This week we are off to Penang, Malyasia- 4 hour bus + 8 hour train + however many hours we sit and wait for transport to work.
I remembered my writing about our journey here 3 months ago…
The thought of flying with a small baby did not make me feel all gooey with joy, in fact it was something I dreaded. Not that my little one isn’t a great traveller, at 7 months her favourite mode was without a doubt, the London tube, where she could peer at strangers, staring at them until they cracked a smile (not the done thing) She has been on trains, buses, cars and the DLR but flying was one mode not yet ventured.
My dread started when Thai Airways notified me I wasn’t allowed a basinet as she was over 6 months, so began an email onslaught until they agreed. I was close to asking the phone operator to fly with us and try to hold my extremely bouncy, fidgety baby on their lap for 11 hours.
Then there was the VAST amount of stuff!
It amazes me how such a small person can generate so much equipment, especially as our move to Thailand was more permanent. I considered everything for our new home. Thankful now I brought an intercom, night light, a load of medicines and homeopath teething powder, I found a no talc talc from Neals’ yard which I love, I took lots of cotton clothing too without stupid sayings and cuddly animals on!
For the flight I went o.t.t even bringing a spare pair of socks incase she vomitted on the ones she was wearing, although she never vomits, my paranoia ran high and the last thing I wanted was to be glued to my seat with a sleeping baby and needing the one thing I didn’t bring.
I made a travel list, I asked other parents and this is what I found useful.
- Toys, especially her favourites including a toy that sings, lights up and talks; for maximum entertainment/distraction value.
- A nursery rhyme app on phone although at present she just wants to eat my phone so that was useless.
- Clothes, extra baby grows, change of clothes again for the vomit factor.
- Spare clothes for mum, factoring in accidents as well as the vomit (which never happened)
- A blanket. This was one item I brought onboard that I was thankful for as airplane ones always give nasty electric shocks.
- Portable changing mat, nappies and tones of wipes, because what cannot be solved with a wet wipe?
- Food for her that she likes (basically apple puree)
- Sandwich for myself as attempting to eat from a tray with a bouncing baby was not going to happen.
- Chocolate for morale.
The result of my packing filled my brother’s entire car!
We had a buggy, carseat, sling, one suitcase for mum, one for baby, carry on suitcase and carry on bag. I am so glad now that I brought so many children’s books but I was very close to chucking them out of the window, it was all so heavy!
The flight was uneventful, although when I return to the UK later this year I may consider getting another seat-you really have to rely on the passengers on either side being kind and patient. My little lady kicked them quite a few times as nursing is a horizontal affair. Luckily they didn’t mind and actually helped me, holding her so I could eat and passing me stuff from my bags. The staff were great too, I think because they were Thai and Thai’s LOVE to whisk a baby away, coo at them and say “ta-kay” A LOT (peekabo) They love pinching cheeks, nose and legs while asking how old, how much does she weigh and “gin nom”? (drink milk?) as they point to my boobs-then I get a well done slap on the back!
She slept most of the flight so I was grateful that I could put my feet against the bulkhead wall and support her as typical, she didn’t like the bassinet (after all that bloody fighting for one) I don’t think I slept as I was too paranoid I’d drop her. It was good to get off the flight and I was excited to see her buggy, to then be handed a wheel from the buggy. My thought “ok great now what”. Sling on, 4 bags, a broken buggy in tow and off I go to immigration…
It was a mission but I was so glad I did it and alone-whoop.
Previously when in doubt of my strength I have thought “I’ve ran 2 marathons, I can do anything”
I now think “I’ve had a baby, moved her to a different country, started working in a new profession, breastfeed and still manage to clean my house” oh how times have changed and I am a f***ing superwoman (as most mamas are)