Traveling with a baby

We’ll be out the door and headed for the airport shortly and after polling friends and family for their travel tips with kids, I feel prepared. So far, I’m packing light, baby-wearing at the airport, and trying to nurse during takeoff and landing.

Another mom friend also advised me to break out all my tricks during the flight — a new toy, an old favorite, every fun food Emilia loves, the iPad loaded with kids shows…everything I can think of to appease her. “It’s not time to be mother of the year” she said. I died laughing.

And of course to just keep cool about it all ourselves because kids pick up on our vibe.

A co-worker advised to hold off naps and nursing/bottles until on the plane and wait until the last possible second to board. If two parents are traveling, better to send one to get everything stashed and situated during the “family” pre-boarding time, then join with the little one at the end. Genius.

We’re planning to gate check our umbrella stroller and car seat since we’re going to rent a car for part of our trip while we’re staying in La Jolla. This is good and bad because it means we’ll have the stroller to use if we need while we wait to board, but one of us will also be burdened with heaving the heavy car seat and base all over the airport.

That little inconvenience aside, I’ve found that I prepared for this experience in a way that so clearly screams “I AM A MOM NOW.” I mean, I actually looked up the airline’s policy about traveling with kids.

I used to be the type of traveler who’d just hope all her beauty supplies were the correct ounce allotment as her bag was scrutinized by airport security and my reason for arriving to the airport early had nothing to do with checking in and everything to do with giving myself enough time to hit the magazine stands to browse for my in-flight reads.

Things have definitely changed. I’ve always loved flying because it forces me to concentrate on one or two things at once instead of multitasking. I’m limited by the confines of the plane so I could watch back to back movies or plow through a pile or magazines or a good book. I once edited an entire batch of vacation photos on a flight.

My expectations for this flight are a little different now. I’m hoping, at best, to take a nice long snooze with my girl snuggled onto my chest or else, experience a little karmic retribution for any annoyed looks my former self might have thrown that parent with the screaming child who dared to attempt to travel.

Either way, I’m prepared with an arsenal of tips from others and am weirdly excited by the challenge that lies ahead.

Wish us luck!


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