Josh’s job involves lots of business travelling… some trips can be quite extended, so if he is gone for more than a week or so, our toddler & I try to join him if at all possible. Josh & I hate being apart from each other, and of course, it’s important that he & our sweet girl enjoy time together too.
When our daughter was 4 months old, Josh was assigned a 3.5-month project in Tulsa, OK. (I blogged about that a little here: https://abbeydraa.wordpress.com/2012/09/18/adventures-of-a-temporary-gypsy-oklahoma/)
We came home one weekend per month for doc appointments, seeing our family, etc. which involved lots of flights for our little darling. By the time she was 6 months old, she had been on six different flights. Now that she is nearly two, I look back on those plane memories as some of my most memorable parenting moments. Here are some things I learned first-hand:
—The three different airports I’ve flown out of with an infant (Dallas, Tulsa, Atlanta) allowed me to take at least one liquid through security. Dallas and Tulsa were more lenient and allowed me to take a second liquid, but Atlanta was pretty strict with their “one liquid” policy. This allowed me to take a pre-bought bottle of water/juice or full sippy cup for Annalisa through security with no problems. They will scan it in their scanning machines for security purposes, fyi.
—Change your baby’s diaper right before you board. Like, RIGHT before you board. I failed to do this, and my child had a blowout diaper while boarding. Like… poop dripping down her legs… kind of blowout diaper. I was flying alone on this particular flight (Josh had stayed behind to work), and I thought for a few seconds my life might be over. Where the heck do you change a disasterous diaper on an airplane??? I took a diaper and the wipes container into the tiny airplane bathroom, sat on top of the toilet lid, braced my legs against the closed door, changed her on my legs, and then basically bathed both of us in hand sanitizer, since we had used every square inch of that bathroom. Some airplane bathrooms have changing tables, but some don’t. I learned you can’t always be prepared for everything, and in the moment, you’ll get creative. But, it would’ve been much easier if I had changed her RIGHT before we boarded. Haha.
—If your baby is on formula, go ahead and mix up their bottle right before boarding, as well. Your hands will already be full with holding your child once you’re on the airplane, without having to mix up formula too.
—Give your baby something to drink during take-off/landing to protect their ears. Whether breastfeeding, or drinking with a bottle/sippy cup, this is a MUST.
—Pack a few new toys in your bag. I also failed to do this, and my fussy baby ended up playing with my hairbrush during the flight. New toys that they aren’t familiar with will keep their interest and distract them… happy baby, happy momma!
—Pack a blanket for baby. Airplanes are always seem to be chilly. Also, this will come in helpful as a cover if you breastfeed on the flight (no shame here… been there, done that).
—Remember to pack the baby’s carseat for use once you arrive at your destination, if needed. It’s been my experience, that a stroller & carseat can be checked at the gate at no charge.
—Speaking of strollers… having one in the airport was a lifesaver for me. However, baby-wearing is a great option too. If you’re travelling alone with baby and choose to take a stroller, make sure it’s one you can open/close with one hand.
—Allow more time than what you think you’ll need (when travelling to airport, planning layovers, etc.). It always takes longer when travelling with little ones. Planning buffers of extra time will help cut back on your stress!
I hope this is helpful, and helps provide a fun & more stress-free trip for you and your family! No need to be nervous about flying with your infant… they are part of the family, and you will look back on your trip memories with them as something special & precious.