Saturday, April 13, 2013

Flying with Baby

Simone had her first flight at the young age of 9 weeks.  I was so nervous to take that sweet baby on a plane.  At this time I was nursing on demand (not sure I've ever gotten away from that) & we lapped Simone.  Gotta get those free-for-her flights in while we can!

Basically this was our whole flight

My biggest fear was that she would be in pain from the change in pressure.  No one likes that feeling, and being a tiny little lady that can't POP her own ears concerned this new Mom.  So prior to leaving I did what every smart, well informed new Mom does.... I Googled it.  After reading through tons of lists, and blogs with good ideas on what to pack or carry on I packed our bags, hoped for the best, and off we went.  

First, let me tell you... people were EXTREMELY nice.  I'm guessing most of them were parents who understood what it's like to fly with a young babe.  We had a few people get wide-eyed as we walked towards them, and then heard their sigh of relief when we passed by.  To be totally honest, I did the same thing before Simone... who doesn't?!

Second, I brought more than I needed.  I'd much rather be over prepared than under, BUT I was much more efficient on the way home as far as our carry on went.  Flying with kids is different at every age, and you know your kid best so start there.  Here's what worked for our nine-week-old sweetie and us...

Things you need...
  • Bring the Boppy.  Hear me out... it's big, it's kind of a pain, but if you're like me and are nursing on demand it's a necessity.  When baby isn't nursing it helps for sleeping on your lap and not bonking into the armrests.  It's basically an over sized neck pillow anyways, so make it a comedy and wear it on the plane.  I promise people will LOVE it.  If they don't smile at you, they are dead inside and you don't need them anyways! 
  • Bring your diaper bag.  DUH...OK whatever, but I wondered beforehand.  I packed it with wipes, diapers, a change of clothes (though we were lucky & didn't need it), a large zip lock baggie for clothing that suffers a blow out (or dirty diapers), a changing pad (a must because our airplane didn't have a changing table), a light blanky, and burp cloths.  
  • Bring a few pacis if you use them.  We were happy to have more than one the second we got off the plane in the Detroit airport and Simone spit her's out on the ground.  Gross.
  • If you're bottle feeding bring the bottle of course.  Also, TSA allows you to bring formula and breast milk.  Just make sure that you let the agent know as you are setting your bags on the x-ray.  Our extra milk was in the breast milk bags.  I didn't have one second of guff from them at all.  They were actually super nice.
  • I brought Simone's Birth Certificate, just in case... didn't need it, but I would still say it's a good idea.  You never know, and my luck they would ask for it.  We were also heading to Michigan in the dead of winter so I had a jacket and hat for Simone when we got off the plane.


Tips

  • Pack your crap.  Besides our wallets, kindle, and a few snacks, & magazines I stuffed in the diaper bag, we didn't bring our "crap".  You don't need it.  Pack it in your checked luggage.  Which by the way, if you don't know car seats, strollers, and bases fly free.  That was happy news for us!
  • Nurse, feed, or have baby suck on the paci on the way up & down.  Simone had zero issues once we were up in the air, but I knew on the way down both times she was getting uncomfortable.  Just keep them sucking because it will open their ears.  Plus it's comforting when they are experiencing something so new to them.  
  • Smile, be nice, and make conversation with the flight attendants.  They will be sweet and help you, I promise!  Our flight attendants even made Simone a little certificate and gave her "wings".  They will bring you hot water if you are formula feeding, and tell you how awesome/cute/wonderful your baby is.  Seriously, one in particular would come check on us every so often.  So SMILE, dammit!
  • Breathe.  I couldn't get this one myself... but after getting there and back I said, well that wasn't so bad.  Just remember that most people are parents and they understand.  And, if they are not parents they will still understand.  Chances are your baby will do better at traveling than you do, or at least that was true for us!  The more chilled out you are the better they feel anyways.

Getting the rental car... she didn't know what the fuss was

That's it... that's all I've got.  Have a good flight!