Well, I can check another thing off my mommy been there done that check list…I’ve flown with an infant. Honestly, it went better than I expected, which is what some of my fb fans said (so friends, you were right!!). I thought I’d share how I prepped, what I took, and how it went in general.
Luckily, Steve’s parents live in Naples, FL so we always have someplace warm and sunny to escape to in the winter. This year, we made the trip with our 5 month old. Hey, it’s a 3 hour, direct flight…no sweat, right?! Our very, best friends and neighbors (who have a 7 months old) also joined us!! :-) This trip was to be a first for us all. In many ways it was a perfect vacation for all of us, since my in-laws have a pool, and were more than happy to hang with the babies at night, while us young parents go out.
Since Grandma was going to have stuff like a pack n’ play, diapers, formula, etc on hand, I just focused on packing toys, clothes, the stroller, and other small necessities. So here’s what I packed for the baby (7 day stay):
- clothes (I mainly relied on hand-me-downs since we don’t really need summer clothes)
- sun hats (2)
- baby toiletries (sun lotion, vit. D drops, baby tylenol, diaper rash cream, etc)
- bag of toys
- stroller (I chose to take my Uppababy Vista, packed in the Uppababy TravelBag)
- Car Seat (I have a Maxi Cosi Mico)
- Car Seat Travel Bag
- Phil & Teds Lobster Seat
- Babiators (baby sunglasses)
- 2 burp cloths (Grandma had gotten some, too)
- baby spoon
- 3 bottles
- travel formula container (I brought enough formula to make 6 bottles on the plane, way more than necessary, but you never know)
- pacifier (Bear isn’t really a pacifier guy, but I wasn’t sure if he would want something to suck on when the plane took off)
- tote bag with toys (carry on)
- diaper bag backpack (ju ju be, carried on)
- baby fleece jacket (it was cold when we left)
- sleep sack (The Aden & Anais Classic Sleeping Bag is great for warm weather sleeping)
- baby blanket (in case it was cold on the plane)
- a few each, disposable bibs and disposable diaper changing pads
- Beco baby carrier
What we took on the plane:
- Beco baby carrier
- diaper bag (diapers, wipes, bibs, burp cloths, baby toiletries, change of clothes, formula, bottles, pacifier, pacifier wipes, all natural hand sanitizer, my own wallet)
- Tote bag (lots of toys, blanket, beco carrier when i’m not wearing it)
- Dad’s carry on bag
Many people I’ve talked to said to try and seats in the last row of the plane…this is tremendously helpful. Here’s why:
- if you’re travelling with another adult, request the aisle and window seats…being in the last row fewer people travelling alone will want to sit there, or someone assigned to that middle seat will ask to be moved. Either way, you might end up with the middle seat free.
- you’ll probably be assigned the last row anyway. I’m convinced that the people at the check in counter see you approaching with a baby and instantly re-assign you to the back row.
- You’re close to the bathrooms. Ordinarily (sans baby) I would hate to be near the bathrooms on a flight longer than an hour. But with babies, you’re up and down A LOT, either bouncing them around in hopes of quieting them, changing diapers, or using the bathroom yourself.
I should mention that when travelling on JetBlue you are allowed to check a car seat and stroller for free. Therefore, I crammed as much stuff in the car seat and stroller bags as I could! Oh, and our husbands were like sherpas…good thing they’re strong!
A note about going through security…I wasn’t sure what they would say about baby bottles with water in them (like 8oz of h20). So I just went through with empty bottles and got water on the other side. At the time the baby was in the Beco carrier (which doesn’t have any metal on it) so he and I went through the metal detector and the TSA agent swabbed my hands on the other side. We didn’t go through those new detectors where you stand in it for a few seconds with your hands up. My friend went through security with her baby, car seat, and Maclaren Easy Traveller. The car seat and EasyTraveller when through the scanner with the bags while she and the baby proceeded as I did. Just wanted to share what our experiences were so you know!
On the topic of boarding the plane…if you’re travelling on JetBlue you may want to request an early boarding. This means you should go up to the gate attendant and ask them to let you board early. Otherwise, JetBlue does their “preboarding for families” AFTER all the people who have purchased seats with extra leg room. On our flight home this was a good chunk of people…so we ended up standing in the jetway for five minutes while all those people were boarding…not really the pre-boarding I had in mind. For some completely ridiculous reason that I can’t come up with yet, JetBlue also let people start boarding from the rear of the plane…as we’re trying to get to our seats in the very last row…it was not a good scene…and no, those people getting on in the rear didn’t seem to be sitting in the last few rows.
All in all, the plane ride was smooth sailing! Yes, the babies cried, but not the whole time. Plus, passengers didn’t seem to mind and the flight attendants were helpful and eager to see cute babies. When I do it again, I’ll probably take fewer toys and bring an extra shirt in my carry on for myself (someone suggested that to me originally, but I forgot to pack it).
If you have questions about travelling with your stroller and why I chose the Uppababy Vista over all my others let me know!!