This baby has been places! Here are his stats at 9 months old:
18 flights • 7 states • 3 countries
California • Nevada • Florida • New York • Colorado • Texas • New Jersey
USA • UK • South Africa
(Denmark • Italy • Croatia this August!)
Otto took his first flight at 5 weeks. The pediatrician preferred we waited until 6 weeks for the sake of his immune system but my family had yet to meet him and they were going to be in Denver visiting my brother and well we made the decision to go. He was so easy. He slept most of the time!
Some tips we learned:
- Get a window seat. More privacy for nursing and less people touching him as they pass by. By 7 months we changed to aisle seats because he hangs off the seat a bit when sleeping and we constantly are getting up and down!
- Wipe down what you can with wipes.
- Nurse on the way up and the way down to help his ears pop. Now this was trickier said than done. He was often starving by the time we got on the airplane and would fuss. Sometimes the planes would literally take 45 minutes to taxi. Thats a long time to keep a starving baby waiting. So sometimes I would feed him and he would be done by the time we took off. Do what you can, we never had a problem.
- Make friends with the flight attendants. They don’t love when you go to the back of the plane but if you are nice and your baby is cute they don’t mind. They may even give you a free mimosa! Thanks Virgin Airlines.
- Check the stroller and wear your baby. It gives you extra hands as you wait to board.
- Flight attendants can usually warm up water for formula or for your pre-bottled breast milk.
- As we said in a different post, bring your little one’s birth certificate. A passport is not enough for some countries that have a risk of human trafficking. They need to see the names of both parents, which the US passport does not include.
- Ask for the stroller or child line-everywhere!! Other countries seem much more accommodating than the US when it comes to having a baby with you. Literally lines would part, custom’s agents would find us packed in the middle of what could be an hour custom’s line and escort us to the line for diplomats.
- Ask the airline for a bassinet. Virgin airways had a bassinet in the bulk head seat. It could only be given to us the day before the flight but it was a life saver. For two back to back 10 hour red eyes it was so nice for Otto (and for us) that he could escape our arms for a few hours and sleep.
- If you have long layovers spread out a blanket on the floor of the airport and let your kid kick and play until you need to board. We have even used the airplane provided blankets on the floor of the airplane in front of us while waiting for everyone to board- in the bulk head seat. The flight attendant told us it was “unsanitary” and I told her “this whole place is unsanitary.” Actually I thanked her for her concern and let him continue to kick.
- Spring for the airport lounge. We didn’t have access because we flew coach but in London Heathrow we paid 30 euros and had a spacious, clean and quiet space for a few hours while we waited for our next flight. Just enjoy a drink or two and a few snacks and there you go, you made your money back!