It’s true, this past weekend we were ‘those people’ on your airplane. In the past, as a childless couple we would often hope our flights were baby free. We found it comical the amount of times we were sat beside a table full of rambunctious kiddos in restaurants when all we wanted was a quiet night with each other. Now, it seems, we are the ones polluting your space with the potential of a screaming infant. We put a lot of anxiety into how bothersome we might be to other passengers during our recent trip to San Jose,CA but as it turns out, our first trip with the baby went pretty smoothly. We have 2 more out of state trips this year and we may not be so lucky again but there are a few things we will replicate and a few things we will change to try and make the pass through airport security easier for everyone.
Babywearing to the rescue! I wore my little one in a woven wrap in a FWCC. I used the woven wrap because it contains no metal and therefore there was nothing to set off the metal detectors. When carrying a baby you will pass through the metal detector and have your hands swabbed on the other side. This is all easy enough.
Carrying formula in amounts beyond the usual liquid restrictions is allowed but they will test open containers and in my case, I was subject to pat down because of closed containers. On our return flight we opted for my husband to do the pat down because they wanted me to unwrap the baby for the pat down ( a pain in the keister). Again, no big deal but I will bring different formula on our next trip as to try and avoid the time consuming pat down process.
For years we’ve been flying childless – always watching as the airline calls first class, platinum, ruby, gold, club members, and families. Our first trip as a family and they didn’t call for family boarding at all. We waited and boarded with out group but it would have been nice for American Airlines to allow us that, especially our first time out BUT it all worked out anyway so no harm no foul.
On the plane:
We were very fortunate that our little dude, while awake the entire trip to San Jose, remained pretty content. He was exceptionally active but only fussed a little. The airline had booked a passenger between my husband and myself but thankfully that passenger agreed to switch seats so we didn’t have a stranger sitting in the middle as we played pass the baby. They did it to us on the return flight too.
California state laws require all infants be secured into a car seat when traveling by car in any cab, uber, or any car at all. This is not the case in all states but definitely so in CA. While I planned to babywear for the majority of our trip we took our car seat with us for the sole trip from the airport to the hotel and back again. Aside from those needs it stayed in the hotel room.
So with all that travel anxiety out of the way, no screams, no angry passengers, no being thrown off the plane, we were free to enjoy our trip. With my husband at work one day and off the next I put my son into the carrier and we headed out exploring. That night we all attended a formal work function (only for a brief time – to say our hellos – because it got very rowdy very quickly – no place for a baby) and the next day we all played tourists and explored downtown San Jose a bit more together. My travel photography skills were at a severe disadvantage carrying a baby on me, but it’s something I will continue to practice with each new adventure.
The trip was brief but lovely. For all the worry and stress I had about travelling with my 2.5month old it was wonderful not to be anchored to the couch for a few days. It was amazing for my baby who did exceptional with sleep and fussiness, and it was a great practice run for future flying. We survived. Not only did we survive, but we made the leap from couple to family and came out on the other side in tact.