Monday, September 6, 2010

Preparing for Take-Off: Part 2

Two days until our Wednesday afternoon departure. Count ‘em: 1, 2. Definitely time for the second instalment of my ‘flying series’ (you can read part 1 here). Australia, here we come!

Luggage - Trying to avoid the 'Pack Horse' look
✈2 suitcases, 2 back packs. That’s it.
Sticky Baby and I will be sharing one suitcase, Papadada will have his own. (His will be half-full, as we’re planning to rape and pillage the shops in Singapore on our stopover.) PapaD will be in charge of wheeling/carrying suitcases, I will be the designated stroller-pusher. And we’ll both have matching Nike backpacks on. Booya! One backpack will contain changes of clothes for each of us, the other will contain bottles, formula, toys, and flying documents. Backpacks = being hands-free once we check the suitcases. Much easier when you have a speed-crawler planning to beat his Personal Best time in Paris Airport. And yes, that’s right, I am running this trip with military-like precision. Atten-TION!

We are using our light-weight Chicco stroller the whole way. This means we can take it all the way up to the boarding gate, and then it’s packed away in the belly of the plane. Upon arrival, it will be waiting for us at the gate as well. Me likey.
Sneaky tip alert: We are planning on using the detachable hood of the pram to clip onto the baby bassinet in the plane. This will help provide Sticky Baby with a nice little cocoon environment when he sleeps. Safe from the distraction of lights, passengers and other distractions.

In order to reach our destination in Australia, we have 3 legs of a 25 hour trip to endure *gulp*. The first leg is only 1.5 hours, but it requires an airport transfer on arrival in Paris. In peak-hour traffic. In Paris. You get my drift. So we’re looking at another hour and a half, minimum, in a taxi to cross the city to Airport #2. Boarding our next flight, a 14hr MONSTER to Singapore, back to back, is foolish and retarded (I did it by myself in February - again, foolish and retarded). So, in the name of ‘I’ve learned my lesson’, we have decided to throw money at the situation to make it all better. We are going to stay the night at the airport hotel in Paris. And we will board the MONSTER flight the next day, after a good night’s sleep and room service.

All aboard
We are travelling Singapore airlines. Apparently they are kick-ass with kids + their bassinets are the biggest in the business. We have booked a bassinet row of 3 and have purchased a seat for Sticky Baby. Which means, THE ENTIRE ROW IS OURS! VICTORY! We had a credit with the airline, so we decided to use it on the luxury of having that 3rd seat to ourselves. It means we won’t have to say, ‘I’m so sorry’, ‘Excuse me’, ‘May I wipe that mashed banana off your sleeve’ to a poor, unsuspecting neighbour. We will have free reign of that row and that puts a big smile on my face. There’ll be more room for the sticky one to roam/play, and less anxiety at annoying the unlucky person that would be stuck sitting next to us. Fares for children are charged at a percentage of a full adult fare. If you can swing the $, I would definitely look at doing this for long-haul flights. Otherwise you’re stuck with your toddler on your knee and Jo Blog sitting 1 inch away from you THE WHOLE WAY. GAH!

The Arsenal
I’ve read somewhere that the key to keeping toddlers occupied is this equation: 1 new toy/item per hour of flight. Ok, so I’m not going out and buying 25 things, but I have been collecting stuff here and there, and trying to use my imagination. This is what we’re packing in an attempt to keep him happy and busy and not commando-crawling up and down the aisles like a bat outta hell. Please God, let this work.

✈Sticker book - he is fascinated by the sticky sensation. He’s never had one before. This will be a treat
✈Fluorescent light-up squidgy ball - a visual extravaganza. Picked it up for 2€
✈2 x board books - his favourites
✈Mini etcha-sketch
✈Bend and stretch giraffe
✈Coloured post-it notes - He can stick them all over the seats, all over us, all over the tray-tables.
✈Empty boxes and containers - I’ve been collecting them. He likes putting lids on things
✈Little mirror - he’s vain like that
✈A handful of coloured blocks
✈A new app for Papadada’s Iphone - pictures of animals, stuff like that
✈Snacks - teething rusks, baby biscuits, rice crackers, string cheese, dried apricots, sultanas

                  Our sanity relies on these random items. Yikes.         Can you see me in the mirror? Awesome.

And of course, we’re planning on utilising the aeroplane goodies too. Vomit bags, inflight magazines, headphones, plastic cups - they will all be used to entertain him. Somehow.

✈Baby Paracetemol
✈Baby Ibuprofen
✈Brauers’ Calm Syrup
✈Teething gel
✈Phenergan 0,1% - Very controversial for some, but my pediatrician has totally ok’d it. It’s a children’s anti-histamine that can act as a mild sedative. We will only use it if we see Sticky Baby getting very worked up and overstimulated/tired. Last time I flew with him, this was the main problem. He was so wired, so stimulated by all the noise, lights, people, that he was unable to put himself to sleep come his bed-time. This will help him calm down and wind down, should the need arise. Doses to be absolutely respected, check with your doctor, do a trial before flying. Not for babies under the age of 1.

The Buballino Essentials
✈Sippy-cup of water - for take-off and landing and general baby hydration
✈Baby bottles and formula. We’ll have formula dispensers in the backpack, enough doses for the flight + more - In case of delays or spillage or whatever else. Also, a container of formula in our checked suitcase to refill dispensers in Singapore.
✈Baby food - we have ordered baby meals for Sticky Baby as part of our flight. But I will pack a few back up jars, just in case!
✈Nappies - we have decided to go with the ‘Pull-up’ variety. Quicker and more convenient to get on in those tiny bathrooms. Lots of nappies + big pack of wipes.

✈Blue Rabbit, his beloved comfortor - INDISPENSABLE ITEM
✈One of the blankets from his cot - for familiarity
✈Baby sling - in case he needs to be rocked to sleep

✈Several changes of clothes for bub. And the ultimate buy, drum roll please, socks with rubber soles! So glad I found these. Perfect for him to discover airports and aeroplanes in.

                                              The genius shoe-socks I found. Rubber-soled goodness.

Layover Love
The last time I flew with the sticky one, all we had was a 3 hour stop-over in Dubai. At the time, I convinced myself that it would be easier to fly straight through, not stopping anywhere overnight. This time round, with PapaD with us, we have decided to have a 1 night, 2 day layover in stunning Singapore. We’ve booked a fab hotel where Sticky Baby will be able to enjoy relaxing dips in the pool and sample asian food from one of the 4 in-house restaurants. We can’t wait to take him to the Jurong Bird Park, one of the largest bird sanctuaries in the world. He’ll be in feather-heaven. We’re hoping that breaking up the long flights will help with jet-lag and give us a much needed break from the inside of an aeroplane cabin. Can’t wait.

Timing Counts
We’ve done our very best to book flights that work best around Sticky Baby’s routine. Our very first flight (the short one) departs at 3:15pm, a time of day when bubby is in a good mood, has had a nap and is ready for some adventure. The Paris-Singapore leg departs at midday. We chose this time for several reasons. Firstly, it’s the middle of the day, so PapaD and I will have plenty of energy to deal with him, and other passengers won’t be ready to sleep yet - so technically they won’t be too annoyed if things get loud. Secondly, lunch will be served shortly after take-off which will provide a bit of entertainment. We basically have 7 hours to kill before he’ll be ready for bed time. And then, we’re home free. He should sleep until we land in Singapore. Should. Our final leg, Singapore - Brisbane departs at 9pm. A late bed time for him, but hopefully he’ll sleep most of that leg too. Hopefully.

So, that’s it for Part 2. You’ll get a full run-down of how our preparation paid off in Part 3. Send us good flying vibes! Lots of them! Or hope for a near-empty plane!


LJ said...

This is military precision at its best - think you've found your calling G. Very impressive.

LJ said...

And I'm never going to whinge about solo transit again....!!

Mrs G said...

I military precision. Will have to get some more detailed advice next year..we are looking at taking Bubba G to London for xmas (xmas flight = shambles at the airport AND planes always full! + baby will be 1 year...already stressing!)

michaela said...

Has the Sticky One been dosed with Phenergan before? I only ask because I know that some babies (cough Anabelle) have the opposite reaction and end up bouncing all over the place like rabid kittens.

Mama L said...

Michaela, yes, we did a trial last week. Definitely helped him calm down. Nowhere near sedation though...which I'm happy about....kind of. hahahha!

saks_perry said...

You go girl. You have thought of everything. Safe travels xx

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