What nobody tells you about flying with a baby

All you need to know about flying with a baby

If you had ever been on an airplane before having a child of your own, you undoubtedly noticed THEM. You wished your seat was not near theirs and hoped that the little sticky, kicky, loud person would keep it together. And then you either suffered through an annoying flight or promptly forgot about those people because the kids were fine or you were far away.

Well, now you have become THEM. And it’s hard on this side of the divide.

Of course, some people will tell you that flying is easier with a baby, but I have found my airplane trips to be a hands-full, stress-sweating, all-hands-on-deck experience — much like a microcosm of parenting itself. I worry as much about my crying baby as the judgment of my fellow passengers. I have also felt great pride at my own preparedness and super human strength (like that one time when Alec had to return to the parking lot so I toted a baby, a toddler, two car seats, and all the carry-ons through security and onto the plane — hell yeah!!).

I recently received this text message from my sister-in-law before her first flight with my adorable baby nephew:

All you need to know about flying with a babyUhh, what the what? So, I dug deep into my memories and answered all her questions by text because I can roll like that. And now, I present my response to you.

Now for your answers:
1. Carseat, yes if he’s too wiggly to hold & I bought a ticket. Or if there’s space. Otherwise check.
2. Gate check stroller, skip pnp unless you can’t.
3. Hotel pnp w sheet from home.
4. Carseat base, no. Practice installing w/o it.

Also, I wrote these if they help:
How to pack less and travel light with a baby and More tips for traveling with a baby.

ps Bring an extra shirt for yourself!

I was hoping to impress you with my lengthy text message response, but it looked a lot bigger on-screen. And yes, I answer my beloved sister-in-law with blog posts.

Aside from all the practicalities, I can offer up one more piece of advice: All of the small challenges will be amusing anecdotes later.

Yes, even the baby-carrier-poo-splosion will be funny one day! And that one time Sawyer cried for a 45-minutes straight on the runway while the whole entire airplane glared at me before I yelled out to noone in particular, “Yes, I have a pacifier, two boobs, two bottles, his favorite music, and several diapers. We’re good here!”

Please share your rookie travel tips or words of wisdom in the comments! Or just text me.

[Photo by jyri]

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RookieMoms co-founder & mom to 3 boys in Berkeley, CA. Bossy big sister and project manager turned blogger helping moms enjoy their first years of motherhood. Find me on my other site on 510families.com or hiding in my minivan eating dark chocolate.

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