I feel that I’m a (relatively) competent mother. I’m by no means perfect but I’m not worthy of social services attention either. My kids are pretty well behaved, tantrums are kept to a minimum, they can sit acceptably in a cafe and even score some smiles from strangers. BUT the days leading up to flying internationally with them really got me freaking out. It is a well known fact that toddlers and aeroplanes are not a good combination.
In my head I tried to tell myself – who cares what the girls are like, you will never see these people again, or everyone knows that kids act out on planes… But even knowing this, I won’t lie.
I was crapping myself.
I tried to prepare myself for every possible scenario both mentally and physically.
Well let me tell you (without meaning to blow my own trumpet) both baby and toddler were FANTASTIC. We managed to score the bassinet for Rafi who not too long into the flight went to sleep and my toddler didn’t sleep but happily played the whole time.
Ok mothers, let me be graphic for one second. You know those poos that our babies do that are just tragic? Well we had one of those on the flight. It was while she was lying on her back asleep so it seriously travelled far. I kid you not – I was wiping her shoulder blades! And it gets worse..she was wearing a top that clipped up in between in her legs. So for all those people that advised me to put in one to keep her tummy warm because the aircon is so strong – you didn’t think about this one did you! Yes I had to lift this rather soiled top up over her head. Am I painting the picture for you? It wasn’t pretty! As I wiping crap from every inch of her chubby little body I secretly thanked myself for being such a wipe snob. I have tried and tested every brand and by far the Red Nose Baby Wipes are the best. Not only are they large and moist, but they support a cause thats important to every mother, SIDS. (5% of all sales go to the charity SIDS and Kids, how amazing is that!). Well lets just say I seriously contributed on that flight.. In order to be quick and thorough I whipped out as many wipes as my fingers could before that stank made its way around the cabin. Side note, whoever says baby poo doesn’t stink, wasn’t standing in a confined space with it!.
But back to the flight….
Other than the poonami… all was actually totally fine. I’ll give you my advice (for what its worth) on 5 MUST HAVE items for a plane…
1. Familiar blankets to your children. Be it muslins, wraps..whatever! Don’t rely on the gross dark brown blankets that they provide you with. Take some that your children use already.
2. Make sure to use the same sleep cues you use at home. I use music with Rafi which I put on my iPhone so that she could hear it in the bassinet (screw the other people around you, what would they prefer lullabies or screaming baby?!?) Dummys, blanky.. and spares. Don’t risk being without them, that’s simply asking for trouble.
3. Pegs. Weird I know but pegs when travelling always come in handy. I used them to put a blanket over the bassinet to make it darker for Rafi. Particularly on a day flight this is important. I promise throughout your holiday you will find a million more uses for them! (e.g. on prams, porta cots, hanging washing..)
4. Ipad. If you don’t have one, borrow one. If you don’t have someone to borrow from then steal one. Whatever happens, don’t board that flight without one. Trust me – this is a lifesaver. No words.
5. If you have a baby – a dummy clip. Normally I have a 10 second rule when it comes to the dummy falling on the floor, it also depends where I am and how it lands etc etc (there’s a whole criteria for the dummy drop), but in an airport I wouldn’t take any chances, anything that falls on the floor would be sanitised pronto. So that’s why the dummy clip is perfect. It attaches to the clothes and keeps things clean the whole flight (except if your baby shits everywhere but that’s just bad luck really). Even if your bub isn’t a dummy sucker – use the clip for whatever rusk they may be sucking on or even so that Sophie La Giraffe doesn’t hit that germ-infested disgusting floor.
When the Pilot said his thank you speech and turned the seat belt light off and I was disembarking the plane, I felt like I should get a round of applause or at least a pat on the back. I didn’t. But I should have!
Sweet holiday Dreams, Bec x