Twelve Flights and Counting

Last night marked Jack’s twelfth flight on an airplane in his thirteen months of life. Mandy found an excellent article on four things to keep in mind when flying with kids, and I have a few of my own to add, one for each flight:

  1. Take way more pacifiers than you think you’ll need. Those little clip things that hook a pacifier onto the kiddo are worth their weight in gold. We always forget ours.
  2. Have a backup bear, sippy cup, storybook, etc. Basically, if you care that something will be rendered too dirty to use by hitting the ground in the airport, bring a backup.
  3. The “family bathroom” in Detroit is the nastiest place in the airport. Apparently it’s the clandestine smoker and bladder-control-problem paradise. Anything that touches the ground here is forfeit. Just change the kid in the waiting area or the men’s room. They’re much cleaner.
  4. Car rental car sets are a crap shoot. Have a backup plan or just bring your own. It’s big, it’s heavy, it’s a PITA, but being stranded at the car rental place is even worse.
  5. Morning flights are easier than evening flights. Especially evening flights that get delayed into red-eyes. Kiddo at 4 hours past bed time is no fun.
  6. I am undecided on the best means on transport for Jack. We’ve done the
    MacPac Possum
    when he was smaller, the big stroller and the umbrella. Jack likes the big stroller the best, the MacPac is great through security but doesn’t hold much, and the little stroller is the easiest stroller to deal with. I’m not sure the Mac is really an option any more now that kiddo is running around and wants his wiggle time.
  7. Try to relax. Most people on the flight understand that dealing with a sub-one-year-old is hard and won’t lynch you if they cry a bit. The kid picks up on your tension and it just makes things worse.
  8. This one is from observation-only: breast feeding on a plane is a pain in the ass, especially if you’re on the aisle. If you can, get the window seat. Of course, everything else is a pain in the ass on a plane too.
  9. Timing flights around naps is a very very good idea. This assumes you have a nap schedule and that the flight is on time.
  10. Delays suck. So do layovers. Direct flights are the best if you can swing it.
  11. The water feature in DTW is a great way to spend some time. Kids love it.
  12. Ask for help if you need it. It always amazes me how helpful people tend to be towards frazzled parents with an unhappy baby.
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