October 7, 2007 12:13:05 AM CEST
I've flown with my children from birth (well 5 days old) and I can honestly say the easiest time to fly with a baby is when they're newborn or very young. There's no impatience at sitting still so long, fascination with pulling window blinds up and down, and their legs aren't long enough to kick the drinks tray
If you're breastfeeding, feeding during take off and landing is brilliant at preventing ear pressure, and has has already been mentioned; if you're lucky they then sleep the entire flight
If you're not breastfeeding a bottle or pacifier I'm told, confers similar benefits.
There are no recorded health issues with a healthy newborn flying and some airlines will let you board the plane last to minimise the time you need to sit still (again more of a benefit with an older child than a newborn)
It's worth hunting around message forums online to establish the more child friendly airways. I find Thompsons particularly pleasant - they don't count a baby carrier, pushchair or travel cot as part of your luggage allowance (some do so check if you plan on taking these items as often baby doesn't get any allowance as standard) Staff have on several occasions, moved us after take off to a free clear row (if there is one) to provide more space and on one flight they brought me a glass of water before the drinks trolley (unrequested) as they noticed I was feeding and thought I may be thirsty!
If seats are pre-booked its worth asking for a seat with extra legroom such as those near the emergency doors. You do need to have another healthy adult with you though in this instance to ensure there would be someone capable of manning the door in case of an emergency.
Lastly my top tip is change the nappy just before you get on and take something like a pampers disposable changing mat in your bag just in case. Changing in the toilets isn't the easiest thing (although again easier with a non wriggling newborn) and I've always found easiest to sit on the toilet seat lid and change baby on my knees (on the mat) If its only wet I don't move from my seat
Enjoy your flight