Here I am on yet another flight out of town for work. I love my job because it allows me to travel and I knew when we decided to have kids that I wanted to try my hardest to make an effort to travel with them.
It's so sad to me when I hear people who enjoy traveling say they will wait until their kids get older to travel again. To me, that is such a waste of potentially great memories just waiting to be had by your kids and your partner. And I think the earlier you start traveling with your kids, the more comfortable they are with each trip.
We took our first trip with Boston when he was 6 weeks old because Dustin was offered a free trip to Chicago from his work. Dustin was a little unsure about traveling with him just yet, but I told him we'd make the best of it and it would be a great trial run to see how traveling with a baby really was.
Turns out, we had a blast. Boston slept the whole flight there and the entire flight home. He was still not sleeping through the night so nothing changed there. And I figure, if your kid isn't sleeping, your kid is teething, your kid is all over the place, you will have to deal with that whether you're at home or on vacation. So you mine as well go on vacation.
Since that trip, we have taken him to Disney World and on a Caribbean cruise. And each trip has been so much fun for us. I always tell people that traveling with kids is a totally different experience but it is still worth the experience. If you go into it with an open mind and no expectations, you will have a great time.
So now that I have hopefully persuaded you to take a trip with your little one, here are a few tips for that nerve wracking first flight.
- Pick a flight during a typically good sleeping time. Boston sleeps so much better in the mornings or near his bedtime. Flights where I know he will be sleepy are easier because the noise on the plane, along with a full belly, makes him pretty sleepy.
- Nurse, feed, or pacify baby during takeoff and landing. The suction will help their ears acclimate to the adjusting air pressure. Boston nursed/slept nonstop on most of the flights when I was still breastfeeding which was totally fine with me. And according to my pediatrician, the younger they are, the less of a problem they have with the pressure.
- Pick the side of the airplane with 3 seats and select the aisle and window. That way you have a chance no one will pick that middle seat and you will have an entire row. If someone does end up in the middle seat I am sure they would gladly trade you a window or an aisle so you can sit together. It's always worth a try.
- I always bring a pack of sanitizing wipes and wipe down the area around our seats real good so that baby's grabby hands won't get too germy.
- Make sure to have gas drops, pain reliever, a few toys for entertainment and an extra set of clothes in your carry on just in case.
- Use a baby carrier (I use this one)to make walking through the airport so much easier. You can even wear the baby through security which is so nice.
- Check with the airline but I think almost every one of them allows you to bring the carseat, stroller, and a carry on item for baby at no charge even if they are riding as a lap child. I always wear Boston in the Ergo and push the umbrella stroller with the carseat on top of it right to the gate and have them gate check it for us.
- You can bring on liquids that are over the ounce allowance for baby but they will need to perform some additional screening.
And the most important tip I can offer…
- Go with the flow. There are so many things that you can't control and going into it with the mindset that things will be different and to not expect too much, always takes some pressure off of me. And if things don't go well, have some vino on standby.