Mum’s The Word - May 6, 2014

Julia Mellor feeds her son William on the plane
Julia Mellor feeds her son William on the plane

No-one wants to be that unlucky person sat next to a screaming child on a three-hour flight.

And I certainly didn’t want to be the poor mother with the inconsolable baby on my lap, watched by fellow travellers rolling their eyes in our direction.

So, packing for four-month-old William’s first trip abroad to Spain, we wanted to make sure we had everything covered, especially his milk (it’s certainly more difficult to scream when you’ve got a bottle in your mouth).

We thought we were being sensible by following the ‘travelling with children and animals’ advice section (there’s obviously a lot of similarities between a baby and a pet) on the airline’s website.

‘When travelling with a baby it is wise to have extra supplies of necessary infant items in your hand baggage, such as infant milk (powdered or liquid form).’

It made perfect sense.

The only warning was the baby milk may be tasted or tested by security staff; but we had no problem with that. So, as William needs a feed every three hours in the day, we packed three bottles filled with sterilized water and enough powder to make up some milk in the departure lounge, on the plane and for when we landed. Plus a spare bottle – just in case.

As we went through security I suddenly felt goosebumps all over my skin as the little chap’s changing bag was pulled to one side by a stern, burly looking fella.

“You won’t be able to take all this through with the water in. You can only take what’s needed for the flight. We’ll have to pour the others away.”

After sensing our sheer desperation, the supervisor agreed to ensure a cafe in the departure lounge would re-fill the bottles up with freshly boiled water.

So thankfully, we were able to keep William happily fed and – more importantly for the sanity of the other passengers – quiet during the journey.

Apparently, ready-made milk in those convenient bottles is the way to go when dealing with airport security, as it’s just tested in a special machine.

And I guess breast-feeding would be even better, as you can’t exactly have your boobs confiscated by security staff!