SBJ’s First {and second} Plane Trip(s)

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The occasion was sad and unexpected (a death in the family that took us to Detroit) but SBJ was an {almost} perfect travel companion though I certainly learned a few things about traveling 500 miles along by plane with an infant. So – I thought I’d share and recount our recent journey at the same time.

  • take baby’s birth certificate. My mom suggested this because she had been asked for it when I was young. I wasn’t asked for it this time, but would hate to have been caught without it
  • both a stroller and a car seat will gate check for free. Since I have the clip-in kind, it was an easy enough system to manage. TSA workers helped me get it through security and it certainly saved my arms and kept SBJ happy because I could do laps while we waited in the terminal.
  • baby will have to come out of their car seat to go through the metal detector with you – even, unfortunately if they are sleeping as was the case both times for us.
  • consolidation into one carry-on bag {I used a backpack} and one checked bag was key. I was fortunate to have help on both ends so I didn’t have to push both the stroller and a pull a bag. I wore my coat but packed SBJ’s snowsuit in my checked bag to avoid having to deal with it through security.
  • I have a new found appreciation for family bathrooms!  They were the perfect quiet and private place for us to nurse and stay out of the way when SBJ got fussy with the wait.
  • Our first flight was full so I had to hold SBJ the whole time. This was fine, but a little uncomfortable when it was all said and done. Our second flight wasn’t full and I was way fortunate not to have a seatmate. I took my car seat on-board and let SBJ spend sometime in it, including the time that he slept.
  • Speaking of sleep – both times I tried to replicate our at home sleep conditions as best as I could while airborne. This included using a SwaddleMe blanket, a heavy blanket to make it dark, and a pacifier. SBJ took a nap on each flight, so I think it worked!
  • Lastly, speaking of pacifiers, I was hoping to help relieve the pressure on SBJ’s ears by nursing but when I really thought about it that would  have been rather awkward and additionally, I was told on our first flight that I was suppose to hold him with his head in my hands facing me during our decent which made it down-right impossible. SBJ will take a pacifier so I used that instead and I think his little ears really only bugged him once on the way there and he only cried for about 30 seconds.
  • Finally, if I travel with a stroller again, I will remind myself to plan extra time. Taking elevators instead of escalators takes a ton more of it!

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I had a lot of anxiety about taking this trip, but I am so glad that we went as it was a wonderful time with family despite the circumstances and SBJ was a great comfort to many. And looking back, I really think SBJ was near on perfect. He wasn’t inordinately fussy or unhappy on either plane which is all I really wanted.

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