Last week I flew back to my home state of Nebraska with the baby to introduce him to all his extended family on my side. As well as watch my little brother graduate college. It was his first time flying and I was apprehensive about it. Nobody wants to be the person who brought the screaming baby on a two hour flight. I also did not want to forget anything or run out of something vital, although we weren’t traveling into the Amazon rainforest so anything I did forget could be readily found with a short trip to the grocery store.
While packing I brought literally every article of clothing that currently fits him. I did not need to do this, had I run out of clean onesies my mom has a washer and dryer and I could have easily done a load. If you’re staying in a hotel this option might not be available. Although I don’t see many people taking extended vacations with a baby that doesn’t involve seeing family that has a washer/dryer. But if you do, pack 4 onesies for each day of travel. Honestly that should be plenty, if you need more than that consider moving up a diaper size or feeding them naked.
I ordered diapers via Amazon and had them shipped to my mom’s house. That way they were already there when we got there and I didn’t have to pack any more than what I needed in the diaper bag for the plane ride. Same with wipes.
For everything else I just packed like he was a regular person, with the addition of his own towels and wash cloths. But tiny shampoo, tiny lotion, tiny butt paste, all your standard tiny travel necessities.
Everyone, as per usual, had some advice for flying and the jist of it was that ears popping is the way to get a screaming banshee. To circumvent this inevitability I was told to give my baby a bottle during take off so that he would be constantly swallowing. I was able to do this on the outgoing flight and it worked lile a charm. He drank his whole bottle and then fell asleep. Which was just as well because our 5:30 departure got moved to 7:30, and so we actually took off right in time for bedtime.
This however was inconvenient for me as an Exclusive pumper. As with everything my arrival, flight, and subsequent pick up from the airport was timed precisely so I would be able to pump only about half an hour behind schedule. A two hour delay though was a bit more rock hard boob than I was prepared to deal with. Not to mention that while there are outlets and chairs everywhere they’re all out in the open… Not exactly an option. But at Hobby airport in Houston they are not accomadating to nursing mothers. Luckily my husband had stayed when he found out the flight was delayed and I was able to go back and pump in the car just prior to boarding. But, it was massively inconvenient, frustrating and a large stressor at the onset of our trip.
We boarded in the family boarding section and were able to find an aisle seat, for quick escape, relatively close to the front. I settled in and watch as person after person saw my baby, grimaced, and walked on by. Eventually someone was forced to sit next to me. During take off I gave baby boy his bottle, burped him, and watched as he immediately fell asleep against my chest. He stayed that way until we landed when the noise and shuddering made him look around wide-eyed as though there were some monster coming to get him.
For the entirety of our stay in Omaha I managed to keep Joejoe on somewhat of his regular schedule. The trip exhausted him though because of the end of every day he would fall asleep around 7 and not wake up until 5 the next morning. Which is 10 hours of sleep, that’s a lot for a 3 month old.
Honestly our trip was very easy, I imagine most trips go relatively smoothly. Being prepared with plenty of bottles, diapers, and changes of clothes for both me and baby gave me a sense of calm. Feeding JoeJoe the bottled during take off probably helped his ears, and having the flights during his regular sleepy times was probably a good stroke of luck.
Do not under prepare. Have everything in your utility belt that you might need for the flight. The extra few minutes it takes TSA to test your stuff is work the headache you’re saving yourself. Don’t try and do without.
Also, buy a carseat travel bag. For one, it makes it easier to carry. For two, that carseat just goes in with the luggage. You know what your suitcase comes out looking like-well, carseats are cloth and more easily torn. You’ll look ridiculous carrying it though, for example below is a photo of my husband helping me get the luggage ready.