Last weekend we embarked on Baby Girl’s first plane ride to meet my husband’s relatives in Iowa and Illinois. It was a whirlwind weekend trip, but with a lot of coffee and teamwork, we made it back in one piece.
It seems like I’ve had very few flight experiences that don’t have some sort of glitch. I bet you’ve experienced those as well, so I’ll save you the drama. Needless to say, we got very cozy in Cleveland airport’s Interfaith Center, cafeteria, and finally our assigned gate. To the man who came into the Interfaith Center to pray when I was changing a diaper, my apologies. When you are supposed to be in the air at 8:30 am and you don’t leave the ground until after 3 pm, you get creative.
Other than some crazy messed up flights, the actual traveling went wonderfully. I feel very satisfied with our packing strategy, so I thought I’d share what worked. If you are going on a 4 day or less trip, I bet this could work for you, too.
What we brought:
1 checked suitcase
1 diaper bag
1 car seat in a car seat bag
1 Ergo baby carrier
David carried the car seat on his back and pulled our suitcase to the first check-in point. I carried BG in the Ergo, the backpack on my back, and the diaper bag on my shoulder. Once we arrived at the airport we checked in the suitcase and car seat (which flies for free!). This freed David up to carry the backpack and diaper bag. We also got a great tip to pack diapers inside the car seat case with the car seat.
Stocking the diaper bag with diapers, burp rags, pacifiers, toys, and a few outfits was really helpful. Ideally we would have left our house at 6:20 am and arrived by lunch. Instead, we sat an the airport all day and arrived in Iowa at 8pm. Slightly different than the original plan. I was so glad to have multiple pacifiers, pacifier wipes, plenty of diapers/wipes, teething toys, and a board book. BG was well occupied and had clean clothes all day long.
Going through security with a baby was also really easy. Since I was wearing her in the Ergo all I had to do was take off my shoes and walk through a metal detector with her still in the carrier. On our way back they even let us go through some preferred flier line that had no wait at all.
We had a great time visiting family. David’s aunt hosted us in her home for part of the trip and wins the MVP award. She was one of the most hospitable people I’ve met. She stocked up on lots of great vegan food and even made us breakfast and packed hummus and veggie wraps for our lunch. It was awesome.
So would I travel again with a 4 month old? It was slightly challenging, exhausting, and a little germy (gross public changing tables), but it worked out well.
Have a fantastic day!