If Janet the Cat was able to dish out high fives, she definitely would have given me one last week as I bundled her into her carrier and took her to the cattery (AKA: The Respite Centre for Felines Harassed by Crawling Babies). For one week only, Ada’s favourite sport – Racing Janet to the cat Dish to Watch Her Eat – would not be possible as we embarked on our maiden voyage abroad.
We were hitting Valencia – goodbye stormy Britain; hello sunshine!
Let’s talk about the flight. Imagine, if you will, an octopus. An octopus that weighs five kilos, has to sit on your knee, and wants to hold a different part of your body/the plane/the unassuming passenger in front’s clothing in every different, searching tentacle. The octopus wants to be free, but has to remain in captivity for two hours and ten minutes.
I plied my ‘octopus’ with breastmilk, snacks, toys, songs and action rhymes to help the time pass, and it worked a treat. She definitely wasn’t ‘That Baby’ making the person two rows back tut and roll their eyes.
Suppressed quietly between my husband and I was the stark realisation that the baby was due a poo. What if one of her infamous poonamis should occur mid-flight?! It didn’t happen, and thank God it didn’t, because I couldn’t see a Baby Hosing Station anywhere on our Ryanair plane (bet there’s one on British Airways).
My small human is quite an adaptable little nugget. When the return flight was WAY too hot, she didn’t freak – I stripped her down and breastfed her. When she got grizzly, I gave her something new to look at and she calmed down. So, in my limited experience, flying with a baby is easy – just stay calm, have plenty to offer your baby and be organised.
Tackling check-in and security wasn’t too stressful either. Luckily, my husband was with us, and I had Ada strapped to me in her carrier (we didn’t take a buggy at all — we just used our Connecta carrier all holiday, and it was perfect). Sans buggy, we could easily manage the cases between us, and because Ada was in her favourite place, she was happy the whole time, and very busy absorbing all the new sights and sounds around her. Bliss.
I’d definitely fly with Ada again. Perhaps it will be a different story when she’s a bit older, but for now, teamed with a husband, a baby carrier and some toys, flying really is a doddle.