This contribution is from our guest blogger Jennifer Barton, a new Mum who regularly blogs on Parent Dish about her experiences with her baby daughter, Diana. Today, she tells us about travelling with a baby for the first time.

If you have questions for Jen, please leave them in the comments box below.

I was never the ideal airport traveller.

My suitcases were always overweight, yet when I arrived at my destination I would mysteriously never have anything to wear. I was disorganised about checking in beforehand and unconcerned about timeliness, usually arriving at the airport in a bedraggled, bewildered state.

And then came baby.

These days, getting to the airport can no longer be a haphazard game of chance. I have to fight against my better (well, lazier) instincts and prepare ahead of time.

Whereas I used to throw things into my bag the night before or morning of the flight, I now have to start packing a week in advance. None of it’s for me, of course. But baby needs food, milk, bottles, plastic cups, bowls, spoons, toys (stuffed, electronic, rattling, bouncing), diapers, wipes, blankets, a sleeping bag, pacifiers, baby wash, shampoo, bibs…

Wait, have I forgotten anything? Oh yeah: at least two changes of clothes per day (accidents can – and do – happen) which anticipate a range of different climates and activities. And of course, the changing mat, changing bag, travel cot, stroller and car seat.

None of this includes the actual baby, who, depending on her current mood, number of teeth and milk consumption can either be angelic or demonic on the flight. Regardless of which, I am accosted by glares from fellow airplane passengers, especially the unfortunate person sitting next to us, who will either end up at the receiving end of several ear-to-ear grins from an adoring baby, or simply covered in projectile vomit.

Despite all of this, baby has vastly improved my travel etiquette. I am always punctual and aware of luggage limits these days, plus we get added bonuses like speeding through security queues and given extra drinks on the flight because of our chubby-cheeked hand luggage. And there’s nothing better than landing in your destination and seeing baby take in Edinburgh or Shanghai for the very first time.

I won’t lie: I am still bedraggled and bewildered at the airport. But who bothers looking at me when my travel buddy is the cutest thing you’ve ever laid eyes on?

For more baby (mis)adventures, head to The Newborn Diaries on ParentDish UK.

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