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Question: We are going abroad with our eight-month-old. I am dreading the flight. How can I make sure everything goes smoothly and she does not scream for two hours on the plane?

Doctor Woolfson's Answer:

Travelling on a plane with an infant this age is very ambitious. Here are some suggestions to help the trip go more smoothly.

On the day of travel, only her give small snacks and drinks before leaving home; flying on a full tummy is likely to make her feel uncomfortable, perhaps even nauseous, and you’ll end up changing her nappy even more than usual. Use your hand luggage allowance to take your infant’s books, toys and other play equipment on board. Carry on as much as you can – you simply can’t take too much. And try to book an aisle seat, even if that isn’t your normal preference. First, this means you’ll have a passenger on one-side only, and second, you’ll have direct access to the aisle, which you and your eight-month-old will definitely want to use lots during the trip.

Forget about reading your magazine or watching the in-flight movie – that’s for infant-free travellers! Instead, expect to focus all your time and attention keeping your baby settled and amused during the entire journey. Expect her to be restless and uncooperative – that’s what happens when a baby this age gets bored, tired and restless. She’s not deliberately annoying, she just finds the plane environment irritating for much of the time. When your eight-month-old falls asleep – and she will eventually, even though you might not think so at first – use that time to have a nap yourself. You and she will benefit from the rest, and you’ll both feel refreshed. Good luck!