How to manage a 10-hour flight with a baby

Last Monday I took our 8 month old baby girl on a flight to Finland by myself. I was a bit worried how it will go as it was a daytime flight which meant most of the hours would be spent awake. Would she scream the whole way or would we receive unhappy states from fellow passengers?

At the airport my Manduca baby carrier was a life saver! I could carry Anna and still have my hands free to carry luggage, fill exit forms and buy snacks. I only took it off for the security check as the carrier needs to go through the checks as well. 

When we got to our seat I noticed the plane was almost full, but still the flight crew managed to arrange an empty seat next to us. Thank you for the man willing to change his seat!

I had reserved the first row seat so we could have more leg room and use the baby basket. We didn’t end up using the basket that much, except for our stuff, but I’m sure for the nighttime flight back to Guangzhou it will be very useful.

I brought a few toys for Anna, including the elephant you see in the photo, which was new for her (cousin’s toy) so it would keep her entertaint for some time.

But more than the toys she loved interacting with other passengers and luckily they liked her too. Chinese love babies, especially mixed babies!

For food she drank mostly breastmilk and some smoothies and snacks I brought with us. On my lunch tray there was salad and bread that were suitable for her as well. 

Only at the end of our flight Anna got too tired, it was 8pm Chinese time, and she cried a bit. Other than that our flight was a success! The crew was very helpful and made sure we had everything we needed so thank you Finnair.

Some tips for air travel with babies:

  • Baby carriers are golden at the airport and sometimes on the plane too.
  • Bring change of clothes for you and the baby. 
  • Bring warm clothes as the plane can get very cold.
  • Snacks for you and the baby are important too.
  • Bring a new toy with different functions, but water bottles are fun as well!
  • Book the baby basket seat if your baby is less than 70cm and 10kg or so. Or book it just for the extra legroom.
  • Be friendly to fellow passengers, they can be super helpful!

What other tips you have for flying with a baby? Please share your experiences in the comments.

  • Cassandra Hua

    I remembered being glad I put my son in long sleeves during our flight. Nursing (or a bottle or pacifier) helps with ear pressure during take-off. Also, make the diapers are in the carry-on bag! I couple on our flight did this and we thankfully had spares for them. Absolutely bring something to lay your baby down on for diaper changes in the bathroom. A pad is helpful: I remember the table being kind of wet and cold. We used a stroller instead of a carrier and it worked fine. We were actually able to check the car seat/stroller combo as one item. Make sure there are tags on both of the items, though.


    Sara Jaaksola Reply:

    Good tips! The plane really was much colder than I thought. I had one small suitcase and a mommy bag with me, put all the essentials to mommy bag close to me, but could still get extra clothes, diapers or food from the carry on suitcase.