In Depth Thoughts from the Girl
Some people looked at me crossed eyed when I mentioned our trip to Australia, and others said “good on ya”. Traveling with a baby isn’t a new thing to us, but this doesn’t make it an easy task either. Given that she’s only 6 months old, it might sound bizarre that she’s already cutting her teeth in the frequent flyer world. Landing at Adelaide Airport this week completed her 16th flight. I guess it depends on which way you want to look at it, but we also live with a dog, in a foreign country with lots of foreign languages surrounding us, and not so much opportunity to enjoy support from family. We do the best that we can every day, as I’m sure every parent tries.
At this point she squeals with excitement to see our dog come flying around the corner approaching her for a morning sniff and kiss. I’ve seen other babies, not accustom to animals, lose their minds when a dog gets too close. As well, every day she is schlepped around town via stroller or carrier as I run errands, visit friends, or get work done. Rarely does she get spoiled by a car ride, and rarely at this point does she mind. She seems to take it all in stride now, as she has never been a house bound baby, sheltered from people, or restricted to a firm schedule.
Other families have 9-5 jobs a spacious house, regular routine, and very well adjusted, sleep privileged babe. I think both family situations are awesome. Believe me, there are many many days that I look at Ray and beg to return to North America, live on a cul-de-sac of young families, and let me fill up my SUV with all of the good things I can find at Target (pronounced “Tar-zhey”). But I know that time will eventually come.
For the moment we are soaking up living an amazing lifestyle, filled with adventure, and life long memories. Don’t miss understand me, this doesn’t mean life is easy for us, nor am I complaining. I have a serious amount of planning and prep, not to be forgotten headaches, when it comes to organizing for a trip like this! As Ray has a well-prepared suitcase of electronic goodies to test and review, I have the suitcase resembling one organize-extremist mom. So my point is, I know some people are viewing our travels with Babe as a bit crazy, but I think (hope) others can appreciate the efforts we put forth to keep our little healthy, happy, and spoiled with opportunity to fill her baby book with lifetime adventure.
A lot of readers have shown interest in how one plans for a full day of travel with a baby? Let me say, life was a lot easier when she was exclusively breastfeeding. Yeah, it really limited what my every-day (mom’s day) looked like. I couldn’t just hand her off to Ray and go out for the night with the girls, and sleeping through the night was just a distant memory. But we often joked that I was like a traveling vending machine, no mess, no clean up. Now we are in a stage of bottles, formula, bottled or boiled water, heating systems, cleaning systems, how many scoops per ounce??? This is our first travel with her where she’s actually on a schedule/structure and taking foods that are prepared for her. I had packed in the carry on two extra outfits, not knowing the temperature of the plane, and as well backup in case of a famous baby-blowout. As well, I had six (empty/clean) bottles on deck. I didn’t want to have to mess with washing bottles and worrying about safe water. As well, the flight attendant gave me a 1.5L bottle of Evian, and I had 3 pre-measured formula meals in something like this nifty contraption. Plus a recycled jam jar of 2 days’ worth of formula, in case of delay or an unforeseen circumstances. Sadly, I did not take a picture of all of my creative packing, instead I give you a look into what the table in our hotel room looks like at the moment.
I think the key to our successful journey down here started with our attitude/ expectations regarding what a “good” flight looked like. Our goal was to try to have her sleep for the most of that first flight, and just “hang on” for the second. Well the sleeping for the first flight went out the window about 90 minutes in. We stuffed her with her 8:00 nighttime bottle upon boarding, and she had been out cold on Ray’s chest initially for taxi, take off, and a good 60 minutes in. But…then came dinner service… on with the lights, clanking of carts and dishes, passengers retrieving things from overhead bins, etc.
On previous flights, we hadn’t taken notice of such sounds as she was still in that developmental period of “sleep through an earthquake”. Now ehhhhh, this was a “problem”, and she was wide awake and ready to party. So we readjusted our expectations. You can’t stand up and ask everyone on the plane to stop moving “there’s a baby trying to sleep”. We also felt that we had a bit of a responsibility to not disrupt the rest of the cabin’s enjoyment of their flight by allowing our babe to just cry it out. Ray and I just took turns for dinner, walking the aisles with her, keeping her occupied. We both passed the baton on sleeping because there was zero prize for the parent who stayed up the longest. By the end of the flights she had slept about, hmmmm zero minutes, but she was smiling and the flight attendants were all goo goo for her. No one threated to open an emergency exit in flight, and we didn’t run out of formula or diapers. In my mind that was a super successful 21 hours in the air!
I think we have been in Adelaide, or more accurately Glenelg, for 3 days now. After combating jetlag and a dry cough no doubt a souvenir from the dry air on the plane, we are all finally finding our bearings. It believe I have one more full day with Ray before he goes full throttle into “Tour Down Under” coverage. So in that case I’m going to get off of my soap box and go enjoy some family time in the sun! And don’t worry you Aussie readers, we are sufficiently “Slip, Slop, Slap, Seek & Sliding” on all of the SPF we can get our hands on!
As always, the email for the newsletter is below, so if you have any questions of suggestions, especially for our time here in Oz, we’d love to hear from you!