I consider myself a seasoned traveller, so when I was faced with the prospect of travelling with a 3 month old baby to a friend’s wedding in Barcelona, I figured how hard could it be?
The truth is, it wasn’t that bad. I mean ignore the part where she did a huge poonami just as the seatbelt signs went on and the fact that I spent the next 30 minutes pretending that I couldn’t smell anything… yeah, it really wasn’t that bad. However, there are definitely some things that I’ve learned for next time which definitely help…
- STARVE YOUR MONKEY. Well, don’t actually starve them… but make them hungry. They’re much more likely to accept being fed during takeoff and landing which resolves any ear popping issues. Telling a baby to yawn just doesn’t work.
- WHEEL IT ON UP. Take your pram right up to the aircraft. If you’re anything like us, you’ll have tonnes of stuff, more stuff than you can shake a stick at, so having some way to transport it other than slinging it over your shoulder like a donkey is a god send. Remember to ensure that your pram folds flat and that if it won’t fit in the overhead cabin that you’ll have to check it at the aircraft steps.
- BAG IT. If you’re planning to take a car seat and frame (without paying for a seat for the car seat), make sure that you buy a bag for it beforehand. Try to remember this with at least a couple of days to spare so that it actually gets to you on time ?? (Dickie!?!). Baggage handlers apparently don’t seem to have the same appreciation for the pram you and your husband spent weeks researching and the small fortune you’ve spent on it. Rude.
- CHECK THE BELT. Don’t panic when you get to your destination and your pram doesn’t appear on the belt alongside your luggage containing nothing but nappies and baby wipes… the likelihood is that it’s on the over-sized baggage belt.
- LOVE THE AISLE. Even though you’ve always grappled towards the window seat to get that awesome wing shot for Instagram, the aisle seat will now actually be your friend. The person sat next to you will already think they’ve drawn the short straw when they spot your little munchkin, so reduce the number of eye rolls by avoiding constant disruptions to go to the loo.
- ARRIVE EARLY. Allow plenty of time to get through security. What’s more, if your little person is still small, enjoy the only VIP experience you’re likely to get nowadays with early boarding. However, if you’re battling a toddler, there’s no rush to take your seat… you’ll be in the metal can for hours remember!
- DRESS SMART. Getting through security can be testing at the best of times. Try and reduce the stress by avoiding outfits with a belt, heels and excessive jewellery. Baby sick is the only accessory you’re likely to end up wearing.
- LEG ROOM. If you can, book a bulkhead seat. These seats are like gold dust! They’ve got extra leg room and pull down shelves for cots which means you won’t go dropping couscous on your little snoozer as you try and grab a bite to eat.
- EASY BABY. Save your fancy baby outfits for another time, access needs to be your focus. Remember that you’ll be changing them in a space smaller than your wardrobe, so you’ll need to keep it as easy as possible.
- SPARE YOURSELF. Remember to pack a spare outfit for yourself and for baby. You can guarantee that even if you’re bambino has been constipated for a week, that’s guaranteed to change just as soon as you get on the plane. Next stop… poop central.
If all else fails, make sure you’ve got some treats in your bag to offer to your plane neighbours. It’s amazing how accommodating people are, particularly when you’ve got a mini-me… and just remember their cries always sound much louder to mums than to everyone around you.
I’d love to hear your travelling experiences…