Istanbul – getting there

Istanbul. Byzantium. The city on seven hills (name the other city with that nickname). Constantinople (anyone else singing the song from They Might Be Giants?). Whatever the name, it’s an amazing city. A city in a country that spans two continents that is split by one of the busiest waterways in the world. It’s also one of the cities bidding for the 2020 Olympics.

Istanbul

So, the travel details:
Travel to airport – car
Airline – BA
Bulkhead – no on way out, yes on way back
Travelling solo – yes on way out
How Little Man got to gate – sling
Age of Little Man – 10.5 weeks
Length of trip – 5 days
Time of year – June

One word of advice – don’t travel on the same day as your little one’s first day of jabs (vaccinations)…alone. My husband had to travel the day before for some meetings and we stayed behind to make Little Man’s first set of immunisations. We had already missed the first appointment from travelling so we couldn’t really miss them again. So…we had the jabs, and then we made our way to the airport. We travelled alone and fortunately, my husband took our suitcase with him so all I needed to take was the stroller all packed up in its case, the nappy bag and the baby. We took a car service to the airport, and fortunately Little Man slept most of the way.
We made it to the airport, checked in and got to the lounge (we lucked out with some business class tickets on our way out) and then Little Man lost it. I’m not sure if it was the heat – we had some amazing warm weather in London this summer and Heathrow’s Terminal 5 turned into a mini oven – or a side effect of the jabs, but he started getting very unhappy. I tried giving some Calpol (baby paracetamol/acetaminophen) and he wouldn’t have any of it. It was definitely one of the tougher moments as a new mum – feeling helpless as your little baby is so uncomfortable and you doing every thing you could to comfort him and it just not working.
It was finally time for the flight so we headed to the gate only to find it 20 minutes delayed. Wonderful. I had a nappy bag on my shoulder, a handbag on the other shoulder, a baby who was crying and sweating, a sling he wouldn’t be slung in and not enough hands. This wonderful woman came up to me asking if I needed a hand as she watched me strip Little Man down to his nappy as i was blowing on his back and me being me said thanks but no. She stood there anyway helping me fan him to cool him down, the only thing that was keeping him somewhat calm. She was my travel angel that day.
We finally boarded and the rest of the flight was uneventful as he pretty much fed or slept the whole rest of the time.
At the other side, we only had to wait for our stroller to turn up, which as with most oversized baggage areas took aaaaages, we managed to meet my husband on the other side with lots of cuddles for both of us.
We took a taxi to the hotel (unfortunately no car seat but the hotel wasn’t very far away), had a bit of food then all of us fell asleep and very soundly too.
Looking back, everything was really easy and even with the jabs it was an easy trip. The first time travelling on my own with Little Man and it was all in all a success. Would I do it again? Probably not very often, but I would do it again.

A few recommendations when travelling on your own:
– Use a backpack, not a shoulder bag for a nappy bag. Also, pick one big enough so you don’t need two bags. My nappy bag wasn’t big enough, so I was struggling with two bags and a baby and a sling
– If you have an umbrella type stroller you plan to use, use it as it gives you that extra set of “hands” to carry your bags as you carry your little one
– Try to get into your airline’s lounge (most airlines provide day passes). It gets you that little but of extra space for you and your little one to stretch out.
– Always, always, always try to get the bulkhead seats as you have a bit more room and if your flight is long enough, you’ll be able to get a bassinet or cot.

What else would recommend for travelling alone on a plane with a little one?

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