We went to visit my sister-in-law and her family for 5 days. Both Matt and I were nervous about flying with an infant but Ethan was a great traveler. The day we left he decided that he wasn't really interested in eating. This made me panic a little because I planned to have him nurse while we were taking off (it's suggested that the baby nurse/take a bottle/pacifier during take off and landing). Luckily, as soon as we were ready to take off Ethan decided he was hungry and tired. He nursed to sleep and slept for more than an hour. It was a five hour flight so he took another short nap later on during the flight. He only melted down a few times and each episode was brief. Flying is so noisy that our neighboring passengers said they barely heard him.
What helped us?
-We took this trip before he was mobile so he didn't mind staying in our seats for the entire flight. He loves when you help him stand so that kept him occupied for a while.
-We had a lot of his favorite books & toys.
-We also packed LOTS of pacifiers. Ethan just started taking the MAM pacifiers recently. He had been sucking on 2 fingers but refusing the Soothies pacifiers. We tried the MAM's again and I'm glad we did since they helped on this flight. He dropped about 5 of them so I was glad to be armed with a bag full of clean ones.
-Thanks to a suggestion from a friend I bought disposable changing pads. We have our changing pad but it was nice to not have to wipe it off before putting it back in the diaper bag. I cringe just thinking about the germs in the airplane/airport bathrooms.
The flight home was longer but Ethan was amazing during the entire time!! There were terrible storms so our flight was rerouted, we flew in circles, had to land in VA to refuel, then take a longer route to our destination to avoid more storms. It was about 13 hours of traveling (including drives to & from the airports). Ethan had very few breakdowns. He nursed A LOT that day though. I think he felt insecure from being out of his element for nearly a week. On top of that he was still suffering from a reaction to whatever I accidentally ate. A relative used butter/cooking spray when preparing chicken. We aren't sure which one and I didn't ask b/c I didn't want to make her feel bad about it.
We flew SouthWest and it was great. We were able to do family board (where they have you board between group A and B). We sat in a section with other families which was a HUGE plus on this flight. There were amazing mothers who were flying alone with their children. One of these mothers was flying with a one-year-old and a five-year-old. WOW. She was super mom! She had enough activities for each half hour of the flight for her five-year-old. Her son has a milk allergy and she packed plenty of allergen free snacks for him. It was neat to 'watch her work'. She kept those kids entertained and happy. She bought a seat for her one-year-old and brought his car seat along. It looked like a lot to lug through the airport (double stroller, car seat on top of it, big carry-on for her with the kids food & toys, etc) but it looked worth it to me. The one-year-old looked comfortable in his car seat and a plus that it was familiar to him so that he could sleep. He was cranky towards the end of the flight but I think we all were.
Some pics from our trip:
First time in a pool!
On the flight home
Of course I have tons more pics, including some really cute ones of Ethan & his cousins, but I'm not sure how my sister-in-law would feel about me posting pics of her children on my blog so I'll refrain. Trust me, they're cute!