Travel with Baby #1

23 Mar

First FlightI took my first real trip with E when he was four months old. We flew from Sydney to Brisbane for a week to visit friends and family. In the middle of still trying to deal with breastfeeding and sleeping issues I didn’t really have time to stress about the trip too much. The night before I threw together a carry on bag for us. I figured my friends and family could supply some toys, we could buy nappies and he didn’t need much else except his fave wraps. And I could wash often enough to get buy with a few outfits. The flight up was fine, he slept a little since I’d tried to time it for night time. I did get a shock though at the glares from other passengers. In fact in the back of this photo you can see an old man, hand on chin, glaring. I was “that women” – the one with a kid who no doubt would scream the entire time. Except he didn’t. But I still got the attitude from others that we shouldn’t be there. And I breastfed on take off and landing and found that a bit uncomfortable too because we were so crammed in my breast was nearly in the lap of my neighbour.

When I unpacked in Brisbane I found I’d skipped an entire draw or so when packing – and hadn’t bought any onesies. All E had to wear were a few singlets. Ooops.

On the way back the flight was almost a disaster. I’d booked the bassinet row and so had a couple of taller folk, hoping there would be no baby on the flight and they’d just get the extra bulkhead space. They were not at all happy when I wanted to use the bassinet. Luckily for me a business man sitting across the aisle saw my face fall and almost dissolve into hormonal tears and said something about his kids, and how he used to travel with them too. That was enough to make me feel like I had an ally on board. From this trip here are a few things I figured out the hard way:

  • Avoid flying at business travel times. Much less friendly people around.
  • Don’t forget to ask to be boarded first. The airlines don’t call for children first anymore it seems!
  • Write a list when packing and check it off (duh!)
  • Don’t worry about too much stuff – you can buy almost everything you need if you have to. My Mum even made up a bunch of simple toys like rice in plastic bottles to shake.
  • Don’t try and change routines while travelling – I tried to get E out of his wrap about this time which made him just scream midnight till dawn. I ended up having to co-sleep with him, constantly feeding, so my Mum wasn’t woken. In hindsight I wonder why I persisted while travelling?
  • Try and time travel around development. The week I flew to Brisbane was also the week after E had hit the 4 month sleep regression period. I was so tired I was miserable. I should have told others what was going on instead of trying to look all bright and happy presenting my gorgeous (non-sleeping) baby to family. When I got home I collapsed in such a heap we were admitted to sleep school and I was borderline PND due to sleep deprivation.
  • ASK FOR HELP. If only I’d been open to admitting that travelling with kids was a challenge.

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