Worried. Anxious. Stressed. Dubious. A thesaurus full of such words is how I felt leading up to my first flight solo with little one in tow. How did it actually go? Smooth. Swimmingly. A-OK!! Phew!
The morning started off rather hellish though. I had 2 Miny Moe orders I had to drop off at the post office. I thought my flight was leaving at 2:30pm and I would have plenty of time in the morning. Then I checked the info... whoops... LANDING at 2:30, departing at 12:15! Taxi scheduled for 10am, post office opens at 9am and is a 30 minute walk from my apartment. OMG. Got back from the P.O. at 9:40 spectacularly sweaty and had to feed the baby... more sweat. Taxi comes, and despite my telling the dispatcher several times that I will have an INFANT who needs a rear-facing car seat for a YOUNG BABY, well, of course there was NO CARSEAT!!! $@#*&@#$ are you $#@^&*#@$ kidding me???!!!! Driver seemed sorry, it obviously wasn't his fault. He asked me what I wanted to do, and well, what could I do?? Out in Bay Ridge you can't exactly just haul a taxi with an infant car seat. So I said, well, f-ing drive carefully man!! And he did. Probably the safest taxi ride of my life!! I wasn't sure of the safest way to hold a baby in a car. Hadn't exactly researched that and probably should. I knew better than to put the seatbelt over both of us, but that's about it. I decided to put the seatbelt on myself and tie him in the carrier to myself over the seatbelt. This way he wouldn't fly about in an accident, though my chin might have cracked into his little head, so I kept my hand up there most of the ride.
Got to the airport, checked in, waked to the security line and OMG it is like 200 people deep. Seriously. No exaggeration. Well, I really really wish I didn't have to pee really really bad. No bathroom to be seen and I just go ahead and get at the back of the line. I am thankful I didn't bring the stroller, this would have been extremely frustrating snaking through the narrow Disneyland-esque lines. Instead I had Kenzo wrapped up snuggly in his Mei Tai carrier, and had his diaper bag hooked on top of our carry-on suitcase. FYI I highly recommend this method as it left me with a free hand (or 2 if we weren't on the move) and I was very mobile and not weighed down with too much crap. A few minutes after waiting in line (I am living in NY but I will never say "waiting ON line" haha) a worker comes and scoops me and Kenzo up, walking past EVERYONE up to the wheelchair entrance and bam, we have cut the line shaving a good hour off of the process! Niiiiiiice. Next came the part I mostly dreaded. I thought I'd have to take Kenzo out of his carrier. Then I wouldn't have enough hands. Yikes. I asked the worker and HOOOORAY baby could stay in the carrier!! On top of that, I didn't have to pour the water out of my water bottle - he said "Well, that's for baby..." haha. Technically, I guess it is. If mama gets dehydrated, baby won't get enough milk. We shot through the metal detector and then I had my hands swabbed for chemicals. Interesting!
Got to our gate, and wouldn't you know we're delayed. Keeps getting pushed back 15 minutes, 20 minutes, another 10 minutes... By the time we're ready to go it's been delayed a total of 2 hours. But in that time, Kenzo took a beautiful nap on my in his carrier:
So boarding started with the typical "Passengers with small children needing extra time or assistance are welcomed to board first". I had debated whether to board first or last, thinking the less time cooped up in that tiny seat the better. But I went ahead and boarded first. I asked them if I could check my suitcase at the gate but they said we're not full so there is no need. I explained "But, well, I can't get it into the overhead bin" motioning at the baby strapped to my chest. So, I got my own little bell boy to assist me! He rolled the suitcase onto the plane and stowed it away for me - niiiiiiiiiiiice!! I sat down, and the flight attendant came over right away to say hello and explain where the infant life vests are and how to use the emergency oxygen mask on the baby (WHAT?? OMG! NO!!!). The rest of the passengers boarded and pretty soon the flight attendant came back to explain that there are a lot of empty seats and do I want to move somewhere more spacious. Yes please!! I moved back a few rows so that the 10 seats surrounding us were empty. Wow! This is awesome!! No pervy perves to worry about peeking under my nursing cover! Kenzo stayed awake the whole flight. I nursed him while taxiing. He had no issues during the ascent. We played and sang songs (thank god for my 3x a week library babies and books classes - I had quite a repertoire of songs to work with during our 90 minute flight!!). I nursed him again during the descent and he didn't seem to have any pain whatsoever. There was a magnetic changing table in the bathroom, but thankfully we didn't need to use that.
And there we were, safe and sound in Charlotte and picked up by my own mama. One more hitch to work through though... she'd borrowed a car seat from my aunt and it seriously took us 15 minutes to figure out how to tighten the straps! haha!! Despite what you may be thinking, neither of us are not blonde ^_^
That sums up my first solo flight with Kenzo (5 months). In case you have your own trip coming up, be prepared - make sue you know the policies of the airline (ours required no ID for the baby, nor a letter from
daddy saying we weren't abducting the baby - of course both are required for int'l travel), bring enough toys, diapers, food, etc for double your estimated trip time - you never know when delays will happen!! Prepare for the worst, hope for the best, right??
I'm a NYC metro area mom blogger living in NJ with my Japanese husband & our 3 kids (twins plus 1), focusing on fun and honest product and travel reviews, saving moms time finding the best for their families! Find what you need in the menu bar or search section above!