Going through security took a LOT longer with an infant because you have to take them out of the car seat/stroller, fold it all up and put it on the x ray machine all while trying to manage your luggage and said older child. Thank god for the "family friendly" security line too; which I have taken advantage of for the last 6 years and will continue to do so for the next 6 ; )
I needed to bring her infant seat and stroller, so we ended up buying these bags to protect them before our trip. Let me say I am so glad I did this! Those bags were inexpensive, universal, and worked great. These people don't give a shit about your belongings! We gate checked those and hopped on the plane. Its funny because as your walking onto the plane with a baby in your arms, people look at you like you are carrying a little terrorist. Terrified as you walk by...are they gonna sit here? Are they gonna sit here?..Please keep walking, please keep walking, I can just hear them chanting.
We got settled in and it worked out perfectly because it was time for little M to eat right at our take off time. I made her a bottle, covered her with the blankie while she sucked away as we took off, then slept for the whole first 1/2 of the flight! This was only half the battle because keeping Kay entertained for that long is quite the task too. I packed plenty of crayons, paper, worksheets, activity books, snacks, and her portable DVD player (which was a huge fail because I forgot to charge the battery, bad mommy!).
After M woke up, we kept her entertained with her toys and frequent trips to the bathroom for diaper changes and a few minutes to stretch out. I was really surprised how good she was! Come landing time, it was time to eat again, so once again we dodged a bullet. Meanwhile there was a baby a few rows back SCREAMING bloody murder. You could tell he/she was really having ear problems. Poor thing. Coming home was the same, she ate at take off, fell asleep, played for a little while, ate at landing. Sweet as pie!
So here's my travel advise/tips:
-Get there EARLY, like the whole 2 hours early. Especially if this is your first time traveling with a baby!
-For formula feeding mommies, invest in the small ready to feed bottles. Trying to find room temperature water and dealing with powder is such a hassle! Breast feeding mommies, your set ;) Just be ready to feed at take off and landings, even if you can only get your baby to take a few sucks, it will help relieve the pressure in their ears.
- Bring double of what you need. Diapers, wipes, and food. You never know if there is going to be a delay, or if your luggage is going to get lost, you never know and you don't want to wind up short handed.
-If you baby uses a binky, pack a few extras in case you lose them.
-Bring a blanket, its cold on the plane! See the link above for the perfect ones!!!
-Try and plan flights around nap times if you can, the more they sleep the easier it is on you.
-Bring Tylenol and gas drops, if they get extra fussy you will thank me.
-Pack your babies favorite toys that are practical for the plane. This was the biggest thing! She stayed busy once she was awake by playing with her toys.
-Take advantage of the family friendly security line and pre boarding at the gate. You will need the extra time.
-If you care about your stroller, invest in something to protect it or else don't say a word about how the airline trashed your stroller. I could tell, even with the bag on, that they just threw it around.
I'll be posting pics from our trip next :) and I have to say that little M was a lap child, we did not buy a ticket for her. I always carried Kay on as a lap child until she was 2- it did get more difficult as she got older, but it was always short (under 2 hours) trips so I didn't see the need it paying for a seat.