Being married to a Scotsman, with the arrival of our new baby came the inevitable trip back up to Scotland to introduce our son to his grandparents. And although I love my parents in law ( I know, I'm lucky) I was dreading flying with a five month old. By this time I had found some sort of a rhythm with my new baby, but still found it a challenge some days just going to the supermarket with a screaming child.....how would I manage 20 ish hours on a plane jam packed with people who are trying to sleep. Well let me tell you I did nearly everything wrong, so I will pass on some traveling tips that could make your journey and arrival much easier than mine!
Most importantly, if it's a long flight ie to Europe, try and break it up with a night in Singapore or Dubai, it might cost a little more but it is really worth it. The plane experience can really cause havoc with a little babies' system so wind and air pressure, air conditioning and general noise may mean you and your baby don' t get much sleep. An extra day to regroup get a meal and some sleep can be all the difference to your whole holiday.
Travelling with your baby - airport departure lounge. It can be a long affair, so make sure you feel your best before you go,( you don't want to look and feel totally disheveled before you even get on the plane/ train/ bus). I found a great pair of pants in my local shops that had a Japanese feel, a wide leg and a fold over top that pulled my tummy in and gave me some support, I have based my black bootleg pants on these trousers that helped to pull off a little bit of style on a crazy journey! I teamed these with a breastfeeding top that I had made, because you might be sitting right next to someone and you need to feel confident and comfortable breastfeeding ( especially at take off and landing- little ears can get sore). I added ballet flats, a nice Black Blazer, a beautiful scarf and voila - jet set mum...who knows you might get an upgrade. Something I forgot was an extra breastfeeding top in case of accidents - you name it, it was on my top when I arrived!
Make sure you pack a few changes of clothes for your baby, and if you have a special outfit picked out for family/ friends to see, put it on at the end of your journey. My little fellow entered the plane looking gorgeous, but a few hours into the flight and my husband and I heard a loud rumble....and then we realized there had been an enormous explosion in the nappy department, that went through his nappy, clothes and bedding in his plane bassinet. The outfit was impossible to salvage as we still had many ours to go and no plastic bag was going contain it!
So pack lots of changes, nappy wipes, plastic bags, extra blankets, that favorite teddy or toy etc, it may seem like a lot to bring on but you will need it.
Drink plenty of water, it's much easier to get dehydrated in the plane, and don't say no to food even if you are up changing nappies or trying to settle a crying baby, ask the flight attendants to put your meal aside for later.
Lastly try and get some sleep, don't worry too much about how the person in the next seat or people behind you feel, chances are they've been there, or are yet to have that experience. Also, it's amazing how easily you can tune out to someone else's child.
And make the most of the flight staff, I have found they are generally very helpful and attentive to travelers with young babies, so ask for that extra cup of tea, chocolate bar or blanket... you deserve it!
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How do our little ones go from their very first sounds to something more definite and pronounced as their first words?
Here are some ideas for you to use so that you can have a successful road trip with your baby.
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