Below is a list of tips that I have compiled over the past few weeks. A few were suggested to me and I figured out a few on my own.
- Use a Hot-Sling or simple sling— A few people recommended using a Hot Sling for carrying Becca in the airport because it is less hassle then a stroller. When going through security, children need to be removed from their strollers (as well as all the bags/packages) so you end up carrying them anyway. With a Hot Sling, the child’s shoes need to be removed but otherwise he/she can go through security in the sling without a problem. I wore the Hot Sling under my coat and just removed my coat (and her shoes) when we got to security. With Becca in the Hot Sling, it was one less thing to worry about as Omar and I struggled to put all of our worldly possession into those grey bins. The Hot Sling was a great recommendation (Omar even used it a couple of times).
- Sit in the Window Seat – Definitely, definitely, definitely reserve the window seat. It provides you with a few extra centimeters of space and an amazing diversion for your child. Becca loved looking out the window and moving the window shade up and down (with my help). I appreciated the extra space and having something to lay my head against. It also provided an extra bit of privacy when breastfeeding.
- Use the Tray Table – I was surprised at how much we used the tray table and how helpful it was for us.
- When it came time to eat or drink, we put both of our tables down and Becca would sit on the edge of one of the tables (she loved this!). We were then able to eat without too much trouble.
- When it came time to change a diaper, we learned that not all airplanes have a changing table in the restroom. So instead we placed a Day & Night Underpadon the tray table and changed Becca right there.
- When it came time to take a nap, we had the option of laying a blanket on the tray table and laying her down over both tables.
- Toys Are Optional – It is always helpful to bring some diversions, however, I found that Becca was much more interested in the airplane then with playing with any of her toys. Try not to bring any toys that make a lot of noise especially the kind that repeat the same song or phrase over and over again. I brought a Fishy Fascination Station because I thought it would attach to the tray table (it didn’t– but it stood pretty well anyway). Becca was interested in it but she also enjoyed putting things into the seat pocket in front of us, looking out the window and moving ice from one glass to another.
- Dealing with Ear Pressure– Before travelling, I had a lot of people warn me that children tend to cry when landing and taking off because of their inability to ‘pop’ their ears. I was encouraged to nurse Becca or provide her with a bottle or sippy cup because this helps to relieve the pressure. One person suggested I even have Becca chew gum (that would have been something to see). My experience was that the change of altitude did not seem to bother Becca too much, however, I did notice another little girl who was crying as the plane was landing. My advice would be to be aware that the altitude change could be uncomfortable and be prepared to offer your child something to eat or drink. This will help him/her to ‘pop’ his/her ears and relieve the pressure.
- Pack plenty of wipes and antibacterial soap – These are so helpful and come in handy in so many situations.
- Dress in layers and Pack a change of clothes – Since airplanes can be chilly, I always dressed Becca in layers which helped me to keep her warm and accommodate the change in climate. I also found it helpful to have a change of clothes for Becca and an extra shirt for both Omar and I (just in case). Fortunately, we did not need to use our extra clothes but I have heard a few horror stories of crazy diaper blowouts that require everyone to change.
- Blanket and Pillow – Either grab the airline blanket and pillow as you walk in or bring one of your own. Like the wipes and antibacterial soap, they really came in handy.
Overall our trips were extremely positive and Becca was a great traveller. All of the flight attendants and passengers were very helpful and seemed to enjoy Becca’s antics.