Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Flying with a Baby

I thought I would do an informative blog post on flying with a baby, with things that I have experienced, advice given to me, and the reality of what REALLY happens.

Charlotte is now one and has flown six round-trip times and has her own passport!  This girl is a frequent flyer and is great...most of the time!  Her first flight was at Christmastime to Connecticut.  She was only 3 1/2 months old.  When babies are that young, they just need food and they're good.  I had bottles of water filled and formula ready to be poured.  It worked like a charm and the flight went smoothly. 

We received so many comments on how great our baby was!

The next two flights I did by myself, same thing, I had food ready.  Had her in the Bjorn and it was easier that way to pull luggage and do other things with her attached to me.  
I received so many comments on how great my baby was!

The next flight was to the Dominican Republic.  This is where the passport comes in.  We flew to Pennsylvania to meet up with Josh's grandma.  Then down to the DR.  Yvonne couldn't believe how well Charlotte did on the plane.  She just kept saying what a great baby she was.  Let's just say, it's a good thing she was with on the way THERE and not on the way BACK!  On the way back home, it was a nightmare!  We even had our own row in the airplane and she would not stay still and cried.

We did not receive any comments AT ALL!

The next flight was to Utah for July.  Josh was with me on the way there and I flew home with Charlotte on the way back.  The Bjorn worked wonders because she will just fall asleep in it.

We received so many comments on how they didn't even know there was a baby on board!

The next, and most current, flight was back East once more.  The way there, perfect angel.  I think a lot had to do with the fact that it was later in the day (around naptime) and I let her crawl in the aisle.  Yeah, I am so not a germaphobe since I've been a mom.  I want her to be clean, sure, but she loves crawling and being on the ground.  Why would I deprive her of that?  She slept some of the way, too.  On the way back, total nightmare!!  It had already been a long day anyway...5 hour drive to the airport (which went fine).  Then she had to be contained on the plane.  I let her crawl again, but that only lasted so long.  They kept putting the seat belt sign on (and sometimes I still let her crawl around).  She enjoyed going to the bathroom.  She would just sit on the changing table and look at herself in the mirror.  I could only handle a certain amount of time in that cramped space, though.  She cried for probably an hour of the flight and there was nothing that was going to make her be quiet.  I even started crying because I was so overwhelmed and, really, not used to her crying for that long!  Other people on the plane even took turns holding her!  Which gave me relief :)  I had food, suckers, a diaper bag FULL of snacks and nothing was going to calm her down!  She was in a mood and that's all there was to it.  Luckily, everyone else has had to deal with crying babies on a plane, and as much as I get that, it was the first time that I really felt sorry for those around me.  I was glad to be back on the ground in Orange County!
We did not receive many comments :S

So what have I learned? 
  • Be overly prepared...even for a short flight
  • Benadryl can have the opposite effect and make your child hyper (never tried it and won't)
  • Let germs go out the window!  Allow others to help; let them explore the cabin.
  • Even if it's not naptime, have their blanket and whatever else they need when they go to sleep available.  You'd be surprised if they want to take a little cat nap to kill some time.
  • Bring books, toys (w/o noise), and other distractions.
  • Unless they're used to headphones, don't spend the money to purchase TV and force them to wear the headphones.  It doesn't work!
  • If you can fly before four months, do it!  That's when they are immobile and still can sleep easily.

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