Aug 12, 2009

Jane on the Plane :)

I had two completely different experiences when it comes to flying with a baby.

On our way to Newfoundland, things weren't exactly stress-less... when I arrived at the airport, Jane was just waking up from her morning nap and, thus, starving! I "threw" her in the snugli and quickly checked everything in while I frantically bounced and shhh'd to keep her calm. I finally made it to the security line and they had to send me back to the check in counter because the lady forgot to give me a boarding pass for Jane! THANKS A LOT! So, with whimpering, hungry child, I trudged back to get the boarding pass. Once I got to security again, I was instructed to take Jane out of her snugli... awesome. Why the heck did I not see that coming?!?! Do you know how hard it is to get a baby out of a snugli, standing up, when she is hungry and upset!?!?! My heart was breaking, I was rushing and sweating buckets by this point. To make things worse, the only liquid I had besides the bottle was my trusty bottle of purell which they immediately took from me because it wasn't in a ziploc bag... can you tell me how the ziploc bag protects us from terrorist attacks please?

I had pumped a bottle for the trip so I wouldn't have to haul my boob out in the middle of the airport/plane but by the time I got to the gate, Jane was pretty upset with me and I ended up finding a quiet corner to quickly satisfy her hunger (seeing as the bottle would have cost me an extra 5 seconds in time). :p

Once my Dad arrived from Toronto to meet up with me, all was calm. Jane was back to her cheerful, sweet self. On the plane, she fussed more than I would have expected as she's a pretty good traveler. I'm convinced this is because I probably was still stressed from the pre-flight festivities. In fact, the entire day afterward, she was on and off the boob, barely slept and fussed more than usual. Myself, I had probably sweated off 10 lbs (which I made up for by eating a chocolate bar and several jujubes) and my left arm was numb and aching from holding her the entire flight.

On the way back, I had learned from my mistakes... despite the fact that we arrived late and had to rush through check-in and security, it went a thousand times better. I put Jane in a sling instead of her snugli and, thankfully, they were ok with me leaving her in the sling going through security (WOOHOO). She slept the entire flight, except for the take-off and landing, when I had to tickle her feet to keep her awake so that she would feed (which is supposed to help them adjust to the pressure change).

So, here is my advice for flying -
  1. Arrive early, early, early. Had I given myself enough time on the way, I could have fed Jane immediately once we arrived to the airport and avoided the whole boob-out, crying baby, sweaty mom situation.
  2. Check all your nonsense - car seat, stroller, etc. This is just extra hassle, especially if you're by yourself. All I had was Jane (in a sling) and her diaper bag.
  3. Put the baby in a sling. Like I said, they made me take her out of the snugli which is a huge pain in the a** but they were fine with leaving her in the sling and she was happy as a lark.
  4. Feed on the way up and the way down - most people know this. I can't say that it works because I have not, nor would I, try NOT doing it. ha ha ha - I'm not stupid.
  5. Fly with someone else your first time if possible. It's hard juggling the baby, bottle, sucky, sling, diaper bag, etc. on your own. Although, I will say, that there are always helpful people around. In fact, my Dad ended up taking care of me and another new mom who was flying alone. :)
I'm sure you've all got great first flight stories and advice - please share, comment!

Jen :)

PS - If there are a ton of spelling/grammar mistakes in this post, sorry. Jane woke up 2 mins ago in her swing and I don't have time to re-read! Such is the life of a Momma!! :p

PPS - Add me as a friend on Facebook (on right hand side) to see pictures from our vacation and Jane's christening!

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mommycain said...

Love your blog, I came across it on Top Baby blogs when I was pregnant with my now 3 week old. I just checked out/added your facebook page and found that we actually have a "friend in common" (small world!) Can't wait to read your next entry on the joys of new motherhood! =)

MommyBrain said...

You and Jane did great, especially as first-timers!

Natalie and I have traveled - extensively - in the first two years of her life. For the most part, it's just been the two of us. I definitely have a few stories and tips to share ...

Dave and Amy Kille said...

I'm a 1st time mom and due in October, my question mentioned having a snugli and a sling. What brand of sling do you have? I have seen so many out there and have no idea which one is the right kind to buy. Thanks!

Jen said...


I have two slings and all I can say is the size is super important! The first one I had was too big and, as a result, was a pain to put Jane in and for carrying her (it was too low). My sis brought me a medium on vacay and it's much better! The brand is Hotslings. My sis has a "Pipalilly" and she loves that one too. Hope that helps!

Jen :)