Mr. P and I are lucky enough to have travelled a fair bit before C came along. When I fell pregnant I had pretty much given up on our goal of “acquiring” a new country every year; my last pre-baby flight was at 30 weeks. It was a long 6 months later before we got on a plane again, this time with a squirmy, temperamental bundle of noise.
I’d be lying if I said this travelling with a baby business came easy to me. I am a planner by nature. When it was just us two, the unexpected raised my blood pressure but didn’t stress me out that much. E.g. missed a flight, sit in the lounge and catch the next one; transportation strike, wait it out at some cheap arse motel; lost luggage, reason to shop (you get the drift).
Obviously with a baby, we can’t really “slum it”. Thankfully I have Mr. P; he is a problem solver, a calming influence and a big believer in not worrying, especially if it’s something that money can fix. And of course C being fully breastfed for the first 12 months (and nursed until 18 months) meant one less worry.
The number 1 lesson I’ve learned is JUST GET ON WITH IT.
(And make sure you have plenty of food and nappies for the bub. Oh and a change of clothes for all of you in the carry on.) In all honesty, kids are so easy to entertained; there really isn’t a need to bring a whole bag of surprises.
Trust me, a veteran of spending almost 23 hours on a flight (non-stop) with a 9 month old. Our HK-NYC plane was caught in the freak October snowstorm of 2011, we were diverted to Toronto, sat on the tarmac without any food, water AND lavatory services (no water for flushing so toilets were locked).*
When we started flying with C, I kept her ticket stubs (which I promptly lost on our move to NYC). At this point, I have lost count on the number of flights she’s been on. C is extremely privileged. I believe in showing her the world even if she may not remember everything. In some ways, I think she is able to clock her experiences when she sees pictures. When we showed her the photos from our Sydney trip, her delight in seeing herself petting a koala is worth it.
Here is another (in hindsight funny) horror story:
On our trip to see Mr. P’s mum last year, we had a 1-hr connecting flight from CDG into Toulouse. The 12 hour HK-CDG leg was pretty uneventful except C, given her own business class seat (for free since it was an empty flight), would not sleep in it. She rather enjoyed being “squashed” up against me in my seat. All was well on our 2nd flight until 5 minutes to landing. C threw up all over herself and my lap.
Guess what my darling hero of a husband did? He lept out of his seat to get out of the way of C’s vomit projectile. Instead of grabbing the sick bag or tissues!! He ended up with a drop of sick on his left shoe while C had to be stripped (she arrived in her nappy) and I stank of vomit.
I suppose after these 2 incidents, I can safely say I am pretty much unfazed about travelling with a young kid!
* We were 45 minutes from landing when the blizzard shut all but 1 runway. We circled for 1.5 hour before flying to Toronto due to low fuel. When in Toronto, we sat in the plane for 2 hours while they refuel the plane. At this point, the whole plane was low / out of EVERYTHING. For whatever reason, it took the freaking ground crew all of that 2 hours to bring bottled water, snacks and clean out the bathrooms. Cathay, being the arsehole airline that they are, were still wanting to fly us back to NYC (I am sure it’s huge financial costs to the airline to divert). It was another 2 hours later before we were allowed to deplane.