Stansted airport is the home of Ryanair and a likely destination if you’re taking advantage of cheap flights in Europe. (Note: we use skyscanner to find cheap fares, and we’ve been impressed, what websites do you like to use?).
It’s a relatively easy place to navigate with a baby. Get to the airport early (to avoid queues).
Security has a family lane (though you need to have a pram to use it – sorry sling users, i.e. our family this time). And we found the security personal quite nice.
The changing facilities were nice and stocked, I always appreciate a sink with soap after changing a nappy. We saw two locations, one at either end of the causeway.
We ate at Wetherspoons, which had high-chairs. The food was obviously overpriced airport food, but it was edible (even if the staff wasn’t on their top form).
We brought some food along for Daniel, and we fed him a banana and some bread. I also gave him some fruit and yogurt that came with my breakfast.
(It was at this point that Pete and I realized we forgot to pack bibs – ANY bibs. We’ll chat about that in another post soon). I have been doing this lately: spacing out a bit more than usual. I had lunch in St. James’ park the other day and completely forgot to put Daniel’s eating mat down. My friend did give me an odd look when I starting feeding Daniel right off the table – not to mention the mess… And I knew something was amiss, but I couldn’t remember what it was. I use the Summer Infant Tiny Dinner mat, I only wish it would stick a bit better, but otherwise, it’s great.
Getting to Stansted
There are a few ways to get to Stansted with a baby.
Stansted Express: this trains leaves from Liverpool Station every 15 minutes. Trains are a great way to travel if you have a pram, but you first have to get yourself to Liverpool Station.
Mini-cab: This has been our preferred way to get to and from airports. Our service usually shows up 10 minutes early, and we usually keep Daniel in the sling. Until today that is, this time our minivan had a built-in child seat! I had never seen this before; we’ve already booked the same car for the way home. Check to see if your service offers this option. There is a new app called Uber – have you tried this yet?
Black Cab: I love black cabs. The advantage is that you can put the stroller right into the passenger compartment with baby strapped into it. This is ideal if Daniel is sleeping and I don’t want to wake him up. If you’re using a smart phone while you’re here – download Hailo – it will hail a black cab for you wherever you happen to be.
Between long check-in lines and security, airports can be trying a the best of times, add an unpredictable, screaming mini-person whose schedule may or may not be completely off, and it can be off-the-charts frustrating. Showing up with a lot of time helps; using queues as a chance to play ‘peak-a-boo’ or other improv ideas here, finding an open spaces for baby to play around in (wash his/her hands afterwards if you need to) can all turn an awful experience into an interesting part of the journey. Share your airport experiences with us; be a guest blogger.