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On the plane

The worst part of the flight

In my experience the worst part of the flight is from when you board the plane until after the meal (or refreshment) service.During this time you are pretty much confined to your seat and if you are seated in bulkhead seat then your carry-on luggage must stay in the overhead locker until the “captain turns off the seatbelt sign” (meaning that if you left a critical item such as a dummy/pacifier in your bag then you can’t get it.)

Your baby is also being faced with a new environment. When you get on the plane you are jostled about by other passengers and if you have a lap infant then they may not like the seatbelt or being forced to sit on your lap (and canny toddlers like Zavvy can work out how to undo the clasp!).

Once you are up in the air then you can get up and move about (once the sign goes off, of course) but it’s also the time when the cabin crew begin their preparations for meal service. Other passengers get up and move about too and so the aisles are crowded and there is a lot of activity.

Once the meal (or drinks) service has begun then you can forget about trying to get to the toilets or the back of the plane because the crew do at least two sweeps of the plane (dropping off meals and picking up empty trays) plus the coffee run.

Meal service can be traumatic when you have a baby in tow, particularly if you are travelling alone. The potential for messy spills is great (avoid the red wine with dinner or you could end up with it all over you, just ask my hubby) and it’s all very exciting for baby, but less so for mum and dad. Arrange a baby swap if you can.

If you are planning a long haul flight then it’s a good idea to familiarise yourself with onboard routines and develop a plan of action around them. For example, have your first bottle ready to go, if possible heat it before you board the plane and keep it warm in an insulated bag. That way you don’t need to ask the cabin crew (who may be busy or forget you).

Generally I find that once the trays are cleared away and the in-flight entertainment starts (thus occupying the other adults on the plane) then everyone can relax a bit - at least until the next big issue - sleep.


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