We went to my dad & H’s house nestled in the stunning Umbrian hills in Italy last week.
Thankfully, we didn’t have a repeat of France two & a half months ago. She was positively non-plused by being somewhere new, different & unknown. If anything, she was just excited to be surrounded by flowers. Apparently we have a hippie baby.
But – there’s always a but – the house has no wifi. So we didn’t receive the email from BA on Friday explaining that due to strike action at Rome airport our return flight was delayed by a few hours.
So we arrived at Fiumicino at 10am to find we had six hours to fill rather than two & a half. Only it wasn’t six hours. It ended up as ten. With a six month old baby. We’ve had better Saturdays.
So, without further a do, here’s our survival guide for surviving ten hours in an airport with a baby.
1. Pack extra muslins. Anyone with a baby knows, this needs no explanation.
2. For bottle fed babies, take extra bottles & formula. This was our first trip on bottles. We planned for the two expected feeds while travelling & one spare with a spare portion of formula. Seven hours into our delay, we were looking at using our spare bottle & starting to panic about what happened if we didn’t make it back before we needed another. After this experience, we’ll always carry more than one spare bottle & plenty of formula. If worst comes to worst, you could dunk the bottle in boiling water & refill using bottled water with low sodium levels. But if you run out of formula you’re stuffed.
3. Take your pushchair to the gate. Or you’ll have very tired arms after the first hour!
4. Pack dummies. Even if you don’t usually use a dummy, they’re helpful for take off & landing.
5. If there’s no wifi in the airport (have you mistaken a time machine for your plane?!) turn on your data. Just do it. It will keep you sane.
6. Avoid the restaurants where your complimentary food vouchers are valid. Just don’t bother. Spend good money instead. We got £45 of food vouchers from BA. We tried quite a few over nine hours. None were good. None.
7. Be prepared to act like an idiot in front of others. Keep your baby entertained at all costs. Strangers would rather listen to you sing Row Row Row Your Boat for a fifth time than listen to your baby’s world coming to an end.
8. Don’t lose your rag. Especially with members of staff that aren’t even from your airline… (Sorry to the lady from Delta manning the information desk. In my defence, the desk wasn’t very aptly named. More like ‘no-information desk’. Just saying…)
9. Treat yourself. Go on, you’ve earned it. For me, this was a donut about five hours in. For the Other Half, it was a Blood Mary when we finally took off.
10. Laugh it off. You’ll find the time goes a lot faster if you laugh rather than cry.