Hello Everyone !
It’s been a while since my last post – we’ve been on holiday in Sydney – a last hurrah of sorts before I head back to work and my maternity leave ends.
We’d over-ambitiously considered going to Europe but the idea was promptly rubbished by family and friends alike, who told us that if the plane ride didn’t kill us, the tiny hotel rooms, lack of amenities and lack of help definitely would. We ( Or rather, I) am not giving up, though ! We are now saving to bring Sophie-Rose to Paris next year for her first birthday, before visiting family friends and my sister in London.
Plus, Chloe and Aunty Cat so wonderfully extended their welcome and their home to us in Sydney, which is also where we went for our baby-moon. We were worried at first that we would be imposing on them and introducing the entire baby circus into their home but they insisted that they wanted to see Sophie and shower her with love.. so.. how could I refuse? Aunty Cat also reminded us that staying with them would also mean a home to come back to if Sophie got cranky during the day, no problem with washing, sterilizing bottles, baby baths, etc. God-sent, these two lovely ladies are.
We had considered flying Scoot Business to Sydney, but after doing some calculations and finding out that there would be no bassinet provided (!!) we decided we were better off flying Qantas. We picked a night flight (11 pm) near Baby’s bedtime so that she would hopefully sleep through the entire 7 hours!
Here we are, nervous parents and oblivious baby, on our inaugural Teo Family trip !
We bundled up Sophie nice and warm in her fleece H&M Baby Bear pale pink top and bottom over a plain onesie, put on thick socks and comfortable shoes on her feet, and popped her binky in for good measure.
Packing wise for the flight, we just brought our usual diaper bag essentials with a few changes:
- Vitamin Spray from Bio-Shield, kindly sponsored by the people at AO&N. Airplanes are full of germs, recycled air, and potentially sick passengers so we were taking no chances with Sophie getting sick straight away. We sprayed her entire body and face with the Vitamin Spray to boost her immunity and keep bacteria at bay.
- More diapers – 10 Mamy Poko ones, to be exact. These absorb the best and as babies tend to relieve themselves more in cold weather, we decided to pack more.
- 2 Blankies – her Sophie La Girafe organic cotton one, and a Bubble Bamboo Wrap gifted by Eunice and John – I’d read that airplane bassinets are seldom cleaned so we brought one to line the entire thing and then another to wrap her up in. Next time I’ll also be bringing a super thick fleece one to line the bottom instead – it wasn’t thick enough.
- Also, spare binky, two sterilized bottles, and six 200 ml servings of formula. Again, I’d read that babies get more thirsty up in the dry cabin air so we very kiasu-ly brought as much as possible !
Don’t have to worry about liquids! The security and immigration guys are fine with it as long as you declare it at the clearance area and also are carrying an infant with you. Pack the formula together with the hot water thermos so you can easily show them that they are meant to be used for a baby. 🙂 You don’t want to use the hot water on the plane. Here’s why (Mummies, you want to read this)
My three brothers very sweetly sent us off at the airport, showering Baby Sophie with kisses, hugs and goeey smiles – and we were off !
Mummy and Baby Airport Fashion !
My airplane uniform is always skirt-leggings and a very baggy, comfortable knit top. This time, however, I bit the Mummy Fashion bullet and wore my new Nike Pegasus Mint and Lilac running shoes too. I figured my Repetto flats wouldn’t give me good support or balance if I was going to be carrying many bags, baby, and doing quite a bit of buggy-pushing and running for buses/taxis.
So.. how did the flight go?
We thought our luck with our dream baby would run out. Plane rides must be IT, there must be something that drives Sophie crazy (besides tummy-time), we thought.
Well, we were wrong. Sophie Rose basically slept through the entire flight, Waking once for a diaper change, and twice for two feeds, which she gobbled down without any protest. The air crew were frankly stunned at how well behaved she was – not even a whimper from the pressure when we took off and touched down (I think the binky helped loads by stimulating her swallowing). We were lucky that our flight there was nearly empty so we had the whole row to ourselves and the plane was super new = updated bassinet complete with thick mattress, blanket and relatively clean.
Our flight back was quite a different story though – it was a full flight and we were seated next to a poor Middle Eastern lady who was flying with a 3 month old and a 2 or 3 year old girl. I was sitting next to the girl, who basically screeched through the entire flight. She kicked me, spilled water on me, stole milk off my dinner tray, tried to pilfer my KOBO, and five minutes before the plane started its descent, she threw up a fountain of cow milk vomit mixed with rice and peas all over herself and her seat.
All that I could take – except that her screeching was driving Sophie mad – every time Sophie fell asleep the girl would screech and Sophie would wake up, a whole bundle of frustration and irritation. It made for quite a tough flight back – in the end, K gave up and started walking Sophie around the cabin and away from the cacophony next to us. I felt really, really bad for the poor mother – every minute of the flight was spent either attending to her little baby in the bassinet, or trying to calm down her daughter, who flung her IPhone, dolls, and anything she could get her hands on all over the floor. The girl also made a long distance call to Dubai to her father without her mother’s knowledge, yakking on the phone for a full 15 expensive minutes before getting discovered.
Halfway through the flight, I saw her succumb, and, eyes full of guilt, feed some cough mixture to her daughter, probably as a last ditch attempt to make her sleep. It failed. Said demon daughter spat it all out over her last remaining clean shirt.
By the end of it, the Mom had a whole diaper bag filled with vomit covered clothing, rice and pea korma all over her head-scarf, and eyebags to rival my husband’s legendary ones.
The best part? That was just the first leg. She was transferring to fly to Dubai. -_- I’m hoping Sophie doesn’t go through some terrible 180 degree change during her terrible twos because that would mean absolutely no travelling for us – I think I might give my baby away to Qantas if she pulled on me what that little girl did to her Mom.
So.. flight tips:
- From my boss, E – Feed the baby just as the plane is taking off – try to stave off the feed until just before. The drinking motion will help unblock the baby’s ears and also soothe them.
- The Binky is your Best Friend – Stick it in.
- Never use the hot water from the plane for your baby (see above link)
- Always pack warm for your baby, with extra blankets, clothing and bibs.
- Never fly alone unless you’re in Business or you have a masochistic need to handle a baby all by yourself for 10 hours.
- Pick a flight during the night, around Baby’s bed-time.
- Dress comfortably yourself, because you will be busy all the time handling baby’s needs.
- Lots and lots of hand sanitizer. Sanitize everything. The seatbelt, the bassinet, your hands, your seat.
- Remember to keep baby hydrated and try to wake them up every 2 hours for milk, or water.
OK that’s it for now ! I hope my tips help any of you who are planning to head overseas with your 3-month old bubba! Any questions, just ask.fm or e-mail me as usual and I’ll try my best to reply you as soon as I can ! 🙂
More posts on our lovely Sydney trip coming up – we’re having serious withdrawal symptoms right now !