Monday, March 21, 2011

Flying with a baby

We've just spent 10 days visiting the grandparents in Texas, and man, it's been amazing and exhausting.

This is actually Cupcake's second trip on a plane, but the first time she was 2 1/2 months and slept the entire flight. (Of course, at the time, I was super terrified of having that baby that would cry the entire plane ride.  Silly me, not realizing that babies under 3 months sleep and sleep and sleep some more).  Five-and-a-half-month-olds, however, stay awake for 2 hours at a time, need to be entertained, and have clear idea of what they want.  And they like to express it.

So here are my tips for flying with a baby older than 4 months, old enough to be awake, but not quite crawling/walking yet.

 -  Take a carrier.  We had an Ergo (awesome!), but really, any carrier that your baby is used to will do.  We were able to move around the airport with no problems, and Cupcake was close to me at all times.  We took a stroller as well, but we just piled it with all the stuff and rolled it (hello free airport cart!).  I even used the Ergo to rock her to sleep while we were flying.  I just bounced around the cabin during the roaming times.  People probably though I was crazy, but who cares, the baby was content.

- The stroller/car seat can be gate checked.  We also had Nate go into the plane first (when they called for all the people with small children to board early) so he could take care of disassembling the stroller, getting our carry-ons on the overhead compartment, and get our space set up.  I went in at the very end to minimize the time cupcake would spend in the plane.

- If possible, see if your neighbors can move to another row.  This worked wonderfully on our flight to Houston, where we had three seats to ourselves.  Cupcake had room to sit, stretch, and we were able to change her diaper on the seats.  On the flight back, however, we had no such luxury, as it was a full.

- Take a boppy pillow.  Seriously.  Though it seems like a bulky item to take as a carry on, it helped us sooo much.  We just crammed it into a rolling carry-on and took it out once we were on the plane.  I was able to breastfeed comfortable, support her so she could sit on her own seat, and have her nap on me without my legs going numb.

- This is an oldie but goodie, but feed during takeoff and landing.  I discovered that once cupcake began to be upset with landing, I didn't care who saw my boob, it was just about keeping my baby happy.  And you know what?  no one seems to care if you feed your baby on the plane.  I guess people would rather have a nipple  flash than hear a cranky crying baby, and I don't blame them.

- Pack three extra outfits.  Because yes, they will have a blowout on the plane.  Not in the airport.  Not right before you leave, while still in the comfort of your home (unless, of course, you have packed all their clothes and the cab is waiting outside).  And they will need changing.  So it's easier to just prepare for the diaper equivalent to the apocalypse.

In the end, what made the biggest difference was having both of us there with Cupcake. Even though the bulk on the baby entertaining and soothing fell on me (she seemed to have a serious case of mamitis), it was still reassuring to know that Nate was there to hand off the baby when I needed to use the bathroom.


  1. Great tips! I am not looking forward to having Klaw on an airplane lol.

  2. Muito boas as dicas! O blog é muito interessante! Caso tenha tempo, gostaria que visitasse Muito sucesso!