I have to say that I was on the fence about taking a newborn on an international flight. I have to be honest that if it wasn't my sister's wedding, I may have opted out of long haul travel as we were still getting used to our new lives. We truly wanted to be there as I know that family get togethers are rare and this is a very special moment in our lives. We traveled to Prague from Vancouver with a 3 month old baby. It was approximately 15 hours flight with two transfers.
And guess what?
We had an incredible time! It was heart warming to be around my family, meeting my brother-in-law's family and surprising my younger sister especially. Baby did fabulous! I have to credit some of the prep work and checklist below.
I strive to carry key items only though there were things we didn't end up using. I've updated my list below and marked with (x) the ones we did not use, but I felt was nice to have and maybe useful on another trip.
Key is: Imagine logistics from leaving our place on the Monday morning - cab to airport, terminal to gate, when to feed and change, what we should wear to be comfortable, etc.
One Must Have: Humour (take it anywhere you go and it's free)! I am blessed to have a husband who just finds humour in everything because some things do not go as planned (miscommunication with the cab, very tight 1 hour layover between landing and departure at Frankfurt, sketchy apartment which I booked etc.)
- Plan Itinerary
- Currency Exchange
- Airport map look up - map out route for terminal transfers
- Amenities - look up hospitals
- Advance booking - car service, hotel, restaurants, shows
- Unlock phone - pre-order SIM card
- Device Back up - phone pictures, clear space, bring extra microSD cards
- Gate check stroller and car seat
- Bag for the car seat - If you don't have a car seat cover, at the check in counter, ask for an oversized plastic bag you can use to cover the car seat. Minimize those germs exposure for the baby. Save this bag as other airports did not have it.
- Asked for 'assist' - gate check lady made a note to have someone help us with transfer upon arrival in Frankfurt. This made our 1 hour connection possible.
- Carry on: 1 Backpack each person
- diapers X 30
- onesies X 4
- wet bag/garbage bags
- burp cloths/muslin
- save offline songs Emily love
- carrier (I-angel, Sollywrap) (x)
- sunhat (x)
- phone charger
- baby bottle (x)
- pump (x)
- water bottle
- snacks and food
- extra clothes for parents
- Checked Bag
- Outfit planned for trip plus extras
- Baby Tylenol
- Home reminder: wall flower decals that Emily love, baby book (x)
Should you book a bassinet? In my experience, no - it is not necessary. On our flight back, we booked a bassinet which was free for 1 parent, but an additional ~$150 one way for the other parent. We flew Air Canada Rouge coming back, and frankly, the plane was much smaller than our initial flight. There really wasn't much of a leg room and the bassinet for the baby (once attached) didn't allow room for me to move from my seat. I would say, check the type of plane you have (if it's the larger planes, those may be worthwhile paying extra). Another thing I didn't appreciate was you lose the ability to have your backpacks under the seat, so every time we need an item - we have to keep opening the cabin storage above us.