Hello all! It has been a while since I have written anything, there always seems to be something else to prioritize over blogging during the precious minutes of Sims sleep time.
We had been planning a trip to India since the beginning of thr year, and when we decided that I would stay home with Sim for the time being and not go back to work, we thought it would be nice if Sim and I could spend a little more time with his family. So we booked a flight for Sim and me 2 weeks before my husband so that we could have a full month of family time.
I was slightly concerned about the flight, but I do love a challenge and I love to travel so I was really looking forward to this adventure with my new little buddy. I read a lot of articles about traveling alone with babies and definitely took some of the advice, picking and choosing what I felt would work best for me and my daughter.
One thing I decided was to just use a baby carrier and not a stroller. I did not regret that decision. It was so easy to get through security, no need to check in the stroller or wait for it after landing, and she was close to me at all times. She also doesn’t sleep in the stroller but was able to take a nap in the baby carrier while waiting to board at the airport.
I also decided to bring a travel boppy, I strapped it onto my backpack/carry and was able to use it for breast feeding during the flight as well as an extra cushion for her to be able to lie down in her seat. Speaking of seats, since I was traveling alone, we bought a seat for her as well which worked out great! She is very independent and enjoyed sitting and playing with her toys, the seat belt, the safety brochure and anything else she could get her hands on. Sim doesnt take a pacifier but I bought a paci clip and hooked some of her toys onto it so that she couldn’t throw them down.
She is very curious and distracted so partway into the flight I wanted to give her a quiet place to sleep. By using a blanket, boppy and two small airline pillows I was able to create a small fort for her to sleep/play in. Unfortunately she didnt sleep long there due to an il timed airline snack handout, which for some reason unknown to me required all the light in the plane to be turned on! She enjoyed lying down though and playing in her fort and by tucking the blanket under the arm rest I was able to minimize toys falling into the aisle.
One other thing I did was to have a second smaller backpack with diapers, wipes and a change of clothes. That made it easier for trips to the bathroom, clothing/diaper changes. This backpack also clipped onto the larger one so it was easy to manage everything. I sorted her things in plastic bags so that there was more organization and therefore less frustration searching for things during the flight.
Thinking back to all that I brought the only thing I didnt really need wad the sleep sack, it ended up being quite warm on the flight so she was happy in a onesie. Also we got child headphones for the flight that dont go above a certain volume to protect the ears. Unfortunately in the loud plane you couldnt hear anything through them 😂.
We chose seats in the middle row of seats so our neighbor didn’t have to climb over us to go anywhere or vice versa. Also to my relief we sat next to a very kindand understanding woman who didn’t mind when Sim grabbed her arm or stared at her yelling “dadada”. She even held her for a few minutes allowing me a much coveted solo trip to the bathroom. Everyone around us was very understanding and kind and she charmed all the uncle and aunties waiting near us to use the bathroom. At one point I just sat her on my shoulders so that she could look back at all the people around us. I immediately her a chorus of oohs and aahs.
I fed her during takeoff, once the attendents were safely buckled in (they said not to feed the baby, that the baby should be in an upright position) and she didn’t have any pressure discomfort! She ended up sleeping through the landing!
I got a total of one hour if sleep but Sim got about 5 hours. I put movies on and wore the headphones while playing with her to help the time pass worked out well. I enjoyed the coffee and tried to stay hydrated without constant trips to the bathroom.
One thing I should have done was to get up more, I had some swelling in my feet and hands from the long periods of sitting. However as many of you know, when your baby is sleeping you try your best not to move.
When the flight landed I waited until the majority of the people were out so that I could put her in the carrier and gather my stuff in peace. When we got to customs there was quite a long line but one of the attendants managing the que saw me with my bags and the baby and brought me right to the front so I didn’t have to wait at all!
Baggage claim was another story, it took probably 45 minutes to get the luggage. I took my husbands suggestion of having one of the airport staff gather my luggage for me, which consisted of one small suitcase, one large suitcase and the pack n’play. His parents tipped the man when we met and after almost 24 hours of travel time we made our way home!
Overall I really enjoyed the flight and was amazed at how well Sim did! I also found the people around me during the whole journey to be understanding and helpful, from the security people helping to gather my things, to our smiling neighbors who got their seat kicked despite my best efforts. I made sure to thank those around me and apologize for any bother we might have caused. I think this made them feel more gracious and positive about sitting near us. We had no major crying fits or diaper blowouts! I look forward to future travel with my daughter and will be very grateful for my husbands help on our return flight. Flying with a baby is possible as long as you take the time to prepare in advance and keep a positive attitude! And though this journey went smoothly I am sure others will not, so I try to keep in mind that the journey will end at some point, and the struggle won’t be forever.