Written by: Barah
My little guy has already been on a plane four times, and he’s only seven months; my little traveler.
Traveling with an infant four times has taught me a lot. With each time I learned something new that will make my trip a whole lot easier. The last flight we had was a piece of cake, thank God. Practice makes perfect, huh?
Also, keep in mind I have severe anxiety, so everything seems a hundred times scarier to me. So, with that said, I was so anxious every time I traveled; but that last time wasn’t as bad. I was a lot less anxious, because I tried to go in with a positive attitude and kept thinking positive thoughts; which helped a lot. I think that was one of the main factors that made this last flight easier than all the rest- and well, the fact that it was the fourth time!
So, let me start with my first disastrous plane trip, I was headed to visit my family for a long period of time. So that meant packing my house with me; and I didn’t just pack everything, but I took almost everything with me on the plane. I thought I “needed everything on the plane”, which turned out to be a false statement.
Here is what I looked like around the airport; imagine a lady with a backpack filled to the zipper about to pop with all kinds of baby stuff, a cross-body with my own personal stuff, a stroller and car seat, and finally the little guy.
Next up, the fun part, TSA. I get to the TSA line, and guess what? Yup, I must take the baby out of the car seat and unassembled everything. So I had to remove the car seat and fold the stroller and get them through the scanner. While I was also expected to do all f that; while holding my infant in my arm. I was also expected to take out all the formula and water out of the stuffed to the zipper diaper bag and place them to get scanned. Oh, and I was also expected to take off my shoes and everything. And you know what else? No one helped me with anything. Not an employee nor anyone else, I was left stranded to figure it all out on my own. Amazing, right?
I know you’re probably thinking “why don’t you have a baby carrier?”, well I had a baby carrier with me I just had the impression that I wouldn’t have to do all that since I had a baby. No one informed me about this whole process. I just assumed I could walk through with the stroller, because I used to see ladies do that back when I was younger. I guess the rules have changed since then. As I was collecting my things, I had to wait for them to scan all the formula and water before I could leave to get to my gate.
Finally, made it to the plane and checked in the stroller and headed to my seat. Now the real challenge began. Keeping baby calm when the plane gets ready for takeoff; ear popping, not fun. Making formula on the plane was such a hassle because I didn’t have what I have now. Formula was in a separate container that was very hard to use. And the water needed to be poured in the bottles. It was a whole mess.
Fast forward to my last trip, it was an easy one, Thank God. Why? What did I do different? What did I do better? Let me tell you.
First and foremost, I checked in the car seat with my bags. Oh, and I also packed a lot less. If there is a washer and dryer, no need to bring the whole closet for him.
Second, I wore him from the beginning. So, I didn’t have trouble at the TSA line.
Third, I found alternative “travel” bottles. These bottles are life savers, they’re convenient when going out if your little one is formula fed. The formula is placed in the top compartment of the bottle and the water at the bottom, and they’re separated with a very sturdy piece of the bottle; and all you need to do is press the side buttons to release the formula, shake, and feed. It lived through TSA’s throwing things around method, I mean come on.
Fourth, I fed my little guy as the plane was taking off to help with his ears, I mean as grownups we get so annoyed by our ears popping; imagine them.
Fifth, my little one loves to interact and “talk”, so I found talking to him kept him entertained and calm. And listening to his favorite song and playing with a toy helped keep him entertained and chill. He “talked” and played till he fell asleep, and then I was able to relax with him.
Finally, the most important part of traveling, in my opinion; is to make sure to book a “big” seat. Those seats are amazing and so comfortable with a baby in your lap. Enough space to make bottles, to allow your little one to sleep comfortably, and just be able to sit with enough room for you and baby.
And remember, think positive and you got this!
I hope my experience can help you prepare for your next flight with your baby!