Flying solo (with an infant)

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I wrote about my tips and tricks for flying cross-country with an infant a little while ago. But I’ve since returned from my first time doing it completely solo and let me tell you , if it could have gone wrong, it did. (Read: Blowout on the last flight home, teething baby and missing plane tickets.)

But we survived and I learned a few things along the way.

1. Pack light. Seriously, if you think you’ve packed light already, take something else out. I brought the minimal amount of clothes necessary for each of us. We were gone for four days so for me, two pairs of shorts, two shirts and what I wore on the plane. For the baby, three dresses. I’m all for one piece outfits and if I wasn’t breastfeeding, I would’ve lived in dresses too. I had the baby strapped in her carrier, a backpack, the carseat and base, and a diaper bag. Next time I’m going to consolidate further and leave the diaper bag. It was just a bit too much.

2. Don’t bring out all the toys and snacks at once. My daughter would tire of Sophie so I’d bring out the rings and put her away for a bit. Then, I’d pull out a book. At one point I offered her a hard cookie to gnaw on. Hey, she was teething and we were doing our best to avoid a complete meltdown. You could consider making them last even longer for an older child by wrapping them in paper and ribbon.

3. Weigh the offers for help. I met a very nice, willing-to-help family. But once we started traveling together, I started losing everything. I’d have my ticket, then I couldn’t remember if it was in the diaper bag or my pocket. Oh, it’s actually on the ground. Where’s the pacifier? I realized that even though they were helping me carry the big carseat, I was trying to focus on the baby, my stuff, my own two feet and carry on a conversation making for a distracted mind.

4. This thing would have been a lifesaver. If you’re going to be traveling a lot with your baby, it’s probably a worthy investment. It’s seriously exhausting booking it from one gate to another carrying a child and an awkwardly heavy and large carseat and base.

5. A few changes since the last time I flew. Milk through security. Previously, my bottle of breastmilk were tested. However, I learned that if you have them in four ounce containers, they treat them like other fluids and they pass right through security. The carrier – I was asked to take The Bug out of her carrier in March, but this time, both in Bangor and Columbus, I was allowed to leave her in. So, if you have a sleeping babe, it may be worth asking if he or she can stay in the carrier. I had to have my hands swabbed, but it was a small price for the convenience of leaving her attached to me.

Have you ever flown alone with an infant? Have any tips or tricks?