I have a lengthy post about our first flight experience coming up on Real Health, but I wanted to get a short list of tips on BERF from our travels across the country. Bullet form for easy reading!
CHECKED GEAR – We brought our Chicco KeyFit 30 car seat in this Jeep bag. The bag was fabulous, easy to carry, spacious and big enough to fit the seat, but it was slightly ripped upon our arrival home. Boo airlines. Just a surface rip so it’s still easy to use. The car seat inside was fine. Checking the car seat was free – halleluiah! So glad we took our own car seat because we ended up getting stuck overnight in Chicago and needed to take a cab to a hotel. We could not have done this had we not had our car seat with us. We didn’t take the base – just the seat and knew how to strap it into the middle with a seat belt. It was quick and easy.
GATE GEAR – We took our Uppababy G-lite stroller, the Boba wrap, our Skiphop diaper bag full of baby stuff and a backpack with our adult things. Mazen stayed in the stroller at the airport (he’s heavy!) and got in the Boba for naps and the flights. We were really worried he wouldn’t nap without a crib, but he eventually got tired enough to fall asleep on his dad. We checked the stroller at the gate each flight and it was fine – no damage.
EXTRA HANDS – So glad I had Matt and Karen with me. Traveling alone would be realllly hard!
FOOD – I had no trouble bringing frozen breast milk or a 3.5 ounce squeeze pouch through security. I nursed him on the flights and in the airport with my cover. I also wore a nursing tank with a flowy top so that I could just stick his head in there and use the top as a cover if I needed it. Like this:
ENTERTAINMENT – We brought about 8 toys – a book, a few rattles, a few things to chew on, some rings, a monkey. They were more than enough. Pack fewer toys than you think you need. Remember everyday objects make great toys too : )
DIAPERS – We used disposables for the trip and left our cloth diapers at home. This was a great choice to reduce what we had to carry in the airport and luggage. We usually tried to change his diaper 20 minutes before the flight took off. Most of the bathrooms had nice changing stations (although sometimes there was a line of other moms!) Luckily there was no poop during the flights and we changed him as soon as we deplaned.
TIMING – I would not recommend flying at night. We thought it would be better than early morning, but he just wanted to sleep and got uncomfortable in the carrier so then we just had to hold him and that got uncomfortable for the parents’ arms. Daytime flights are probably ideal at this age (7 months). Our return flight was daytime and it went so much better than our flight out, which left at 5pm and landed well into the night.
In general, people were very nice and accommodating. At the Chicago airport (after our overnight stay) we were able to get in a really short security line. Matt wore Mazen through and I was in charge of putting the stroller and gear through the X-ray machine. It all went very smoothly.
I think that’s about all the highlights!! Anything I missed?