16th June 2016
There’s a secret no one tells your about your first baby. While you are exhausted and worrying about everything, other mothers of older/multiple children regard you with green eyes. They long for the simplicity of one newborn to give focus on. But they also – mostly! – remember how hard if is the first time around when everything is so new and uncertain.
Of course flying is one of things that every new mum has concerns about and we get asked about a lot. But, if I had to choose, I’d take a little one on a plane long, long before an active toddler (of which more another time).
It used to say in the red book they send you home from hospital something like ‘your baby wants to be with you and you should be with your baby’. And that’s the brilliant thing about a flight. You stay together. They can be warm and snug in your lap and you can get delirious hormone high from their baby-head smell.
The watch outs include an explosive nappy, dramatic vomit and/or a screaming meltdown. Depending on your baby’s temperament, you may find that plane noise and vibrations are surprisingly soothing: crying is partly muffled by the engine, not that you’ll feel that to be the case. The only thing you can do if they do kick off is to stay as calm as you can. If you feel your stress rising, so will your baby. If you have a more chilled other half, pass the baby over as soon as you get worried. They say to feed on take-off and landing to un-pop ears but ours have never been much bothered by it.
And try to enjoy it, which might sound crazy. But people are mostly incredibly kind: the stewards, other mums and families. Take your time. Welcome the support, gaze into the eyes of your little one and, when they fall asleep, read the papers. When you travel with your two year old you’ll look back fondly on the experience.
It’s OK, I know you don’t believe me.