So, about a week and a half ago Bug and I took a plane trip to St. Louis, MO to visit my parents for a week. It was also Bug’s first time on an airplane…and surprisingly enough it went pretty well. Luckily, thanks to some family advice and the internet it was a smooth sailing ride to and from St. Louis. Here is a photo of our little sweetheart snoozing on the plane:
My parents were so thrilled to see us there–although we wished Michael could have come as well, but he had to stay behind in Denver for his internship (it’s tax season–and if you know any accountants then you know that this is the busiest time of the year for them). The last time they got to see her was when she was only a month old and she has definitely changed over the past six months. I’ve tried my best to use social media and video chat with them so that they can still see how much she’s growing, but we all know that that is not the same. So, it was a real treat for me to see my mom and dad snuggle and play peek-a-boo with her for a whole week.
We also took me to go see a dentist while we were there because there were some concerns about my teeth. You see, there was a slight problem with my jaw because I have my wisdom teeth coming in (I know–my teeth are usually pretty late coming in) and I haven’t been able to go see a dentist about it for about 2 years because that’s when my dental insurance ended. Well, the good news is: I don’t have cavities! Yay! But the bad news: I’ll be needing to get my wisdom teeth out as soon as I can. Because, although they are not necissarily hurting right now, they could in the near future because I have an extremely small jaw. And, since it is difficult to reach back there with a toothbrush and floss, there is a high chance I could get a cavity in them or any kind of infection. Soooo…yay. But, Michael will be finished with school in the next couple of years (hopefully) and with luck on our side we could get a job with dental insurance for the whole family and I could get this taken care of. So, for now I can try my best to take care of them the best way I can.
I also got a haircut!! It’s been about a little over a year since I’ve got my last haircut and that was just a trim then. So, it was safe to say my hair was really really really long. And the best part of it was that I had enough hair to donate to ‘Locks of Love.‘ And I love my new hairstyle!! Before, my hair was so long and unmanageable it got tangled too easily and it took forever for me to get ready in the morning. Now, my hair is about shoulder-length and thinned-out enough that it not only dries easily, but it can still be pulled back. A hairstyle like this is so much more easy to handle when you have a six-month old.
Bug and I also went to visit Cinncinati for three days to see some more of her cousins and then drove back to St. Louis and flew back home to Denver on St. Patrick’s Day. Bug did very well on that flight trip, too–I’m so proud of her. She’s really growing up–she’s starting to say, “Dadadadada,” which can only mean she’s going to start talking soon, she’s gearing up for crawling by trying her very best on pushing her legs when she’s on her tummy, and her first tooth started cutting through her gums. I can’t believe it! I just can’t believe all of this is happening so fast. Let’s just say things are going to get very exciting here at the King home.
I can’t tell you how much of a breath of relief it was when we got back home in Denver. First off: we survived the airplane! I’ve heard horror stories of how babies don’t like flying because they have difficult popping their little ears and with how the change in pressure as you’re taking off and landing literally freaks them out. But, luckily, I created a mental list of things that really helped as I flew with my little Bugaboo. There are a lot of tips and ideas that people put all over the internet if you’re flying with another adult, but you don’t really find anything for if you’re flying solo with a baby. So, if you’re reading this and are planning (or you have a friend that is planning) on flying with a little munchkin, here are a couple of my own tips. Because flying with a baby by yourself is a totally different experience than if you were flying with another adult. So here it is:
1. First off: don’t let the people around you bother you. Chances are the reason why people are staring is because of what is in your lap. Let’s face it: babies are cute! And there’s a good chance your baby is so adorable that he/she is drawing attention like a light bulb would draw insects. And, if you’re lucky like I was, you’ll be sitting next to a very helpful mom with lots of advice or a grandmother who is so fond of your baby she won’t mind if he/she grabs their finger. And if, and most likely it will happen at some point, your baby cries while on the plane, usually people are pretty sympathetic enough that they know you’re trying your very best and that sometimes a baby just tends to cry. It’s a matter of life. If, however, you do come across a person that seems to be giving you the glaring look–ignore them. Chances are they don’t know what it’s like to be a parent, and maybe someday they will be a parent and will understand then. But, you don’t have to let that one judgmental person ruin your own day. If, however, you’re like me and you feel paranoid and wonder what everyone is thinking and you feel incredibly bad over everything your baby is doing–don’t look at anyone. I mean it: don’t make any eye contact with anyone on the plane. It’s better not knowing what people are thinking based on their looks than feeling stressed and overwhelmed. Because, for some reason, babies feel that stress. And if your baby feels your stress then the baby will feel stressed as well. So don’t even let that be an issue.
2. Check in your bag. Seriously, I used to be one of those people who always tried to get away with just a carry-on for a flight trip. But now that I’m traveling with a baby I knew that that’s going to have to change. It’s going to be very difficult lifting up a carry-on sized suitcase into the overhead space when you have a baby in tow. Trust me: make it easy for yourself and just check in that suitcase. Besides, some airline companies allow you to check in a bag free anyways (not all do, but some).
2. Bring an extra of everything. And I truly mean it. You could be doing everything right by showing up at the airport on time and getting through the security with ease and then all of a sudden your flight was delayed. What are you going to do if your baby gets hungry? What are you going to do if there’s a blow-out? Or a second blow-out? Or a third? How are you going to entertain your baby? To get your baby down for a nap in the middle of an airport? These are the kind of questions you should ask yourself while your packing up your diaper bag. And don’t forget: put all liquids inside a ziplock bag!
3. Bring a sling/carrier for your baby. Yeah, you could bring a stroller and even a car seat all the way up to the gate and there they will gate-check in your items, but honestly I found it incredibly easiest to just carry Bug inside a baby bjorn. She loves the baby bjorn because she can look around and see everything her mama sees and she’s not just strapped into her car seat. And as a bonus: my hands and arms were free for me to use. But, luckily, I had a car seat and a stroller waiting for me in St. Louis so I didn’t really need to worry about bringing those kind of things. If this is not the case for you, then I would definitely bring them on your trip.
4. Make sure you have all of the right papers. And in a conveniently easy location for you to be able to whip them out when needed. To travel with a baby, they usually need at least your baby’s birth certificate to verify your child’s identity. You will also need your own identification and flight information as well. Put these safely in a folder in the outside pocket of the diaper bag or backpack. The reason why is because when you’re going through check-in and security you will have one less thing you have to rummage through your diaper bag for.
5. Get your baby something to drink while taking off and landing. Their little ears are in for a big surprise when all of a sudden they are flying through the air and air pressure is suddenly changing. Whenever I flew by myself I just grabbed a piece of gum and chewed on it till my ears popped. But, these little munchkins don’t have teeth and if they do they probably shouldn’t be chewing on gum anyways. So, word of the wise: get your baby something to drink like milk (breastmilk or formula), water or juice. This will naturally pop their little ears and, if your baby is like Bug, he or she will instantly fall asleep and take a good long nap after having lunch.
6. Book an early flight. I know Bug is a morning person, and I hear most babies usually are. So, if you’re having a hard time which flight to pick–pick the earliest one. That way your flight will most likely land when your baby’s nap time is and you will have plenty of time for any sudden delays. It’s one thing to be hanging around in an airport in the morning and it’s a whole another experience when you’re at the airport late at night. Make your life easier and book an early flight. Your child will be happy you did.
7. Pack light. Things like diapers, lotion, baby tylenol, etc. can be purchased at your destination. Unless it is something you absolutely need and you can’t get it at your destination, don’t bother bringing it.
8. Bring a camera. It’s your child’s first time on an airplane!! Take that photo and keep it in your baby’s scrapbook. This is a moment you will never want to forget.
9. Dress in layers. Although your baby may get chilly while sitting and waiting in the airport, it can get pretty stuffy in the airplane. So, make sure your bring you and your baby a jacket.
10. If you have the time, change. One thing that I didn’t want to take the chance for was a blowout while up in the air. Have you seen how small those bathrooms are?! Try changing a baby who likes to roll around in one of those things. And those bathrooms aren’t always vacant. So, say you got to the airport early and you had a few minutes to spare and the bathrooms are located fairly close by. My advice: go get your baby a nice clean diaper before the long flight. If you do, your chances of surviving this flight are pretty good.
And last but not least, 11. If you can, sit with other people who have children. It is easier to tackle pretty much anything if you are in a good company. This is pretty much easy to do if you’re boarding along ‘family boarding’.
These were the kind of tips I received when planning for our trip. They were so helpful and made the trip that much more enjoyable. I’m so excited for the next time go on another vacation with Bug. It will be a blast! 🙂