This is my very first post. It’s a brief description of the events that encompass my first flight with a baby and thus began my quest to find the best ways and places to travel with children.
My first trip with my beautiful baby boy was when he was three months old. At that point, I was sleep deprived and in need of a drink. My husband was active duty and deployed. My family bought me a flight from where we were stationed in Seattle, to see them in Fort Lauderdale.
I packed a bag that rolled and a carry on/diaper bag for emergencies. I used one of those Björn baby carriers. With my luggage stacked nicely and gliding behind me at the flick of my wrist, and my baby strapped to my chest, I was prepared for anything. We got through the airport with ease. We got on the plane and both fell asleep. It was a great flight.
Then the lay over happened. Now, my sweet baby, that everyone loved so much on the first flight, was awake and ready to cause trouble. We got on the next flight and suddenly he needed to be fed. Done. Then he needed to be changed. Did you know that changing tables on an airplane are not even remotely useful?! I did not. They are tiny, have no edges or cushion, and got forbid you get turbulence. I improvised and laid the mat on the seat and proceeded to change him while kneeling in the isle. No one fussed to much and luckily I had thought to bring a ziplock for smelly ones. That mini crisis was over, but then why was he still crying?
As it turns out, sometimes baby’s ears don’t pop when the altitude rises. Despite having taken him to the doctor before our trip (overly cautious parent here), it turns out that the doctor had missed an ear infection. This ear infection along with the lack of popping equals screaming baby. I was pretty good at making him comfortable enough to quiet down, but the flight attendants were not a huge fan of me standing and bouncing in the isle. I decided it would be best to comply and sit. Then it happened. The pain caused the worst case scenario on a flight with a baby. He threw up. Everywhere. I immediately stood up, grabbed our emergency bag, and took him to the back to clean him up. The he was good to go. Next, I cleaned up the seat. The stuartest had already cleaned the surrounding floor. At this point, I’m a nervous wreck and mortified, and it occurs to me that I’m still covered in vomit. I grab my clothes and head to the back only to realize that there’s no way I can change my clothes while holding a baby. I must have had a look of pure desperation on my face, because this woman that’s seated right near the bathroom, and surrounded by kids, looks at me and says, “Here sweety, let me hold him for you”. I looked at him and then her. Then she said, “I can’t go anywhere with him. We’re on a plane. He’ll be okay.” I don’t know if it was the calmness in her voice or the fact that it was just what I needed to hear, but I handed him to her, went in and changed quickly, and came out to hold my baby with a new since of calm and gratitude. She knew exactly what I needed in that moment and I’ll never forget her.
Ever since that trip, I have taken my son on plane rides, car trips, and anywhere we can go. I remember two things; first, I always plan for any possible scenario. Second, I always plan for nothing to go as planned.