Air travel with a baby

About a week ago, my business class flight got upgraded to First, so we can actually say now that Kaia’s first flight was not only cross-continental, but it was also in style in the first class cabin. We got our own pod with as much privacy as you can get on a plane. Given Chris was in business class, we moved her back and forth between our seats depending on what was going on (when she was bottle fed or I was pumping, she was with Chris, whereas other times she was with me). She was a little fussy in the morning given we woke her up really early at around 4:30am to get in the car for the airport, and she absolutely hated her diaper change in my pod before takeoff, but after that, she was really like the dream baby in flight: she slept a lot, and when she wasn’t sleeping, she was babbling away, playing with the remote buttons, and exploring things I laid out for her to play with. Kaia got so many compliments from both the flight attendants and other passengers. The thing I was worried about the most in terms of the pressure in her ears never even became a problem: she was sucking away at her pacifier during both takeoff and landing, which I’m sure helped any potential popping.

Pumping milk on the plane was actually much easier than I imagined, but that is hugely because I was in a premium cabin with total privacy. I didn’t need to lock myself up in the bathroom to prime my boobs or connect my pump to my nipples; I could do all of that in my little pod without anyone watching me. The only time I was actually nervous pumping in the air was when I had to disconnect my pump and measure out my milk, hoping to God there was no turbulence that would cause a potential spill. In the end, I lucked out, and everything went perfectly. It was even my biggest pump yet because my gap between pumps was so large — 330ml or 11oz!

When I think about it, though, in practice, traveling as an adult with one baby on the plane would really be hell, especially if you are not in a premium cabin seat. How are you supposed to put luggage in the overhead bin or use the bathroom with a baby that needs to be held or could roll over off the seat? How can you even do something as basic as take your tray out or eat your snack or meal without disturbing a sleeping baby? And PUMPING while on a plane sitting in economy with a baby — alone without a partner?! Forget about it – it would not even be an option!! Parents who fly with their babies alone, just 1:1, are like warriors.

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