Back in 2012, while we were still experiencing the ultra demanding newborn phase with our trio, we made the crazy/mind boggling decision to visit our family and friends in the UK.
We did a lot of research to find out what we should expect and what we could do in advance to help things go more smoothly.
Here are some of the questions that we had beforehand with the answers that we are now able to give after completing our mission.
1. How many seats do we need to book on the flight?
We ended up taking a third Adult with us as the airline that we flew with had a 1 baby per adult policy. 3 adult seats entitled us to book 3 bassinettes (for babies under under 10 kg) However, we were told that there would be no guarantee that we would get the bassinettes until we checked in. The Bassinettes were great when we actually got to use them but bear in mind that you cant use them during take off, landing or during any turbulance.
2. What do we need to pack in our carry on Luggage?
We took 1 carry on bag for nappies (approx 30), wipes, hand sanitizer etc. 1 bag for formula, bottles (we took sterile disposable bottles),food, disposable bibs, snacks and toys and 1 bag each with our own changes of clothes and Ipads loaaded up with plenty of baby App’s and entertainment.
3. How do we deal with transfers?
Most airports have their own strollers that you can use, however you may end up walking a fair distance (carrying all that carry on luggage as well as the babies) to find one. We took 3 Baby Bjorne’s with us so that we could all have our hands free to carry the luggage.
4. What happens at the security gate?
We found that some airports were more sympathetic to our situation than others. At one point we were told to take off the Baby Bjorns and to put them through the X-ray machine – this involved waking up three very tired babies, at another we were told to open the pre-mixed formula packs that were all in their original packaging and my husband was told to drink it!
5. How do you change a nappy in an aeroplane toilet?
Ask your husband to do it for you! Have you ever been in an aeroplane toilet? There is literally nowhere to place the baby whilst changing their nappy. Get plenty of practice changing nappies with one hand whilst balancing on one leg with the other leg tucked behind your head before you go.
6. How do we get from the airport to our destination?
We chose to hire a car and went to great lengths to ensure that the car could take 3 child car seats and that there would definitely be 3 child car seats available on the day. Having done all this my poor husband still had to fit all 3 seats while I waited at the terminal with the babies. In hindsight it would probably have been better to book a hotel room at the airport to allow more time for picking up the car and fitting car seats.
6. Should we take our own travel cots?
We invested in 3 Travel tents which folded up small enough to fit in my suitcase. It was a bit of a squeeze to put them up in some of the rooms that we stayed in, but well worth having as it meant that all three babies had somewhere familiar to sleep every day/night.
The whole trip went really well considering our situation.
There were some lovely passengers who helped us entertain the babies on some of our flights and other passengers who were cranky and tried to get moved when they saw that they were sitting near us. Strangely enough it was the cranky passengers who got accidentally spewed on during the flight!
This is Alita, Loki & Michael at their Christening in Dalton-in-Furness UK.