Traveling with an infant seems like it should be easy aside from all the gear to pack – just stick them on your lap with a free ticket, nurse them when they get hungry, and hope they sleep most of the way with the motion. However, this only works if your infant actually sleeps with motion (aka: you have found yourself driving around aimlessly during nap time or in the middle of the night for them to sleep.) Olivia has never been a car sleeper, so we should’ve known better than to hope she’d sleep on the plane. We survived her first flight with only a bit of fussiness and about 20 minutes of sustained screaming toward the end. She does not like being stuck in one place whether she’s awake or asleep, even more so now that she’s discovered the joys of walking around.
All things considered, it could have been worse. The return flight seemed slightly better – perhaps because we knew what to expect, or because there were more children on the plane taking the heat off of us. We’ve come to a new phase in life where we hope there are other fussy babies on the plane. Here’s a shot of Olivia on her first flight, then gearing up to board the return plane home.
The plane was the least of the problems for our travel. The hardest problem was being off schedule, which is ironic since we don’t have much of a set schedule to begin with. Being away from home with all the commotion and so many new people to meet was great for entertaining and for a change of scenery but wreaked havoc on sleeping patterns. As a result, screams greeted us in the car without fail: “You’re putting me in my carseat again?? Enough of this! I’m so tired!”
Despite the sleeping issues, we managed to have a great trip to Minnesota. It wasn’t as cool as we had hoped, but there were a few nice evenings to escape July heat in Texas. Andrew & Martha’s wedding doubled as the Jacob annual family reunion. Olivia loved studying all the new faces. In addition to visiting with family, we enjoyed a beautiful day at the free zoo, and took advantage of being able to walk to town and the lake from the hotel. The last time we were here we walked on the lake with -14 degree temps. This year we saw lily pads and 90+ degree temps.
With one trip under our belt would we do it again? Absolutely (though maybe not too often).
A few pictures from the trip are below, but for the full experience, click here to see all pictures from the trip.
Tips for traveling with an infant:
- Baby-wear through the airport: no need to hassle with a stroller and you can wear baby through security
- Nurse or provide bottle during take-off and landing to minimize ear pressure (if they’ll cooperate)
- Use lots of blankets on the plane to screen some of the stimulation
- Use burp cloths to cover arm rests (which turn out to be very intriguing to a little one!)
- Bring a bottle of water for you to avoid hassling with the airplane cups (prime spilling opportunity)
- Overnight diapers for the plane to minimize need for in-flight changing
- Be prepared to be “that person” while baby cries :-/
- Check your carseat for free to try and have something familiar in the new environment for baby