First Time Flying with an Infant

The title is not as scary as it sounds!

When I was pregnant, husband and I knew that we wanted to fly to the east coast so his side of the family could meet baby CJ once he was old enough. But how old is old enough, really? We certainly didn’t know. Of course, I researched it.

Babies can fly as early as 2 days after birth! That is, with certain airlines. Nonetheless, that was way too soon for us. As first-time parents, we still had to figure out how to care for baby on land! As soon as we started getting the hang of taking care of our beautiful baby, we started making plans. We wanted to make sure we got as many people together as we could. What a better way than the holidays!

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As soon as we decided, we booked our first trip as a family through Expedia. Our flight was with American Airlines roundtrip. The flight to our destination had an hour and a half layover. That flight was a breeze! We bought him a seat on the plane so we could buckle him in his car seat. At 9 months, this baby will not stay still!

At takeoff, we gave him little puffs to keep his jaw moving. Once the plane was stabilized, we gave him a bottle and some more puffs and he fell right asleep. When we arrived at the layover, he stayed awake the entire time. When we boarded again, we did the same with the puffs and the bottle. He was a little more alert during this part of the flight but still fell asleep towards mid-flight. He was such a good little passenger.

Now the flight back home, that’s a different story.

Mistake number one– the return flight had no layovers. This meant we had 5-6 hours of restricted space. At booking, I hadn’t realized that we would all need that layover to unwind. We did what we could. We tried the puffs and milk bottle. He took a brief 15-minute nap then all hell broke lose. He didn’t want to be strapped, sitting, or being held. He wanted to stand on his seat, which he did as I held my arms out the whole time to make sure he didn’t try to dive out of it. After feeding time came again, we were hoping he would nap for a little bit.

Mistake number two– somebody sat in front of baby CJ’s seat. Which wouldn’t have been so bad, except, this person decided to keep trying to push his seat back the entire time the baby was falling asleep. Naturally, the baby started to cry. I don’t know about you, but I would most likely prefer to have a quiet flight rather than trying to get 2 inches of seat comfort accompanied by a screaming baby. Even when we told this guy that the baby was trying to fall asleep, sure he stopped for like 5 minutes, switched to the empty seat next to his for another 5 minutes before he decided to go back to his original seat and attempt to push it back again into the baby seat! Lesson learned. Next time we will make sure to strategically reserve 3 seats in favor of baby CJ and be sure that there is at least one layover!

We made sure to pack baby CJ’s stuff in a carry on so if we needed anything that wasn’t in his diaper bag, we could get to it, no problem. I also made sure to pack my electric breast pump in a separate carry-on so that I could easily access it (which I did use during the layover). Our stroller made transport around the airport and our trip altogether a breeze! For a complete packing list, check out First Time Flying with an Infant Packing List.

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KarlaWife and mother to a baby boy and 2 kitties! Enjoys life and adventures. Loves writing, Pinteresting, and pumpkin spice everything!
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