for this post I had to enlist my dear friend and fellow mommy, vicky lam, mother of 15-month old phoebe. she has traveled the globe--well at least compared to me-- with her little daughter beginning at a very young age
guest blogger: vicky lam
when my daughter phoebe was 7-months old, we did the killer 23 hour flight from nyc to australia. in preparation, i was frantically reading blogs and asking friends for advice and got myself even more stressed out. so with that in mind, this is a short and sweet post of 10 things i learnt from flying with my baby.
1. don't overpack, mobility is key. just visualize taking your baby and carry-on into a bathroom cubicle or escalator. the baby carrier was perfect for keeping my hands free.
2. for overseas travel, don't forget baby’s passports and visas! easy to forget when you think they're an extension of you.
3. call the airline to see if you can reserve a bassinet seat before checking in or be the first to check in otherwise those seats are gone. even though phoebe didn't like the bassinet, the extra leg room was priceless. a blanket on the floor and a couple of toys and she was happily playing at my feet.
4. i liked using an ultra light cloth tote for diaper changing trips—just a couple of diapers, wipes, diaper trash bags and not much else, so i didn't have to haul my whole diaper bag with me when we needed to go.
5. dress for comfort, discreet breastfeeding and to camouflage stains. and try to wear bottoms that don't involve buttons or zips. one handed bathroom trips might be necessary. my favorite outfit for the flight was a long t-shirt or tunic with a pair of leggings, a soft jacket with pockets and a scarf for breastfeeding that doubles as a baby blanket. zipper pocket for pacifiers/ teething toys/ lipbalm are a bonus. the normal rules for dressing for security checks apply...slip on shoes and no belts. Don't even try taking off a belt while wearing the baby in a bjorn- no fun. a change of clothing for you and baby will come in handy.
6. a pillow from home helped me with carrying phoebe for hours on end.
7. getting your baby to sleep most of the way is ideal. so figure out how to get them comfortable enough to sleep. even though i was trying to train my baby not to breast feed to sleep, I did whatever she wanted for the flight for the sake of sanity.
8. zip lock bags are great not just for fluids. baby socks and clothes are much easier to locate in those clear plastic baggies.
9. moisturizer, lip balm should be handy, preferably in your pocket. A small mirror and face mist would be a
bonus if you can keep it compact.
10. give your baby lots of smiles and cuddles. my biggest fear was trying to calm an inconsolable baby while everyone glared at me. but when phoebe was fussing, i was so focused on trying to comfort her that i didn't even have time to be self conscious, and that was a good thing.
in the end it really wasn't so bad. i was anticipating a lot more drama from reading anecdotes because I seemed to remember the horror stories the most, so don't read too much. Being calm and happy is your best bet for getting your baby to travel happily.
some useful links: