We left on a jet plane…with a 5 month old

We just returned from an incredible two-week vacation in Florida.  I am a terrible flyer.  I dislike every part of flying and am a nervous wreck the entire time that I am in the air.  So when we were planning our trip to Florida I tried to convince everyone that we should drive.  I lost that argument and reluctantly gave in and purchased our airline tickets.

Leading up to the flight, I was hoping for a smooth flight and hoping that our baby would be comfortable and well-behaved on the flight. I was also secretly hoping that having the baby with me would keep me distracted enough that I wouldn’t have time to be fearful of flying.

On the ascend and descend we gave our baby her soother and whether that helped or not I’m not sure as her ears didn’t seem to bother her at all.  We made it through both flights without a single tear. She just loved looking up and down the aisle at all of the different people. As for me, having a baby with me didn’t help…I was still nervous the entire time.

In preparing for the trip I had absolutely no idea whether we should try to pack everything we need or whether we should rent some items down there.  So I began calling Southwest airlines to see how much I could bring. I was happy to discover that you can actually bring the car seat and stroller through the airport security and take it all the way down to right outside the doors of the plane.  The stroller and car seat are stored underneath the plane for the flight and  as soon as we were disembarking from the plane, our stroller was already waiting for us right outside the doors of the plane.  This really made carrying our little one really easy. It also meant that the stroller and car seat weren’t considered checked baggage. Bonus! This meant that I could take her portable crib as a checked piece of baggage. 

When searching for flights, I would recommend finding an airline that offers at least two checked bags free of charge (southwest offered two bags of 50 pounds each) as you will need if travelling for any period of time with a baby.

On our flight home there ended up being 40 extra seats on the plane so the amazing staff at Southwest airlines said we could bring the car seat onto the plane and have our baby sit beside us in her own seat.  That was incredible! On both flights she slept, ate and just looked around and was totally content.

I wasn’t sure what the guidelines were for carrying formula for a child as there obviously the limitation on liquids.  This rule however doesn’t apply for baby formula.  You can take as many bottles as you think are necessary for travel. They put the bottles through a little machine at security which tests the liquid without even opening the bottle.

Overall, travelling with the baby was a breeze. She was content, we were able to bring everything we needed and everyone at the airports and the airlines were super helpful.

One thing worth noting- you have to take the baby out of the stroller to walk through security as they put the stroller through the scanner on its own. At this point it would be handy to have a baby carrier or sling with you so that you can strap the baby to your body and free up your hands.

Lastly, when you book your boarding pass, you also have the call the airline to let them know you have a lap child travelling with you. 

Now if only I could get over my fear it would all be smooth sailing!

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