A few weeks ago we traveled by plane for our first time as new parents. It was intense, I was terrified that I was going to be that mom with that baby that screamed the entire time and annoy everyone. Fortunately it didn’t happen, and we had a half empty flight the way there and an understanding neighbor on the way back. I thought I’d compile a few things that parents need/and should know before they hit the skies with baby in tow.
1. Bring your carseat and your stroller
The airline will check a carseat and a stroller free of charge as long as your stroller weighs less than 20 pounds. This is pretty sweet because you can stroll around the airport, with baby in the stroller and in the carseat if baby is small enough. It’s pretty handy to buy an airplane bag for protection, toys r us and target sell these types of things. Pick one up in enough time to ensure that your goods will fit inside it. I ended up with a giant one that I could even stick my carry on into (and check for free haha take that airline!). On our flight we got lucky we had an empty seat in our row so we got to bring our carseat on and put E in it. This was especially helpful considering holding her for 3 hours straight was wearing both me and dad thin. Just ask the attendant at the gate and usually they are more than accommodating.
2. A Poo Mess Will Happen
Yes it happens to everyone. I don’t understand still but E pooped 2 times on the trip down and the trip up. Have extra wipes and diapers. I brought 2 packs of wipes and was super glad I did. I somehow misplaced the one pack and was in a state of panic when I lost them as she had blown up her diaper. Then there is the trip into the bathroom. Going to the bathroom on an airplane as an adult is bad enough. Add one wriggly 6 month old with a crap filled diaper; and it’s a nightmare. I brought a doggie pee pad for a changing table cover, as I did not want her touching the filthy bathroom. I don’t even want to touch anything in there and the good Lord knows I don’t want her touching anything and then putting it in her mouth. Bring extra clothes too, because if you don’t baby will mess out the back of her diaper and then you will have a naked baby on an airplane. Imagine the glares you’d get.
3. Don’t Forget the Entertainment
Babies often need to be entertained to be quiet. Bring a new toy or have your phone on the ready with a video for her to watch. We brought new toys and we both had our phones, and we were prepared to make faces and odd noises to keep her happy. Also (I thought this was weird) but so were the other passengers.
4. Feed During Take-off and Landing
Nurse or bottle feed or paci-feed your baby during these times. It helps their ears pop and will help them adjust to the elevation change making them waaaay happier. Plus if your baby wants to eat on a flight for Pete’s sake feed her. If you have to pull your top down do it discretely. Don’t make an ass of yourself and try to draw attention and make a scene. No one cares, I nursed about 1/3 of our trip and didn’t have a problem with other passengers or flight attendants.
5. Your Baby More than Likely Will Not Nap
This is a new experience for baby. There will be weird people to stare at over the seat and dirty new things to touch. Be prepared to go the entire or the majority of the flight with your baby wide awake taking it all in. E slept more in the airport than on the plane, and she’s a car sleeper. You’ve been warned.
6. Sanitize Until You Can’t Sanitize No More
I brought hand sanitizer and Clorox wipes and everything that we could have possibly touched within a 2 seat radius got wiped. I even wiped the bathroom prior to putting down her disposable changing pad. Momma don’t play I got the flu after flying while 5 1/2 months pregnant. I didn’t want to subject my little love to that being so young and being away from home. I sanitized my hands after I touched anything, including the soda can and the cup handed off to my by the flight attendant. You can never be too careful.
We had a successful flight down south and back, and honestly it was way easier than I thought. I could easily do it again, and probably will in the near future.