now, you'd think being the daughter of a pilot, i would be a pro at traveling. i tried to be "cool" about the whole flying-with-a-6-month-baby-by-myself. having extensively researched flying with babies, i almost had myself fooled that i was ready.
she did pretty well in the airports. people would constantly comment about her chubby cheeks, since that was the only thing you could see out of my moby. security was easy. i just took off my shoes and they let me keep her in the moby and we walked through the "old school" security things.
the first flight she fussed a little, mainly, because i was waiting to give her a bottle until we were taking off (as many of the traveling mama blogs said.) luckily, the guy sitting next to us was very nice and aiko just stared at him the whole time.
our second flight was a breeze! she was happy and played in the empty seat next to me, delighting all the people around us.
i know, she doesn't look extremely happy here but she really was.
the flights home were a completely different story. the 45 minutes from albuquerque to phoenix were so long. she screamed the whole time. i fed her like 4 times, rocked her, we even had an empty seat next to us...but she wasn't having it. then to make things worse, we had to sit on the runway another hour. oh, the poor people with us. my baby isn't exactly a cuddler, so i couldn't console her, she likes to just lay by herself.
she. was. just. mad.
i felt that i kept my cool pretty well, until, someone offered to help.
i just blubbered. i apparently had been keeping in some pent up stress for a while. it was embarrassing. i don't like to cry and especially in public. so after rushing straight to the bathroom to cry on the pot, i composed myself and was determined not to let this bad feeling continue on our next flight. having read all those blogs i decided to ask the desk for some help. i walked up to the desk and asked how full the flight was (throat cracking) ... the attendant asks me what i need.
me : this baby is crazy (blubber, blubber)
attendant : he doesn't fly well huh? (people always assume she's a he)
me : (no speaking) shaking my head no, eyeballs dripping
attendant : ok...
after a few minutes
attendant : okay, i have you to a row all to yourself...well that be okay?
me : yes (i try hard to make direct eye contact with her, regardless if i can't see her, so she knows how much i appreciate it.)
so, i walk through all the people once again, blubbering. i find a spot against the wall, because in my haste, i hadn't changed her diaper. i hear people staring (yes hear) and give their little sighs of pity. ignoring how inappropriate it may seem, i changed her there in public. and then do you know what she did next??????
she was her happy, adorable self again.
and then...to make this even better, she slept the entire next flight home, through turbulence, the landing (which was EXTREMELY loud this time) and through everyone packing up to go. you know, when that moment when the seatbelt light comes off and everyone stands at the same time (because it will help you get out of the plane faster.)
i figure 1 out of 4 flights isn't bad for having a meltdown right?
i felt that in general...we did really well packing ourselves for the necessary. here's my list!
moby carrier (kept my hands free and she could still see what's going on)
i took my breastfeeding shawl (which my friend made above) aiko actually likes to be covered with it and it's big enough to be like a blanket.
1 small suitcase to fit all of our stuff (it is possible)
i did bring a bottle full of milk for the first flight which, i don't think was necessary if you are breastfeed. (if you tell security they will just test it and let you through)
diaper bag with her necessaries, changing pads, my wallet and a few toys.
carseat checked for free!
i debated on bringing the stroller, thinking i would buy one from walmart for 15 bucks, but we just carried her in the moby, which she loved.
we knew that there would be blankets, diapers, shampoo, blow dryer, toothpaste, wipes and a washer and dryer at annie's house, so we didn't pack a whole lot of clothing or much else.
but it was awesome. it wasn't really hard to wheel the suitcase, carseat (part of the time) diaper bag and babe around. just make sure everything can stack on top of each other!