We went to San Diego and stayed with our very good friends Dan and Becky Wieder. I know what you are thinking: those idiots have a 3 month old baby what are they doing flying to California?!? Well, our reason for going is posted here, but we really it was an excuse to get to see Dan and Becky and take Cal on his first trip.
First, I want to tell you how we survived taking an infant on an airplane. I made these:
We handed these bags of candy and ear plugs to the passengers sitting around us as well as the flight attendants. It was gold. We were more nervous about people being upset at us sitting near them with Caloway then we were about flying with him. You know how it is, your child cries in public you feel like everyone is staring at you and annoyed, ESPECIALLY on a plane. So we neutralized the situation. It was fantastic. We were also really lucky to have an amazing flight crew on our first flight out of OKC on Southwest. They assured us that they wouldn’t let anyone be rude because we have a baby and made us comfortable. They even made a certificate commemorating Cal’s first flight and gave him wings!
Here is a trick when flying with babies. Nurse them (give a bottle) on take off and landing. This helps them pop their ears. Worked like a charm for Caloway. Plus, it put him to sleep. One of our flights was particularly long so we put the tray table down and let him stretch out for a bit. It was perfect.
Here are some more tips we learned when flying with infants:
- Pack snacks for yourself. Layovers aren’t for relaxing casually for your next flight. This time is spent waiting in lines for changing stations, changing diapers, changing outfits for your child or yourself and a number of other reasons. We had an hour layover and still barely had time for us to use the restroom.
- Make sure you pack extra for your baby. And by extra I mean extra extra. We changed Caloway’s clothes 4 times on the way to San Diego. So diapers, wipes, clothes and burp cloths. And yes, that does mean he pooped up his backside on the second flight and I changed a diaper and clothes in the airplane bathroom. It’s the mommy mile high club.
- We booked early flights because we knew Caloway would be sleepy. So choose flights that coincide with your baby’s usual naps or sleepy times.
- Check with the airline, but Southwest was great flying with an infant. Those under 2 fly for free (you need to have a birth certificate to prove age). And you can check car seats and strollers at the gate.
- Try to spend some time during layover letting your baby stretch out. We put Caloway on his changing pad and let him kick and play. This really helped him exercise some before the next flight.
- Look for “family” restrooms. They are nice and roomy and some even have showers. They are designated by a picture of a man woman and child.
- Last but not least, is plan ahead. Don’t just decide to last minute fly with your infant across country. Plan ahead and you will not regret it!