Packing for our 6 day trip to California caused more anxiety than usual. I didn’t know how many diapers to pack, how many bottles to take on the plane, whether or not to take the stroller, etc. I didn’t know what to expect going through security. Wendy had to decide the most efficient way to bring her pump and accessories.
I packed 2 outfits per day, but I did not pack even 1 burp cloth per day. Wrong! I should have packed at least 1 burp cloth per day. That was my biggest packing regret. I packed the perfect amount of diapers! We did not take the stroller and have no regrets about that, at least not at her age. We took her everywhere in her bjorn and carried her in her car seat to the hotel restaurants.
My biggest packing risk was checking the car seat. I had big plans of carrying it through security, but when there is a backpack, a bag on every shoulder and one in each hand, and the airline offers to check the car seat for free, I said, “Here you go.” The car seat made it both times.
Wendy is so good with Hope. She is strong and firm but gentle. I don’t think I could have handled her on the plane all day like she did. The first leg of the trip to Dallas was pretty easy. (That’s easy for me to say.) The flight was around 2 hours, and Hope breast fed and slept. When we got to the DFW airport, we changed Hope in the bathroom. We didn’t find many airport bathrooms with changing tables. We went in the family bathroom in the Nashville airport. It didn’t have a changing table. What makes it a family bathroom then??? Wendy breastfed Hope in the airport until we got on our next flight.
Three hours must be the time limit for infants to be flying. I assume the longer the flight, the higher the altitude. As we flew from Dallas to San Francisco, our bottles of lotion, shampoo, and saline solution swelled with pressure and so did Hope’s intestines. Poor girl! When she dirtied her diaper, Wendy and I had a 20 minute debate if Wendy should change her in our seats or take her to the bathroom. She took her to the bathroom (There is a changing table in the airplane bathroom), and as soon as Wendy sat back down in her seat, Hope did another dirty. By this time, we had less than an hour. After another 20 minute debate, Hope fell asleep, so we waited until we landed.
The day we flew home, there was bad weather in Dallas, so American cancelled all flights in and out of DFW that afternoon. Like all good airlines now, they offered to fly us out the next day. We changed to a US Air flight that went from San Francisco to Charlotte – a 4 hour and 20 minute flight. I was dreading it, and I didn’t even have to hold Hope. Wendy was more comfortable holding Hope in the bjorn on the plane this time. Hope slept for the first 2 hours. After she ate, she had a dirty diaper. She was fussy, and Wendy took her to the bathroom. I heard some screaming. Wendy came walking back down the aisle with Hope wearing only her diaper. For only the second time in her short life, Hope’s diaper exploded on her clothes. Being the great mothers that we are, we had a spare outfit in the diaper bag. Hope continued to be fussy, so Wendy fed her until she projectile vomited on herself, Wendy, and the bjorn. Because the plane had to fly around bad weather, the 4+ hour flight turned into a 5.5 hour flight. We just did the best we could the rest of the way. I don’t think Hope slept again until we were landing. There was no time to rest, because we were late arriving, and we were late for our connection. I remember standing up on the plane and thinking someone stinks. Wendy said it was us. We smelled like baby diarrhea and vomit, and we still had another flight and no time to get there.
We made our connection. Hope slept the whole time. Wendy and I were starving and stinky, but we made it home.
The final 2 things I want to mention. Some people recommended a sling to carry Hope in. I’m sure we’re not doing something right, but we don’t get the sling. I think you love it or you hate it. I don’t feel like Hope is safe or secure in the sling. We can’t see her. We didn’t use it. While Hope was great, I would not call this a relaxing flight. Wendy was trying to plan and time every feeding, every diaper change, every nap, so that it matches up with boarding, take off, and landing. It’s not easy, but we think it makes us and everyone else on the flight more comfortable if we have everything timed just right. If only we could keep the airlines on a schedule.