I AM a nervous flyer. So throw an overtired baby into the mix and my stress levels were pretty high flying to Sydney with Baby Holly last week. It resulted in the biggest blemish (OK, let’s get real here –zit) I’ve had since I discovered boy germs might just be worth catching.
Here’s how it panned out:
Launceston – Sydney
When I started out my trip to Sydney by first forgetting to check Baby Holly in, I knew it was going to be a long two days. Sweating in my black coat because I couldn’t fit it into my bag, I then had to master TWO seat belts. I might be a multi-tasking mum, but this is ridiculous. On takeoff, Baby Holly then decided to throw her dummy. The rather large businessman in my row offered to pick it up. However, it then took him five goes to reach it as he jostled to get his large belly out of the way. If anyone can tell me where I’m meant to look in these awkward situations, that would be handy?
Ten minutes after takeoff, Holly was breastfed and asleep and didn’t wake ‘til minutes before landing. Throwing some ULTRA chewy sultanas down her throat meant the landing was relatively smooth – for me. Although, I’m sure the sultanas on the floor had the cleaners scrounging for the onboard mouse.
Oh boy. If a direct flight from Launceston to Sydney was tough, imagine a changeover in Melbourne. Firstly, the lovely Louisa of Everything is Edible dropped Veronica from Sleepless Nights and I off at the Qantas terminal. Mild panic set in when I realised MY Virgina terminal was at the other end of the airport. Plus, Holly had just dropped a bomb in her nappy.
Me, Baby Holly, the nappy bag, suitcase and the contents of her nappy all hightailed across the airport, stopping every 15 steps to readjust everyone and everything. The next thing a Qantas flight attendant walks past, slips his fingers under my suitcase and says “I’ll take that for you’’ and off he goes. After a few moments of shock, I mutter an “Oh, right. Yes, coming’’ and follow. It turns out he’s not even going in my direction, but takes me right to Virgin’s check in. Great service Qantas.
Once through security, I find my lounge has had a last minute change. Please proceed to gate lounge 35. OK, breathe. After wrestling with Baby Holly’s nappy and making the correct gate just as the last passengers were boarding, I then managed to board the plane at the wrong end. Oh dear god, please someone, let this be over.
The Kindle reading businessman and businesswoman I’m wedged between – despite earlier reaching for their earphones – talk to Holly until she falls asleep, help me with my food and constantly check I’m OK. Sorry Kamahl, but why are people so kind?
Melbourne – Launceston
Somewhere along the way, our Melbourne flight was delayed, so I had to literally RUN to catch my next flight. Have I mentioned yet how heavy Holly is? Last on the plane, but at least with two seats to myself, I spend the rest of the flight feeding Holly sultanas (again), rice cakes, water, a boob and anything else I could get my hands (not that I put my hands on my boobs often, of course). Thankfully, the entire 40-minute flight, she’s quiet. I succeeded.
My big sigh of relief was a little premature when, waiting for my baggage, my name was called over the PA. No, please. Not me. Someone else, but not me. Yes, a tight changeover in Melbourne meant that’s where my luggage had stayed. Ah, lovely. To Virgin’s credit, they delivered it to my door – but not until AFTER midnight. Boy, was I tired.
So, the moral of this story? Readjust your baby and luggage often so people feel sorry for you and help, use your boobs (or a bottle) to prevent pressure in babies ears and take food – lots of food. Or just don’t travel with kids. Whatever works.
TIPS FROM MUMS WHO HAVE DONE IT AND SURVIVED
@mypigeonpair: Recently flew with 15mth old and 4 year old by myself! Here is what I learnt.. http://mypigeonpair.blogspot.com/2011/07/up-in-air-i-fly.html Take lots of snacks just not M&M’s!
@AKA_MrFrog: Sienna was 2 when we flew to Melb for our Babymoon, we took lollipop for take off and colouring books. She was great!
@MummaInHeels: snacks, books, toys, singing songs (though be wary you’ll get strange looks from other people!). Also a bottle (or breastfeed) when taking off and landing is great as it helps their ears not to get blocked.
@chereer: be prepared VERY prepared! My only tip!
Ashleigh from Mm is for Me: I haven’t done it too often, but always breastfed on the take off and landing if he was awake!
Kristie-Lee from The Learning Ladder: Jelly babies for toddlers!! Or a popper!
Jodie from Muddled Up Mumma: Suck up to the check in staff to try to get an extra set blocked out!
Louisa from Everything is Edible: I probably need to revist and edit these posts but these are the ones we were talking about earlier: http://www.everythingisedible.com/blog/tag/travel-with-babies/
Sarah: We always bought a seat for our under 2’s on long hauls and then took the car seat for them was a godsend. Play dough for toddlers and lots of little wrapped presents.
What tips do you have for flying with babies and toddlers?