This is a campaign in collaboration with Ergobaby and #WeAllGrow Latina Network.
The first time we flew with Kennedy I was a bit anxious because I had no idea what to expect and I did not want to bother anyone on the plane (people pleaser problems) but I was flying with Jack so I knew I would have the support. Even with two of us I still felt overwhelmed from having to get on the shuttle with the baby (her stroller, car seat, and our bags), going through security with her (her stroller, car seat, our bags), and boarding the full flight...I was flustered for sure! Let's just say I was glad Jack was with us for that first trip because I would have been a HOT MESS alone; but I did learn from that trip and used my new knowledge to make my solo trip with Kennedy a success. Here's what worked for me to make flying solo a breeze:
1. RELAX. My anxiety was two-fold: I was worried about being all over the place trying to get through the airport, security, and settled in my seat. The other part of me was worried about people getting annoyed if she were to cry on the plane. Remember babies cry, shit happens, babies feed off our energy, and if someone doesn't want to deal with a baby on a plane they should have flown private.
2. CHECK EVERYTHING IN. I paid the extra $25 to check my bag in, it was worth my peace of mind. In addition to checking my bag in I checked in Kennedy's stroller and car seat at check in opposed to gate check. Baby gear such as strollers and car seats are free of charge which is nice; I also removed the car seat adapters to avoid them breaking, I didn't use a bag/cover for her gear but they do sell them. I did not even bring a personal bag for myself.
3. WEAR YOUR BABY. This is key! Wearing Kennedy is one of my favorite things; it allows extra snuggles and gives me free hands when walking. I have tried pretty much every carrier type (I'm obsessed) and without a doubt the Ergobaby is my go to (I have the Omni 360). Of all my carriers it is the most secure, comfortable, and easiest to put on which is super important when traveling and more so when flying solo. If you aren't an avid baby carrier user I suggest practicing before your trip; Ergobaby's website has video demos that are quick and easy...you do not want to have to learn at the airport. Like I mentioned, I did not even bring a personal bag for myself so I put everything I needed in the pockets of the Ergobaby carrier.
4. DIAPER BAG. My diaper bag was my ONLY bag with me so I had to make sure it was fully and properly loaded. Here's what I had: swaddle/blanket, diapers, wipes, Sophie the Giraffe, two pacifiers, a book, travel changing mat, hand sanitizer, pacifier wipes, bib, burp cloth, bottle with water in it already, formula powder already portioned out and ready to pour, a change of clothes for Kennedy, and an extra shirt for me. I double and triple checked that my diaper bag was fully stocked before leaving for my flight. Also, I use a backpack diaper bag because it's so much more secure than a shoulder diaper bag in my opinion.
5. DO NOT WAKE A SLEEPING BABY. Kennedy has been on three planes at this point and each time has been sleeping when boarding the plane (thanks carrier). I DO NOT wake her while on the plane even if she sleeps through her feeding time (on land home girl magically wakes up at feeding time always ha), I let her behind sleep...something about being in the carrier plus the noise of the airplane keeps her snoozing. When she does start to wake up I prep her bottle and once she is fully awake I feed her. After the feeding I burp her then eventually go and change her (I don't wait for the tears to come, I beat her to it). When I go to the bathroom I just bring the diaper, wipes, and changing mat (super important because airplane bathrooms are GROSS!). SIDE NOTE: I change her diaper at the airport once we get to the gate, not right before boarding but once we are at the gate so I have a few minutes to get her back to sleep. Once we are back at the seat it's usually turn up time and she wants to observe everything around her until nap time. Like her diaper, I like to beat her to her nap on the plane instead of waiting for the tired cry; which in Kennedy's cry is BEYOND DRAMATIC, TOO DRAMATIC FOR ME (says the drama queen lol).
6. SEAT SELECTION. I'm torn here...I personally am I window seat kind of gal because I knock out on every flight, well prior to Miss Kennedy Kay. The window is cool because you are kind of in your own bubble; you can have the baby look out the window when they're up and you have a place to rest your head and elbow. However; the aisle gives you the freedom and easy access to get up whenever you want without bothering anyone (see that's just the people pleaser talking) and it also gives you some extra leg room.
That's all I've got for now, if I think of anything else I will update this post. Feel free to email me with any questions. Don't let a baby stop you from traveling! Let them see the world...especially since they're free before two (woot woot)!