The fifth trip with Nova was a biggie…we ventured on our very first long-haul bout of family travel. Yup, we travelled all the way from the UK to Canada with a six-month old baby. Some might say we’re crazy for even considering it, let alone going, but do you know what? We had an amazing time!
It was my first ever trip to Canada and I have no idea why I waited so long. I fell in love with the place and want to go back already. Edmonton proved to be a winner (you can see why and what we got up to via that link) and Jasper, well Jasper simply blew my mind with all of its beauty. As you can see from this mega Jasper National Park post it’s such an incredible place and Nova certainly embraced his adventurous side, playing on a glacier and zipping up mountains.
Flying With a Baby
Back to Nova for now though. The trip was one that made me burst with pride, well I suppose technically speaking it was Nova that made me feel that way, but I’m sure you know what I mean. He was a total gem on the 11 hour flight. I’m not going to lie, despite having been on four short-haul flights with him I still had a few niggles about flying such a big distance with a baby. The power of the unknown, eh?
We flew with KLM from Birmingham to Edmonton (you can read all about it via that link. There’s also a vlog about my worries and the reality of the flight via that link). I felt so proud, relieved and elated when the guy next to us told us at the end of the flight that it was the best long-haul journey he’s ever had. He couldn’t believe he had such a good sleep next to a six-month old baby and kept telling us how lucky we are to have such a well-behaved baby. How’s that for a gold star?! I don’t think I could have beamed with more pride than I did when he said that.
About a week before the trip we swapped Nova over to formula milk. Let’s just say he doesn’t have any manners with his sharp new teeth. It meant that as well as feeling a bit confused with knowing when to make a bottle and how to make it on a plane, we also had to bring SO.MUCH.STUFF.
Numerous sterilised bottles, formula powder, ready-made formula bottles. With everything else he needs (nappies, spare clothes, toys, kitchen sink…) our already bulging bags took a hit.
Nova is also on about three meals a day (as in purees) so we had to lug all of that stuff as well. We decided to take enough pouches of food to cover us while we were out there. We had a jam-packed schedule so didn’t really have time (or any interest) to go food shopping. We figured if we could grab a fresh banana or avocado in a restaurant we’d do that and forego the pouch. The downside is that it meant that our bags really were full to the brim. For someone who is so used to travelling with hand luggage only, it’s a bit of a shock. The only silver lining was that we knew our bags would be much lighter on the way home.
They were lighter, but not necessarily because he ate all of the food. We ended up chucking a lot of half eaten pouches. It seems his bloody teeth have a lot to answer for, as the pain from cutting more of them meant that he went right off his food, even refusing to eat things that he’d previously loved. Meal times were all the fun.
Sleeping (or not)
As usual we took our Nuna SENA travel cot with us, as well as Nova’s bed sheet and sleep bag from home. It’s our tried and tested method of getting him to sleep when we’re on our travels.
I don’t know if it was a case of jet-lag (Edmonton is seven hours behind UK time), new teeth making an appearance or just a case of new surroundings, but Nova did not sleep. And obviously nor did we. *Sigh*
For the first half of the trip he woke up every hour, screaming and crying, wanting to be cuddled and soothed back to sleep. It was exhausting for all of us, especially as we’re not invincible – Jay and I still felt the usual pains of long-haul travel, so we were pretty tired anyway. We just accepted it though, appreciating that we’d taken him on a big adventure so it was to be expected.
We took it in turns to rock him back to sleep, tag teaming when he needed a bit longer to get back down. There’s only so much your back can take! We then just got up early with him and ventured off into the city, exploring the streets.
Tiredness is nothing a bit of fresh air can’t fix – well, that’s what we kept telling ourselves. Quite often the shops weren’t even open, so we enjoyed walks in the River Valley and typically, Nova snoozed in his stroller. For this trip we took the Nuna Pepp Luxx (review coming soon).
Oh and the other place he managed to have a good sleep? In his stroller in a lively Mexican restaurant/bar. It was so noisy and busy in there, but that didn’t stop our little one having a really good snooze. And so we did what any other sleep deprived parents would do…we ordered marshmallow topped mojitos.
Besides managing to fly half way around the world, our mini-explorer also (eventually) cut another tooth on this trip, drank from a straw for the first time and best of all started crawling.
We couldn’t believe it and had to reset him at the side of the room a couple of times to check that he really could crawl and that it wasn’t just a case of deliriousness making us forget where we’d put him down in the room.
And as quickly as he started crawling, he started climbing. His whole world opened up before him and it was so fun to watch the expression on his face as he realised that he could transport himself to any item in the room. It also meant that we soon learned not to leave anything on the floor. He took a particular shining to shoes and suitcase zips. Each to their own, eh?!
By the second half of the trip Nova was into the swing of sleeping through the night again and once his new tooth made an appearance he even began to eat a bit more. During our days out we always made new friends thanks to Nova. We literally had people running up to us (well to Nova) to tell us how cute he is.
I’m not even kidding – one lady ran across one side of the mall to the other and nearly gave us a heart attack when she pounced on the stroller. One couple left their meal to come over and tell us that Nova made their ‘top four cute baby list’, with the top three spots (reluctantly – their words not mine) going to their grandchildren.
See what I mean? This trip was definitely all about the pride. #ProudMama
Well done, Nova. Bring on the next adventure!
The First Trip With Nova (to the Netherlands)
The Second Overseas Trip with Nova: 5 Months Old (to Jersey)
The Third Overseas Trip with Nova: 5 Months Old (to Mallorca)