My wife has this thing about airports, specifically getting there early. Real early.
We always go back and forth like a Turkish Bazaar, me bargaining for sleep, she for “security.” The arguments don’t change: ‘Better safe than sorry’ vs. ‘I’ve never missed a flight in my life, ever. Not one!’ Well, let’s just say that on this most recent, semi-momentous occasion, I was up at 5:30 for our 10:00 flight. And no, I don’t want to talk about it.
I say semi-momentous, though, because of course this was Bub’s first time with his head truly in the clouds. And it came off without too much turbulence.
The good news about flying with an 8-month old is that you don’t have to pay for a seat. The bad news is that luster quickly tarnishes when you realize your lap is about to become a seat, high chair and crib all in one. Our flight was basically a four-hour game of hot potato, wherein Bub (neither hot, nor a tuber) got ping-ponged from lap to lap all the way to Pacific time zone.
Keeping to your routine is definitely a challenge while flying, but not impossible. Every one in the world will recommend either breast-feeding or fikey-ing your tot during take-off and especially during landing. Better safe than sorry. Actually started the descending feeding a bit prematurely, but he was still fine.
We carried on the diaper bag, so we had plenty of toys, food and diapers for the ride. He ignored all of it in favor of my newspaper, though he was of minimal assistance on the crossword. My wife changed him once successfully in the lavatory, and her window seat and feeding cover provided ample protection for the feedings.
And other than that, the flight was a beautiful bore. Bub conked out for two short naps (one on each lap) and I even managed one myself. And before we knew it, we were on the ground without incident.
There are a few considerations to think about before making the trip, to help make it as smooth a ride as possible:
• Bring a copy of Baby’s birth certificate if you’re not putting him in a seat. Most airlines require this.
• Make sure you have a car seat lined up on the other end. Also, ask relatives if they can assemble a Pack-n-Play, stroller, diapers, etc. Anything to ease your load.
• Unless you have a grievous distance to traverse, I would recommend bringing a carrier to the airport. You can check the stroller at the gate, which is handy, but you still have to lug it around.
• Try and score preferential boarding, even if it costs a few extra bucks (it was not a given for our airline). Having that floorspace to put him on makes a huge difference, and your lap will thank you.
• Sit back, relax and enjoy the flight!