Pretty much everything changes when you a baby and travelling is definitely no exception.
I’ve been fortunate enough to travel a fair amount so airports, security checks, passport control and airplanes are all familiar places. When I cast my mind back to pre-Jacob days, I remember what used to classify a good travelling experience… A nice bit of food or drink at the airport, a couple of good movies available in the in flight entertainment, a little bit of sleep, and for overnight flights access to two blankets and pillows. Nothing major, but nice little things that made the journey enjoyable and restful.
Now when flying, the only solitary thing that matters is that Jacob is quiet and isn’t ‘that’ baby that everyone loathes for screaming and keeping up half the passengers while they try to sleep. Gone are the days of thinking about the movies we’ll watch, or the sleep we may get. Who cares about two blankets, really? A quiet child equals a successful journey. Period.
Travelling with a baby also requires a lot of forward planning. With all focus on accomplishing the mission of a quiet baby, everything must be thought through…
Food: it is impossible to get out the handy airplane trays if you have a child on your lap so nearly all airplane food and drink must be denied. This isn’t too much of a shame seeing as airplane food is never anything to rave about, but one must eat before the flight. The logistics of eating are impossible and if a child needs entertaining, this has to be priority. And if the child is sleeping, nothing, absolutely nothing must disturb this.
Going to the bathroom: all use of these facilities must be used either beforehand or when the flight begins. Imagine moving your baby because you have to visit the toilets and he/she begins to cry!
Bring a pillow: a friend of ours recommended this. A pillow (a breastfeeding pillows is best) is great for awake time, sleep time and certainly feeding time. A pillow is an invaluable friend to soften hard armrests.
Easy access: it’s important to make sure that as much as possible, everything you really need is within arms reach so as not to ever a sleeping child.
As we said before, Jacob did absolutely amazing on the journey. I’d like to think it is because of all our forward planning J He only cried for about 30 seconds in total on all our flights – what a great kid.