My husband and I made the brave yet crazy decision to fly to England for a big family Christmas when our twin girls were 6 months old. This was Christmas 2011. We really didn’t know what we had let ourselves in for.J
I started planning and packing for this trip weeks in advance, as this was the first time were we flying with the girls. We flew British Airways. There were numerous calls made to the airline ensuring that we have a cot and bassinette booked for the flight so the girls can sleep. We also were booked on a day flight over. Not to self: Never fly day flight again. Looking back I did slightly over pack for the trip. I took way too many bottles as the girls we still having 4 bottles a day. Just make sure once you have boarded, you ask the airhostess to start cooling some boiling water for you for the formula. I wasn’t sure of the sterilising situation on the plane so I took all the bottles I had at home. Sterilised and ready to go. Took a few of the girl’s cuddly toys, although at 6 months there weren’t really into cuddly toys. It was more to occupy them for a while. I also found great disposable bibs for the flight. This was great as you didn’t have to lug around soaked bibs. I found them at Reggies store. The girls were on solids by then, so I took a few Hipp jars for their lunch. And let’s not forgot – many, many nappies.
So the big day arrived. Our flight was at 8am, which meant me having to get up at 4.30, get myself ready, then get my hubby up, pack up the car, then wake up the girls, then a quick nappy change and off we went to the airport. I have to say, our girls were little troopers on the morning. No crying or anything. Get to the airport and ready to check in. This is where the fun began! The lady at British Airways didn’t know what has hit her when she advised us there weren’t any cots or bassinets booked on our reservations and they wanted to separate my husband and apparently, due to safety reasons, they cannot have 2 babies next to each other. This was something to do with the oxygen masks. This is where the wrath of a new twin mother who had been making numerous calls to ensure that we don’t have a situation like this comes in. I was furious. I really didn’t care whose fault it was on the airline side but I was given the incorrect information and I needed this situation sorted out. Kindly management did. They placed us very close to each other and the twins got a cot and bassinette!
We are on the plane. It was quite a manoeuvring job on my husbands and my part to put our luggage away whilst holding our babies. That’s the things with twins. You just don’t have enough hands. You’d think the air hostesses will be there to help, but that too shouldn’t be taken for granted. For the take off, we gave our girls their morning milk. The suckling effect protects their little ear drums whilst take off. A dummy will also to the trick. They did sleep abit on the journey but not much. Mine don’t really sleep much during the day anyway. The girls were fine for most of the journey but started becoming a bit niggly and wingy towards the last couple of hours. We were all tired and having two crying babies wasn’t ideal. Poor little things. We did receive a comment form the air hostess to please make our babies stop crying as there were other passengers complaining! I mean the nerve! Like I enjoyed having a crying baby let alone 2! After 11 long hours we finally landed in Heathrow. Passport control cleared and we were nearly home free! Just the two hour car journey from the airport to my in laws house to get through. This was actually a breeze. The girls were tucked up in their car seats and managed to have a nap, and I think my husband and I also managed to crash out whilst the driver drove us to our destination.
Christmas was special. The girls met their cousins for the first time. It was a special time bonding with their paternal grandparents. They weren’t crawling at the time. Just small movements. Those were the days when you could leave them in one place and find them in the same spot upon your return! We didn’t do any sight seeing with the girls in England. We left the girls with their grandparents and escaped to London for a few days to soak up the big city and catch up with good friends.
Our journey home. Security check at Heathrow was interesting. We had carry slings for the girls for the airport. We chose not to take our pram with us as we had one at the grandparents. So for airport purpose we purchased 2 great slings and carried them in that around the airport. I have to say it was rather tough removing shoes and other items for security when you have a baby hanging in front of you. I wasn’t also keen on handing them to a complete stranger, but somehow my husband and I managed. The Flight back seemed less of an ordeal than getting there. We were booked on a night flight back! Much better idea. Although one downfall was it was a packed flight back to Cape Town. 4 cots and bassinets in total for the flight and there were ten babies on board. Luckily the airline was kind enough to give us a cot. So my one girl was tucked up nicely in her cot, drank her milk and went to sleep. My other girl was sleeping on her daddy’s chest. This was all nice and snugly until the time came for my husband to make a bathroom break. Once again, a lot of manoeuvring done on our part to move a baby without waking her up. The both actually slept quite well. Woke up in time to land in Cape Town.