One thing that always baffles me about flying is that while you can take the buggy up to the plane when you are departing, when you arrive, you must wait for the buggy to come out with the rest of the luggage on the carousel. Do they think your child can then magically walk when they reach the other side? I got caught out once and had to carry my baby. Carrying your baby, with your carry-on luggage plus the baby bag, is not easy.
Nowadays I just bring the baby carrier. It’s very hard to do everything on your own, you just need to ask for help. Most people will be more than happy to assist. For example, if you do bring the buggy, get someone to hold your baby while you close it. Steps are a nightmare too. If you need it ask the airline for special assistance beforehand, as it’s free. Usually air stewardesses are great for helping too.
As a frequent flyer, I have got it nailed now! During a trip last year, I was on my own with Pauric and Alessia. I had Alessia in the baby carrier and Pauric on a Trunkie (kids ride-on suitcase), in which I manged to fit all the essential aeroplane bits. Pauric sat on the Trunkie, so I could pull him along, although we had a little bit of drama at security when the Trunkie was not visible. Poor little fella thought I was giving it away! I found this the least stressful way of travelling. If I had a buggy, I’d have had to worry about what to do with my children while I folded the buggy and what to do at the other end.
On the aeroplane, it’s best to nurse or give something to your baby to suck on, especially during take-off and landing. This will ensure that the change in air pressure doesn’t hurt their little ears. Make sure you have a comfy blanket too, so that you can rest your arm when holding your baby. When they are a little older, bring lots of entertainment. You can get colouring books especially for the trip, which can be exciting. I’d also have videos downloaded on the phone. Always be over prepared! Most airlines will sell you a children’s pack too. These are quite cheap, and often include snacks and colouring bits.
In terms of behaviour, there are a few things you can do to make sure it all runs smoothly. As a rule, I wouldn’t let your children out on the aisle, as once they get out it’s very hard to get them back in.
I got the airhostess once to tell Pauric that he would have to go home if he didn’t sit and put his belt on. I could have battled with him and it would have ended in tears, but I didn’t want everyone else to have to listen to that. Getting someone else to have a few words saves a battle for me, and seems to have a profound effect. Whatever works, I say.