Monday, 23 July 2012

How to travel with a baby

1. Reconsider

Before you travel on a long haul flight with your baby, consider whether it is absolutely necessary. Could you delay the journey until your child is, say, seven and a half? This may be better for everyone.

2. Accept the inevitable

If the trip is non-negotiable, resign yourself to the fact that at some point during the journey, you will regret it. If your baby screams continuously for no apparent reason during takeoff, be thankful that you have saved yourself hours of nervous anticipation.

3. Prepare your baby

You may have read advice encouraging you to dress your child in his/her cutest outfit. This may charm women of a certain age, but nothing will wipe the sheer horror off the faces of gap year students as they see you approaching. Ignore them. 

4. Prepare yourself

You will not be able to watch a film all the way through. Why should it be any different to being at home? You, or your travelling companion, will need to take countless walks down the aisle only to be trapped behind the drinks trolley. You will need to apologise to strangers. A lot.

5. Resist comparisons

Why do those other parents look so serene? Why are their babies sleeping? Why has my baby suddenly become The Noisiest, Most Irritable Baby on the Plane? Am I a bad mother? Am I grumpier and more sleep deprived than my husband, therefore exempting me from the next nappy change? There are no universally acceptable answers to these questions.

6. Be polite

You may not feel like engaging in conversation with the stranger next to you. It may be the last thing you want to do to feign interest in tales of a senior citizens' group tour to Brunei. Nevertheless, it will pay to keep them sweet. (Refer to tip # 2). Is he a good baby? Yes, he is; not No, I fear he is an evil mastermind.

7. Be patient

Once the plane has landed and the seatbelt sign has been switched off, bide your time. The wait to get off may seem like the longest wait of your life, but if you can sit calmly (of sorts) and resist the urge to yell at your fellow passengers to get out of your way, you will be rewarded with all the personal space you need to locate and obtain all 23 items of hand luggage stowed throughout the aircraft. 

8. Congratulate yourself

You have survived flying with a baby! This is no small achievement. I suggest that you create and print your own merit certificate, to be framed and displayed with pride in the entrance hall of your home (from which you will never venture far again, until all memory of your last trip fades). You deserve it.


  1. This is so well written. You are awesome! And I plan on never flying with a baby, ever. :P

    1. This makes me happy. My work here is done! :)

  2. Sounds like you had a lot of fun! Beautifully written, funny post. X

    1. Thank you. Bear this in mind when you are planning to come and visit.

  3. Love it, Heidi! You write so engagingly. I almost feel like I was on the flight with you. Almost.

    Hope you're beginning to settle in to life in WA.

    Love Eliza Blythe

    1. I had to ask Darrel if you were who I thought you were! Thank you. We are slowly settling in. It feels like we are on holiday, but have to do lots of boring things.

  4. this is lovely Heidi I alway enjoy your posts. I flew from Australia when Emily was 10 months, NOT GOOD. And then to America when she was 2 and a half years. She had to sit on my lap (or pay for a seat)so when she wanted the bathroom I just let her go (she couldn't get off after all,
    how much trouble could she cause, pretty little thing). I promptly fell asleep to be woken 10 mins later by an irate stewardess who had found my child locked (all by her darling little self) in the toilet. Only ten minutes sleep I got all flight!

  5. Oh my goodness! I was hoping it got better as they got older. Ha!