Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Travelling with baby - Feeding on the go

This was my first time flying with any children, and we did it with two! Our total baggage amounted to a stroller, a 15kg backpack, 3 x 10kg shoulder bags, a 3 year old and a baby in a sling. We brought our laptop, as the apartment we rented (in Montmartre, beside the shop from "Amelie") had free wi-fi, and it was so handy in the mornings planning our transport around the city, and looking up cool cafes and shops. We did a lot of vintage shopping, and saw areas we hadn't previously discovered. We brought wine, bread and cheese everywhere, so we could stop and picnic at a minutes notice. (I find I get suddenly ravenous when breastfeeding, and need to eat IMMEDIATELY, or I'm a cranky mama.)
To give you an idea of the amount of travelling we did today to get home:
11am we left the apartment and caught one metro (underground train)
11.15am transferred to another metro
11.30am arrived at bus depot, changed diapers in shopping mall
12pm  Bus ride to airport
1pm arrived at airport, checked in large bag and stroller, had lunch
2.20pm security control, and boarded plane
4pm arrived into home airport
4.45pm (after 3 year old's tantrum, refusing to walk anywhere without stroller) caught bus to car park
5pm drove home, stopped for some groceries on the way
5.45pm arrived home and collapsed!

Yesterday going to Disneyland involved an early-morning 45 min (rush hour) bus ride, a 15 minute walk to the suburban train, an hour long train ride, a 30 min queue for tickets, 8 hours in the theme park, with a few stops for picnics and lunch and toileting, a fast-food meal in the retro Annette’s diner (bad food but you're so hungry you don't notice), the return hour-long train ride, a metro ride, and a 10 min uphill walk to our apartment. We began at 8am and arrived home at 10.30pm, and I was wearing Noah in the sling the whole day, apart from the rest stops, and a 15 min break when my husband put the sling on, but Noah wasn't fooled, and wanted mama.
I'm outlining these two hectic days to show you that feeding on the go is such a great way to do it, we'd never have packed all that in and made our connections if we'd to stop, feed, and go again. He never cried once, he had a happy tummy all day, and was full of smiles as we reached our apartment last night, which made me forget the pain in my feet from walking all day. Miraculously my back and shoulders are fine, the sling distributes the weight really well, (see my youtube video for details)  I just have sore legs and feet today from all the walking.
The wrap sling is so handy for safely transporting your baby. Either you stand or sit with the baby in the sling, just making sure his legs are bent under him when sitting. If I ever removed him from the sling to feed / change/ play, and we were in a moving vehicle I made sure to keep at least one wrap of the sling around him, in case of sudden jerks etc. He was on my lap for both plane rides, and slept through the first, and cried at take-off of the second as he’d a wet diaper, so I changed him as we hurtled down the runway! Of course the sling is not a substitute for a car seat, so you cannot travel with an infant by taxi/car unless you have the correct seat.
I'm sorry I haven't travelled more with the babies before now. Last year we rented a house outside Paris, but got the ferry to it. We took our bikes and cycled around with 2 year old Charlie on the back, it was lovely, but was definitely influenced by my fear of being stuck in a plane with a hysterical baby. Now we' ve got 3 month old Noah, I'm dying to get back to cycling again, but waiting till he's old enough to sit up and wear a helmet is killing me, so I go out cycling alone once a week for an hour or so. Anyone got tips for cycling with baby? We have a bike trailer, haven't used it yet, I know you can put baby's car seat into it. Also I'm curious as to how early a baby can ride on your bike in a baby seat, I've seen the reclining ones that go on the handlebars. Can you do toddler on back, baby on front and safely get around? Please advise!

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