Google+ Mommy Moments with Abby: Airplane Travel, Are we nuts?!!!!!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Airplane Travel, Are we nuts?!!!!!


OMG! Are my husband and I seriously going to do this? Take two babies on a plane for about 5 hours? Travel across a 3 hour time change for 5 days? We have definitely lost our minds and the desire to meet extended family along with get away from the 112 degree weather for 80 is over powering! The draw of seeing DC and the Gettysburg reenactment didn’t help my judgment either. So, where do we start? The tickets are purchased and now the daunting task of making sure everything is in order begins.

To start, make sure the extra ticket bought for my daughter so we can bring her car seat is an infant seat so she can board with us in family boarding. Check in with the airline on what they allow me to bring. What to bring both in the suitcase and in carry-on is a task. Calling the airline gives a better idea on what is even possible. Now, one can pack it all pay a ton of money for extra luggage while risking having all your baby stuff ruined during the flight, you can go to one of the many travel baby websites and have stuff rented and waiting at your hotel (call your hotel first to make sure they have space to hold in case delivered early), or if you’re traveling to family have them buy consignment or borrow from other family in their area and have the stuff waiting there.

We decided that since we have two big car seats it was alright to risk the one having it travel with us in the extra seat, but the seat for my smaller son was definitely provided by family on the other end. Play yards, monitors, high chairs or booster seats, a baby tub, a swing and a bouncer all were supplied by family along with a few extra bottles, Sippy’s, spoons, formula, and I had microwavable steamers and baby food shipped from Amazon to save money. Since, you are only allowed enough food and formula/breast milk for infants to last the flight you may want to have a few extra’s waiting. Luckily for us a lot of these items were borrowed from family in the area with kids, were used by my husband when he was a baby, or could be found at garage or consignment sales.

Start by knowing your child and what they will need when deciding what to ship, rent, borrow, or have supplied by family. Next, figure out what you can make yourself to cut costs, eliminate items that can be used twice, and supply easy to travel (no big deal if it’s ruined) entertainment. One can buy everything, but be realistic since you’re on a plane in a tight space and the kids aren’t going to be pleased with having to sit for hours on hours. I did purchase a few luxury items finding some to be practical necessities in my mind and others to be just nice to have.

One item that I can’t help but rave over is the GOGOBABY! It attaches to the toddler car seat giving you wheels on the seat itself. This allows you to wheel behind you the car seat instead of juggle it while trying to maneuver an airport. Added bonus, your child can be strapped into the seat while you wheel it around keeping the kid contained, arms free for other bags, and a stroller like effect. I don’t recommend using it for a full time stroller once at your destination due to potential damage to the car seat and it, but for parking lots, airports, and short distances it’s awesome. Note: DO NOT ATTACH THE CARSEAT TO A CAR OR AIRPLANE SEAT WITH GOGOBABY ATTACHED!!!!! Common sense people obviously the seat won’t be properly secured and now you’ve added wheels to it making it more likely to move if in an accident or turbulence. It comes off and is fairly flat fitting in the overhead bin without counting to your carry-on allowance. The flight attendant told me some idiot did this(sorry if your that idiot) and it put the seat at an angle so the kid looked like they were holding on out of fear of falling forward not to mention it wasn’t secure in any way. This is my practical necessity purchase as it frees hands, secures the kid, and helps avoid damage to an expensive car seat, and smoothes the flow of travel greatly. The downside is that since airplanes aren’t made with wide isles you still have to pick up the car seat to take it down the aisle to your seat as there just isn’t room to wheel car seats down without majorly angering a ton of people and damaging your car seat in the process. Not the GOGOBABY’s fault, but wouldn’t it be nice to just wheel the whole way?

My next cool purchase item is not practically necessary but very awesome to have and can double as other items thus eliminating some things from your supply list. The BYEBYE BABY is a baby hammock which is awesome for children under 9 months or under about 20 lbs. My son is a big baby at 20lbs and during the time of our travel not yet 6 months old. Even so it was nice to have this and I was able to use it elsewhere even though he was unable to completely stretch out (he didn’t seem to care). It attaches to the closed tray table on the seat in front of you, the baby belts in facing you and the other end belts behind you so the baby is facing you in a hammock and your hands are free. It’s nice to protect against wiggles during the flight for lap babies. It makes feeding the baby food easier and playing nicer as well. Added bonus to this item was that you can also use it as a pseudo booster seat or high chair when you’re out. We went to a restaurant and I used it to create a hammock on a regular chair making for a little seat for my son to sit. While it won’t boost older kids up it will work to attach them to chairs as well in lew of a booster or high chair. This eliminates your supply list by taking the highchair/booster seat off. It’s not too large either making it nice for travel purposes. If you already have a Moby while I’m not sure it can be used as the hammock in the airport I am pretty sure you can Moby wrap the baby to the chair to eliminate the high chair instead of getting this item. Just make sure to double knot the last knot and have the wrap tight against the chair never leaving the baby alone with either product because you never know what can happen and it only takes one minute.

The last item I bought isn’t necessary at all and more of luxuries buy than anything. It was the foldable, play and stay tray. I attached it to my daughter’s car seat after she was loaded up so it stayed with her the entire trip. She seemed to be more into using it for hide and seek than to set anything on, but it did help keep things from falling on the ground during the flight which was nice. If you want to splurge this is a good item to splurge on as it keeps you from having to finagle yourself in a tight space to get a toy or fishy or something, but defiantly not necessary.

An item that was a lifesaver that I already had was the portable DVD player and baby headphones. The headphones keep you from annoying your neighbor with the millionth showing of Baby Einstein, but the DVD player gives you at least 2 hours of kid focus. I brought a few learning DVD’s that I knew my daughter would enjoy and while I’m not a huge TV fan, it was great to have something for her to relax with giving her the distraction she needed from all the other new things on a plane to explore. You can also use a laptop, but please get headphones and keep the DVD player or laptop in front of you so little hands/fingers can’t explore and ruin your little distraction lifeline.

That is it on the purchased items for this trip. I will continue to post the tips and homemade items as the week continues. In closing; Good Luck in your travels, wherever they be, and remember to always be prepared, safe, and alert! Let the kids be relaxed and have no fears to enjoy where they are, because they will know that with you everything and everywhere is safe!


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