Figuring out how to travel with a baby can be a challenge.
You learn a lot about a person when you travel with her. My newborn is no exception to that rule.
On a recent weekend, my new family flew from Boston to Washington to hunt for a new home, in advance of our upcoming move. Before traveling, we asked our pediatrician, my Mommy and Me class leader, and other new parents for travel tips. We were told to be the last on the plane – rather than first – and to be sure to nurse at take-off and landing. These were useful tips, especially since as new parents, we’re always learning. However, they didn’t totally account for the quirks of my fearless daughter, who revealed some new facets of her personality during our weekend away:
Airport Security. TSA’s agents, for their part, did nothing to make things easy. We had to deconstruct the Bugaboo stroller base from the car seat and put it all on the conveyor belt for screening. When they pulled the insulated bag with my pumped milk for additional screening, I became antsy they would toss it and followed the TSA employee holding that Medela carrying case like a hawk following prey. Luckily, TSA’s light test proved I was carrying breast milk, and the screener returned it to me. Lila, who was in my arms throughout this ordeal, looked entirely unruffled – until we had to get her strapped back into her car seat.
The Flights. As we’d been advised, we boarded last. Lila seemed enthralled by the large number of new faces to study in this new place with a never-before-seen ceiling; ceiling watching is one of her favorite pastimes. Lila was extremely cooperative and focused on eating at take-off and landing. In fact, Lila seemed perfectly content. We had never seen her smile more.
This smilefest transpired in spite of turbulence, which we encountered flying in both directions. Mommy became nervous as our flight bobbed and weaved unpredictably, but Lila remained perfectly placid. On the way to Washington she didn’t even look up during meal time; she remained focused on feeding.
On the return trip, Lila wasn’t interested in eating or remaining obscured by my multicolor-dot nursing cover. During both take-off and landing, Lila did her best to bat back the nursing cover, so that she could see everything around us. Her big eyes hungrily took in everything she could see from my lap. And while she may have noticed the air pressure changing as the plane shifted altitudes, she never cried. Lila took the swings in stride, as if Daddy were rocking her to sleep.
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