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Wellbeing

Work Trips with Babies

Friends, out of necessity rather than choice, I have taken several work trips with my son Eamon. These have been both domestic and international trips (though thankfully the international trips have not been too long!). I wanted to share with you some tricks and tips that I picked up along the way, because no doubt others find themselves in a similar predicament.

Pre-flight photo, before our second trip to Fiji, 2018

1) Flight attendants are your best friends. Be nice to them, and they will take care of you the best that they can.

2) Change nappies as close to the time of boarding as possible. If you start off clean you’ll feel more confident. This is a tip I got from a mum on instagram, whose comment I now wish I could find so that I could thank her directly. Hopefully she will just feel the gratitude I am sending out to her!

3) Do not dress up for the flight. Both you and bub will end up grubby by the time you stumble off at the other end, unless you are exceptionally lucky.

4) Be prepared to turf an outfit in case of unfortunate events. Changes of clothes are essential! Most of you will know this, I just cannot reinforce this enough.

5) Descending will likely be rough on baby’s ears. Take some panadol/nurofen/your choice of pain relief and dose up when they start to grizzle (talk to your doctor too, they will know your little person’s specific needs).

I am trying to recall the things that I took that I felt made the experience easier. I was fortunate to be met at the other end by colleagues who are really more like friends and family (especially after their taking care of us both!). If you can possibly connect in with friends or family in the city you are headed to, DO IT. Do not be a martyr and try and get by on your own! My colleagues happily helped me look after Eamon, helped get him to sleep, took him for walks, and just incorporated him into their work weeks. Thank you to everyone who so warmly did that (Nic and Makayla, Morgan, and especially Tara and Tracey from the last trip).

Morgan Tuimaleali’ifano, then head of history at the University of the South Pacific, hanging out with his little buddy Eamon at Suva Harbour

I did not take the pram on the first trip, but it definitely made life easier on the second trip. Just weight up the inconvenience of taking it on the plane, having to go to excess baggage, and then the logistical issues at the other end. Will you need to do much walking? Is a baby carrier going to be easier? Carrier was going to be too hot for me and Eamon in Fiji.

Do not forget panadol. Do not forget bonjela. Teething babies … I need not say more.

That’s all I can think of for now… have you travelled for work with a little person? What advice do you have? Let’s make this a page with resources for others who are planning their adventures.

Kirstie Close

Create Your Past is run by Dr Kirstie Close, an academically trained historian who has over ten years of teaching and research experience in Fiji, Australia and Papua New Guinea.
Kirstie Close

Create Your Past is run by Dr Kirstie Close, an academically trained historian who has over ten years of teaching and research experience in Fiji, Australia and Papua New Guinea.

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