How do we go from Oregon to Washington, DC this summer? That was our biggest question since our little girl was born. Do we drive, take the train or fly? For two summers we’ve been driving across the US for weeks, enjoying our road trips but this time we were somehow hesitant to do that. So, just like what most new parents would do when faced with a certain dilemma, we prayed and researched for weeks and months and we finally decided to fly. It wouldn’t be fair for the baby to be sitting inside the car for hours for days. Imagine stopping every 2 hours to let her stretch her tiny body then feeding her and changing her diapers. What about her tummy time and exploration time? So, no on either road trip or train ride. They can wait.
Let’s fly! At first, I was scared to do it. Just imagining the busy airport, crowds, germs, and what not. A lot of people said don’t do it, a few said go for it. But it’s all in the mind really. Why worry when we serve a big God? There’s nothing that He can’t handle, right? So, we just surrendered ourselves to God, this trip, and He took care of it.
How do you fly with an infant? Easy-peasy. Pray. Ask the Lord to give you guidance, strength, patience, and wisdom. Then do your part.
BOOKING YOUR FLIGHT
- Book your flight with your baby who’s under two years old as a lap infant. (I didn’t see the need of booking an extra seat for her because #1 it’s expensive and #2 I just love holding her. She’s still tiny anyway–15 lbs and 26 inches at 15 weeks. Lap infants are free in Alaska Airlines and in some too. )
- Carefully, choose your flight time. We chose the flight time close to her feed time and nap time or sleeping time.
PACKING YOUR DIAPER BAG
- Bring enough exchange of clothing to be in the safe side. You never know what could happen. Have a hoodie sweater, hat, 2 mittens, 2 pairs of socks, 2 long-sleeved sleepwear, 2 onesies, and 2 pants. (This way should there be any flight delays or something happens with your suitcase baby is still covered.)
- Bring blankets–thin swaddle blanket, thick swaddle blanket, and fleece blanket. Bring extras! Some airports don’t have changing pad liners, and also because you want to keep your baby laying on top of a clean blanket while changing her.
- Bring lots of burp rags, washcloths (they can be used as burp rags when you lose or accidentally drop burp rags), and changing pad liners. I usually carry a foldable changing pad with me and a washable liner. Others use disposable ones but I don’t. I would just use lots of paper towels when I’m changing a soiled diaper.
- Bring enough diapers and wet wipes.
- Pack your basic first aid kit along with her shampoo/body wash and lotion.
- Bring several pieces of ziplock bags. They’re perfect for storing used clothing, burp rags, washcloths, used diapers, used pacifiers.
- Bring their favorite toys and pacifiers!
- Maybe you’d like to put an extra clothing for you in that bag just in case…:-)
This may look like a long list and you’d probably think how you’d fit them but they will. I have a small diaper bag from Walmart and I was able to pack everything I needed including my phone, small purse, and sunglasses.
CLOTHING YOUR BABY
- Dress your baby in layered clothing that way it’s easier to take off her pants or sweater if it gets warm in the plane and easy to put them back on when it gets cold. It’s usually colder in the terminal and there’s no way around it. On the plane, it can get warm especially during boarding and taxing.
AT THE SECURITY CHECK
- Do you know how we like to cover our little one with a blanket and place a burp rag on top of that blanket while they’re in the car seat? Well, my friends, before going through the security check, please make sure that you put them all inside the diaper bag. That way you can be able to keep them in clean instead of having to put them in the bins. I don’t know how often the airport staff sanitize those bins. 🙂
- Empty the lower part of your stroller so the staff can easily and quickly check it.
- Help your spouse (if you’re traveling with him) place what’s needed in the bins or just take care of the baby.
- Private check or metal detector check? I opted for private check so that my baby wouldn’t have to go through the metal detector. I know what you’re thinking. It’s probably the same thing that my husband thought when I did. But you know she’s only three months old. 🙂 So, what did we do? My husband went through the metal detector. They checked the baby while I was holding her then I passed the baby to my husband. They padded me in a private room (as I asked for it). Although as I think about it now, I could have probably just gone through the metal detector after they checked the baby but I’m not sure if they would have done it that way. That only happened in Pasco, WA. In Seattle, the baby and I just went through a door. That was it.
AT THE BOARDING GATE
- Give baby a fresh diaper before boarding. That way he or she will be a happier baby and you won’t have to changer her immediately in the plane unless it’s soiled. Or you won’t have to change if it’s just an hour flight.
- Be ready for any flight changes. (Our one hour flight from Pasco, WA to Seattle, WA got delayed thus missing our connecting flight to Washington, DC. Thankfully, Alaska Airlines gave us a hotel accommodation and a $25 voucher. )
- Gate check your car seat and stroller.
- Nurse your baby during take off or landing. (Our baby isn’t a huge fan of pacifiers but we prepared one just in case she would need it. But right when we were leaving she just wanted to nurse so she nursed and slept all the way through the one hour flight. On the five-hour flight, she did the same thing, nursed at the beginning of the flight, woke up a bit and talked to our seat mate then went nursed and went back to sleep. She basically followed her feed, wake, and sleep routine. It was great! The Lord certainly blessed! She didn’t fuss or anything like it on the plane.)
- Pray for God’s safety and enjoy the ride!
There you have it! So, if you’re worried or concerned of flying with your baby. Don’t. Know that God is in control. He will carry you and your family through.
How was your experience flying with your baby? Any suggestions, comments, or recommendations?