The worst flight of my life would be the one I took when I was 6 1/2 months pregnant with my second baby and my first was just under two. Rather than buy a ticket for him, he sat in my 'lap'. We were seated in the last row with no reclining seat, perhaps in the middle, and he, a very large almost three year old, was still nursing. 'Uncomfortable' would be a description worthy of perjury, should I ever be called upon to testify that this did, in fact, happen.
However, traveling with an infant has been amazingly refreshing in my experience. When my son was born we were living overseas. In his first year of life I traveled with him between Europe and the States four times and took numerous shorter flights within Europe. There were certainly bumps along the way (I found months three to six to be our sweet spot), but I highly recommend traveling with your tiny one by plane, given the opportunity.
Here are some tips to make the flying experience as comfortable as possible:
- Nurse, nurse, nurse. This helps immensely with air pressure changes during take-off and landing, and, if your baby is used to nursing for comfort, there's no reason this wouldn't work during the flight.
- Wear your baby through the airport. Not only does this cut down on things you're lugging around and gives you free hands, it also acts as a shield from well-intentioned passers-by that want to get all up in the business of that beautiful baby. You should be able to wear your baby right through security. Added bonus? Baby feels safe and secure being close to the the person he or she loves most.
- Less is more. Don't overdo it with stuff. A bag overflowing with toys and books means more things to retrieve from under seats. Bring a few favorites and know that the plane itself will be utterly fascinating, if your baby is even awake to notice.
- BUT, don't forget the diapers. And, a change or two of clothes (for you too, if there's room). Here's one place it's hard to improvise. If there's poop on you, people are going to notice. I got caught, more than once, unprepared in this regard; I don't recommend it.
Of course, each baby is different and you know what's best for your baby and your family. But, if the only reason you're on the fence about a trip is because your baby is so young, my suggestion is to go for it! You might just pass on the travel bug to your little one, and you'll have some great memories to remember.
How about you? Have you traveled with wee ones and lived to tell about it? What do you recommend?