Flying With The Littlest Ones

12:32 PM Amanda Greathouse 0 Comments

Yes the thing that strikes fear into most parents & their fellow travelers - there's a baby on board! That's right, flying with a baby can be quite the scary thought. I know I was crazy nervous the first time we flew with Greyson.

Our trip was an 8 hour plane ride from Germany to Baltimore immediately followed by a 6.5 car ride to my parents house. Greyson was about 7.5 months old at the time and already constantly wanting to move around. He easily lost interest in toys at this point & was much  more into anything we had, but he was [& still is] an overall chill baby. We didn't buy new toys for him since he wasn't too into toys still at this point.

Since we were flying Space Available through the military, I was worried about the loadmasters banging up our stroller. Despite hearing the positives of taking the stroller along & checking it, we opted to not bring it at all to avoid damage [last minute-ish trip & no time to order a bag for it]. Since my husband was with me, this didn't end up being a terrible decision. I wore our son in my Moby wrap in the airports while carrying my bag & my husband managed his bag & the car seat. It was nice when the long flight ended to not have to wait around for our stroller to be brought up to us. We just walked on straight to the lovely customs line.

We decided to bring our car seat which I know many choose to not do and just hold the baby on their lap. That may work for short domestic flights, but for our long flight & car ride, our car seat was not only a must, but a good decision. It gave Greyson a space of his own to hang out & play with some toys; not to mention sleep without us needing to hold him for hours without moving.

I was given the best piece of advice before our trip - nurse Greyson on takeoff & landing. We started the take-off with him in his car seat but the pressure [& screaming toddler] quickly bothered him & nursing immediately helped! He was calmed & intrigued by his new surroundings. He loved playing with the movie screen on the back of the headrest in front of us & lifting up the armrests that are between the seats. After some playing & food, he nursed to sleep & was out until we landed. I don't even think anyone around us would've known we had a baby if they didn't see him.

The hardest part honestly of our trip was the following car ride. We were all exhausted from traveling all night & being trapped on a plane for 8 hours. We were literally stuck in the middle of the night - we left Germany around 11 PM and got to Baltimore around 12:30 AM. Since Greyson slept so much on the plane, he wanted to be up and move around when we were finally off. That's when the fun started, because he did not want to be strapped into his car seat again. If he got cranky on the plane, it was okay because we could take him out & play with him or walk the aisles, but that's kind of illegal in a car. Everyone else [except my mom who was driving] was asleep & here I was playing this annoying toy's song over & over again because it was the only thing that kept him calm. And if I let it not play for longer than 10 seconds, you better look out!

All in all I would say it was a successful trip for us! We all made it there in one, big, yet tired, piece! And I may be crazy but I am going to attempt the same trip but solo this time in February. I will have the stroller this time for ease & since it is planned further in advance & will pray I can get a flight into closer to my parents' house than Baltimore!

What are other tips or tricks you have found work great for flying with an older baby? I would love to hear what others have found before I go on my adventure in February!