I’ll be posting a little less starting on Thursday because we’re off to the Midwest for a week. I’m so freaking excited! But, of course, before the fun of vacation begins, we have to actually get there. And that means… flying with baby. We’re pretty experienced at this: in her short little life, we’ve already taken five trips with Adeline. Oh, and there was that whole cross-country move thing. I’m sure it will be different now that she’s walking, so I may came back with new tips. But for now, here are five things you really need to know about traveling with baby:
1. If you get stuck with the bitchy stewardess, just be a bitch right back. Our move to Denver was, let’s just say, complicated. With two dogs, two cats and a baby, we had some logistics to sort out. David and my dad drove out with the dogs and my mom and I flew out with Addie and the two cats. Thank god I had my mom! So there we are, with two very unhappy cats, mewing and trying to scratch or chew their way out of their crates, shoved under the seats in front of us. And one little baby. Adeline decided to make a contribution to the trip by taking a big, gross poop in the middle of the flight. She was still so little that it was just easier to change her diaper on my lap right there in the seat. (She’s always hated those pull-down, hard plastic changing tables.) So I pulled out the diaper bag and got to it. Enter the bitchy stewardess. Her long, shiny, perfect black hair is pulled back in a tight ponytail and she’s wearing a little too much makeup. She leans over and says, in her sweet but bitchy voice, “There’s actually a changing table in the lavatory.” “Oh, it’s really just easier for me to do it here.” I was totally nice about it. But she wasn’t done. “It’s for the convenience of the other passengers.” Apparently no one told this bitch that you shouldn’t mess with a new mama. I matched her tone: “I don’t really care.” That shut her up. She didn’t seem to know what to do with it. So if you get the bitchy stewardess, just be a bitch right back. It works.
2. Don’t forget your white noise, blankie, etc. This might come as a shock to some of you: babies don’t like to sleep in new places. Well, maybe some don’t mind, but if you have one of those babies I don’t want to talk to you. So for the rest of us. Sleep in a new place might be hard, so make it as much like home as possible. Make sure you bring along your white noise, any blankie or stuffed animal, and all the necessary items for your bedtime routine. I even like to bring a sheet from home for the crib. Again, if you don’t use white noise or a bedtime routine, I don’t really want to hear about your easy, perfectly sleeping baby. (If you don’t have an easy, perfectly sleeping baby, let me suggest white noise and a bedtime routine.)
3. Nurse on the way up and the way down. You’ve probably heard this one before, so I won’t belabor the point. But it really is key, so I had to include it. I’ll also just say that for the most part, people have been totally cool with the boobs coming out. I don’t believe in hootie-hiders. I really have no shame and in my opinion nursing is totally natural and if people have a problem they can just look away. So when I say I get the boobs out, I mean I get the boobs out. And really, no one cares. But if the hootie-hider makes you more comfortable, go for it! Either way, nurse the babe. It will make your life easier. Now that Addie is a little older, we can just give her some water to drink. The point is the same: make sure you help baby pop her ears.
4. Buy an aisle seat. As baby gets older and she wants to be moving all the time, you simply will not be able to sit in the seat the entire time. You’re going to need to stand up and walk around with her at least a little. Or let her crawl or walk in the aisle a little. And even when she’s smaller, you might need to stand up to rock her to sleep for a nap. So when you get your seats, make sure you get an aisle seat. Crucial.
5. When you get the inevitable “Oh great, a baby” looks, just ignore the assholes. While you’re waiting at the gate area or in line to board, you will, without a doubt, be confronted by a baby-hater or two (or more). It’s usually some childless chick wearing tight pants and high heels (who the hell flies in high heels, anyways?). She turns to her boyfriend and makes some under-her-breath comment and then gives you the dirty look. Or the person sitting behind you when you finally board starts making comments to their neighbor just loud enough so you can hear. Whatever, there’s one on every flight. Seriously, just ignore the assholes. If they’re not being too douchey about it, go ahead and make a joke at your own expense and try to assure them that you’ll do everything in your power to keep baby calm. But if you get the high-heeled wearing bitch, just ignore her. She sucks.
What other tips do you have for traveling with baby? What secrets have you found for making life easier on a trip?
Addie's first flight - napping in the Baby K'Tan