Ann found this post about flying with baby. I think it’s great!
We had no problems at all flying with Del. I admit, my kid is the Best Baby In The World, so possibly I have it easy. A few tips gleaned after our experience:
1) Take direct flights if at all possible. Ours required flying out of an airport a bit farther than usual, but it was worth it to avoid the whole connection bruhaha.
2) TSA allowed me to leave Del in the Moby wrap both times through security. Possibly because it was a soft/fabric wrap vs a structured carrier? Some things I read said they would make me take him out but that was not the case, and it was VERY helpful to be able to leave him slung on. Zach managed all the rest of the security nonsense, right down to putting my shoes on the floor for me to slip them back on.
3) Using the Moby on the plane was really helpful too. Del was snugly in my lap. I had my hands more or less free. It was not hard to go from wrapped to unwrapped for nursing, and back to wrapped.
4) We gave ourselves oodles of extra time getting to the airport so that when we got to the gate, we had time to sit down, let Del play on a blanket on the floor, and change diaper for boarding. Having that time also helped me feel relaxed and in control. Just leave too early – it’s worth it.
5) Rental car infant seats are terrible. We had decided to leave the car seat/stroller behind to avoid the charges (turns out, a lot of airlines don’t charge to check your stroller plane-side). And we added an infant seat to our car rental. First off the seat was really too big for an infant. Secondly, it took us almost 40 minutes to figure out how to install it (even with the help of the rental agent) which was NOT fun at 1 am with a baby who, after sleeping like a, well, baby, during the flight, was now WIDE awake, in need of a diaper change, and had two very cranky parents. Once the horrific thing was installed, I had to put my child in it. It sat up too far so his head fell forward if he fell asleep, it had no head protection on the sides, no padding on the straps so they left red marks on his neck. Every time I put him in it, I apologized that he had to ride in this seat. Next time we’ll definitely take our own car seat.
Overall, things went smoothly. And to the woman in front of me on our departing flight, who said loudly into her cell phone as the plane was boarding, “Oh my god, I’m surrounded by screaming children.” (Yes, four babies on a prop jet. And not one was or ever did scream, cry or even talk too loudly…), you are old, and not that far away from incontinence, soft foods and a caretaker. I suggest you rethink your outlook on babies. And lower your voice.