The Child’s first plane trip
Yesterday, The Grandmother entered a new decade, and so last weekend, some of us, including The Husband and The Child, flew down to Phoenix to surprise her. The Grandmother was a good sport about having her weekend hijacked and being taken away to a rented house for a multi-day celebration, and I think everyone involved had a good time.
I knew The Child would enjoy meeting her GGma, but I wasn’t so sure that she would enjoy the travel involved to get us there. As it turns out, any worries I may have had were unfounded; The Child had two flight modes: joy and sleep. She was so delighted by the filing in of passengers that United offered her a job as an official greeter. And after everyone boarded the plane, she nursed through take off and was asleep before the “fasten seat belts” light turned off.
On our return flight, The Child charmed her (and our) way into an upgrade to first class. What took me a little over 32 years to experience, she managed to accomplish in less than six months. She was great on this flight too. I had worried that she would be screaming and crying all night, but so quiet was she that more than one disembarking passenger remarked to us, as we waited to retrieve our gate-checked stroller and car seat, that they didn’t even know there had been a baby on the plane. I can only hope that our next trip goes as smoothly!
The Husband still insists that flying with cats is easier than flying with babies, but I’m not so sure. Each species brings its own challenges, and also its own benefits. Here are some things I found helpful in flying with our baby:
- nursing on takeoff to combat ear pain/pressure
- dressing her in separates (i.e., no onesie) just in case there was a blowout
- having a blanket for her
- booking late flights, in hopes that she would sleep through them
- being able to gate check our stroller and car seat for free
I must have packed pretty well for The Child because there wasn’t anything I wished I would have brought for her while we were in the air. I should also note that apparently some airlines require a birth certificate for infants for domestic travel, and we had not brought a copy of her, so I am glad no one asked us for it.
I also unlocked a new motherhood achievement on this trip by managing to take a sleeping infant into the plane’s bathroom, use the toilet, and get my pants back up and fastened without waking her up.