I was so super nervous about traveling with the baby! the thought of 2 planes and leaving the house at 3:00 am!! yah I was thinking ohhh man!! how much to pack, what were must haves when traveling with a baby!! it had been over 20 years since I had flown on a plane with a baby!! (when I was 19 years old I flew to California with my 3 month old baby ... I was young and didn't know what to expect so I don't remember being nervous!)
I flew with Alaska Air and they really were fantastic... helping with my stuff and ensuring I got an aisle seat so I would have a little more elbow/arm room with the baby!! I LOVE that you can check in your car seat and stroller right at the gate!! I couldn't imagine trying to wrangle the baby and the diaper bag and keeping quick access to the boarding passes and ID .. sooooo sooooo great and made the whole thing so much easier!
When deciding on what flights to take I knew that the baby is happiest in the mornings... and he is usually sleepy until 10am .. a baby after his momma's own heart! I LOVE my lazy mornings and my hubby is a lover of early morning rising ... we are each hoping Brahm is like ourselves and not the other :) ... I also wanted to maximize my limited time with my sister so we chose the first flight ... 5:00am .. that meant I had to get up at 2:30am .. out the door by 3:30 ... yah that made for a VERY VERY long day!! but the baby was sleepy and therefore easy to keep pacified!! and that all means I had no haters on the plane!! you know you all hate baby's on the plane!!! People give half smiles that don't reach their eyes ... except for the grandma's .. and I mean the real grandma grandma's... not the city kind :) (the ones who don't really have time for their grand babies) ...but the ones that babysit and love to watch their little "angels" :) ... Right before my 2nd plane to Phoenix had to be boarded Brahm had a poop explosion and I had 15 minutes to change him and get on the plane .. thankfully I had black leggings on so you couldn't tell I had some leakage on me as well... yah gross!! so I ran to the washroom.. took off his onsie which ended up spreading the poop all up his back and across his shoulders .. I stood there for a few seconds holding his onsie wondering "do I toss it? or keep it?" ... I kept it, all feeling the pressure of the clock cuz I did NOT want to miss my flight!! I managed to wheel myself to the gate and load the plane... last one to board .. and my seat was at the back ... that meant a LOT of eyes watching me try to navigate the narrow aisle with a squirming baby who wanted to go back to sleep, and a large diaper bag that hit quite a few shoulders and I side walked my way to the back of the plane... receiving quite a few "Oh God" looks from passengers who were sure they were about to endure 2.5 hours of screaming hell!
Brahm was an angel... he fussed a bit before take off but soon I had him fast asleep and he stayed that way until we landed... no shrill crying at all!! my early morning flight plan worked out!!
my advice - when traveling with your little one try to arrange your flights around their happiest times as much as possible!! it bodes better for you, baby and the other passengers :) pack a plastic bag to put poop exploded clothing items in (this would have been smart for me to think of PRIOR to said poop explosion), pack lots of spit cloths, pack an extra set of clothes for yourself (re:poop explosion), or wear dark clothing that you cannot see poop explosion! pack tylenol for baby and yourself!! cuz if it's not your baby that is crying it could be someone else's baby! download games you can play with one hand on your smart phone ... I got stuck on the 1 game and couldn't download anymore games without it costing me a small fortune!!
Travelling home my flight left Phoenix at 6:00 am ... and Brahm was not the only baby on board ... there were a couple and they cried most of the time!! ... when I checked in I asked if there was any room to upgrade my ticket to first class... there was... and only $50US, I quickly fished the cash out of my wallet .. a bigger seat was totally worth the $50 to me! I also had 2 bags to check in which would have cost an additional $50 so I was handing over $100 to the lady and she said oh now that you are in first class it is free to check your bags in ... so I only paid $50 even though I was happy to pay $100!! and I got coffee right away, can I get an AMEN!!... a bigger seat with lots of leg room so I was able to push myself down and lay Brahm on my chest and we both could snooze without fear of him rolling off! and I also received breakfast .. for free!! and OJ in a glass cup...something about drinking in a glass cup that makes you feel so much more sophisticated :) When I had to go to the washroom the attendant held my baby like he was a precious gift ... she said to me after with such a soft look of happiness on her face " I haven't had a baby snuggle in such a long time, thank you" ... no thank you cuz I really had to pee!! ;)
All in all Alaska Airlines was awesome to travel with and the people around me all were very thankful that I had such an "Amazing" baby!! :)
Being at a conference with a baby was also a little nerve wracking to me initially ... I know almost everyone there were mothers themselves but I was extremely aware of the fact that these people had paid a lot of money and some travelled very far to attend and I didn't want my baby to be a bother to them at all.
For the most part Brahm was really good ... it was difficult to figure out what workshops would work out with his mood :) ... I really am NOT a scheduled person .. those that know me totally just rolled their eyes cuz that's an understatement! I do not schedule my babies .. I am not a "baby wise" momma ... I feed when they are hungry and I put them down to sleep when they are tired ... and generally fly by the seat of my pants through life :) a couple of times I sneaked out .. ok sneak is not really the word with the size of my stroller (see above) and I missed some things I wanted to take part in but I knew going in that that would be a challenge ... I didn't really realize that my "non-scheduled" baby still had a schedule of sorts!
This was my sis and I on the Iris Awards night ... right at the "witching hour" and so I missed the singing and a good chunk of the awards part .... baby comes first and it did give me extra time with my sister and like I've mentioned before .. that really was my #1 priority .. it SUCKS living so far from her!
I loved the Nursing Lounge put on by Lansinoh ...with cookies and water and a nice cool cozy room to sit and feed/change the baby ... even though I nurse anywhere .. hey this is my 5th I have NO inhibitions or shyness about public nursing!! and I especially loved the DOVE room ... I loved the big comfy white couches the white drapes and the serenity that had been created in the room... and of course the pampering!! that was amazing!! getting our makeup done the one day and our hair done the next .. LOVE getting pampered ... it was really funny cuz I asked the make up artist what can I do about the dark circles under my eyes thinking that maybe she would actually have some magic cure ... but her response was "there is really nothing you can do about that" ... lol .. yah ... oh well!! it was worth asking! Shannon and I enjoyed getting our pictures taken and sharing a quick 30 sec video on what beauty means to us ... it was all so well done and I loved sharing that experience with my sister!
SO would I travel to another bloggers conference with a wee baby?? .... yes! but since I do not plan on having any more babies :) I don't really have to worry about that ..but I certainly wouldn't let it stop anyone from going ... there is so much love and support there!!! especially if you have your sister there!!! cuz that is a whole other level of FUN!!!