Call me crazy, but the first flight I took with my 4 weeks old baby was 24 hours flight to Sydney, Australia. Just me and my baby, because daddy was waiting for us there.
I’m not one of those over protective moms that worry about every little thing, although I did google a lot of things when my baby arrived. If this is normal, if he is eating enough, is this sneeze ok, how long he should sleep and so on. Google was my best friend in the sleepless nights while breastfeeding in armchair. So of course I googled what to expect, and what to pack for the flight, but I had zero fear or panic of flying alone and for such a long time. I blame it now on “after-giving-birth-and-not-sleeping-enough” euphoria. At the same time I was so excited and overtaken by thought of Australia, two months of endless summer and what we as a family will do together. Of course only on Lorenzo’s days off, because he was there to work.
Thinking back now, I want to call myself a little superwoman, for pulling everything together, but I also got a lot of admiration from other people for courage, so I’ll take that as honey to my ego.
Thinking back to flying, I have to thank breastfeeding. If it wouldn’t be for that, I would probably freak out about making and sterilizing all the bottles. It did save me, however the start was very difficult. As we got on the first flight to Singapore we entered the night and the lights got dimmed. Me being surrounded by men, I didn’t feel so confident and comfortable with breastfeeding in public under spotlight, so I avoided reading light and I also got this idea that I need to cover myself with a light scarf, as I was seeing women before breastfeeding so effortlessly under scarves. It was a disaster, my baby refused to eat, I couldn’t see anything what happened underneath, my milk was spraying everywhere and I was close to desperation. And then I did something I’m not proud of. I went to toilet, put my baby on a changing table, while he was screaming there I hand pumped milk in the bottle, and later fed my baby. He gladly ate and nod off. We had allocated seat with baby bassinet, but of course my baby refused to sleep in there, the moment he realized he is out of my arms he started to cry and I had to pick him back up. So we stood and swayed in all the hallways and by lavatories, receiving admiration and sympathy looks from other passengers. Also Singapore Airlines staff was so considerate that they offered me to take Sebastian if I wish to go to refresh myself or just eat in peace.
On the second flight from Singapore and Sydney seemed out of reality, maybe because I was very tired, hadn’t slept, all the noise as half of the plane was Chinese origin, other half Indian. When you realize how big is the world, and you have never been to this part of the world before. In this mini euphoria I softly nod off to sleep as Sebastian is also very tired form flight before and is sleeping like an angel now, but only on my lap. Our pre-booked bassinet is used as an extra shelf or food storage, which was always filled by lovely flight attendants for me when I wake up from naps.
When we didn’t have a baby, we always looked at parents in airports with little horror, dragging twenty suitcases though the airport and thinking what are they packing? Can’t they pack less? In baby’s first year we have traveled like crazy, always downsizing on luggage because you are not going to another planet, unless you are going to the third world country, you will be able to buy if anything becomes necessary, if not, you will save your hands, money and sanity.
Conclusion – the most useful thing for this flight was breast pump and small bottle, the most useless one I prepacked was plastic used diaper bags. Realized that I don’t really need them, and they are very bad for environment anyways, so if I can avoid them I will. Still have a box of 250 at home, as a memory from the flight 🙂
My baby will turn 1 in couple weeks time, and I can say this year has been amazing! Baby had 19 flights all together. Myself I am a passionate traveler and I couldn’t imagine my life without travelling, and thinking that this little creature came into our lives and we should stop travelling and do what?
Don’t be scared to travel with kids, no matter how small they are. Babies are tougher than you think, get over your fears, plan properly your trip, take health insurance and you will thank yourself one day for not missing out!