Recently, I was blessed to be able to complete my undergraduate and receive my college diploma… HUZZAH! (My husband always says this so now I am stealing it)
It had been an incredibly long journey and I wanted to celebrate it to the fullest by traveling back to WI, wearing that hideous cap and gown, walking across the stage, shaking the presidents hand, repositioning my tassel, and receiving my diploma.
BUT – in order to celebrate with my professors and graduate with people that were in junior high when I started college, I needed to fly … alone … with my 1 year old.
Now, I love flying… by myself (or with boo). I love picking out my outfit, finding the cheapest flight, earning the points, the take off/landing, snuggling into my uncomfortable seat with a good book and coffee – Gurl, I love it all, but flying with a baby terrified me!
I had a 4 hour drive to the airport, a 2 1/2 hour flight, a 1 1/2 hour layover, then another 2 hour flight, then a one hour drive to get to my destination. Yah – Yah, I know, was it really worth it? To be brief – yes it was! I was incredibly blessed to have the support of my friends, spouse, parents, and in-laws that all helped me in some way, I could not have done it without them.
SO – here are some things that I did to make my life easier when traveling alone with a baby.
- Hotel at the Airport – I live quite a distance from the nearest airport so to catch the early flight, I booked a room at a hotel AT the airport and used the shuttle service.
- Fanny pack – Heck yes I wore a fanny pack and was proud of it! I kept little buddie’s and my documents in there for quick and easy access. No purse – just a fanny pack.
- Back pack – No purse, no diaper bag, no tote, just a back pack that had necessities in it for little buddy and I. My hands and arms were free to push the stroller/hold coffee.
- Nursing shawl – When traveling or under great stress my little buddy reverts to nursing as a way of comfort and his only source of food. The nursing shawl gave me the privacy to be able to nurse him on the plane and at the airport.
- iPad/Head Phones – Baby headphones are SO CUTE! Little buddy wasn’t really interested in TV at the time so I didn’t know if this was going to work, BUT, it did. I downloaded some Amazon prime videos and he watched them on the plane (and eventually fell asleep). Then I used the iPad to read. (and I still got to drink my coffee)
- SNACKS – Never underestimate the power of food. I brought yogurt melts, oreos, veggie straws, and blueberries. Little buddy was very happy for his snacks (and water).
- New/favorite toys and books – I did purchase a few new toys but he didn’t really care about those, books is where my sons heart is.
- Window seat – I tried the isle seat at first but found it incredibly uncomfortable and tempting to little buddy who just wanted to run down the isle. The rest of the time I sat at a window seat. He loved watching the take off and landing as well as being able to rest against the “wall”.
What I packed in the back pack is enough for another post but the above mentioned list is the things that helped me to survive the flight/experience. I was very lucky and little buddy napped for 1-2 hours on the departing and return flight. The air pressure didn’t seam to be a problem for him but I still made sure to give him water during the accent and descent.
Also, (shoutout to) the Southwest flight attendants who were AWESOME. They played with little buddy and gave me extra snacks for him. I also was blessed to sit next to some pretty great people who were so kind and sweet to my kiddo.
Let me know in the comments what tips/tricks you use when flying alone with a little one!