Friday, October 19, 2018

Flying with Baby

This summer, Kenny embarked on not one, but TWO air travel weekend trips!  He actually got to visit the West Coast and the East Coast in the same month.  I had already planned to fly to Los Angeles for a long weekend, to visit my grandparents.  My grandmother had a stroke back in May, and my grandfather is in his 90s.  I didn't plan on taking Kenny, but my grandfather asked and asked and asked... so finally Dan and I decided that maybe I should, so Kenny could meet his only living great-grandparents.

LAX, baby!

Overall, Kenny did really well!  I think my biggest fear was a blowout in-flight, but thankfully that didn't happen.  I changed him into a nighttime diaper right before flying, and he did great.  I checked his carseat (using this bag) and our suitcase (which included some homemade baby food and frozen breastmilk, using my previous travel method for transport).  I carried a diaper backpack and used our Ergo and super-compact Pockit travel stroller with a tote bag that rolls up super small.  A nursing cover also came in handy for when I couldn't find a Mamava pod or nursing room; I like the privacy in an enclosed space, but I fully support those who choose to nurse uncovered!

Our travel stroller is seriously one of our favorite baby things!  Strollers need to go through the X-ray machine at airport security, AND they need to be gate checked normally due to size.  So what I did was carry Kenny in the Ergo through security, as well as for boarding/unboarding the plane, but used the stroller otherwise.  Flying by myself the stroller was great for when I needed to use the bathroom.  I just stored the Ergo in the stroller basket when I wasn't using it.  The stroller folds up so small, I was able to carry it on in the tote bag and store it overhead.  No waiting at the gate for it to be unloaded!

Our travel stroller!  The downside is the sunshade is lacking, but we bought this one later which helps...

I was ultimately really glad that I took Kenny to L.A.  I was so fortunate to have help on both sides to make it happen!  Dan took us to the airport and helped us check/carry items, and the ticket agent gave him a pass to come through and assist us all the way to the gate.  Then in L.A., my two aunts were there to pick us up, and my mother and aunt were there to help us check items on the way home... and of course Dan was once again at the airport to help us on that end!  I had a lot of support, and Kenny got to spend quality time with the Korean side of the family (including two great-aunts and a great-uncle and cousins!); my grandparents are still talking about his visit.  

Was it stressful flying alone with baby?  Yes!  But the flight was direct, people were kind and helpful, and Kenny slept most of both flights.  I loved that people were willing to hold him and talk to him when I needed to get into a bag or whatever.  I found the window seat, while it sort of trapped me, was the best for keeping Kenny entertained and allowing him to spread out a little more in my arms.

Our second flight was to Florida, for a long weekend with my family.  This time, Dan came with us, which made things SO much easier!  It was another direct flight with Kenny flying for free as a lap infant.  We just had to get him checked in at the ticket counter with his birth certificate in order to get a boarding document.  We were lucky to have an empty seat between us one flight, which we sometimes used to entertain Kenny.  In the future, I may purchase a CARES harness so that if we have an empty seat, we can use it properly for him.

Honestly, our two flights were smooth sailing, and Kenny can claim four total flights in his first year!  I think it will be harder to fly during the toddler years, especially since he is a big guy.  But we'll take it one trip at a time!

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