One week ago today I was on a flight home from California with my mom and (almost) 7 month old daughter. I am crazy for taking her all the way out there, right?!
At one point I did think…why did I do this? My husband wasn’t with us due to recent shoulder surgery, but my mom who hates flying was along for the ride. Here are some tips I found to be very helpful when flying and vacationing with a baby:
1. Stay calm – Baby will feel calmer when you stay calm. My mantra on the trip was to relax and have fun. It must have helped because Reese was SOOO happy the entire trip. She barely fussed on 4 flights in 5 days.
Someone was a little too excited about flying after her first flight 😉
2. If you’re not purchasing a seat for baby, wear them in a carrier – Our Baby Bjorn worked wonders! We didn’t end up purchasing her a seat, but she was perfectly content for me to wear her except when I had to feed her. When she was out of the carrier though, she was a wiggle worm so I’m glad I had her in the carrier for the majority of the flights.
3. Stroller systems rock in airports – We borrowed a stroller system from a friend (we only have the jogger and an umbrella stroller) and it was so helpful, especially during long layovers and getting through security. You can put the diaper bag on the stroller, baby can fall asleep in the car seat before the flight (if time permits), and it frees up your body which will soon be taken over by 17ish lbs if you wear the baby on the flight ;).
I would suggest that you purchase a stroller bag and car seat bag though if you gate check them to keep them clean during transport to the plane. Target carries these for a nominal price.
4. Prepare for the worst & plan ahead – As mentioned above, our 3 hour layover on the way out turned into a 4 hour layover and then we were on a plane for 4.5 hours! Thankfully she was a little angel (seriously this kid is the most transitional baby I’ve ever seen!). Extra time allowed me to feed & change her one more time. I’m glad I planned ahead and packed plenty of diapers. On the way home, we had another unexpected wait. We sat on the tarmac for over an hour before our first flight took off so it turned our 1 hr 20 min layover into a 20 min layover! If you’ve ever flown, you know that means that everyone was already boarded when we landed…so we literally had to sprint to catch our flight home! My mom with a stroller and me with Reese in the carrier holding her head to my chest as we sprinted was I’m sure quite the scene for anyone was watching :). Did I mention that she blew out her diaper right before we landed and had to make a run for it?
Reflecting back on the trip though, I am so glad we went! Time with my mom (just the two of us) is limited with my three younger siblings still in the home, pumping and dumping my liquid gold for five days would have made me very sad, not seeing my baby for five days would have been miserable (it was hard enough to be away from Ryan for that long), and traveling memories are something I highly value.
Anyone else flown with a baby? How did it go?