Most importantly though, the little one got to spend weeks with his great-grandparents. Here he is feeding the fish in Great Grandpa's koi pond.
Our boys took their first plane rides at 2 months and 4 months and we've flown cross country about a dozen times (starting from when our older son was 9 months and most recently, with a 4-year and a 4-month old in tow), have flown to Florida several times and of course, there was the 24 hour flight that put us right there on the lowest terrace of purgatory.
Gone are the days when I can carelessly throw too many (or too few) clothes into the suitcase and look forward to a flight with wine, my kindle, movies and daydreaming. (below: our first big trip together, honeymoon in Italy, 2006)
tips for flying with little ones
Shoes: extremely comfortable, let me walk for miles
Purse: lots of pockets, quite roomy and filled with various zippered pouches so I can quickly reach in and find what I need
Beco: holds a sleeping baby
4 layers: cami, short sleeve tissue t-shirt, cardigan and blazer. The different layers are for temperature comfort and multitask as accoutrement in case a kid gets cold, throws up on me or needs a soft surface to rest his head...
Your carry-on bag
We'll check a bag or two and will bring a wheeled suitcase carry-on. That carry-on goes in the overhead bin during the flight so to keep some of the contents of the carry-on within easy reach, I'll put some things in tote bags like this at the top of the carry-on suitcase. As we settle into our seats, I'll grab the tote bags from the carry-on and put them under the seat.
So during the flight, I'll have easy access to:
- my purse that has diapers & wipes
- tote #1 with snacks for the kids
- tote #2 with activities for the kids
- Bring two bottles. Bring them even if your baby (like mine) doesn't like bottles. During air travel there are going to be times that it is really inconvenient to nurse and you will be sorry if you don't have a friggin bottle to give the hysterical baby.
- Have a bag of tricks. Bring some (small) favorite toys. Repurpose things you should bring anyways, like your Nosefrida, into toys. This mesh teether might distract baby for a few minutes.
- If the baby is eating, bring snacks and spoons. I also recommend this most brilliant bib. I love this thing because the food catcher functions as a bowl that the baby can't hurl across the room or turn upside down.
- Load some good podcasts and audiobooks onto your phone so you can listen to them as you are walking up and down that aisle trying to put a baby to sleep or rocking the little one in the corner behind the bathrooms.
toddlers and little kids
Nope. He is regrouping and resting his lungs after a solid twenty minutes of shrieking and wailing.
It happens. Do your best to soothe him and come to terms with the fact that some people will hate you for a few minutes. It'll all pass.
- lots and lots of snacks, books and crayons
- painter's tape and stickers
- pipe cleaners for making animals, glasses etc
- books with reusable stickers like this one
- Dry-Erase activity and drawing books
- Kid earphones
- Last line of defense: ours happen to be episodes of Inspector Gadget and dum dum lollipops
We generally don't bring carseats because we fly to see family and have carseats on the other end.
- If you'll repeatedly be flying somewhere, you can order a convertible carseat (many are built to accommodate infants) and ship it to your folks' house. You might also be able to rent a carseat from a rental car company at the airport.
- Is your kid going to be more comfortable and calmer in the carseat?
- Carseats give tots the perfect boost to really go to town kicking that chair in front of them.
- If he has his own seat, he needs to be in a carseat or an FAA- approved restraint like this one.