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The 7 Steps of Flying with a Baby

I recently did something that I never thought I would be able to do, fly with a baby.  

As someone who is already terrified of flying, the idea of adding a fussy baby to the mix sounded awful, but I can honestly say that it wasn’t THAT bad.  Pre-baby, I would spend the entire time before take-off anxiously looking around the cabin of the plane, gripping my armrest with sweaty palms, and praying to God that this wasn’t my last few moments on this Earth.  

Dramatic, I know.

Now, add a baby to the mix.  Thankfully, I survived.  But it didn’t come without anxieties and a few hilarious moments.  Here are the 7 Steps of flying with a baby as recently experienced by yours truly on our family vacation to Hawaii.

Step 1: Pack, then re-pack, and then re-pack again

A few days leading up to any flight, it’s usually a smart idea to begin packing.  My first attempt at packing, I made sure to include all of the essentials for both my daughter and me.  Clothes, shoes, toiletries, and swimsuits.  Perfect!  Now, wait…we’re going to need diapers and formula.  Better re-pack to make room for that.  Great!  All set.  Oh gosh, wait…we’re going to need blankets, swaddles, and nursing covers.  Better repack again!

Step 2:  Get baby ready the morning of the flight

For me, the day of our flight began at 4AM.  I repeat, 4AM.  For my little one, mornings are the busiest.  After feeding her, changing her diaper, and getting her dressed in a onesie that would keep her warm enough in the airport, it was already time to leave.  The rest of the family was already waiting patiently in the car as I rushed around the house like a tornado tying up loose ends.

Step 3: Get through security

Talk about stressful.  Arriving at LAX for our flight was easy enough.  A Hawaiian airlines attendant met us curbside and checked our luggage in for us.  From there we made our way through security.  In what seemed like an eternity, but was actually only about 3 minutes, we had our stroller disassembled and on the conveyor belt to be scanned along with our carry-ons, shoes, laptops, and purses.  I wouldn’t be surprised if we lost a binkie somewhere in all the madness.

Step 4: Wait for the flight

This included buying water bottles to mix with the baby formula on the flight, changing the baby’s diaper, eating breakfast, and finding a much-needed cup of coffee!

Step 5: Board the plane

Surprisingly, this was the easiest part!  Passengers with wheelchairs and families with strollers were allowed to board first.  I rolled my daughter’s stroller right up to the door of the plane where I was met by a flight attendant who checked our stroller and car seat.  From there, boarding was relatively easy and stress-free.

Here we are, waiting for the plane to take off!

Step 6: TAKE OFF!

This part was by far the most stressful part for me.  Flying to Hawaii was a cinch, we made sure to feed the baby as we took off so that her ears would pop.  She did amazing and even slept most of the way.  Flying home, however, was another story.  Our flight was in the afternoon and in the bustle of getting to the airport on time, our daughter missed ALL her naps.  As soon as we were seated on the plane, she began to cry was inconsolable for the whole first hour.  I was on the verge of tears as the passengers in front of us glared.  Pro tip, don’t let your baby miss their naps before their flight!

Step 7: Enjoy your vacation!

We made some incredible memories and went on some pretty amazing adventures in Hawaii, making all stress of traveling with a baby 100% worth it.

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