We just returned from our first flight with Liam, who is now 4.5 months old. I did a LOT of research before we went, and learned along the way as well. I know I have quite a few friends who are preparing for flights with their babies soon – so I decided to post about what worked *for us*. Not to say this will work for everyone – heck if I know anything about being a mom it’s that what works for one baby doesn’t work for them all! But I’ll try to include my “thinking” behind each decision, so you can make decisions that are best for you. Due to the extensiveness of this, I have broken it up into a few posts. This allows me to a) dedicate small chunks of time to writing posts- which is all I seem to have these days and b) not bore you with a 20 page report! Haha!
If you know me at all, you know I am a tad addicted to baby wearing. Like, it took me a while to whittle down my stash to only found carriers for this trip. And baby wearing is extremely useful during travel. My biggest concerns that impacted my decision to babywear through the airports were: having hands for bags, security, keeping baby close and happy during the flights.
- Security: I put Liam in an soft structured carrier (SSC) while going through security and was able to a) avoid the big scary body scanner machines and b) quickly go through the process of putting bags up, taking off my shoes, pulling out the laptop etc without wrangling a wiggly baby. Security was one of my BIG fears regarding this first trip, and it was a breeze! Here’s how it went down:
- Push Liam into the airport in his stroller, with the car seat clicked into it (more on this in future posts)
- Put Liam into the SSC while waiting to enter the “security zone”
- Flip the car seat upside down and put it through the scanner
- Wheel the stroller up to the metal detector
- They take the stroller for a “pat down” (no joke!) and swab my hands
- DONE! Gather my belongings and head for the gate!
- Loading: We gate checked our stroller and car seat (more on that later), which means taking them down the jet way and leaving them just outside the plane doors. We also had our bags, my pump and his diaper bag. Our solution? Plop him back in the carrier, allowing us BOTH to have two hands for the bags and such. It also allowed me to climb into the row and put the bags up overhead or under the seat without having to set him down (which is quite difficult currently as he can semi-roll over and fully rotate while lying down, but not quite sit up independently yet).
- Nursing: Sometimes you have to nurse on the move, and making connections/catch flights is a prime example. Having my carriers with me
allowed me to keep moving while the baby chowed down. Now, I am *not* one to nurse without a cover. Nothing against those who do, more power to ya! I’m just not comfortable with it. So, I simply put him in the ring sling to nurse (again, more on that in another post!), thew my nursing cover over his head, and went on with the current activity. This doesn’t offer “hands-free” nursing, as one arm still needs to support his head, but it does take the strain off my arms and gives me one hand for important things. Like loading luggage … or crushing candy. You know, the important things!
My carriers of choice for this trip were: Becco Gemini, Maya Ring Sling, Balboa Sling.
Flying With Baby: Car Seats and Strollers
Flying With Baby: Carry-On
Flying With Baby: Ears