Well we just finished up our first trip. Daddy flew with us out there but had to come back so early so it was just us girls on the way back. Boy was I nervous about flying alone. Getting the car seat and stroller broken down, getting through security, going to the bathroom, nursing on take off – so many things to try to get right! I did pick up a few tips along the way and thought I’d share for all you other novice family travelers. Here they are!
Infant in Arms. When you purchase your ticket, make sure you check that you are traveling with a baby. All airlines list this option – this will keep you from having to go through the trouble of getting the baby a boarding pass at the airport.
Bring your medicine. I don’t care if your baby is the picture of health, take a baggie containing baby Tylenol, a thermometer, suction bulb, gas medicine, whatever. The last thing you want is a screaming baby and no way to help them and no access to medicine.
Schmooze with the check-in clerks. Upon checking our bags, we made sure to chat with the clerks and show off our new bundle. They told me they’d make sure we got to go through security in the priority lane, which was a huge timesaver. Give it a try for yourself next time!
Wrap it up. I use the moby wrap for our travels. It is a long piece of fabric so isn’t as bulky as a buckle on carrier and it gives you multiple options for holds. You can also nurse in it so you don’t have to wake the baby up after you feed her when you want to put her in a carrier.
Make nice with your seatmates. We brought ear plugs and chocolates for the passengers around us to make up for a potentially crying baby. It put smiles on their faces and eased up any tension they may have had about sitting by a baby.
Sit in the aisle. I have heard different sides on where you should sit with a baby. Some said by the window so you can avoid germs in the aisle. Others said the aisle for easy access. I have to agree with the latter. I was able to easily access my diaper bag by moving it out in the aisle with my foot, grabbing what I needed, and moving it back.
Be prepared for the poop! Our little one pooped on the flight back. I like to carry Wet Ones since they kill 99.9% of germs – I use them to wipe down changing tables. They are great for wiping down your seats too and for cleaning babies’ hands. I also purchase the pet potty training pads (they’re much cheaper than those intended specifically for babies) and put that down below my travel changing pad so I don’t get any leftover germs on it. And, don't forget that spare outfit - our little one needed it!
Put in the paci. There are no direct flights to home so it’s a little difficult to nurse on a connecting flight right after just nursed on the last flight. The paci helped keep her swallowing, but if she starts to tense up, you’ll need to pull out the real thing.
Ask for help. People love babies and most are eager to help. Getting through security was a breeze since the guy in front of me helped set up my stroller and car seat. The same goes for getting on the plane. I asked the guy behind me to help break it down. Both were super nice and happy to help. Don’t be shy! You don’t want to risk injuring the baby by trying to do it all.
Well that’s about it – hope these help you on your next travels in 2011! Do you have any to share?