The final hours of our flight to London were passed with me swaying and bouncing up the back of the plane with my eyes closed like some hippy flower child. This was NOT some alternatively induced high but an unsuccessful last ditch attempt to lull young sir into a sleep in the ergo baby before we landed…
Well here we are safe and mostly well in ol London Town. The 30 hour transit is behind us and it really wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.
We left my parents house for the airport around 4:30pm and because of some slow going through security etc we came to the gate as they were finishing up boarding. I was sad about this as it meant we didn’t get to spend much time saying goodbye to my mum who I’m going to miss like crazy (love you mum!).
The flight to Sydney was more or less uneventful and we made a quick transit through to international. We snuck in a quick bite in the Amex lounge (as you see in the picture B was rather partial to daddy’s San Pelligrino bottle – we weren’t actually feeding it to him he just wanted to try to chew on it) and made our way to the gate where we were among the first to board. We were seated at the bulk head with a bassinet which is an absolute must if you are travelling with a bub. We had extra leg room for spreading out toys and nappy bags and it was just generally more comfy for us. We departed Sydney around 10pm so Baby B was pretty tired and fell asleep quickly during takeoff. We tucked him into his bassinet and he slept on and off for the next 6 or more hours. He did cry and stir a bit so I ended up cuddling him for a lot of it but I’m used to that so I was able to doze off a bit too. After that the husband and I took turns with him while the other slept and we arrived in Abu Dhabi 14 hours later feeling well…not too bad actually. The people around us were commenting on how B is ‘such a good baby’. This was probably further emphasized by the screamer a couple of rows back. Personally though, I think it is pure luck. B is just a laid back little guy.
After a quick transit in Abu Dhabi it was back onto a plane for the last 7 hour leg to London. We were seated next to a nice British couple with a one year old who were lovely. We shared toys and battles with sleep resistance. All of the cabin crew fell in love with Baby B and reiterated that he is ‘such a good baby’. Now, it’s not that I don’t love hearing this and I know that we are lucky, but I did feel sorry for other parents on the flight whose kids were less confident or upset by being on a plane. Oh the looks you get when someone realises they are seated next to a baby!
We booked a car and driver to pick us up from the airport and I’m so glad we did. After the relatively easy time we had it wouldn’t have been so bad getting a taxi but it could have been so much worse so it’s best to be prepared. Also it meant we’d already paid so we weren’t subject to a big fare if there was bad traffic.
The other thing that I did that was absolutely golden was to get on the net and order us some groceries online to be delivered the day we arrived. We took a slight gamble that we wouldn’t be delayed but we could have always called and cancelled if we’d really had to. We initially said we’d get takeaway as we were sure we would be too tired to cook but then it turns out we were even less keen to have to go out. Luckily I’d ordered supplies for cut lunches and was able to whip us up some ham, cheese and chutney bagels and we are also all set for breakfast with a full fridge. B has been sleeping pretty much since we got home so we’ll see what the night brings but I think the next few days with jet lag will be pretty challenging.
So the big takeaways were:
– Get the bulkhead seats
– Book an airport transfer to save stuffing around
– Use the lounge if you possibly can
– Work as a team and take turns to sleep
– Sleep when the baby sleeps. That movie isn’t worth it!
– Be prepared for meals at the other end whether you order groceries or takeaway – just have a plan.
Also a big shout out to Etihad who had amazing service. The flying nannies were a great service and everything moved really efficiently. I’m glad we are flying home with them too.