Last week we took Grace away on her first holiday to Spain, we had such a lovely time and made some great memories but there was one thing on my mind which I was worrying about for months beforehand – taking her on an aeroplane. I’ve been on flights before with screaming babies and have always felt so sorry for the parents as they’ve often looked stressed out and offered apologetic looks to fellow passengers. There’s always a handful of people who tut and clearly get really annoyed, and I do get it, you’ve paid a lot of money for this flight, travelling is tiring and you want to relax. But no parent is purposefully making their baby/child cry and is no doubt willing them to just sleep peacefully in their arms – lucky for us that’s exactly what Grace did! I honestly couldn’t have wished for a better experience.
The plane bag was packed with Calpol, Kiddylicious wafers, dummy’s, musy’s and her beloved Sofie, and with Grace awake since 5am and therefore ready for a sleep just in time for take off at 8am, we were feeling anxious but optimistic as we boarded the flight. After a minutes protest (which did feel like it lasted about 10) she was sound asleep in my arms during take off and for a further 30minutes into the flight. She then woke up for about an hour and happily bounced up and down on our laps and looked out the window. At this point she did start to get fussy so I stood up with her, which did the trick and she gave out beaming smiles to anyone who paid her attention. Which was much to the appreciation of the lovely group of grannies sat nearby who coo’d and aww’d back at her. I thought I’d chance my luck and see if I could get her off to sleep before sitting down again, I took her up to the galley at the front of the plane so I could pace up and down with her in my arms. It did the trick and she settled back into a peaceful slumber. I got chatting to a lovely mum who was trying to entertain her 18month old. She was a seasoned traveller and told me how much easier it was to fly with a 6 month old as opposed to a toddler! I sat back down with Grace still asleep in my arms just in time for landing – she didn’t even flinch. Woohoo one successful journey down and time to enjoy the holiday.
Our return flight was at night and departed at 10pm, I was hopeful Grace would sleep but we had such a successful outward journey I was apprehensive that we’d be that lucky again. Delays, queues, gate changes and a badly timed poo explosion made for a slightly more stressful airport experience than I’d hoped for, but Grace stayed awake for 4 hours leading up to the flight so we were confident she’d zonk out once we got settled on the plane. We took our seats and the lady next to me was smitten with Grace, although she did say she’d knock her on the head with a hammer if she wasn’t a good girl – she said this in jest but even so I was a tad alarmed! I strapped her in as we started taxi’ing and she really wasn’t happy and began to protest- anxious heat started to creep up my back. Thankfully some milk and me bobbing up and down on my chair settled her and she fell asleep just before take off. Despite some serious turbulence and transferring her into daddies arms she slept the ENTIRE flight! At security I saw a mum with her 4 month old who I had been chatting too at the gate, her little girl slept the whole way too. Thank you babies.
I think I’m now lulled into a false sense of security as we had such a positive experience, I’m sure flying with a crawling/walking baby and toddler is a whole other ball game but on this occasion you did us proud Grace.