We made it! After possibly the most gruelling week on record, we’re finally in Canada. It was a very educational experience I have to say. We’ve come away from these last 6 days bearing the scars of much learning and I would be happy to share a few tips for those contemplating long distance travel with a baby:
- If you possibly can, don’t do it. A 30 hour journey that includes an unexpected 6 hour layover with a little sausage who is sick and pukey and who can’t sleep is potentially the least fun you will ever have. You might find yourself walking up and down the same two travelators for over two hours in spew encrusted clothing during your layover because the motion and low droning noise is the only thing that gives bub respite.
- If you must do it, take said baby, and substitute with, say, a nice pastry and an engaging book.
If that is not possible, then I would recommend NOT doing the following prior to traveling:
- Break a bone immediately prior to departure.
- Let your permanent residency card expire at the same time as new immigration regulations come in requiring folks from visa exempt countries to apply for a visa waiver, but which would act to revoke one’s permanent residency.
- Have your baby contract gastroenteritis and liberally scatter Sydney with spew on the entire way from home to the check in counters. It’s a bit like a breadcrumb trail but much less likely to appear in fairy tales.
- Shortly thereafter also contract gastro together with your partner. V romance.
Upon your wobbly recovery and when you decide to try again, I would further recommend not doing the following:
- Letting the check in staff forget to check you and your baggage through to your final destination.
- Letting baby spew with wild abandon into the sleeping cocoon you had to bring because the airlines decided that a bunch of baby boomers needed the bulkhead seats more than your baby needed a bassinet.
- Letting your already lengthy stopover balloon because your connecting flight is delayed by hours.
- Letting your devastatingly exhausted Peanut contract a bacterial throat infection on the journey. The one draw back of having an extremely sociable baby who insists on smiling pointedly at everyone as a gateway to forced and persistent interaction is that every other passenger / disease vector wants to touch her. If this happens, your bebe might refuse to feed, and break out in uncontrollable twitching resulting in a panicked call for doctors on board.
That’s today’s wisdom. That being said, hopefully we’ve used up the bad luck for traveling parents out there and you’ll be fine. Other families on board managed it with minimum drama! Further, on the upside, extensive long haul travel will make even giving birth seem easy. (And we did THAT one without even a single Panadol.)