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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Baby's First Plane Ride

Well hello, blog.  I have neglected you, yet again.  We spent last week in the mountains outside of Boone, NC (post and pictures to come at a later date, hopefully).  It was glorious and we didn't want to leave!  I took full advantage of rest and relaxation while we were there, and outside of the few days that I worked, didn't mess with my computer.  We're back now, but are about to hit the road again in a few days.

I wish it were under better circumstances, but due to a tragic and very unexpected death in the family, we are going to be traveling this weekend.  Lilly bean will be tagging along, and it's the first time she'll have been on a plane.  Needless to say, I have already started worrying.  I've done some research online (shocker, right?) and consulted with some girlfriends who are "traveling with baby" pros for answers to all of my one million and one questions.  

I am not too worried about Lilly - I think that she will probably be fine.  I guess I probably shouldn't write that on the blog and jinx it.  I have been on planes where kids were melting down, and while I knew they couldn't help it and truly felt bad for the parents, it did not make for a pleasant flight.  Of course I don't want to be "the girl with the screaming kid," so let's hope L cooperates.  I am currently more stressed about logistics, though, than behavior.

I've come up with a list of tips (from various websites and girlfriends) that I gather will be good advice for our first experience with airplane travel.  Here they are, for your reading pleasure:

  • I've read and been told that I should either plan to nurse or give Lilly a bottle (or something else for her to suck on - too bad she's not amused by the paci!) during takeoff and landing in an effort to try to prevent her ears from hurting.
  • I decided to order a couple of new toys that L has never seen before specifically for the flight in hopes that she'll be fascinated into (quietly) behaving on the plane.
  • I did a lot of research (and internal debate) on whether to take our car seat and base from home or try to rent one.  I was originally hesitant to take ours, because although it can be gate checked for free, I didn't want it to get beat up slash ruined under the plane.  Car seats and bases are expensive, and we plan to use ours for future Baum babies.  On the other hand, it also would have been nice to be able to rent one instead of lugging ours around the airport and dealing with checking it, etc.  The general consensus on this from all parties was that it's definitely better to take your own.  Not only do I not want to chance something happening to where there isn't actually a car seat to rent and I have to find a store to buy one once we arrive (read quite a few horror stories about that), but you can also never really be sure what you'll get (read even more horror stories about that).  So, it's settled: we will will gate check our car seat.
  • In order to avoid aforementioned ruining of car seat, I ordered a car seat travel bag.  This one had great reviews, and, thanks to Amazon Prime, will be here before we leave.  Score.  Also?  It's a back pack and therefore easy to carry.  Double score.
  • I have familiarized myself with the TSA policy on transporting breast milk (I have to pump at least once/day - first thing in the morning - to combat oversupply issues.  If I am pumping anyway, I may as well keep it and bring it back!).  It has been recommended by more than one person that I print out this policy and have it on hand in case I am questioned, as the policy has changed several times since 9/11.
  • TSA recommends that you only travel with the amount of food/breast milk you'll need for the actual flight.  While it is possible to check (or carry on) a cooler with spare breast milk and baby food that I've already made (both freezers are full of it!), I am opting to just buy baby food once we reach our destination.  I figure with the amount of stuff we're going to have to take, it will be one less thing to worry about.  And let's be honest, a little jar/pouch food never hurt anyone!
  • On that same token, I've decided to take only the diapers that I need for the flight and just buy a small pack when we arrive (have to go to the store for baby food anyway).  As I mentioned above, I just think it will be easier than trying to find room in suitcases.
  • We've decided not to take our nice stroller so that it doesn't get destroyed under the plane - again, future Baum babies will use it.  We haven't purchased an umbrella stroller, because frankly we haven't needed it - we either use our regular stroller or wear Lilly in the baby k'tan when we go places.  We're not sure whether it's worth it to purchase an umbrella stroller since we aren't sure how much use we'd get out of it, so we're going to take the snap 'n go instead.  Have you seen these things?  They are awesome - and the same concept as our stroller.  The infant seat just snaps directly into it.  We were fortunate to be able to borrow one of these (thanks Lindsey!) before we had Lilly.  The only downside is that these days she prefers the umbrella stroller-style seating arrangement (sitting up instead of reclining in the infant seat), but she can deal with it for a weekend.
  • I will make sure to have the following in my carry-on (along with the usual diapers, wipes, etc.): 
    • an extra outfit for both Lilly and myself in case something happens mid-flight
    • aforementioned new toys for distracting
    • nursing cover (or bottle[s] if I decide that I am not comfortable enough to nurse in public/on the plane)
    • blanket (and socks) for L in case the plane is chilly
    • lovie in case L decides to be an angel and nap for the whole flight (one can dream!)
    • plastic bags to store diapers and/or clothes in, in case of an emergency
I think that's the extent of what I've come up with so far.  Are there any mommies out there who see something big that I missed or haven't thought of?  Any advice on this topic would be greatly appreciated.  Fingers crossed that L is her normal happy self and is far less phased by the process than Mommy is!



  1. I am so so so so SO glad you posted this! I have to travel next week for work (day trip only) but I need to pump and don't want to dump it when I fly, so this is incredibly helpful and timely for me. Thank you!

    1. So glad you found this helpful. Definitely don't dump. We just made sure to tell the TSA agents that we had liquid and what it was, and we had zero problems. I carried on the pump for the flight to Chicago and checked it on the way back, but no one asked any questions about it. I had the policy printed out just in case, which I still think is a good idea, but I never had to use it. Good luck, you'll be fine!


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