Traveling with an infant is no joke.
Did I mention we were flying to St. Louis for a wedding? Mmhmmm. With our very active and wiggly six-month old lap child in tow.
I must have started my lists of things to pack for Camden two weeks before we headed to St. Louis, and continued to pour over these lists until the morning we left for the airport.
It wasn't so much our checked bag that I worried about, but what we were going to arm ourselves with on the nearly four hour flight over.
After talking to other mamas and reading several websites with tips for traveling with children - I felt prepared and also a little frightened. Camden is a very happy and easy going little guy, but has become very active and wiggly in recent weeks, so I worried about how he would deal with having to be held and corralled for all that time. In a small enclosed space.
Of course I wanted to be prepared, but I also didn't want to be schlepping a ridiculous amount of baby equipment through the airport. So, we packed a few toys and books - some new and some old. Even though I really wanted to bring a particular noisy toy that I know he loves - I decided against it. You are welcome, fellow passengers.
A particularly wise mama-friend of mine told me not to underestimate how entertaining certain airplane features may be to an infant or small child.
She was absolutely correct. The tray table, plastic drink cup, window shade, seat belt, and arm rest all provided entertainment. For about two minutes. And he mostly just wanted to gnaw on those particularly gross airplane features.
Thankfully, he slept for about an hour and a half of the flight to St. Louis, and about two hours on the way home. It was completely exhausting on my arms and body to hold him for that long, and in an upright and locked position - but really, I didn't mind the extra snuggle time.
Our flight home had a little hiccup - a two hour delay due to the fantastic Midwest weather gracing us with a good storm right before we were due to take off. Of course, Camden would have fallen asleep on the plane had we taken off on time. Instead, he slept while we waited and was then wide awake while we were taking off.
He had a few "moments" on the flight home (thanks, stupid weather!), but we were able to quickly settle him.
On both flights, we didn't hesitate to break out in his favorite songs, "Happy and You Know It," and "ABC's," and sing them to Camden as quietly as possible. Although, I'm pretty sure that about halfway through the flight home - I heard the gentleman across the aisle from me humming the tune to "ABC's." Sorry, sir.
Overall, the traveling experience was very smooth.
I lost count of how many fellow passengers gave us the "oh, no - not a baby on my flight," look. But, I can confidently say that I think he proved them all wrong.
Hopefully I'll have another great report to share when I fly with him solo back to St. Louis for Becky's wedding in November.
I think I'll start praying now.