our own personal experiences. We are by no means experts in the field but we hope that some of the tips may help you on your travels as they have helped us. Lilah has also flown since she was three months old and has nearly flown her 50th flight. She is comfortable and used to flying and traveling, adapting her routine in a new country and space. Until next time...

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