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Monday
Jun292009

Frequent Cryer.

I logged some big hours on my favorite river over the past few days. Caught a lot of trout. I caught a monster on Friday on a San Juan Worm on 5x tippet. Does that excite you?

We took Violet to her first Birthday Party. I ate a lot of jelly beans. I couldn't stop shoving them in my pie-hole. The weather has turned summer-y,finally. In other words, I haven't slowed down long enough to write anything new. I'll hit that this afternoon when Violet naps.

Right now, I have to go mow some lawns. So I wanted to put this out there. At the end of this week we're taking Violet on her first plane journeys. We're all really excited to be gettin' outta Dodge for a long weekend, but the plane ride thing has got me wondering. And so to those of you with some frequent cryer miles, maybe you can share the wisdom...

Do you take your own stroller/car seat? Does your diaper bag count as a carry-on? Do you board early or just wait until the last minute to avoid a fidgety kid? What sort of ID does a baby need? Is it acceptable for the dad to enter the airplane bathroom above Colorado and exit it just before landing in Detroit? What are is the over/under for me to score a Mile High Club point on this flight? How does a baby in your lap usually react when massive jet engines kick in all around her? Is a bottle or a binky better to keep little ears from popping? What else? Everything else!!

If you have any good tips on air travel with a baby, let me know here today.

Reader Comments (14)

Well, my daughter is now 13 so this is a bit of reach back in the memories. Yes, take your own car seat and stroller. You will have to gate check the stroller but it will be there for you as you exit the plane. I would think either a binky or a bottle would work for ears. My first plane trip with my daughter - I nursed her through take off and landing and it seemed to help. She didn't seem bothered by the engines on the plane at all. I hope that your trip goes smoothly.

June 29, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterhockeychic

Bring the car seat. If you can get a seat on plane, key to have her strapped in. It calms her and avoids craziness if she decides to make a move in middle of descent. Use seat belt on flight to "install" car seat just like you would in car (but she can probably face forward). You can call airline to check on what is allowed. My daughter who was/is generally the easiest going girl in the world literally went crazy on a flight (banging her head against the window) when she was a little older than Violet) because of close confines and cabin pressure. I had to bear hug her until she calmed down (so she wouldn't hurt herself). Not my favorite moment as a Dad (didn't enjoy the looks). Only time she did it though -- think it was a particular combination of how she was feeling and flight. Of course, I always made sure we had car seat on subsequent flights! Good luck! I'm sure Violet (based on what you've written) will be a good little traveler.

June 29, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterfellowdad

Current tip - Try and keep her awake for as long as possible before the flight in the hope that she'll sleep for most of the journey.

Future tip - Never let her travel as an unaccompanied minor on American Airlines. I put my daughter (about 10 or 11 at the time) on a plane at Heathrow, to be met at Boston by friends. Plane hit a snow storm and had to divert to Chicago, where they promptly lost her. For 12 hours I had no idea where in the world she was. Turns out they put (well actually locked) her in a room at Chicago airport, while they were trying to find an overnight chaperone for her, forgot about her, and all went off to the stopover hotel. The cleaner found her the next morning.
Asleep in a cupboard.
Mind you, I think it stood her in good stead for future travel - she went round the world on her own when she was 19 and survived some very hair-raising situations, which would have left most of us scurrying home on the next available flight.

Have a brilliant time x

June 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda

Serge - this is Sandi from Chapel Hill. My daughter was born about a month after Violet (her bday is Feb 13). Congrats to you and your lovely wife. As for travel - I flew by myself with Annabelle (my little one, I call her Annie) when she was 3 months old and was nervous about it - but it wound up being a cinch. In the diaper bag I packed plenty of diapers, a few pacifiers, 3 burp cloths, a change of clothes for Annie, some powdered formula and 2 empty bottles. I bought bottled water (room temperature) as soon as I got through security and we were all set. I traveled with her carseat (infant carrier) and the stroller frame that the carrier snaps into. I checked my luggage and gate checked the stroller. That way I was able to take her seat out of the car when I got to the airport, snap it into the stroller & go & then I could pick the stroller up at the arrival gate at my connecting city, snap her seat back into the stroller & wheel her to the next gate. I asked at the ticket counter if there were any empty seats on the plane- found out there were, so I carried her on in her carseat & buckled it into the plane seat. She snoozed the whole way - BOTH FLIGHTS! She was awake in the airport, but happy as a clam so I took her out of her seat and played with her in between flights. I mixed up a couple of bottles using the bottled water and it worked great. One suggestion - if you guys have a Baby Bjorn, bring it in your carry-on just in case. That way if Violet gets upset about being in her seat, you can put her in the Baby Bjorn, strap her to you and still have both hands free. while walking through the airport. The only thing to be aware of is that you have to fold up the stroller & put it on the x-ray machine - and the car seat has to go through the x-ray also. So you have to get her out of the carseat before you get to the front of the security line so you can already have the stroller folded up and ready to go. This was the only difficult part when I was traveling because I didn't have my Baby Bjorn with me and I had to try to hold the baby with one arm while trying to fold up the stroller and carseat since I didn't have a spare set of hands with me (my husband).

Other than that it was a cinch. You will do great. Oh - I was able to gate check the stroller, carry on the carseat and get through security with all of that & my diaper bag as a carry on. I just threw my personal belongings in the diaper bag so I wouldn't have to carry anything else. I was told at the airport that I would have also been able to carry on my purse as well, so you should be alright carrying the diaper bag and your man-purse/bag if needed.

PS. My hubby is a stay-at-home dad too - he works evenings and I work during the day. I am so happy to hear you are doing well and that you are so in love with your baby - as I am with mine.

June 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSandi and Mark

I have a 14-month-old; we made a flight from UK to Vegas and back when he was 3 months old. We took his convertible Britax Roundabout car seat, and carried him in the Baby Bjorn throughout the airport. We decided that there was too much to carry already, without the stroller. They gave us bulkhead seats twice. This helped because we could face the car seat toward the rear, which made it easier to tend to him while flying. The pacifier was enough to keep him happy during takeoff and landing. Generally they allow parents with young children (under 2) to board first -- this was so helpful when setting up the car seat! We didn't need an ID for him on CONUS flights, but we did need his passport for the transatlantic ones. The diaper bag was the baby's carry-on. He was totally fine with the enhine noise. We had a few hiccups: 1. baby vomited at the airport twice; 2. baby didn't like the commotion at the airport and wouldn't eat -- he was actually much happier on the flight; 3. we were delayed in Philly overnight and ran out of baby clothes. And if you disappear into the bathroom, the men will all secretly root for you and the women (incl. Monica) will think you're a schmuck. As for the mile-high club, I give you 10,000,000 to 1 against.

June 29, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterloulou

Oops, I forgot about the ears popping. Annie did fine. She had her pacifier in her mouth when we took off (she was asleep) and spit it out half way through the flight and her ears didn't seem to bother her at all. If she had been awake, I had planned on giving her a bottle or pacifier during takeoff & landing. Both should work just as well assuming Violet sucks on the paci as hard as she sucks on a bottle (if she doesn't and she's lazy with the paci, try the bottle instead).

As for ID, we still haven't gotten Annie's birth certificate in the mail, so I went to the airport with no ID (for her) and they just had to get me some sort of boarding document for her using my ID. I'm sure this is to avoid people traveling illegally with children - or to at least be able to track who they are and where they are going. If you have gotten her birth certificate or her social security card in the mail already, you can bring that with you as documentation.

June 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSandi and Mark

Either a pacifier or a bottle at take off and landing to distract her from the ear popping and the other distractions. Looks like everyone else covered it though:)

June 29, 2009 | Unregistered Commentermizkylie

Hey there

Thanks for your comment on my bg re:Sproglet. If he is indeed a rock star I shall be more than delighted as long as he skips that whole sex and drugs part obviously...

I used to fly weekly when my son was 4 months old for work reasons - now it may be different here in the old UK - but you can take your stroller all the way to the plane steps and then leave it there, literally on the ground. Just check it it at the desk...

I was always allowed 2 bags - my woman who carries everything in the world bag and all the baby bumf bag. I brought formula in powder form - high security at the time meant you had to - and two bottles with sterilised water - which I had to sip to prove it wasn't freakin' explosives. I brought rice cakes snacks and as many dummies - think you call em binkies - as posible.

Ok - now for the confession. I drugged my child. Ironic after my above statement - but true... Well kind of. I gave him a little cough syrup stuff - here its calpol and after he had slurped his bottle he would suck down on his dummy for take off and then... sleep. Bliss. He would wake for landing - a dummy suck or two later and all good. A few rattle toys help. And a blanket as those damn planes get too hot and then too cold.

Mile high club? Well, if you count getting down and dirty with yourself then fine, work away until you get angry stares from those queuing in the aisles.

Otherwise, drink some of that cough syrup yourself and sleep through...

Enjoy!

June 29, 2009 | Unregistered Commentercrummymummy

Well now you've opened the drugging babies can of worms, I confess to drugging both mine on long journeys.
Phenergan was the designer baby drug in my time - one teaspoon and zonk. Dead (whoop) to the world for several hours.
It was certainly my 'mother's little helper'.
You could even use it with a clear conscience, as one of the conditions it is used for is motion sickness!

Baby Number One (just turned 30) is standing right here in the room, strangely enough wearing the red boxing gloves Marah T shirt, and he doesn't seem too the worse for wear.
Don't think I've turned him into a drug addict (although he does like a nice joint now and then - well mainly now).

Bon voyage.

June 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Absolutely the carseat if they will let you bring it on. Fresh pair of PJs too. As a dad, I travel with 3 that are ages 4 and under. The babies are always the wildcard. Another thing that has helped get me more sympathetic help, dress business casual or as close as you can. I have traveled enough with kids to see the difference compared to when I dress down. One more thing, be as friendly and respectable to the gate agents. They can hold the key to your happiness or demise. You WILL have to use them to check strollers, and also check and see if there are extra seats on the plane to shuffle you around to get seated next to one. If the gate agent is a woman, YOU go up there and take care of business. If a man, have Monica take care of things. If you suspect the man gate agent might be gay, YOU take care of it. Play the fucking sympathy card as much as you can. Seriously.

June 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Lots of good tips already. If you are flying Southwest they do family boarding now between the A and B groups. If SW make sure you check in right at 24 hours before the departure time to get an A group number. Baby Benadryl is our peds relaxing agent of choice. Bring twice as many diapers as you think you might need and every pacifier or blanket she has ever showed an interest in.

It'll be harder next summer when she can move. Even money she sleeps through the whole thing.

June 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Who is watching Max and Milo?
Violet knows no life without her best pals.

June 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Max and Milo are leaving the same day as us. Max saved couch change for the last 5 years and just bought himself a 1976 mustard Le Car.

I gave them each fifty bucks and so they're off to Vegas when we roll out.

I'll be disappointed if we ever see or even hear from them again.

June 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSerge

This is the best blog. I love all these readers and the writer! Look what you've created all happy people just lookin' out for each other. I look forward to reading everyday even though I don't have kids, just to see the positivity. Serge you should take over if Obama doesn't pull through. You could probably change the world.

June 30, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

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