This time last week, Teo was on his first flight. I was terrified going into the experience and was prepared for the worst. Keyword: prepared. I know now that the key to doing anything, but especially traveling, with a baby is being prepared. So here is what I did.
Itinerary: First leg- 1.5 hours, layover in Chicago 2 hours, second leg – 4.5 hours to Los Angeles. 5 day visit in LA, staying with family that provided a car seat and stroller for us to use while there. (But car seat and strollers fly free and don’t count towards the luggage count so check those before heading to the gate)
Our luggage: We used one medium sized rolling bag filled with 3 outfits per day plus swimwear for Teo and some clothes I just threw in the bag for me. I estimated that we would use 5 diapers per day so I packed 30 diapers just in case. I asked my sister to get us some overnight diapers since we were running low on those anyway. As for extras, we took 5 wipe cloths & all 10 of our basic bibs plus a towel and some hats to block the sun. I also brought along the Pack ‘n Play so he would have somewhere to sleep once we were there. Easy enough since I (thought) I could roll it on top of the suitcase for ease with parking and getting inside the airport alone. [Note to self for the future: get a cart, you won’t be sorry.]
Carry-On Bag: Changing pad equipped with diaper cream, wipes, 5 diapers, a Ziploc for messed up clothes, & hand sanitizer for easy pull out in bathroom. Diaper bag for the trip became a back pack for easy carrying; inside we had a blanket for the layover, toys galore, a few books, more hand sanitizer, an empty water bottle for me (filled at the airports along the way), & an extra Wub-a-nub just in case. I also carried on my Boppy in the original bag with handles. Inside that I stored a teething toy and lightweight blanket in case it got cold on the plane.
Food: ME. Thankfully I am nursing and don’t have any problem with nursing in public. I use the double shirt method so I don’t feel like I’m exposing too much. As for my meals, grabbed something easy at each airport which I ate while Teo played on the floor (on his blanket).
BABYWEARING for the WIN! I used my Ergobaby carrier the entire trip. It was wonderful! The front has a small pouch where I kept my wallet for easy access, as well as our boarding passes (copy of Teo’s birth certificate) and of course my cell phone. Wearing him allowed for my hands to be free and was so easy to walk around the airports. Plus you don’t have to take the baby off during security. They let you walk through and then check your hands for bomb residue (?). I think carrying Teo was the easiest part of the whole trip! I witnessed many parents with all the gear and just knew that I made the right decision by not carrying on his car seat. I also saw other parents that also carried their babies and they too looked less stressed.
As for the flight, Teo flew like a champ!! He kept a pretty regular schedule. He nursed on take off & landing, slept his normal length naps, and played with his toys. I don’t think he noticed the air pressure (since he didn’t pull on his ears or seem overly fussy) and gave really great cues as to what he needed from me. We really have a great baby! Thank you Téo!