We just got back from our first official family vacation in Switzerland. We were sick and it rained the whole time, but it was a vacation nonetheless. April was beyond excited to meet her great grandmother and the feeling was mutual.
I can’t even tell you how nervous I was to take an overnight flight with a baby. I am already a nervous flyer so I wasn’t sure how I would handle my first flight in over a year, with an infant in tow, and no sleeping pills to knock me out. My only hope was that my fear of April screaming the whole flight would trump my fear of flying.
Luckily for me, and the surrounding passengers, my fears were unfounded. April couldn’t tell if we were riding on a plane or a donkey, and she slept the entire flight. And me, well, the flight was very smooth so I didn’t have a total panic attack and a couple of glasses of wine certainly didn’t hurt.
Before we left for vacation, I asked the pediatrician and my friends for advice on how to handle April’s first flight. Obviously I had to bring extra diapers and wipes, but here are a few other items that I found made traveling with an infant easy breezy:
1) Nursing cover or a few bottles of formula – In order to relieve any pressure on April’s ears, the doctor recommended nursing her during take off and landing. I also nursed April every time she stirred in a desperate attempt to keep her asleep, meaning I fed her for almost half of our 8 hour flight.
2) Umbrella stroller and baby carrier – The lightweight stroller was great for navigating the airport and we needed it at our destination. Alternatively you can wear your baby throughout the airport, but you’ll probably need somewhere to put the baby down at some point during your trip. The carrier comes in handy if your baby melts down and you need to walk up and down the aisles to calm her down, but hopefully this will never ever happen.
3) Change of clothes for you and the baby – April was over-served on the flight and kindly saved her blow out till we landed, but you just never know. And the last thing you want to do is spend hours covered in poop or spit up.
April turned out to be a much better flyer than her mother. In fact, when we got off the flight I overheard a woman say to her husband, “That baby was so good, I didn’t even know there was a baby on the plane.” That’s right people, my baby can fly!