Having never flown with a baby I had no idea what to expect. I did a lot of research ahead of time and tried to be as well prepared and in control of the situation as I could but as we all know life... happens and well planned or not babies are babies. SO here is my well planned out advice mixed in with reality and probably a few tears.
At the airport -
If you look in the photo above we wore Jessamyn in our Osprey carrier pretty much all the way through the airport up until we gate checked it. This actually worked out really well and allowed me to have both hands free while at the same time preventing most toddler chaos. I have to admit the line for security was really long and Jessamyn may or may not have cried at the top of her lungs all the way through it but we survived and the carrier definitely was a life saver!
Once we got through security we put her down and let her run around hoping that burning all that energy would allow her to sleep on the plane or at least rest peacefully and not torment anyone around us.
Flight Essentials -
- Ipad loaded with toddler games and movies.
- Water bottle
- Teethers (not pictured)
- Hard candy (for me)
- Most importantly a pacifier for take off/landing/ and all those emotional moments in between.
We did use most if not all of these products at one point or another through out the flight EVEN with that we still had a major crying melt down which ended with her falling asleep on me after 30 minutes of awkward inconsolable tears. What I learned from this experience was the importance of doing what you can and leaving grace for the rest. Could we have planned better? maybe. I probably should have brought more wipes so we wouldn't have ended up sprinting to the bathroom to wet some paper towels at the last minute while the plane is boarding due to a giant poop filled diaper... Are all situations avoidable? No, and that is the most important lesson and thing I will carry with me when I travel. Babies are babies and life happens. we can't prepare for every single experience but we can enjoy them as they happen. I am not sure I will be jumping up and down to fly with her again anytime soon but I also wont be dreading it because at the end of the day she had the most amazing time.
The unplanned moments, running around the airport carrying her water bottle and shrieking loudly in an unintelligible language. The unexpected cuddles and look of awe on her face when she gazed out the airplane window for the first time. These moments weren't created because I packed enough diapers or snacks. These moments are a gift and happen because life happens. So my encouragement for you if you are getting ready to fly with your tiny for the first time is just that you embrace it. Take the good, take the bad, hold it all loosely and know that at the end of the day the beautiful moments will out weigh the negative if you let them.