The first? "You idiot. Your baby will hate it, your fellow fliers will detest you, it won't be a holiday, you'll regret it." The second? "Great! This is the best time to take them away! No food to worry about, no running around on the plane..."
So at Heathrow, waiting to start our biggest adventure as a family of three, we were nervous. Luckily, though, the second view turned out to work out for us. Tiny man slept through all the flights, and was a virtual celebrity in Cape Cod, Nantucket and Boston, where we travelled and where everyone we met was so helpful and happy to see us. True, it wasn't quite the flop-on-a-beach / manically explore trips we've had in the past, but it was brilliant.
That was helped by loads of preparation. My packing list was really useful, but so were a few key items that came along in our suitcase.
And so, in no particular order, here are my five top gadgets for globe-trotting with a baby:
1) Out N About buggy bag: travelling with a four-month-year-old, I was really keen to take the bassinet part of our Cosatto travel system and not just the buggy. Firstly because tiny man wasn't really big enough for the buggy, but also because the bassinet is great to get him to sleep in restaurants in the evening. Plus if he really hated hotel travel cots, I knew the bassinet was a great back-up. But how to transport it? Most buggy bags are far too small to fit a whole travel system.
But after much research, the Out N About bag came to the rescue. It's specifically designed for the Nipper Single and Little Nipper buggy, but as I discovered, also fits a range of brands. After flattening the bassinet, it plus the whole buggy chassis apart from the wheels fitted neatly into the bag, which protected from any bumps and poor handling from airport staff. Of course, for the Nipper buggies it was designed for, all contents easily fit in, including muff, shopping bag, etc. Extra bonus? You can squish soft things like nappies, coats, etc into the bag and since most airlines carry buggies for free, you can get more into your suitcase luggage allowance.*
2) Babymoov Ni - I've raved about this tent-come-play pen before, but it really came into its own on holiday. We could pop it up on the beach, shading the baby from the sun, wind, and sand (except when I stepped inside with half the beach on my foot) and even use it in hotel rooms where the carpet didn't look too clean. Compact and useful.
3) Green Baby Mosquito Patches Insect Repellent: I was worried about my tiny man's chubby thighs and the rest of his body being mauled by bugs, especially as one of our hotels was on a lake, mozzies abounded but I didn't want to put gross poisons on my newborn's skin. Someone recommended these patches, and I bought them but was sceptical. However, in two weeks, my husband and I (religiously smothered in anti-bug spray) were liberally bitten whilst the baby, with one of these patches daily stuck to either his buggy or sun hat, stayed bite-free. Next holiday I may well walk around with a Green Baby Mosquito patch stuck to my forehead.
4) Bar of Vanish (and bag of Napisan) - because poonamis happen away from home too, and they're far tougher to deal with. But this bar of Vanish, rubbed onto the sick or poo stain, quickly bought all clothes back to their original state.
5) Banz Mini Ear Muffs: as part of our trip, we had to fly on a tiny (and terrifying) Cessna aircraft, which was pretty noisy. Worried about our baby's ears, we popped these on him (one of the few brands that are OK for younger tots) - and he promptly fell asleep.
* Item sent to Run out of Womb for review. Rest assured, though, that I'm seriously gobby and would never rave about something that's rubbish.