Baby Z’s first flight got delayed for 4.5 hours

Isn’t that exciting for baby’s first flight? Mr. G and I were surely very exciting but also super anxious for it. Baby Z is, in general, a very easy baby. But how would he react to his first flying experience? We heard stories of problematic ear pressure or non-stop crying babies. With baby Z’s first flight at a little over 8 months old and some of the preparation for baby Z’s upcoming flights, here are our findings and hopefully our experience will help other parents as well!!

  1. There are a lot of baby packing lists in many parenting blogs. I would like to pinpoint a couple of things.
    • Pack more diapers than you think you need: baby Z’s first flight was delayed for a total of 4.5 hours!! We timed out flight at 5:30 pm counting that baby Z would sleep right after cruising. Yet, we eventually flied out at 10 pm. And in our return flight, baby Z pooed twice in his 5 hour flight including one big blowout!! So be prepared!!
    • Don’t panic if you miss some of baby’s favorite toys. Of course, some babies are very particular. But in general, babies are curious creatures, so even if you give them a paper cup, they can play with it for a while.
    • Pack a variety of clothes so you can have choices if it is too hot or too cold. Avoid putting baby into some very warm outfit such as a fleece onesie; instead, dress him in layer so it’s much easier to adjust.
    • Remember to pack a warmer blanket. We usually pack baby Z’s Aden and Aanis Swaddle blanket to everywhere. We are glad that we did pack his little giraffe blanket as it is so much warmer for him than the thin and breathable swaddle blanket.
  2. Buy his own seat or let him be a lap child – in general, kids under 2 can fly free as a lap child. For international flight, you will be charged 10% adult fare plus tax and fee. There are a lot of pros and cons on both options. We had baby Z as a lap child without really thinking much when we bought the tickets. Yet, after my experience of holding a 20 lb baby for over 5 hours, I will consider buying him a seat in the future. If it will be only me bringing baby Z on the flight, I will definitely buying him a seat.
  3. Ear pressure – everyone is talking about ear pressure being a significant issue for babies when flying. In our experience, it really did not seem to bother baby Z at all. We did give him water during takeoff and landing and that’s enough for baby Z.
  4. Benadryl or Tylenol route – A lot of people suggest giving babies Benadryl or Tylenol so they will sleep through the flight. I strongly recommend consulting your doctor before taking this approach. Our pediatrician is strongly against this practice as that interferes with baby’s routine and can potentially backfire if baby is fighting the urge to sleep and gets really frustrated. Plus, eventually, baby will be more tiring after the medication’s effect wears out. Personally, I would try to give baby Z as little medication as possible.
  5. Security check – for both of our flights, we took read-to-feed baby formula with us, and we did not encounter any issue on getting those though the gate. But I also heard some of my friends had issue bringing any liquid for the baby. Just be prepared.
  6. Documentation – For domestic travel, TSA does not require children under 18 to provide identification when traveling with a companion within the United States. Contact the airline for questions regarding specific ID requirements for travelers under 18. For international travel, your baby definitely needs a passport. Regardless, it’s always a good practice to bring a copy of the birth certificate especially if your baby is a lap child. Some airline requires proof of age before you can board.
  7. Scoring an empty seat – An empty seat right next to you on your flight is always nice. If you have a lap child, that’s the best thing to happen for your flight. Try to get to the gate earlier and check with the gate agent to see if your family can be moved to some empty seats. Or, maybe, one of the travel partner can move over to an empty seat leaving another person with the baby so the baby can occupy a seat. However, if you want to have your baby occupies a seat, some airlines require an FAA approved car seat or a Safety Restraint System.
  8. Airplane leg rest cushion – A friend of mine highly recommends the 1st class kid travel pillow. It basically fills the leg room between the two seats so that a single seat becomes a bed for a child to lay flat. I plan to get one for baby Z’s thanksgiving trip. Even though we did not purchase a seat for him, we hope we can score an empty seat. However, some airline does not allow this kind of leg rest cushion. Some airline does not allow this pillow, so check the company’s website for more details.
  9. Stroller/car seat – Your car seat can be checked at the check-in counter for free. However, keep your stroller with you. It’s very nice to have a stroller to push the baby and all his carry on items so that you will not be worn out before boarding the plane.

Happy Travel!!

One thing no one talks about to prepare for your newborn

As a first time parents to be, Mr. G and I were very nervous about pregnancy, the labor and delivery (this is probably more for me as obviously Mr. G can’t really feel the pain), and the actual responsibility of being parents (with a 10 months baby, we still can’t really grasp the scale and scope of the responsibility). Our focus was getting through the pregnancy without complication, carrying our baby to full term, me eating healthy foods to give baby nutrition, and of course acquiring baby items. We started family later than a lot of our friends and family. Therefore, we are very fortunate to get a lot of hand me downs as well as tips and advice. But we would like to share one very important tip to get ready for parenthood that we wish someone had reminded us earlier.

Simplify and Streamline your life. Build habits that help you tackle the nuts and bolts of daily life so you can focus on more important priorities.

This can mean different things to different couples. For some couples, it may mean freeing up time from their busy schedule or resolving existing relationship issues. In our case, building habits to take care of house chores systematically fit the bill. The fact that we did not have a good system and schedule to tackle house chores (not to mention the new chores related to baby Z) really made the first few months with baby Z not as enjoyable as it could have been. And that also builds up stress daily. Think about the piles of paper that need to be properly scanned and filed. While I hates the many useless items at home, I simply can’t find the time to go through them for donations or re-purposing the items.

The tips and advice we got from friends and families emphasizes getting ready to take care of baby physically: sleeps training, breastfeeding, bathing, preventing diaper rashes etc etc. Those are important! Don’t get me wrong. But for us, if we nailed down the house and managed our businesses well before baby Z, we would be able to spend more quality time and eliminate some unnecessary stress for our first few months with baby Z.

Nevertheless, it’s never too late to start tiding things up and building up good habits, and that’s what Mr. G and I are working really hard on now!!