Yesterday I braved a 3 hour flight with the little guy on my own - but I am very glad to report that he was amazingly calm and chilled out, it was as if he sensed my trepidation and wanted to make the experience easier on me! A few things I learned from the experience...
Babies can charm the pants of snarky check-in ladies. A group of 4 girls before us had both their check-in and hand luggage weighed before being bawled out of it by a not-so-perky french check-in stewardess. Seconds later, I stumble forward, 2 carry-on bags and a huge suitcase in tow and Louis just beams one of his beautiful toothy smiles and melts Mademoiselle Frosty, who suddenly doesn't seem to mind that our suitcase is 4.3 kilos overweight and that I have an extra hand luggage. A good start I'd say! Don't wear heavy snow boots that need both hands to zip up.... I made this mistake and had to just walk around with my boots peeling open after security made me take them off. On a practical level - next time I'll remember not to pack the nappies and wipes in the hand luggage which I put in the overhead storage and instead to put them in the smaller bag which I had for carrying toys (to distract child) and baby food.... I learnt the hard way as I had to juggle baby in one hand and try to rummage in the overhead luggage for aforementioned nappies and in the process managed to allow a pair of my knickers to fall out and land on the aisle. Somehow motherhood and its daily mortifications have mellowed me as I barely blushed before scooping them up and into my pocket. I'll also try to remember that whilst it is very very important to pack baby food it is also a good idea to pack something for mum too as I was ravenous from lugging a 16 pound baby and two bags through a busy airport.
Finally on reflection, I am going to make a concerted effort to say YES to anyone who offers help, for some reason I always try to do everything myself. One example, at the baggage carousel, with baby in sling, I attempted to throw my suitcase (24.3 kilos) on to the trolley, a nearby woman asked me if I could use some help, I replied "Oh no, I'm fine" ...correct answer "yes please"... I'll know for next time!