Thursday, July 10, 2014

Travling with infants - in bullet form

Started this MONTHS ago. Don't want to bother finishing it now so am publishing it.

Here are some thoughts about traveling with infants. We took our 6 week 1 day old infants from Portland to Australia and back again. Total, they each took 10 flights, the longest which was 12 1/2 hours, the shortest was 1 hour.

  • pack as LIGHTLY as you can for the airplane - seriously, you do not want to have to deal with more than you need. Check as much, even if it costs you extra.
  • planning on pumping on the flight? Get a window seat if you can so you get extra privacy. Wear a cardigan or button down shirt that you can use as a shield and put on backwards over your pump equipment once you're set up. And put your pump bag on the tray table for extra privacy.
  • bring a SMALL cooler bag and ask the flight attendants for ice.
  • stay hydrated. Drink way more than you need. Tell the flight attendants that you're nursing and will be bothering them for water constantly, could they please just give you a bottle. I was given so many bottles of water (and I still got horribly dehydrated - which made my milk supply take a hit).
  • bring packages of electrolytes to add to your water - will help with hydration.
  • using a wrap to carry your baby? Reconsider the Moby. It's awesome, but it takes so much space and time to put on properly. Most airlines will make you take baby out of the Moby and into a baby seatbelt. And international airports won't let you walk through security with baby in a wrap (the US airports DO allow you to go through with baby in a wrap that has no metal on it). The Ergo works as does the BabyHawk MeiTai. 
  • consider offering to buy your seatmate a drink. The person will probably decline, but good will is offered and the person will be nice to you.
  • remember that most everyone on the plane is a stranger you'll never see again so if your baby is crying or fussy, who the F cares! Worry about calming your baby and ignore any bad looks you get. If someone says something stupid to you like "can't you stop your baby from crying?" respond with "don't you think I would if I could?" Fortunately, we didn't have to deal with this at all because our babies did not cry even once, but I was fully prepared to go mama bear on any dumb ass.
  • stupid US airlines don't allow families to board early. So consider paying extra to get priority boarding and extra leg room. It'll be worth it!
  • Going through customs somewhere? Both when we entered Australia and re-entered the US, we found someone with authority and said "we have ___ week old twins. We'd rather them not be exposed to all these germs and this long wait. Can you please help us get to the front of the line?" Both times, we were escorted to the VERY front of the looooong line and got through immigration in about 10 minutes total. Again, go mama / papa bear.
  • Are you nursing? If you are, or even if you aren't / don't want to in public, bring a pacifier to help baby on the ascent and descent.

1 comment:

  1. Good ideas! we travel all the time and hope to do the same when our babies are here!