Before our daughter was 1 she had clocked up 24 flights to her name (not all to Oz, mind you). Crazy days!
My girlfriend has now had her first baby & is about to embark on her first flight with her little man. Who do you think she turned to for travelling advice?!!! Got me thinking that someone else may like to know what worked for me.
- Make sure you do all the buckles & straps etc up on your carseat before handing them in to the oversize luggage handlers. You don't want them getting caught on anything.
- Ask to keep your pram until you get to the boarding gate so you don't have to juggle a baby & bags for the long wait before your plane leaves. Just remember to give it to the gate a little bit early so they don't curse you!
- Take a change of clothes for all of you on the plane. Even if bubs doesn't chuck on himself he is bound to get something on you!!! (I learnt this the hard way, & not after the first instance either!)
- Bassinet seats are great if you have a good sleeper. Mine never ended up sleeping in them! You'll have to be holding your bubba on take off/landing. Don't be surprised if you just get him to sleep when they need you to hold him again for landing - sometimes easier just to hold him the whole time!
- His ears may hurt on decent. See if you can time his feed for then. I used to either sneak in an early feed or starve them (hmm, perhaps I should say 'space the feed out') so they'd want to feed at the end of the flight. There's nothing as distressing for a mum than a baby with sore ears. Perhaps even take a little bottle with water in case you can get him to take little sips if all else fails. He doesn't need to drink much to unblock his ears.
- Make sure you flash your baby around at all the security checks. Families with babies get pushed through the quickest. Use & abuse the luxury!!!
- Sorry to say that if you have oversized luggage (ie prams etc) they will envitably be the last items off the plane. Not fun after a long flight where you just want to get out of the airport!
- As for 'who to fly' I couldn't sing the praises of Emirates enough. These guys ROCK! I've had bad experiences on all the other airlines - ie telling me to that I can't walk around the plane trying to settle my tired baby etc.
The hardest part of flying is at the end, especially if you are by yourself with your baby. Trying to juggle baggage, car seats, prams, a heavy-weight sleeping baby, or worse - an overtired grumpy baby, is HARD. And sorry to say that not many people will come to your aide :( Take a deep breath, & soldier on. Have a cry if need be (heavens knows how many tears I've shed at airports!!!) but just remember there is light at the end of the runway!
If you have any hints to add to my experiences, please post a comment. I know lots of mums would love to hear from you.
Whatever you do ... don't let a baby stop you from travelling!
ps - Don't forget to stock up on handmade creations to fill your suitcases - for baby, for you or for gifts! http://littlekiwisnest.co.nz/