The end of March was getting closer and closer. A long weekend was scheduled months in advance and would be baby’s first aircraft experience. We longed for this trip and were ultimately more excited than our son. Naturally. He is still barely reactive to any change in his environment and we are thrilled if he laughs in apparent recognition of our faces after a day in day care. At this point our victories are indeed small.
Visiting good old friends in Switzerland used to be a road trip we took without much thinking, sometimes making a spontaneous pit stop in French villages along the way. With our not so new born having very irregular drinking habits and the fact that the boy doesn’t seem to need much sleep during the day, we immediately excluded traveling by car. The passenger would basically not be relieved from nursing and entertaining duties and would be cramped in our stuffed three door car. Flying was thus our means of transport by choice. With Brussels airlines we could register as a “b.family”. As this was the first time we would take a flight together, travelling by air became all the more exciting for us as well. Expectations were maybe a bit too high, as “b.family” basically meant priority boarding (in Brussels, not in Basel) and retrieving the stroller at the aircraft door. Which was appreciated of course, but it’s not like it’s something for your convenience only.
Our little one endured the flight and changes in air pressure very well. We had taken some precautions to make his first flight as comfortable as possible. Luckily, water is allowed on board for baby’s consumption, so we made milk for him to drink during takeoff and landing. This probably made his ears pop frequently. Furthermore he showed no real annoyance of it. Next to that, we brought an extra blanket against possible cold air circulation, which we did not need. If anything it was extremely hot inside the plane on your way back. We had to make the cold air above us spurt out and put baby in his bodysuit to make him more comfortable. We brought several toys for distraction, but he found plenty of interesting new things on board to put to his mouth. The airsickness bag was his favorite; if we had not prevented him, he would have devoured the thing. The compact pillow we brought for him to sit or lay on, whilst on our lap, was probably the best idea we had. But any of the above measures could have been handy at any different occasion, as flights are like babies: unpredictable and at times very messy.
Both the out and inbound flight were without incidents, although we have learnt one major lesson. As our baby loves to take up everything around him and stays active as long as he is out and about, we eventually ended up with an overstimulated, exhausted and angry little man who did not stop screaming in the car until five minutes before reaching home (the drive took 45 minutes!). In the future, if possible of course, we will avoid traveling in the evening, when it’s his bedtime. We may have a sketchy drinker that hardly takes naps, but apparently we cannot mess with his night sleep. Noted, little dude. Traveling is for daytime only.