I had gotten all kinds of advice prior to our first trip flying with Leo. Some I took, and some I didn't, but overall, we had a seamless, easy, and dare I say fun time traveling together!
I'll also say that my first two plane rides with Leo, I was spoiled rotten.
On the plane ride to Chicago, we planned the trip so that Leo and I could fly back with Joel's parents. Joel had to stay in LA to work, so the three of us and Leo tackled the first leg of the trip.
On the way there, I tried to line up his schedule so that he would nap while we were waiting for the plane, I would feed him on take-off, we would play for a while, and then he would nap until it was time to land in which I would feed him again.
We boarded the plane nice and early, but Leo started to really lose his cool, so I had to start feeding him before we officially took off, which turned out to be no big deal.
It took him a while to fall asleep in my arms, so as I was walking the rows, a flight attendant checked in on me before they started their drink service so I wouldn't get stuck. I told her that I needed the time to get him to sleep anyways, and it would be a while before I made it back to my seat in row 13.
When I got back to my seat, with a sleeping baby, there were two bottles of champagne waiting for me....courtesy of the flight attendant.
I couldn't believe the adorable gesture - although, I actually could because the staff on Virgin America are like gifts from above - but I got to enjoy TWO mimosas, catch up on some TV, and snuggle my cute seat mate.
Leo woke up with about an hour left in the flight, and it was amazing to be able to entertain him with the help of his grandparents.
We landed right on time, got our bags easily, and crossed off a major first!
The way back I was solo, and I had picked up a few tricks from my first go around.
1. Bring as little as possible on the plane with you. (ie. you do not need 20 diapers, "justincase")
This time I was solo, so I knew my hand space was going to be limited. On the first flight I had brought a diaper bag, and my big LLbean tote, but this time, I paired down and just packed the essentials in my big tote.
2. Wear him & keep him up!
I didn't know this, but you can wear your baby and your carrier through security. I had taken him off, and the hardest part of the day was getting him back on....so word to the wise! I also tried to keep him awake while we were waiting to board so that I could feed him and then he took take a long nap.
3. Hope to GOD you sit next to an awesome person!
I got really lucky and flew first class home. I assumed that Leo would be the only baby in first class, and I was worried that a bunch of business travelers would be super pissed that Leo was going to ruin their flight, but as soon as I sat down, a young woman squealed that she was so excited to be getting to sit next to the baby! Ha! She left her baby at home, so she was really understanding and helpful.
Leo took two short naps on the way to LA, so it wasn't as seamless as our trip to Chicago, but he was still pretty good.
And it was really, really nice to have extra leg room and walking room to bounce him around.
4. Bring bottles!
Leo has recently started to take bottles with formula, and it turned out to be really, really nice while we were flying. I brought one bottle, lots of pre-scooped out formula in zip lock bags, and used bottle water that was provided on the flight.
Of course - our trip wasn't without a few hiccups - (poop on clothes, phone left at security, frazzled looking mother....) - but I honestly kept a really calm, and go with the flow mindset, and I think that helped both Leo and I enjoy our trip.
We have another Mom and Son flight coming up here in June so I'm hoping we have the same luck!