Really really my sister Lauren should be writing a post like this. Because she is super woman and flies with her kids quite often, and usually by herself. Although I'm pretty sure there have been times when Lena has taken off her clothes and ran around the airport. Her advice is most likely to tell herself it's a handful of rough hours but worth it to get there.
And so while this was our first flight with Addilyn, a few of you commented on my instagram pictures asking how the flight went or sharing your anxieties for future first flights, so here's our experience.
I was pretty nervous about flying with Addilyn, as I hate flying myself and have some anxiety over being late, missing my flight, the flying itself. And to add, the large crowds of people are not my favorite. Oddly enough I think Addilyn would be happy to live in an airport and couldn't be happier when surrounded by people to watch, laugh and man grunt at. Walking through the airport was Addilyn's favorite part for sure. Her reaching for and squealing towards strangers or thinking the hallway to the plane was a parade for her, was was a little awkward for us, but certainly amusing.
After our first flight on the way there I was feeling quite confident as it went pretty well. Thinking I'd have some tips, although none of them at all original or genius. However our flight on the way back did not go nearly as smoothly and I'm pretty much convinced that you really don't have much control over how your kids do on the plane. You can be as prepared as possible but ultimately their temperament is kind of beyond your control. (Maybe I'm just telling myself this as I ran out of "tricks" pretty fast on the flight back and felt like a hot, sweaty tired mess who flashed my boobs way too many times in an attempt to nurse and calm Addilyn)
But just in case, here are a few things that helped us on the flight there, and a little on the way back.
We checked a bag and carried on the diaper bag and stroller. We have the city mini stroller which is so nice because it is super light and easy to fold. It even fit on the security belt.
I dressed comfortably and in an outfit good for nursing. I don't fly often, but when I do I try to remember to wear layers as I usually get hot on the plane but cold outside or want extra layers for a pillow (as if there is any resting though with a baby).
Addilyn is on a pretty consistent eating schedule and nurses about every three to four hours. I did my best to feed her close to three hours before the flight would take off so she'd be hungry as we were taking off, in an effort to help her ears and make her happy.
Unfortunately Addilyn is not a comfort nurser as I would have happily nursed her throughout the flight, but that just doesn't work these days. She won't nurse unless she is pretty hungry.
I brought all my food bribing tools, like puffs, yogurt melts, sippy cup. A handful of baby toys, which do little for Addilyn these days. A handful of non baby toys like an empty water bottle, my phone case and the baby snot sucker which do much more for entertaining her lately.
We waited until the end to board the plane. I've read advice saying board first as they let people with young kids do and I don't really get it. Addilyn was way happier off the plane, crawling and moving. I wanted to spend as little time possible stuck with her sitting on my lap so we boarded last.
I thankfully didn't need it but I brought a few outfits for Addilyn in her diaper bag and an extra shirt for myself just in case. While she's not a newborn any more, she has her moments of extreme spit up and I didn't want to be stuck in a smelly shirt until I got my luggage.
We got lucky that our first flight was right about time she'd take a nap and she ended up falling asleep nursing right when we took off. My arm started falling asleep and was really uncomfortable and I thought it would be fine to move it. BIG mistake. Becoming more comfortable is never worth waking a sleeping baby, especially on a flight. Lesson learned. Thankfully she was pretty happy the last hour and just went back and forth between Chris and I.
Please notice the ghostly looking sleeping man behind us. I'm sure he'd be super pleased to be pictured like this.
We got unlucky that our flight on the way back was about an hour before bedtime, which made for a pretty cranky and tired baby who wouldn't really relax on the flight back, despite my way too many attempts to nurse her to sleep. If I had a choice I'd much rather fly in the morning or earlier afternoon.
Honestly one of the harder parts of the trip was the longer drive between the airport and my sister's house, which is where the Twinkle Twinkle (or twankle twankle) video comes in handy. If only I could've played it on the flight.
There were moments on the way back where I felt nervous about how loud she would cry or that she was so restless. Our flight could have been much worse, but it definitely wasn't easy. However, in the long run it's a short amount of time and was so worth it. I seriously admire those that travel often or by themselves with kids. I spent a lot of unnecessary worry about our trip (story of my life right?) and Addilyn was a great traveler.
It was sure a lot more work traveling with a baby, but really fun experiencing a bigger trip with her! I apologize for my novel with probably no new and helpful information. But thank you for reading regardless!