Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Flying with an infant

My trip was great. I had a good time visiting with family.  My little guy touched the pacific ocean for the first time.  It was a bit cold, so he didn't like it too much, but it was still fun.  He enjoyed meeting new faces and being held by old and new friends.  One thing I had been a bit nervous about was flying with my little guy.  I had asked some friends and family members for tips on the logistics of bringing a stroller and formula on and if they had any tips for what to do while in the air, and they were quite helpful.

Traveling on the airplane with my little guy went pretty well.  The way there was slightly harder.  The flight was full, so I had to have my little one on my lap the whole time.  I had a window seat and I was a bit nervous about that because I knew I would be stuck in my seat the whole time.  But I had read that moms recommend the window because you have a little more room to set up your stuff and you don't need to worry about getting bumped and stuff by the flight attendant's cart and stuff.  Unfortunately, my little guy needed a diaper change immediately after getting up in the air, but and the guy next to me had just fallen asleep and the guy next to him was engrossed in his iPad.  I didn't want to bother them and make them get up, so I just changed his wet diaper in my lap.  It wasn't bad.  Later when my neighbor was awake I did get up to change my little one in the bathroom.  I didn't want my neighbor to get upset or scared that he might get sprayed.  I was a little nervous about changing him in the bathroom because I had no idea where the changing table would be.  But as soon as I walked in I found it.  It was above the toilet seat.  I had never noticed it before.  And it was good size and the diaper change was easy to do.  It was nice to get up and we had fun looking in the bathroom mirror and smiling.

The 3 hr flight seemed longer than usual.  Probably because I had a baby on my lap and I needed to entertain him most of the time.  I was told to try not to have him sleep until he got on the plane, but of course he took a little cat nap before we boarded and didn't want to go back to sleep.  I usually fall asleep on airplanes, but not this time.

The pressurized cabin didn't bother him.  I had him suck on his pacifier and/or drink his milk when we took off and landed.  One friend had told me of a tip she had learned from a flight attendant that can also help.  Here is the tip:  Mix hot and cold water to make lukewarm water.  Pour it into 2 styrofoam cups, then put enough napkins or paper towels in the cups to absorb the water.  Then cup the cups over your child's ears.  She says it works every time.  I ended up doing this for my little guy when our first flight was landing because he was wide awake, not hungry, and at first did not want to suck on his pacifier.  I am sure my seat mate thought I was crazy, but hey, maybe it worked.  My baby didn't cry at all.  I wish I had 2 extra hands and I would've tried it on myself, because my ears always hurt so much from the pressure of coming down.  I may have to construct a little headband type thing for next time.  And I will let you know how it goes.

The way home was a breeze.  Another full flight.  Another window seat.  This time I got on the plane a little earlier and had more time to get myself situated.  The man next to me said he had been visiting his 4 1/2 mo old granddaughter, so he was very nice.  The lady next to him was a bit grouchy and complained that her seat was broken.  She said the seat cushion was uneven.  So she was moved to a different seat.  So my neighbor moved to the aisle seat.  He said it felt exactly the same as his middle seat;  and I had an open middle seat to lie my baby down on or to put my stuff on when I was holding my baby.  It worked out great.  Also, my little guy slept for most of the flight, and I was able to get a little nap in myself.  The flight seemed to go much faster on the way home, so that was nice.

Gate checking my stroller and car seat was easy and it was nice to have those to push him around in at the airport.  It was a little tricky taking it all down and putting it up with one hand when I needed to go through security with my baby in my arms, but I managed.  I appreciated the help I received from people along the way at every stage of the journey.

Would I do it again?  
You bet.  I'll go anywhere and do anything as long as I can do it with this little guy.  


  1. So glad you wrote this! We don't have any flights in our immediate future, but on top of my normal flying anxieties, the idea of taking Aidan along makes me a bit terrified. It's good to know people are (mostly) so nice!

  2. So glad you had a great flying experience with your little guy! My son racked up some sky miles before he was 3! We flew everywhere, since he could fly free on my lap. He was an awesome flyer. I really miss those days!

  3. Awe, so glad to hear it went so smoothly for you and you encountered mostly kind people along the way!

  4. Awesome! Sounds like you are an experienced traveling mom after this journey. I'm glad you had a nice visit with family and that flying solo with your little guy worked out.