nine months + flying with a baby!
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Today, Avery is 9 months old! 9 months! I can’t believe it. She’s getting more confident in her mobility and strength, but still a little wobbly when it comes to balancing on two feet. Just this morning I was standing in the kitchen when I felt her crawl up behind me and pull up to standing using my pajama pants. There was a certain look on her face that said, “mom, don’t make any fast moves ok?”. At 9 months, [...]
Today, Avery is 9 months old!
9 months! I can’t believe it.
She’s getting more confident in her mobility and strength, but still a little wobbly when it comes to balancing on two feet. Just this morning I was standing in the kitchen when I felt her crawl up behind me and pull up to standing using my pajama pants. There was a certain look on her face that said, “mom, don’t make any fast moves ok?”.
At 9 months, she is still bald (more or less, there are a few wisps!) and still toothless. Any day, right?
But that grin, it melts my heart.
I also figured some of your might be interested in my thoughts on flying with a baby. To date, we’ve made three trips with Avery (11 flights, 7 of which were just the two of us). Side note: Oklahoma, Seattle, let’s get a direct flight, ok?
Anyhow, a few weeks ago, Avery and I flew to the east coast to visit my sisters (and Avery’s 14 month old cousin, Holly).
Since we were little girls, we’ve made it a tradition to have an annual get together. The four of us are scattered across the US and typically rotate where we meet up. This year we decided to pick a baby-friendly venue that none of us had been to. Where did we choose? Colonial Williamsburg! Oh yes. It was fun, the weather was perfect and Avery really enjoyed the historical reenactments!
The last time I flew with Avery she was 5 months old so I knew things would be a little different this time around. We had a direct flight (5 hours) on the way there and a layover in Denver on the way back. I thought it would be a good test of what was better – one long flight or two medium flights. (The answer, one long flight. Definitely.)
I think one of the biggest challenges of flying solo with a baby is figuring out how to schlep all your gear to the airport. Kyle was out-of-town when we left, so I ended up driving to a shuttle lot at 5:30 a.m. The above photo is how I managed to actually get from the drop-off area to the terminal. Precarious, but effective.
Typically I check her carseat, base (not essential, but nice to have), stroller and luggage if we’ll be gone long enough. This time though, since I would be the last one to arrive at the airport I decided to try NOT CHECKING ANYTHING. After I got into the terminal, I transferred Avery to a carrier and piled all the luggage in the carseat (which included her diaper bag plus one carry-on bag for both of us). Because of our long flight, I decided to bring her carseat to the gate in the off-chance that they’d have an extra empty seat on the flight. And you know what? It worked. And it was amazing.
Not only was Avery able to nap easily on the flight, but she also used her carseat as a chair and jungle gym! It kept her entertained far better than any toy or distraction device I brought. In fact, I sheepishly bought an iPad mini before the trip (for the baby!) and ended up using it for me! To read a book! (On our way back, I only got an extra seat on one of the flights. Fortunately, it was the one from Denver to Seattle – much appreciated after a 1.5 hr layover turned into a 4 hr layover due to a snowstorm?!?)
In my experience, I try to only bring what’s essential and that might vary depending on where you’re going and how long you’ll be gone. For this trip, I knew I’d need a stroller but in a few weeks Avery and I are going back to OK for my sister’s graduation and I’m thinking of leaving it at home since there will likely be a family member holding her at all times. But without a stroller (aka fancy shopping cart) I’ll probably check the carseat base and our suitcase. But, I’ll definitely bring the carseat to the gate again. Absolutely worth the hassle of carrying it through security and being that person.
Do you guys have other tips for flying with little kiddos? I was fearful at first, but it hasn’t been so bad. Then again, I haven’t had to deal with any explosive diapers or mid-flight meltdowns. (I just jinxed myself, didn’t I?)