Long Haul travel with a baby….✈️

I think most of us will agree that flying long haul is a pain in the arse! But when you live on the other side of the world to your family and friends what option do you have….? I know! Why not make it harder for yourself and travel without your husband and instead go with your 10 month old baby!

I’d say I was probably extremely sleep deprived when I made this decision….

But being in the last stretch of maternity leave I was dying to get home and spend some time with my favourite people! All my friends at home have kids so it would be perfect!

So, a few weeks before the flight I started to get organised…for those that know me you’ll know that I’m more of a last minute kind of packer, makes it more of a surprise when you get to the other end and have no idea what you’ve actually packed 😂

But this time I decided to be mature and as I was packing for two I actually took it seriously. We had changes of clothes, food, individually packed nappy bags, wipes, toys, you name it, we were set!

We got to the airport early, sat down and had lunch, I even squeezed in a glass of bubbly! Holiday rule right?

Next stop customs. This was fun, baby’s milk, baby’s water, Ipad, liquids, everything out..oh and the baby!

She clearly gets her suspicious look from me as every time we go away we both get stopped and randomly searched. (I get it, to an outsider I probably do look mental…. big eye bags, half a bottle of dry shampoo emptied onto my hair and covered in baby food. I’ve clearly got the time to also be a drug smuggler…..)

Being able to take the stroller all the way to the gate made a world of difference. Bubs could sleep whilst waiting to board and I could save my back for the next 24 hour shift!

We flew with British Airways, Sydney to Singapore, Singapore to London and vice versa on the way home.

Its funny when you board, you can literally see people groan inside when they see a baby! I get it, I would have been the same pre baby! On our journey back to Sydney the lady next to me was stuck between two babies, she asked on both flights if she could move but the flight was full. Immediately I was on edge, especially as mine isn’t  what you’d call a sleeper! But Lo and behold on the first flight she was an angel and on the second, the woman managed to sleep through her crankiness and even held her for me several times when I got my bags out.

I can’t thank the staff on board enough, they were wonderful to me and my little one! I felt like I could ask for help when I needed to which isn’t always easy.

I ate my dinner with them while they entertained the baby, there was a constant supply of coffee and chocolate and plenty of cuddles for bubs too!

We made several new friends, a mixture of other parents and basically anyone that’s needed the loo as that’s where we were loitering 😂

Everyone was so kind, in the airport, in the queue and on the plane. Random strangers made a long and hard journey bearable! Oh apart from that one bloke that grumbled at me that he’d only managed 6 hours sleep the whole flight…. ✌🏼 Clearly no one told him that kindness makes the world go round. Twat.

I cant say I’ll be in a rush to do the journey solo again, on top of the flight jet lag for a baby is a bitch. Ten pm in our house at the moment is PAAAARTY time! 🎊🎊😛

Top tips for travelling with a baby:

– be organised, have nappies, wipes, food, clothes etc on hand

– Sleep when the baby sleeps, don’t be tempted to watch the latest film, you don’t when they’ll next sleep..

– accept help! Even if someone offers your baby a cuddle so you can go and freshen up GO, GO, GO!

– buy new toys to keep your baby entertained. (Be it ten minutes at a time)

– fly BA, they’re fab! 👍🏽

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Little Sleep Thief 🤱🏼😴

I’m always the first to crack a joke about having a baby that doesn’t sleep….but the reality is it’s actually really bloody hard!

My little girl is 8 months old now and  has slept through the night once. We don’t know why it happened or if we did something differently but it’s yet to happen again. And of course I had to keep checking on her so didn’t sleep anyway….

My hubbie is out the house for 11 hours a day Monday to Friday and without much sleep the night before those days can sometimes feel like an eternity.

Anyone that you speak to wants to chat about the subject of sleep, the very first thing is “ah what a lovely baby, is she sleeping through?” I smile through gritted teeth at the little old lady in the shopping centre, the neighbour from upstairs and the mum in the coffee shop all the while thinking “what bloody business is it of yours” before remembering they’re just being polite so I hit the reset button and launch into conversation. One day I’m sure I’ll be able to say yes! 🤞🏼

Anyway, so when I say she doesn’t like to sleep, I don’t mean only doing 4 or 5 hour stints, I’m talking waking sometimes after 20 minutes, 45 minutes, an hour, multiple times a night!

Id somehow got myself into a habit of rocking bubba to sleep so most of my time if we’re at home was spent pacing up and down with her in my arms. Oh and if that didn’t work, the magic answer had become to pop my boob out, that fixes everything right? WRONG. So not only does she now need to be rocked but also fed to sleep! What had I done?

Add into the mix 3x 20-30 minute catnaps during the day and she’d be back up and raring to go again and I admittedly was starting to lose my mind! Some days I would spend over half an hour settling for her to wake up after 7 minutes!

There wasn’t any time to cook, clean or have any time for myself, things were getting on top of me! I’ve got a permanent mumbun and don’t even get me started on my fake tan! 😂

People always said about being tired but it’s honestly like nothing you’d ever imagine, I have turned into a human zombie.

The past two weeks alone I’ve:

– thrown my bank card in the rubbish

– gone out (twice in the same day) to buy milk, come home without it

– gone to the post office minus the parcel

– paid for my shopping in the supermarket and left it there

Sometime I get to places and have no idea how I got  there! 🙈🙈

Over the 8 months I’ve gone to the early childhood centre numerous times and pleaded for help, it all seems simple when they explain to me about a routine do this, do that but a) it’s hard to take in when you’re sleep deprived and b) these routines don’t seem to work with a catnapping baby..

After being that mum that cries to the nurses on the helpline, finally my referral to the team at Karitane Parenting came through, we had an appointment, there was light at the end of the tunnel!

We arrived there armed with the baby’s sleeping bag and of course Jellycat, the aim was to show the nurse at nap time how we get her to sleep…

After 20 minutes of hubby rocking and ssshhing while she cried, eventually she fell to sleep in their cot. Typically that day the nap lasted a whole 45 minutes!

In that 45 minutes the nurse went through so many things with us and asked us how we wanted to approach it. I was so worried that she was going to tell us to put her down, walk out and leave her to cry herself to sleep, I knew that neither of us were strong enough to do that! But she listened to us and gave advice. Not only about sleeping but feeding, what times she should actually be eating , sleeping, playing. I had generally just been putting her into bed when she seemed tired hence all the little catnaps…I also learnt about the nutritious side of things and got some tips on what we  can feed going forwards.

I actually left feeling positive and reassured that although the baby doesn’t sleep we are doing a good job!

We’re now on day 5 of the routine and can definitely see some improvements already! Its been tough, there’s been frustration, upset and tears and that was just from me!🙈

But hopefully we’re going to be able to stick to it and our little girl can finally get the sleep she needs! (And us too of course!)

(And with any luck my brain might start functioning too!)

Thank you to the team at Karitane Parenting for pointing us in the right direction! 👍🏽