When Mike and I first discussed travel arrangements for his graduation from bootcamp, I had brought up the idea of leaving Madeline at home. I wasn’t sure how well she would do with flying and we wouldn’t be gone more than a few days. However, a first time dad who hasn’t seen his daughter in 4 months could not fathom the idea of not bringing her. So, we got prepared and settled in for baby’s first flight!
We were supposed to leave Albany at 7 am with a connecting flight in Baltimore where would switch planes to arrive at our destination in Atlanta. I knew we may encounter obstacles but just prayed it would work out. Now because Madeline is so young we had the option for her to fly on my lap. I knew that I could keep her in her car seat clicked into her stroller all the way to the gate. We woke up at 4:45 to a text message that our first flight was delayed and we’d miss our connecting flight. I called Southwest and sure enough all other flights from Baltimore to Atlanta were booked for the day. Even though I knew it would be a hassle we loaded up and headed up to the airport. Arriving at the check in counter it seemed strange that there was no one in line. Unfortunately it was as I expected – they couldn’t get us there until the following night, which would mean we would miss a ceremony and a day with Mike. I started asking things like “can we drive to another airport and fly out?” And “can we go to a different city and connect.” Sure enough they were boarding a flight at that exact time to Tampa, we’d be able to connect to Atlanta but we had to run. I found out quickly that the Britax b-safe b-agile travel system makes a great jogging stroller! It meant everything I knew I needed to do was accelerated – move quickly though security, gate check the stroller, all these things took a while but we pushed through and arrived at the gate just in time – we were the last passengers to board.
What the rush didn’t prepare me for however was flying with a baby on my lap. I knew I would be holding her, but I ended up in a middle seat. That meant every move I made had to be deliberate so I didn’t bump someone. I luckily had pleasant passengers next to me who understood.
Madeline was exceptional on the plane, I nursed her for take off and landing which helped with the pressure in her ears – she didn’t cry once. Bringing my DIY nursing scarf as a cover was a stroke for genius. It allowed me the privacy to fed her without too much hassle. I was nervous seated next to an older gentleman but no one said a word to me. Even having to switch sides and find a semi comfortable nursing position for both of us, we made it work.
Throughout the flight she chatted off and on but mostly slept. I was so thankful. The only issue we ran into was a full diaper. Because I didn’t get a chance to change her prior to takeoff she had one full, wet diaper on the flight. I wasn’t sure what the changing situation would be like in the front lavatory and didn’t get brave enough to check it out!
I also remembered to ask about first wings, our flight attendant was wonderful and was able to check for us. They brought us a pin to signify Madeline’s first flight, it was a great keepsake for her.
All things considered despite a rocky start to the day Madeline did great on the plane. While other babies were crying and yelling she was (mostly) pleasant. It was a long three hours for her but she managed and we made it! The return flight was better because we will have daddy to help us!