Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Highs and Lows of Flying With a Baby

I know airplane travel with infants is something that moms (and dads) have been doing for years, but up until becoming pregnant myself, I avoided eye contact with mommies packing babies and rolled my eyes with the rest of the passengers when a baby wouldn't stop crying.

Come on lady, get your kid under control.

Now, I get it. We're all in this together- just trying to survive.

“In the event of a sudden loss of cabin pressure, oxygen masks will automatically descend from the ceiling. Grab the mask, and pull it over your face. If you have children traveling with you, secure your mask before assisting with theirs”.

Photo Credit
Yeah right, I'm pretty sure loss of cabin pressure is not my biggest concern when flying with a child!

Our trip from North Carolina to California was fine, REALLY. Nothing crazy happened, but let me recap what I learned:

Be explicit with the Skycap when you are checking in. He tried to tag my stroller and carseat, but failed to give me boarding pass for Grace. I figured this out after standing in line at security and then being sent back to the checkin counter. GRRRRR!

Don't give the boarding passes to your baby to hold...I know, this is a rookie mistake! Lesson learned.

When choosing a seat, go either with an aisle or window, and then try and look big and loud as possible so no one will sit next to you. Trust me, it was pretty obvious that no one wanted to sit by us.

Dress in layers, but expect to shed most of them because you will be sweating bullets. I wiggly baby on your lap is guaranteed to keep things hot.

Moms don't need pity, but a little kindness from strangers goes a long way. This is one instance where a little help is truly appreciated. (One man let me put my cup on his tray and another Captain helped me unfold my stroller.)

Make it an all day buffet. If she'll eat, feed her. Anytime Grace started getting fussy, I just shoved a boob in her face. It seemed to work.

Conversely, don't eat or drink ANYTHING. The last thing you want to do is use the airplane restroom while holding a baby.

Anything is fair game when it comes to keeping her occupied: magazine ad cards, straws, ice, my phone, any poor sap who makes eye contact with my baby. You want to play peek-a-boo with my baby? Go for it.

Pack light. HA! Who am I kidding? This one is impossible with a baby!

If at all possible, have In-N-Out waiting for you.

Happy flying! May your destination be worth it!

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