Traveling with an Infant // Airport Adventures // Volume 1


Let me start this post by first stating that I am by no means an expert in this area whatsoever, but I have had a few people reach out to me when we flew to Florida when Phoenix was a newborn asking for advice.
I figured I could share a few tips & tricks I've received along the way in hopes that this might help relieve some parent anxiety when flying.
{Also, any parents out there that have additional advice, please share!}
So here we go, lessons learned along the way- Volume 1 (because seriously, I have still so much to learn and I feel like this is just the first blog post of many, many more):

1) You can travel with a car seat and stroller for free! Each time Dave & I have traveled, we have either just checked them both at the beginning, or have taken them through security and checked them at the gate.
2) I've found it easiest to go through the airport & security with Phoenix in a carrier or a wrap. This helps free up my hands for other things and he likes being close. Security lets you walk through with your baby and they typically just wipe your hands with a strip that they test. So easy!
My two personal favorite carriers/wraps are the Ergo360 or the Boba.
3) You can also bring along a diaper bag that does not count as a carry-on or personal item. We have used Phoenix's diaper bag to help carry extra clothing for him (in case of blow outs, spit up, etc) and  it can also be used to carry an extra shirt or two for momma (in case of blow outs, spit up, etc). Plus its nice for anything additional that we need space for or what we want to utilize on the flight.
4) Just plan to buy diapers/wipes when you get to where you're going. I always pack just enough (+ a little extra) for the flight and time in the airport. This saves a lot of room in your luggage for other things. 
5) The last few times we've traveled, Dave & I have just checked our carry-on at the gate. This way we don't pay the luggage fee, but we also don't have to carry the extra bag around the airport. I see this as a win-win situation.
6) You don't have to have documents for children under 2 years old (at least for Delta flights- check for other airlines under their FAQ page on their website). We learned this the hard way when Dave panicked when he couldn't find Phoenix's birth certificate and we almost missed our flight. Thankfully, because we didn't need it, we checked in on our phones, brought only carry-ons, and were able to get through security and on our flight in record time.
7) Try to plan feeding your little one during takeoff and landing- this will help ease ear pressure. Don't feel stressed though if baby doesn't eat, as I've also found out, a pacifier to be helpful in these situations. If baby is sleeping, let them sleep- at least in my situation, the landing didn't seem to affect Phoenix at all as he peacefully sucked on his pacifier during our landing. (Subpoint: Pacifiers are awesome for a flight)
8) If you plan to breastfeed and prefer to cover up, here is my favorite cover up: 
It's so nice because it has a hoop at the top that makes it easy to see baby, but long enough to keep covered up.
9) Also if breastfeeding on a plane- and this doesn't always work- but if it does, try to get a seat next to a window. I've realized this is much more comfortable to have my back to something and that way too I have more control of putting up/down the blind on the window. 
10) Changing diapers on an airplane are HARD. Plus, if you don't change the diaper just right, you may have a major blow out from the side of the diaper (learned this lesson the hard way). The bathrooms typically have a changing station within them, utilize those. 
11) People are so much nicer and so much more compassionate then you would think. I know I have major mom anxiety when traveling because no matter the scenario, I don't want people perceiving my baby as being bad or difficult when he starts fussing or crying on a flight. But the reality is, these things happen- some things just are going to happen that are out of our control. The last flight we were on, we had a moment where Phoenix got really fussy, but the lady sitting next to us was SO sympathetic and tried to help soothe him. It was just nice knowing that for every person who was annoyed at the crying baby, there were still those who are completely understanding and really don't mind. I also had countless times where people would see my hands full and offer to help me out. It's a really good reminder that there are good people still out there and that every thing is going to be okay.

10) And lastly, the best advice we've received from a friend:
"There will be some good flights, and some not so good flights. Just always remember to give each other grace."
Oh boy, I think Dave and I learned this during the last trip we took.
On the way to Georgia, Phoenix was golden. 
He slept the entire flight, 
Ate at all the right times.
Needless to say, Dave and I were feeling like super parents.
...then we flew home.
Little man was fussy going into the flight, we fed him and he settled down- though mind you, he was wide awake & trying to entertain a little 4 month old isn't always the easiest. 
But still, not too bad.
...and then the blow out came.
Oh and it was a mess.
You know the kind where it's mostly all outside of the diaper and somehow the diaper doesn't seem to catch most of it? 
And it was on my hand, my sleeve.
I look over at Dave panicked and asked him to give me a wet wipe.
Thanks to the air pressure Dave couldn't hear a word I was saying & he starts searching through the diaper bag- mind you, we still to this very moment aren't really for sure what he was looking for.
Finally, I managed to get Dave to hand me a wet wipe.
I cleaned up as best I could and then the real situation came.
How in the word do you change a wiggly baby in a plane, which mind you, was super full.
So I just decided to wrap a blanket around the bottom half of Phoenix and just deal with it once we landed.
Then Phoenix starts getting SUPER fussy (which wouldn't you be too if you were covered in poo?!).
So I'm trying to comfort and he's mad.
Dave's trying to comfort.
Our kindhearted neighbor tries to comfort.
I think at this point I just shut down.
Thankfully I was able to get Phoenix fed and he settled down for a bit & let me tell you, I raced out of that airplane as fast as it's humanly possible and bee lined my way to the bathroom.
Oh me, oh my.
That was definitely a reality check and a good reminder of those some good, some bad moments.
And we're still learning that grace bit.

So friends, the moral of the story is, 
There's definitely no best way to travel, no matter how hard you prepare,
But just take it a step at a time and you'll learn along the way.
(and advice from those who've been there definitely helps)

There will be good times, and not so good times, but remember to always give grace.

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