Travelling alone can be a stressful experience, even if you are used to it! Add a 6 month old baby into the mix and you’ll probably spend the night before you leave having a full
Travelling alone can be a stressful experience, even if you are used to it! Add a 6 month old baby into the mix and you’ll probably spend the night before you leave having a full blown, sweaty palms and loose bowels, panic attack. Just me? Crap.. (pun intended..hehe).
To be completely honest, it wasn’t that bad. And the reason I think I wasn’t completely freaking out, is because I made sure to be at least 95% prepared. ( who is EVER 100% prepared.. Let’s be honest?!)
So for anyone travelling with a baby in the next few months here are my 6 tips to making sure its a relatively turbulent free ride. ( see what I did there?! Turbulence?? Bahahaha )
- FLIGHT BOOKING – Try to book flight times that work for you and your baby. I know it might not always work out that way, but if you can, it can definitely help! I booked mine before lunch and late afternoon. So basically, not when she typically naps. I couldn’t imagine having to wake her up at 4 am and then dealing with a cranky baby for a few hours.. But if that’s what you have to do.. You have my sympathies.
- SEAT CHOICE – When you check in (easy check in via phone apps or online 24 hours prior to your flight) try to pick an aisle seat. This will give you quick access to getting up in case baby needs a diaper change or fusses and you need to walk her a bit to settle her down. PS – when you get to the airport and try to print your baggage ticket, it won’t work at the self serve. Because you are travelling with an infant or baby you have to go to the ticket counter. Also, Air Canada offers a family line, which speeds things up. You get to skip the long line up and walk past them in a smug strut like a VIP!
- BABY BJORN – Use a baby carrier! It frees up your hands and makes walking through the airport to your gates a much better experience. I knew my in-laws ( with whom I was visiting) had a bucket seat and stroller at their place, so I didn’t bother bringing that with me. Although you can always travel with one, just takes a few extra steps to check in the seat at the luggage drop off and then the stroller at the gate of the plane.
- PACK LIGHT – only essentials! I brought a small baby backpack for all her needs which included 6 diapers, a small pack of wipes, 3 already made Enfamil bottles – empty bottles to pour it in- and three toys. I attached pacifier clips to all three toys and attached them to either me or her for the duration of the flight. That way when she would inevitably drop the toy it wouldn’t fall under the seat in front of us! I don’t know about you but I just don’t bend that way ( imagine a pretzel like form while holding your baby and trying to grab the fallen toy.. No thanks! My stomach muscles start spasming just a the thought!!)
- LEAVE YOUR MARY POPPINS HANDBAG AT HOME – Ladies we all know that if we could fit the kitchen sink in our bags, we would totally do it..and as much as we want to carry that designer bag everywhere we go, it’s just too big and bulky and full of stuff you just won’t need for the flight. Do you really think you’ll be able to read a magazine, watch a movie or play games on your ipad while holding your baby on your lap?? If your answer is yes then GIRL WE NEED TO TALK!!
So leave it at home or pack it in your luggage.. instead use a small cross body bag or fanny pack (yes.. yes I know they aren’t cool, but they are sooooo convenient!!) I used a crossbody bag that held my ID, some cash, my bank card and my phone.. I also threw in my printed boarding pass so that it was easy to grab at the various checkpoints while boarding. The crossbody bag allowed me to access what I needed quickly, and not have to root through the backpack diaper bag. It really helped make the trek through security and to the plane easy and seamless.
6.FRIENDLY STRANGERS – You know that before you had kids you rolled your eyes or would stifle a sigh when you saw a mom come on the plane with a baby. Well now that I am that mom, I made sure to apologize in advance to my fellow passengers. And I think they appreciated that I knew it could become uncomfortable for everyone, and all 18 men that were sitting behind me didn’t seem too bothered. That’s right, on my going flight I had ZERO women around me.. But I have to say that the young man sitting next to me didn’t flinch (too much) when I unceremoniously thrust my baby in his arms so I could tie my seat belt. Needless to say his face was priceless but he was kind enough to indulge me as it was a quick moment.. He did put his earphones in soon after though and turned towards the window and ignored me.. weird.
So all in all, our journey from Montreal to Halifax was pretty uneventful, and I am eternally grateful for that. I had the baby bottles ready for take off and landing ( which is the only two times Brie really fussed while flying). And although some did pour on my legs, I was wearing black yoga pants so it didn’t show! ( which reminds me to tell you to dress comfortably.. You can’t pick a wedgie or unbutton jeans that may get too tight mid-flight cuz you bloat at 30,000 feet in the air) She even managed to sleep in my arms for a portion of the flight which I think gave my neighbours a sigh of relief.
I hope my tips help you, if you are travelling alone with a baby. I plan on travelling again with her in a few months, on a longer flight. Fingers crossed that it will go as smoothly as this one did, either way you will hear about it!! Good luck and happy travels!!