This weekend marked our first foray into airplane travel as a family of three. We had been anticipating/dreading/looking forward to this trip since it was booked a few months ago, and now that it is over, I am happy to report that Colton did a fantastic job (except for the throwup incident on the way home, but I guess he couldn't really help that). Like most other things with baby in hand, I was amazed at how different of an experience flying is with this little bundle of joy "in arms" as the airlines remind you of constantly. So, again, I am hardly an expert on all things motherhood, but here are my words of wisdom from this little journey in case any of you are planning a trip with little one in the near (or distant) future:
1. Stock the carry ons. Of course, you need diapers and wipes, but bring every handheld toy you can get your hands on as well. Also, bring those amazing puff things. When Colton got fussy on the plane, we whipped out a toy or stuffed his face with a puff (I know not usually a good solution, but it certainly was worth it for this) and he was pacified just long enough to give some relief.
2. Leave the magazines and books at home. I was never good at relaxing on an airplane, but now it is an impossibility. The whole trip was filled with hold Colton, don't flinch so as not to wake Colton, entertain Colton, feed Colton, etc. Let's just say, Josh and I eagerly anticipated the words "we are starting our initial descent."
3. Use a good lightweight stroller, like my budget beauty. With bags overpacked and a whole airport to conquer, I can't imagine having to lug around our heavy stroller as well. It was so nice and easy to just snap this one up and use it to navigate the airports and even our destinations once in Florida.
4. Bring the car seat, but check it...it's free!!! That's a big deal when everything else is $25 a bag!!! I saw people hauling their car seats through the airports, and I couldn't help but pity them. I know technically it's supposed to be safer to put baby in a car seat and pay for a seat, but all that just seems so unnecessary...I'm just saying.
5. Bring a spare set of clothes for baby and you. Of course one of the cardinal rules of life with baby is that you always have a spare set of clothes with you, but I totally neglected to follow this in air (I guess I figured we had plenty of outfits in our suitcases). Well, lo and behold, my lovely baby boy decided to have his first throw up incident EVER on our flight home...well actually it was before the plane had even taken off, and it was all over him and me, and the lovely people with us in first class (I had taken my dad's seat; we're not usually cool enough to fly first class) were none too thrilled that we had chosen to join them for this flight. Colton flew the rest of the way home in his diaper, socks, and a long-sleeved shirt I had thrown in the bag. I borrowed my mom's sweatshirt and changed in the bathroom, but let me tell you, I will never leave home again without spare outfits!
6. Do not attempt travel with baby alone. Josh and I tagteamed the whole flight, and were even lucky enough to have my sister with us for some segments and my parents with us on our last flight and to retrieve our luggage at the airport. I watched a girl checking in with a baby and 3 year old (or so), and honestly, I almost offered to go with her I felt so bad.
Colton's first class flying outfit. Lesson learned: Always pack a spare