29 May Our first flight with a toddler
Our day started at home in our country town. We had about a 3 hour drive to the airport ahead of us. Tim’s mum was driving us and my mother was also coming along to see us off. We were hoping Fletcher would get his nap in the car but he didn’t close his eyes for long at all. We arrived at the airport early and waited for check in, which went smoothly. We were able to keep our stroller and hand it over before boarding the plane. We had lunch at a cafe and walked around the airport until it was time to head into international departures. After saying our goodbyes we proceeded through security and onto our boarding gate. We were told to board early as we were travelling with a child. We left our stroller with workers at the entrance of the plane and found our seats. The early boarding suited us as we had to put the CARES harness over the of the seat and under the tray table of the seat behind Fletcher’s.
Our first leg was Melbourne to Kuala Lumpur and it was fairly painless. The plane was running on time and the bumpiness of the plane on the runway meant Fletcher was asleep for take off. He had a little nap but was disturbed by other children as we were seated directly behind the bulkhead area. I had my first experience of changing a nappy in a less than adequate space. He was great for the first part of the flight but started getting tired and cranky towards the end and was finding it hard to sleep with other children upset around us. He finally fell asleep, on descent. We stayed in our seats and let him get some rest before making it off the plane with the last lot of people.
After picking up our stroller at the doors, we got slightly lost as there was no one to follow. We had to board a train to take us to the other part of the airport. Once there we laid the stroller flat and walked around trying to get our tired toddler to sleep. He never did. We went through security and into the boarding room. Just before boarding, Fletcher thought it would be a good time to fill his nappy. I whisked him to the other end of the room and placed him on the changing mat on the floor. I was glad I’d brought along nappy bags so I could at least place the offending object in one before putting it in the bin. I carried my tired toddler onto the plane and we took our seats.
Once again Fletcher fell asleep on take off. He kept waking up, uncomfortable in his seat. The flight was full and being the middle of the night I was more worried about disturbing people. I thought that being a night time flight, the lights would stay off, but they kept coming on as the staff were still serving beverages and such. This wasn’t helping the sleeping troubles, nor was the man beside me having his reading light on when he wasn’t even using it. I said something to Tim about Fletcher struggling to sleep and the man turned his light off. Thank you. We had been unsure about unstrapping Fletcher from his harness, as the seatbelt sign had come on a few times and safety was what lead us to using it in the first place. At this stage he was over tired and uncomfortable so I made the decision to un-buckle him so he could rest his head on my lap. He slept but continued to be very restless for the rest of the flight. We were both feeling selfish and guilty for dragging him so far away from home.