Fit To Fly

Posted by Alyse Webster on

Okay, so I was thinking this would be more…Top 10 tips on flying with a small child – a miracle post on how you could go on a carefree summer holiday with your child. But I quickly came to the conclusion that (in my experience), no matter the top tips and the tropical trips, it can still go t**s up.

So instead I will share my (and Jo’s) top 5 disaster stories of flying with a baby, in the hope that – in some small way – it gives you some faith that if we have survived all this travel baggage, then you will too.
1. When Jo weed into a nappy during a flight.

Following a frantic dash to board, excess fluid consumption and 2 hours of a (heavy) 6-month-old breastfeeding/asleep on her lap, the need to urinate was denied by both the seatbelt light and the sleeping elderly passenger in the aisle seat. Luckily her ingenuity performed better than her pelvic floor. Nothing a giant muslin and a bit of concentration can't fix. "It's surprising how much one of those things can hold" she says. I suppose that is a tip of sorts.

2. When someone told me I needed to take my child to the hospital because he was so loud.
Yes…he cried and screamed THAT much on a flight that the woman behind us – trying to be helpful – approached me and said, “I don’t want to interfere, but I haven’t heard a child scream like that in 40 years and that was when my son had a double ear infection. I think you need to take him to the hospital when you land.” "Yes, I think you're right", I said politely. I couldn't bring myself to explain that he is just always that loud.

3. When an air steward remembered my screaming son.
It was only a 4-hour flight, so relatively manageable if it weren't for the scream-fest. Calyan was LOUD. The next day –glad to be back in the comfort and relative calm of home – I walked passed a neighbour and thought: “God, she looks familiar”, so I stopped to chat. It turns out she was the air stewardess on our flight. “THAT was the baby that screamed all the way?!” um…yup.

4. When Jo's food poisoning kicked in mid-flight.
Jo was so ill on her way back from Mexico that fellow passengers suspected she might be an Ebola victim. Luckily her partner and parents were flying with her and took care of her son while she lay on the floor in a space at the back of 'Premium Economy'. As the passengers queued for the nearby toilet, air steward – Liz Taylor – mopped Jo's brow and supplied a constant stream of sick bags. Nothing Premium about that.

5. When energy healers felt the need to step in.
When my son was just under a year old, he screamed all the way to America. All. The. Way. A woman approached me and wanting to help find the 'cause' of his distress said, “I am an energy healer and I am trying to 'scan' him to find out what’s wrong, but I'm not picking anything up.” Yeah. I know. There's nothing actually wrong. He's just very...vocal. 

Happy holidays folks! Share your travel baggage here:

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  • My worst story in 18 flights with an under two has to be when I was flying on my own to Portugal last fall with Teddy. I had her strategically placed in her car seat(not clipped in- don’t judge)on top of a chair at the gate (she was 23mos) as she tried to get out of the car seat she flipped the seat and landed on her face and stomach. Everyone at the gate (easy jet bus had just arrived to take us to the plane) gasped in horror! I quickly grabbed and started consoling her. No marks just a big fright! But ten seconds later she projectile vomitted in my hair on my face down my shirt and trousers! I knew she was alright when she started laughing at me saying ewwwww what’s that (curdled milk)! Fortunately she had a change of cloths! Unfortunately for me I did not and we were too far down the boarding process to go to the toliet! Thank god for wipes!

    We survived the flight, grandparents waiting! Needless to say my husband was on a plane the next day! I refused to fly back on my own! Tip: bring yourself a change of clothes!

    Kate on

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