When taking Barron on his first flight, I had no idea what to expect. Would he sleep, would he cry from the pressure, would everyone around me think he was cute or would they dread being seated by a baby?! Well, I am happy to say the flight went great! We flew from Orlando to Dallas (with a layover in Houston, Texas) then a few days later we flew back to Orlando. *My 6 baby traveling tips are at the bottom!
Its also important to share I took these flights with out my husband because God gave me the opportunity to speak at an event called ‘Kiss Barbie Goodbye’ in Texas. I shared with the girls about my experience in entertainment and the lies the media portrays as beauty and worth. Not only did we have a great experiences on the plane but the event went amazing, 10 teenage girls shared publicly they accepted Christ!
On the first flight we sat next to a sweet older spanish woman and her pregnant daughter. In the airport earlier, I made the mistake of ordering hot soup to eat on the plane. What was I thinking? You can’t carry a baby, car seat, diaper bag and luggage while eating hot soup! The woman next to me, when seeing me give up on trying to eat, asked if she could help by holding Barron. I was hesitant but then she went down the list of things she knew a mother would be concerned about…. I’m a grandmother of 7, I don’t have a cold and I just sanitized my hands when I got on the plane. She had also asked his name and prayed for us to have a safe and easy flight when we took off. The combination of these things made me comfortable to say ‘yes’ and I was able to enjoy my hot soup while she spoke lovingly to him in spanish.
On the second flight, we sat next to a guy who was on ‘So you think you can Dance!’ The guy proceeded to dance to the music that was playing in his head phones the whole flight. He was practicing a move that involved holding a beating heart in his hands, eating it, and having the heart beating through his body. Which was all very entertaining for Barron to watch. We made it through both flights with out any crying. The people around us were very happy!
On the flight home from Texas we had a layover in New Orleans. We stayed on the plane and I took that time to use the changing table in the plane lavatory and walk around with him to stretch my legs. The pilot was speaking to flight attendants before the new passengers arrived and when he saw Barron he came over and started to talk to him in Donald Duck’s voice. Barron smiled and laughed so the pilot asked if he could hold him. Next thing I know he walked Barron straight into the cockpit (pictured below). He proceeded to put his captains hat on him and hit buttons in the cockpit that made things beep and flash. Barron loved every minute. And of course I took the opportunity to take photos. I had no idea anything like this was allowed. It made an incredible experience for Barron’s first time flying and gave me pictures I will cherish forever. The pilot also suggested to wiggle Barron’s ears (by gently pulling the ear lobes) during take off and landing while he sucks on a pacifier. I tried this instead of nursing him during the last flight and Barron didn’t seem to have any problems with cabin pressure. Thank you to SouthWest airlines for making it so easy for me to travel with a baby!!
I’m praying that my two upcoming flights in June (to South Carolina) and July (to Utah) with Barron on Delta, will go just as smoothly! I will keep you posted. 🙂
Advice for traveling on a plane with a baby:
1) Nurse him/her during take off and landing – it really helps to relieve the pressure while keeping them feeling safe and soothed. A bottle will accomplish the same results. After the first flight (and more confidence), I used a pacifier during landing/take off, and wiggled his ears a few times. But, keep a bottle on stand by incase the baby needs more than a pacifier to keep calm.
2) Bring along books, toys, a stuffed animal and or rattle. Anything your baby likes to look at and grab to keep distracted and entertained during the flight.
3) Bring a soft blanket so baby can cozy up and go to sleep, plus the planes get cold.
4) Check your stroller and carseat at the gate. It does not count as a piece of luggage and that way it is placed on top of the other luggage and brought back to you immediately upon landing (instead of thrown in the middle of piles of luggage where the risk of damage becomes higher). You can also buy a travel case at baby stores for $15-25 to minimize scratches.
5) Use a baby carrier – this allowed me to be hands free in the airport (you can also wear the baby through security, instead of taking in and out of a stroller which has to be broken down to go through security) and I used the stroller to carry the luggage and diaper bag etc. However you can not wear the baby during take of and landing incase of emergency.
6) Don’t forget diapers and wipes. On my flights there were changing tables in the bathroom lavatories. I am not sure if it is standard on all planes but your flight attendants will know what is available on the planes for babies.
7) Request an aisle seat – you’ll have more room and be able to get up and down easily, with out bothering other passengers (FYI make sure the airline knows you are traveling with a baby, they can only seat you in a row with an extra oxygen mask and there can only be one baby per row).
8) Bring a copy of the baby’s birth certificate (travel is free up to 2 years old).
9) Pray that God gives the gift of having a happy and laid-back baby while traveling.
If you have other suggestions, please share them in the comment box!