Monday, October 10, 2011

Flying with an Infant

*This post originally was published on A Well Crafted Party.*

Last week our little family took our first trip back home since the little guy was born. I had been fairly stressed out about the idea of flying with an infant... but, it went surprisingly well!
So, I gathered up some tips that we used and wanted to share them with you!


 (Disclaimer: I am not a doctor. I'm not a mom of many. The following tips and suggestions are merely from my limited experience!)

Packing: 
  • Pack extra outfits for your carry-on and in your luggage. Spit up and blown out diapers are going to happen... so, pack an extra outfit (or two) for the little one and a change of shirts for you and your partner. Thankfully we didn't need to use these on our trip to Oklahoma, but we did use his change of clothes on the trip back home. 
  • Utilize Gallon Zip Lock Bags... I packed each of my little one's outfits in their own zip lock bag. At first I felt incredibly wasteful, but when trying to grab his outfits on the fly while out and about this worked out fabulously. The tiny clothes would have been completely lost in the midst of all our clothing and accessories. And, I even avoided being wasteful... the gallon bags are now put away in his dresser so I can use them on the next trip!
  • Pack extra wipes and diapers -OR- mail them to your location beforehand! We use gDiapers so we didn't really need to pack extra diapers. But, we went through many more wipes than we had anticipated and ended up needing to go purchase more while in Oklahoma. If you are going somewhere and you don't know if they will have your brand of diapers or wipes then plan ahead and bring them or mail them!
Flying:

  • Nurse, Nurse, NURSE! (If you breastfeed.) We nursed on the take-off, in the middle of the flight and then again at the landing. The feedings helped to calm our little guy and prevent pressure from building in his little noggin'. Oh, and there is just something about breast milk that knocks my little guy out so he slept almost the entire trip! On our shorter flight we used his pacifier during take-off and nursed during the landing. 
  • If you can afford to buy a seat then do so and bring along your car seat! We couldn't afford to buy the little guy his own seat, but we brought the car seat to check at the gate. On one of our flights they had extra space and allowed us to bring the seat on-board... it was AMAZING. While I did hold him during much of the flight, it was great to have a place to sit him down for a little bit. On the flight where we didn't have the seat my arms got incredibly tired and I got no rest at all. 
  • If you have the option try to sit near the back of the plane (or hey, FIRST CLASS would be nice) and on the side with only two seats. Our first flight we were near the back right next to the restrooms and sitting by ourselves so we didn't need to continually ask someone to get up so we could take him to change his diaper. On our flight back we were sitting next to someone and felt bad for the inconvenience we were causing him. (Although, I have to say that we lucked out and had the NICEST guy in the world sitting next to us!)
  • Give gifts! Now, this is not a necessity...but, we did this and it was a hit! I saw THESE free printables on Creative Party Ideas by Cheryl and thought the idea was fabulous. Basically, the idea is that you give out small gifts to the people around you on the plane as a way to sweeten their ride with a little one. I made my own printables and attached them to bags full of gum, candy and earplugs. The other passengers LOVED them! 

 While Traveling:
  • Have a nice quiet refuge in mind throughout your trip just in case your little one gets over-stimulated. At most of the events we attended and houses we visited we made sure we had a nice quiet place to bring our little guy just in case it was all getting too much. When he seemed really over-stimulated we went to the quiet place, nursed, and then let him rest for a while before bringing him back out. 
  • Be careful of how many people you let handle your little one... and, not just to avoid colds. We were slightly worried about how many people might want to hold our little guy because were didn't want him getting sick. We handed out the sanitizer and limited his handling some... but, what we discovered later is that our little guy seemed to be hurting after a long day of being passed amongst loving family members. Then someone with many kiddos suggested that he was sore from being handled so much. After a dose of pain killer he was a much happier baby and the rest of the trip we limited how often he changed hands.
Best advice I have... be FLEXIBLE with your plans and relish your first trip together!


If you like the above gifts and would like to make some of your own check out the printables made by birthdaygirlblog.com. I will try getting my printables up shortly... but, if you are seeing this and need some soon please e-mail me and I will send them to you!


 

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