April 24, 2012


I'm rehearsing. Running scenarios in my mind. Trying to anticipate the worst case/best case possibilities. Writing lists of what we'll need.

Brex and I are flying to California on Saturday.

One of my climbing partners, Petite Slovakian is getting married the following Saturday. We're staying with Lovey and Dovey (and their baby girl!!!). On Monday and Tuesday I'll go into the office while Lovey's nanny watches Brex. Wednesday I get to go back to my beloved hairdresser (though I don't yet have a plan for what to do with the baby during the hair appointment...uh oh...), then take the baby into the office to show him off, then pick up Jrex at the airport. Thursday is the bridal shower with Petite Slovakian's family from Europe. Friday we get to head over to the east Bay for the rehearsal and wedding on Saturday. It's going to be busy! I'm also packing in lots of time with friends.

The issue is that it's my first time traveling with a baby. I was all set to just use the Beco baby carrier and keep everything streamlined, but a few days ago I noticed a lump in my stomach. I think my hernia is back! Ugh. So now I think I have to bring the stroller cause it will be painful to have him resting on the hernia all day. Our stroller is wonderful, but it's not small. I've heard I can just roll it up to the gate and check it there and then pick it up after the flight. Is that true? It'll allow me to put my laptop bag and his diaper bag in the stroller cargo hold and make airport life SO much easier.

After reading various advice for traveling with a baby I bought two new books and a new chew blanket for him to explore on the plane. We're sitting on the aisle. I have a nursing cover. As far as I can tell, the bases are covered, but it's just too easy to slip into fretting.

My biggest worry? Getting from the luggage pickup to the car rental place. Given stroller and suitcase management, I've thought about taking a cab to the rental place. If I did that, we wouldn't have a car seat so I don't think it's legal? Anyone have suggestions?

The other fun dynamic is that I get to be the person I used to dread. We've all done it: looked around the gate area and prayed we wouldn't be sitting next to the baby. Now the baby part will be my fault. AND he's teething so he's just not his best version of himself these days. I'm hoping he'll be a cute, laughing chunky monkey, but am trying to be ok if he's not. I'm also not sure how to handle his nap on the plane. I guess I can ask if there are empty seats and maybe switch my seat so I have an empty one where I could put him to sleep? If not, he's never fallen asleep in my arms so that could be interesting.

The third dread is sound effects. Not the ones that come from normal bodily functions. Those are to be expected. No, my crazy kid has two lovely sounds that I'm afraid to hear on the plane. Sometimes when he's nursing he'll start to do a rhythmic sigh that sounds very 'happy'. It'll certainly make it seem like we're working the Oedipal angle! Then, just last week he figured out how to GASP and make a really loud sound that apparently is hysterically funny to him. He likes to do it over and over, which is cute when you can see the big grin on his face, but sounds a lot like crying when you're two rows away from it. Watch, with my luck I'll be getting the stink eye for having a cheerful baby!

In honor of the trip, I finally got around to decorating his helmet. Of course, I didn't prep the plastic properly, so much of this first round rubbed off within 48 hours. I had to sand it, apply plastic primer, repaint it and then do three layers of topcoat to make it durable. It's still off-gassing a little, but hopefully the brain damage will be minimal. 


OTR sister said...

Too funny about the brain damage.

You can leave the stroller at the end of the boarding ramp, no charge. Just check in at your gate and they'll give you a special tag.

Are you going to be riding a shuttle to the car rental place? They should have some sort of transportation available, right? If so, the driver can help you store the stroller and you hold Brex on your lap. It's not ideal but it happens.

I find that when I'm on a plane now the crying of other babies doesn't bother me - I'm just relieved I don't have to soothe them.

Good luck! Being a parent on a plane is a lesson in humility but maybe you'll catch a break.

NGS said...

As an adult without kids, I ALWAYS give parents of babies and toddlers the benefit of the doubt when I see them traveling on planes. Don't worry about annoying other people! They'll be making faces at Brex and trying to get him to smile!

otr mama said...

If you can find a copy, you and Jrex should read Paul Reiner's book, Parenthood. You will be laughing too much to worry about anything.

Aimee said...

Oh I agree about Parenthood!

When you take off and land, if possible, try to get him to nurse or give him a bottle (if you do that) or a pacifier. That motion helps their ears not hurt.

Does your car seat allow for putting the seat belt through the frame under the seat? I *think* they all have that option. If you bought a ticket for Brex and he has his own seat, he'll also be able to have his own carry-on and checked bag, as well as a personal bag (aka, purse, laptop bag, diaper bag).

We flew to St. Louis when Abbie was 5 months old. She took her bottle at take off and slept pretty much the entire time we were in the air.

In my opinion, the most stressful thing about traveling with a baby is going through security. It's awful. You'll have to scan the car seat, stroller, everything. So be sure you follow the TSA's 3-1-1 rules. If possible, wear slip on/off shoes. If you put him in the stroller through the airport, take him out before security. Since you're traveling alone, I think/hope the TSA officers will be helpful to you, as you may have your hands full. I don't mean to sound like Debbie Downer, but it was the biggest surprise for us when we traveled. Of course, we had a monitor and other stuff we had to take, so we were like a giant caravan going through security. :-)

You're a planner and you'll do great! Just breathe and get excited about seeing friends and getting your hair done. :-)

Anonymous said...

It's legal to skip a carseat when using a taxi.

Mizasiwa said...

I only know US procedure from what i have seen on TV ;-) (ala CSI lol) but my only suggestion is to maybe carry as little baggage as possible to help you on both ends - maybe JRex can take any excess stuff you may need for the wedding days so that there is minimal stuff to carry and worry about - I also read on another blog that they make you take the babies shoes off too so maybe dont put any on ??? good luck and have fun. We have a wedding this weekend so Ill be thinking of you guys!! PS that helmet is just too cute!!

Anonymous said...

If you can find a book that has buttons, crinkly papers, and flaps and such in it would keep him entertained for quite a while. Like this one, even though he's young it'll give him a lot to touch and pull, etc:

Feeding him or dipping your finger into something tasty and letting him suck on it during take off and landing will help with the ear pressure, especially landing.

As for the noises he makes I wouldn't worry too much about it. It's pretty noisy on the plane already and nowadays most folks are plugged into their electronic devices.


Inkling said...

Argh....for some reason I'm just seeing this post. We've flown so many times with Grasshopper that I feel like I could write a book on what works and what doesn't. Guess I should clear my cache more often. I hope your trip went really well and that you had a fun time, and that everyone who saw your little guy fell head over heels at first sight. He's such a cutie!