Flying with Baby: Helpful Tips

We took our four month old on her first flight the other day.  We made it a short one – just three hours to West Palm Beach from New York.  When my husband suggested we visit the in-laws, I thought it would be a good introductory flight – not too long of a trip – to see how Eden did.  Well she cried a lot, but not for most of the flight.  She cried when we first got on the plane and for a bit in the middle when she woke up, but not during take off and landing.  Sure, mommy and daddy had a headache post flight, but all in all, I’d say it was a success!  But one thing is for sure – flights  are no longer my happy place where I can relax with a good movie or catch up on work if baby is with me!   While it takes some work to ensure you don’t turn into those people everyone hates with the crying baby, I learned a few things along the way to make the whole experience from pickup for the airport to landing at your destination a very doable experience.

  • Ride to the airport and pickup from your destination – if you are bringing your own carseat, you can use a standard taxi or car service.  However, you need to remember you are schlepping a lot more luggage than when you used to travel.  In addition to the extra clothes, swaddle blankets, and other baby items, you’ll most likely have a stroller and some additional carry-ons for your baby’s food and necessities.  Make sure the car you reserve is big enough to hold everything.  In addition, if you are not bringing your baby’s car seat, make sure the company can supply one.  Legends Limousine was highly recommended on many of the mom’s boards.  Their service is top notch.  Not only are the cars clean and kept in great shape, (they get a new fleet every three years), their car seats are clean, modern and safe. I did try another company before them, and the car seat was very old and filthy.  You may want to bring a blanket to put down where you can on the carseat just in case.   Legends Limousine was established in 1994 and is family owned and operated. For over 20 years they have grown to surpass a fleet size of over 65 company owned vehicles.  Their  fleet includes late model sedans, Minivans, SUVs, Executive Vans, limousines, and charter buses.  To date, Legends Limousine specializes in quality local, corporate and family transportation in over 500 cities across the globe.  You can book online at www.legendslimousine.com Use Code CSE for 10 dollars off your next family trip where a car seat is ordered!
  • Strollers, breast pumps, and car seats are allowed to be brought to the gate and don’t count as carry-ons.  While I still like to keep bags as consolidated as possible so there is less room for leaving things at the security check, you won’t have to feel limited because a breast pump is considered a medical supply item.  However, your diaper bag and cooler for your milk does count as a carry-on, so you may want to fold up your diaper bag and put it in your suitcase and bring just the essentials on the plane in one of your other bags.
  • You can bring breast milk – best bet for the least amount of inspection is to freeze it.  Bring a small cooler with a lot of icepacks.  If they are going to inspect it, make sure the bags or bottles are tightly sealed and ask them to change gloves when they inspect it.
  • If you are breastfeeding, nurse during takeoff and landing to help alleviate the pressure inside your baby’s ears.  It could also lead to a nice long nap.  If you’re not nursing, give your baby something to suck on, whether it’s your finger, bottle or a teething toy.  Our baby was so calm during takeoff and landing, just eating and then sleeping through it all.  I found that carrying the baby in my Lilebaby carrier on the way back made it a lot for more comfortable for both her and me.  When she fell asleep, I had my hands free to watch a movie or read my book which was a really nice break.
  • Request the bulk head section.  Sometimes you’ll get lucky.  If you happen to be pregnant again and also have a little one, make sure you mention you are pregnant when you call to make your reservation.  Many times, they will give you the first row in economy, which has  extra legroom so baby and you won’t feel cramped and you have a bit more privacy if nursing. However, they may tell you that if someone handicapped needs it, you will get bumped.
  • If your baby is awake during the flight, go for slow walks with them on your shoulder or just stand in the aisle and sway side to side and up and down for comfort. If they are a little older, I’ve seen bubbles work as well as a way to calm them.
  • While airlines give you the opportunity to board early, I found that all of the extra time on the plane waiting for everyone else to board made for a very restless, screaming baby.  So on the flight home, my husband loaded up the plane with our bags and stroller and I stayed outside the plane until the last person boarded.  My baby enjoyed watching everyone go by and gave many smiles to those walking past her.  The plane took off just a few minutes after we boarded.  She started eating and fell asleep in no time.  We had a much smoother ride back.

I hope these tips help you with your next flight.  Most of all, just take a deep breath and relax because I’m a firm believer that your baby will pick up on your nervous cues.  You will still have a great trip no matter how much crying happens on the plane.  If you are organized and prepared, you will get through the first flight like a champ!

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Passport Baby Interviews

Michelle interviews the founders of innovative baby products in her series, “Passport Baby.”

Fun and Helpful Prenatal Products

Becoming pregnant for the first time can be exciting, but at the same time, it can be overwhelming. A new mom to be wants to make sure she does everything she can to provide her baby with the best chance of being born healthy and happy. It’s not always a walk in the park. That glow everyone talks about most likely will be harder to find when you are nauseous in the first trimester, exhausted and not able to make it past 6pm, getting bigger and bigger with a stomach that has a mind of its own. However, it’s comforting to know there are products that can help ease the symptoms of pregnancy and make it more enjoyable, while also protecting your unborn baby. Below are some of the few I have discovered so far in my third trimester.

Aden and Anais Nursing Pillow: As you get bigger and the pregnancy progresses, some practicioners stress the importance of laying on your left side. The Aden and Anais  Nursing Pillow not only makes for a great pillow for the baby while nursing after birth, but also helps with staying on one’s left side.  It is very comfortable and plump and can be positioned behind or in front of you for nighttime support.  Its removable, machine-washable white cover is made from soft, breathable 100% cotton muslin.  Colorful cotton muslin covers are also available in a variety of  signature prints. For wrapping your bundle of joy after birth, the Aden and Anais swaddles come in many cute colors and sizes.

 

 

 

Belly Armor Belly Blanket Luxe by Radiashield: You work on your laptop and keep your cell phone close to you. But you also worry the radiation can be harmful to your developing baby. Belly Armor is a soft, cuddly blanket that also functions as a shield between your electronic devices at the baby in your womb.  It is a very simple way of protecting your little one in utero.  The Luxe is made up of luxurious cotton micro-fleece and satin.

Belly Bandit’s Upsie Belly:  The Upsie Belly for me is a life saver!  Towards the end of the pregnancy, it becomes more and more difficult to walk due to the pressure of the baby’s head in my pelvis, but I also know walking is recommended and I didn’t want to give that up.  In fact, it wasn’t really an option, considering I live in NYC and still need to get from point A to point B.  That’s where this simple, yet very effective wrap which comes with a heating/ice pack for your back works so well.  It is made of soft viscose from bamboo which makes it very comfortable. It comes in a variety of sizes and has 12 inches of adjustability, so it can be used as your belly grows.   You can choose to slip the pack into the integrated pouch for your lower back for increased pain relief or wear it without it.  It gives  your growing belly the extra support it needs and takes the pressure off of your bladder and pelvis, making it easier to walk.

The Upsie Belly also eases sciatic, back and leg pain and adds hip, back and abdominal support.  It also helps to increase circulation and blood flow, decrease varicose veins, hernias and hemorroids.  Belly Bandit also makes a number of products for after you give birth to help you get back your pre-pregnancy shape.

BellyBuds by Wavhello: A baby’s hearing develops in utero at about 20 weeks, and studies have shown memories begin at 30 weeks.   I think it’s so neat that your baby has a way of hearing the music you love or your voice right near them.  You can let baby listen to the same music you’re listening to while working out or just relaxing around the house.  BellyBuds offer a fun way for parents to talk to their baby or share music and messages through WavHello’s free VoiceShare app.   Some new moms to be feel it’s a great way to bond with their baby in utero.

 

 

Blooming Wellness’ Zenbands and ZTones: Relaxation is very important in pregnancy. As a first time mom, there are a lot of unexpected changes going on in your body. Listening to calming meditations are helpful for both you and your baby. Zen bands make it easy to listen to your meditations and music through their soft boho-styled headband that acts as a headband, headphones and eye mask all in one with removable small speakers. This prevents headphones from falling out of your ears while putting very little pressure on them. Made out of lightweight cotton, they come in a variety of colors to promote the benefits of color therapy. According to their website, people have used them for traveling, running, walking, meditating, sleeping, napping, while at the spa, the pool, the gym, in a train, in a plane, for acupuncture, for hospital stays, in hotels, for hypnobirthing, for meditating and mindfulness, and just for general stress management.

Books: There are a ton of books on the market for the expectant mom.  The one everyone has heard of, ” What to Expect When You’re Expecting” is useful when learning the basics of pregnancy from what tests to expect to the types of delivery.  However, some lesser known titles which can be extremely helpful for the anxious mom to be are “Finding Calm for the Expectant Mom” by Alice D. Domar PH.D and Sheila Curry Oakes and “The Confident Parent” by Jane Scott MD and Stephanie Land.  As someone who thought she was the only one who wasn’t in love with being pregnant at the beginning, “Finding Calm For the Expectant Mom” talks about what many women really go through and helps to ease fears and stress of pregnancy and becoming a new parent.

Carex Bed Buddy Neck Pillow:  After a couple of minutes in the microwave, this soothing aromatic pillow will sooth aways aches, pains and stress, or arthritis in the neck and shoulders.  Using deep, moist relaxing lavender and chamomile aromatherapy, it helps ease stress and tension.  This is the perfect remedy for that tired body or a great way to find calm during your pregnancy.

Janes Wellness Gowns: a very comfortable, attractive alternative to the typical hospital gown, this is a great robe to wear during every part of your pregnancy. With its warm, lightweight knit fabric and wrap closure, they provide total comfort and minimize exposure, allowing you to relax and focus on everything from the ultrasounds to nursing your baby. They are also perfect for lounging around the house or for the day you meet your new baby.

Mama Mio: Your belly and boobs will expand to sizes you never imagined possible.  With that could come stretch marks that don’t go away when your stomach does.  That’s where Mama Mio comes to the rescue.  They offer products to help prevent and minimize the marks.  They also offer creams to help sooth the soreness from breastfeeding. Below are a few of my favorites:

Mama Mio The Tummy Rub Oil – Helps protect growing tummies against the appearance of stretch marks using a blend of omega-packed organic oils.
Mama Mio Pregnancy Boob Tube Bust Cream – Rich in omega oils to protect, cool and soothe both pregnant and new mamma boobs.
 Mama Mio Goodbye Stretch Marks Stretch Mark Minimiser – This is a powerful blend of peptides, fruit and algae extracts and nourishing oils helps to minimise the appearance of both new and old stretch marks caused by pregnancy. With the stretch marks minimiser the newer the stretch mark the better the result.

Mama Mio Lucky Legs Cooling Leg Gel – Help ease weary heavy legs in a flash. Packed with oils and refreshing spearmint to help revive tired legs and swollen feet. A must for any mama-to-be.