What the books do not tell you about fatherhood, what I am doing about it, plus the story behind @the_littleglobetrotter Instagram account.
Recap from last week’s post; I shared with you 4 top tips we used to try and make our first long haul flight with a new born as painless as possible. Today, as promised, I will share with you a 'secret' tip.
Two words: Sleeping Pattern. After the first week of being a parent, it became very clear to me that babies don’t do much other than poop, drink, cry and sleep. Our son Marlow was very good at the sleeping part so we wanted to make sure he stayed that way throughout the entire flight. The secret is to monitor your baby's sleeping pattern a week or so before you fly, map it out, write it down if you have to, and stick to it. Babies are too young to even understand the concept of 'sleeping at night'. Jet lag simply does not apply to them. I guess what I am trying to say is; do not make the rookie mistake of trying to change their sleeping pattern to fit the destination’s time zone.
Remember how I had mentioned my wife’s incredible organisations skills last post? Well, I’m going to have to refer to it again. She knew our baby Marlow’s sleeping pattern like the back of her hand, including when best to change his nappy and give him milk. I cannot stress enough how easy this made things. Predictability is key to maintaining your sanity and making sure you’re one step ahead at all times.
Another little piece of advice I feel I need to share is: Manage your Expectations. From everything I have written so far, it sounds like if you do the right things, your flight will be plain sailing (or flying!). Unfortunately this is definitely not the case, so manage your expectations. At some point something is not going to go your way. The 'fasten seat belt' sign might come on which means you need to move your baby onto your lap again waking them in the process, the pilot’s announcement might startle your little one or the change in pressure gets to your baby’s ears. All the above happened to us, and every time resulted in uncontrollable crying for minutes on end. There is no solution to this really, just try and keep calm, sooth your little one and try and get past that feeling of the entire plane hating you (because they probably do but there's nothing you can do about it!)
I’ll leave you with one last little trick to compliment all the above tips (including those from last week). Just relax and enjoy your flight, and when things get tough, remind yourself that you will arrive at you destination at some point and it will all be worth it!
I'm writing this final post en route to Malta to visit my family. This is my 41st flight alongside my son. It can be tough, but I promise you in the end, travelling with your children will become an enriching experience. Our Instagram account @the_littleglobetrotter is all about encouraging other parents to travel with their children by taking photos of Marlow in all the beautiful places this world has to offer us. See you there and Bon Voyage!