Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Baba G's Second Trip + More Travel Advice

I am pretty sure that every time we travel with Baba G, we're going to learn some lessons. But the thing with kids is that the lessons you learn can really only be used for a short period of time... or until/unless you have another kid.

What I mean is that I don't think many of the tricks that we used during our first and second trips with BG are going to be helpful for future vacations — as evidenced by the fact that his attitude toward traveling had already drastically changed on our most recent trip, even though he was only three months older.

In November and December, he was just learning to walk, and therefore was fairly content to chill in his car seat during the flight. He was still having bottles every four hours, and so it was easy enough to tweak his schedule so that we could give him a bottle to help pass the time and/or help his ears when it was time for takeoff. He was also easily entertained.

I'll be back with new and updated tips for flying with toddlers shortly, based on our trip to Arizona at the end of March. But for now I thought I'd share a few more lessons we learned during our second set of flights with BG in December. (Tips from our first flights with him are here.)

Once again, we had early-morning flights, and BG quickly fell back asleep once he was in the car to the airport. Both outside on the curb and in his car seat in the middle of the crowded terminal, he snoozed.

The ability to sleep in loud places is a skill I hope he maintains forever. Needless to say, he was a little groggy when we had to wake him up for the security line.

Not having it.
So... we flew on Christmas Day, because some friends told us it was a slow travel day.


It was perhaps the busiest I've seen the airport in a long time. Someone must have hired a Santa to go around and attempt to cheer people up, but Baba G let him know that he was NOT THE ONE.

What a face.


We were on Southwest, and quickly cursed their "unassigned seat" system. Long story short, while other major airlines might have a "preboarding" option for families with small kids, Southwest attracts SO MANY FAMILIES that they reserve this particular cattle call until after a good chunk of passengers are already on board (families can board between groups A and B... but group A is pretty huge).

This STRESSED me and my husband out majorly, especially because we had bought a seat for Baba G and were hauling his heavy car seat around. I was worried we wouldn't find three seats together, and/or that we wouldn't find a window seat (car seats must be installed in window seats).

My worries were unfounded because we did find seats together and get settled in just fine, but the level of stress my husband and I experienced beforehand led us to pay additional charges during our trip last month in order to be guaranteed early boarding. It was worth it.

But back to the Christmas vacation. We once again brought some new toys, and hung one of them on his car seat bar. That kept him occupied for a little while. Lots of finger-food snacks were involved as well.

Hard to tell from this picture, but that thing is a little plane with spinny parts.

We had his soft yellow blanket on hand, and when he appeared to be getting sleepy, we just left him alone and then threaded an Aden & Anais swaddle blanket over his car seat bar to shield him a tad more from both light and noise. It worked!

We had a great trip and uneventful flights on the way back to Chicago, too. Probably because Baba G decided to forgo looking at the scenery in Phoenix and nap on the return ride to the airport instead.

Our trip back to Phoenix over Easter didn't go QUITE so smoothly.

Details on that — as well as thoughts on what I think we should've done differently — very soon!