It can be done!
I’ve done it 16 times, with more scheduled for future trips. And no…I’m not crazy.
My husband and I have jobs that require us to travel on a regular basis both regionally and internationally. It can be exhausting and stressful as an adult, so you can imagine what it’s like to add an infant into the mix.
At a mere 7 weeks old, we packed up our son and readied ourselves for a 1 hour and 43 min flight to Minneapolis to meet my extended family after Thanksgiving. Now, I’m a seasoned flyer with Platinum status on Delta. But I was stressed out. This was his first flight.
How many bags can I bring?
What does security look like?
Does his diaper bag count as one of my 2 FAA allowed bags?
What happens if he cries?
Can I bring formula for him?
Will people hate me?
As we got on the plane, my nerves making me want to pee myself and throw up at the same time, I was keenly aware of the looks that I was getting from the other passengers. They were all praying, some out loud, that we weren’t sitting next to them. Boy were they in for a shock! Not only did Jude do amazing on the flight, but he never even woke up! People kept looking back at us as if they were waiting for a bomb to explode. But he slept like the baby he is the whole way.
Since that flight, we have taken Jude cross-country and around the world. Each time is a learning experience, but I’ve learned 1 very important thing through it all, and learned a few tricks on how to travel with a baby. The most important is the first one:
If you don’t stress out/freak out/panic at every tiny thing, neither will they. Yes, they will have their moments where they don’t want to stay on your lap or they get hungry and too hot (but don’t we all on an airplane?) Just keep your cool.
As far as bags, you bring the same amount of bags. I can check 2 and carry on 2. Now, I pack both of us into 1 bag for sanity reasons, and then I carry on a purse and diaper bag. You can check a stroller plane side and car seats don’t count as checked luggage, which means they’re free! Remember that less is more. (Pick up a car seat bag on Amazon for an even easier time! I chose this one and have been totally pleased.)
Security is security. Sometimes it’s easy and sometimes it’s not. Just ignore the pushy business guy behind you. He’ll get over it when he gets to his first-class seat.
One of the best tricks I learned about keeping a baby from getting fussy is to get on the plane with a bottle ready to go. (Thanks to my Pediatrician!) The sucking will help with the pressure on their little ears going up and coming down, so it’s an easy way to keep them from being in pain.
If he or she cries? Don’t sweat it. Do everything that you can, calmly and without worrying about the people around you. If the crying intensifies, calmly get up and walk to the bathroom where you are away from prying and judgmental eyes. Besides, that mirror and a little privacy may make all the difference. And if your kid still won’t stop screaming, just start buying booze for yourself and everyone within 6 seats of you. Totally kidding. But seriously.
Hopefully this helps! Don’t be afraid to take adventures with your little one! It’s the best experience, and teaching your child flexibility is a huge asset. Plus, who doesn’t want to take a trip!
[Photo Credit :: Kate Harris]