It took about 30 years for me to finally having a chance to do mudik while it only took 1,5 years for Langit to experience it.
This year, after four years of marriage, we went to Solo, where le husband’s family were living. He still has his grandmother there. We went on the second day of Idul Fitri and… went back the day after. Haha! No return ticket were available until Tuesday so we just chose to go back on Friday’s last flight.
Overall, the first experience flying with the baby was beyond my expectation. All processes went smoothly, no delay at all and one thing that I was really grateful, although it’s a row with three seaters, depart and return we got all seats in a row only for ourselves. Both passengers next to us, depart and return didn’t go on board.
We flew with Citilink because they depart from Halim which is only 15 minutes from home. So, no need to leave home too early and the possibility of meeting traffic jam is pretty low. Since the depart flight left at 6 pm, I couldn’t imagine how I should wake up earlier than 2 am to prepare everything, especially for the baby.
I have never been brave enough to go somewhere without the baby has her stomach full. This one too. I prefered feeding her earlier than leaving with the thought she could eat later somewhere or on the plane. Feeding is my ultimate concern for the baby (and me, of course. I refused to face a feeding battle outside home or a house).
She fell asleep on the waiting room before boarding and woke up when we were about to take off. I started to offer her breastmilk, biscuts, or anything that prevented her from having her ears umcomfortable. But, maybe we, mothers, sometime worry too much. On the contrary, Langit seemed enjoying the flight. She was busy reading in-flight magazine during take off and landing. In between she sit in the middle, either reading, drinking , and eating banana. So, the depart flight was pretty successful.
For return flight, we took the last flight at 17.45 pm. It was as well on time. Usually, Langit starts feel sleepy after maghrib and she did too when we were on the plane. By the time we took off she fell asleep while being breastfed. She continued sleeping almost throughout the journey. Woke up for a moments twice or thrice and cried out loud with her eyes closed. The return flight was done quite good although it wasn’t as peaceful as the first.
I learned from yesterday’s experience some things important to be done or brought when travel with a baby or toddler. First, Baby carrier is a great help. During check in, getting through baggage checking when you have to put all your belongings on the belt, it was absolutely make it easier having the baby being in the carrier. For an active toddler like Langit who can’t help herself to touch everything around her within her reach, it was quite tiring chasing here and there. So, Baby carrier will be your right hand. According to the officer, only Garuda that allows stroller to be brought inside cabin. But, I saw several passengers during depart flight brought their kids on stroller. So maybe other than Garuda, there are others aircraft that allows stroller. But then, stroller is quite uneasy to be brought here and there. It’s bulky and heavy compared to baby carrier. You can’t just shove stroller to your bag. While carrier, just fold it and done.
Snack and drink. Like the depart flight, Langit prefered drink her water than breastmilk and I realized that it was okay. So there’s no need to push your breast to your babies. They want to enjoy the flight so they told you to enjoy it too.
Full stomach. Even for only five spoons, it is still very much better than feeding the babies with just anything we think we could find later. Hunger is the key to a cranky baby. Langit was not really fit that day. She had fever even until return. But, luckily, she never refused food. She ate breakfast as early as 3.20 am for depart flight and ate dinner as early as 3.40 pm.
The first hardest steps were taken. Let’s be ready for wider, further, and longer steps, shall we?