how to travel with an infant

As I mentioned yesterday, Caleb and I flew from California to Naples, FL last week and as life with an infant has been lately, there is a bit of hesitation in how will I do this now with Caleb. After speaking with Katie who flew when her son was 6 weeks and talking with a few other mom-friends, I realized the journey with him was possible. 
To any mom and dad who will be traveling with an infant, here are some tips and suggestions I learned that I feel is only necessary to pass on :-) 
First, determine do you want your child to have their own seat or not? If they are under 2, you will need to purchase a ticket for them. 2 and under, the child can sit on your lap and only one ticket is needed. If you are going the lap-child option, you will need to call the airline and add your child to your ticket.
Second, bring the carseat and stroller with you and have these items gate-checked. Gate-checked items don't count against you as your carry-on, which of course was Caleb's diaper bag/my new purse. 
Third, I would recommend a baby carrier, we have the Ergo. At the airport, I had Caleb in the Ergo and pushed the carseat which was locked into the stroller and then put the diaper bag in the carseat and we were off! 
Fourth, after you have checked in, gone through security and arrive at your gate, ask the flight agents there for the gate check tickets. This will help make boarding much easier. If you have any connecting flights, every flight you take you will need a new gate-check ticket. 
Fifth, book yourself a window seat or ask to be re-assigned if you can. Before having Caleb, I always always had an aisle seat because I hated asking people to get up to go to the bathroom and now traveling with Caleb, window is best. You have one side especially mamas who are breastfeeding where people can't see. You have the window ledge and a bit more room for you and your child. Goodbye aisle seat, hello always requesting a window seat! 
Sixth, don't be afraid to ask for help if you need it. I didn't have to as plenty of people were willing to offer help before I had to ask.
Seventh, relax! Any baby will be able to pick up on any stress or tension, if I am stressed about flying, Caleb would sense that and flying would not be fun. 
Eighth, to help babies pop their ears during take-off and landing, either nurse them, give them a bottle or put a pacifier in their mouth. Caleb never reacted to the altitude fortunately as he was asleep during both take-offs and landings on our way to Florida. On the way back, he was awake for one, slept during the other and never stirred. 
Overall, if you want to make the trip, you have to be committed and get to the airport a bit earlier and take the time to relax before your flight by giving yourself plenty of time. Flying with an infant can be stressful especially if they are extremely fussy and can't seem to calm down, flights are delayed, luggage gets lost, etc but I kept my focus on why I was making the trip with him.
Any questions you may have, just ask! I'd love to provide any advice to any new moms or future moms contemplating a trip with their infant. Believe me, it is possible :-)
 Sweet baby Caleb in the baby carrier - definitely recommended while traveling with an infant
Happy Friday and hope all of you have a great weekend. Catch you on Monday!


Simply LKJ said...

From a mom with two older girls now, I agree on all accounts. We flew with them A LOT!!! Some things were easier pre-911, but it can be done, just takes a little more planning. So glad you had an enjoyable trip.

JumpingJE said...

Great tip about the window seat! I would have never thought that, but you make so many great points! And yes, don't be afraid to ask for help. I'm so happy you made it!

Lauren said...

way to go momma! This would totally stress me out...but it sounds like you handled it perfectly! In fact, we are flying with Elyse for the first time in July and something tells me that flying with an infant would be so much easier than a two year old! ha!

Kayla MKOY said...

You are BRAVE! I would've been terrified -- but this gives me hope that one day, if I have too, I could do it! :)

his little lady said...

I'll definitely have to remember all of these little tips for the future ;)
xo TJ

Ashley @ Life on the Parsons Farm said...

Thanks for this! We will be travelin to Ireland with a 13 month old. I know the experience will be a bit differs but this helps!!