Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Traveling with an Infant

We have successfully completed our 3rd round trip set of flights with Barker Allen! Barker is a pretty chill baby to begin with, but there are some basic tips I've discovered while flying with him so I thought I'd share. =)

Things to consider about our situation: 
- He has flown at 6 weeks; 9 weeks; 6-7 months and 8 months.
- His longest flight was a little over 2 hours.
- We have not had more than 1 connecting flight in one day.

When Booking Your Flight:
- Look for flights in the middle of the week.
      Planes will be less crowded, giving you a better chance at a couple of seats or even a row to yourselves.
- Be sure to mark your ticket with "infant in arms"
      If the flight is not full, often they'll try and place you next to an empty seat. On Delta, if there is an empty seat next to you, they will even allow you to install a car seat.
      Delta also allows you to check baby items (car seat, base, stroller) for free.
      Most airlines will allow you to curbside check as well.
- Direct flights are great, but if it's longer than 3hrs, you'll probably want to break it up.

The Day of Travel:
- Wear simple slip-on shoes to help you get through security quickly while holding a baby
- Check as much as you can so you'll only be responsible for a well-stocked diaper bag/purse; a stroller; and your baby
- Carrying a baby through the airport without a stroller may sound easier, but babies get heavy very quickly while walking that much. So use a stroller. The elevators are usually not hard to find and work just as quickly.
- Have a well-stocked diaper bag! (Easy to reach toys, toys your child may not have seen in awhile so they will seem new, items that can be dropped and picked up easily)
- Bring wipes! (Good more more than just baby clean up. Wipe off those airplay trays before Baby begins drumming on them.)
- Find a spot for your little one to stretch out before boarding the plane.
- Dress your baby in comfortable but really cute clothes (if he's fussy, at least other people will think he's cute, that always helps, right?) =)

On the Plane:
- Wipe down trays; windows and armrests (anything your baby may want to play with or chew on)
- Use the seat pockets so everything is in each reach once the plane takes off. (I typically secure a sippy cup with water; a couple toys; my phone; and if there is room; a book.)
- The window can be a nice toy as well. Barker loves to see the shade go up and down. =)
- By take off our little guy is usually ready for a nap. I set him on my lap facing me. Once we start moving and gravity pushes him towards me, he is able to fall asleep in a position that I can maintain and still be able to play on my phone or read a book.
- When your infant is really little, it helps to nurse (or give a bottle) on the way up and the way down.
       I use a sippy cup of water if it is not time to nurse.

     Well, those are my findings. Naturally your baby isn't going to sleep or stay quite the whole time (wouldn't that be nice!) but hopefully these tips will make things a little easier.
Our little squirmer has had his fair share of airport tears (he was going through a growth spurt during his flight at 6wks) and loud squeaks as he was discovering his voice. But it actually wasn't as bad as I thought it would be! And I've found that the more relaxed I am, the better it is for all of us. 

Happy flying Mommy and Babies!

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