I mean, it wasn’t my favorite thing I’ve ever done.
But it wasn’t nearly as stressful as I had feared, mostly because the tips from you guys helped enormously. More on that in a second.
The biggest glitch: we actually got detained by border patrol because I didn’t bring a letter of consent from Kendrick giving me permission to travel internationally with the baby: I figured that since I had needed this letter to get Indy’s passport in the first place I didn’t need to bring it with me on the trip as well…but you most certainly do (you also need to bring a copy of the birth certificate if you’re traveling domestically).
This resulted in Kendrick getting a phone call that started: “Hello, sir, I’m Officer X of the Border Police calling about your wife and child. Do you know where they are?” Which I understand is protocol, but which I also can imagine was not so much fun for him until he figured out what the call was about.
But back to the tips that you guys gave me – because they were great.
The Best of the Best:
1. Don’t freak out. The baby will pick up on your anxiety if you get all worked up, and get worked up in turn.
2. The flight attendants have experienced crying babies on planes before, and a) feel bad for you and b) will do what they can to help (and will let you hang out in the aisle to bounce, which is what I did for part…ok, most…of the flight). The other passengers…well, they might be annoyed, but for the most part they’ll understand that it’s beyond your control.
3. Snacks and snacks and more snacks.
4. Carry the baby through security in an Ergo or Bjorn – they won’t make you take it off. They may, however, decide that you need to be randomly screened, which is what happened to me (of course).
5. Let your traveling partner board first and get your things situated, but wait to board with the baby until the last possible second: the less time available to go stir-crazy, the better.
6. Provide a bottle during takeoff and landing to help with the ear-popping thing.
7. Bring along a couple of inexpensive, brand-new toys as “surprises.”
8. Try to stick to your normal routine as much as possible (put baby in PJs at bedtime, bring the stuffed animal he’s used to sleeping with, etc), but don’t panic if things don’t go smoothly; a tired baby may not be a happy baby, but there are worse things that can happen.
9. Yo Gabba Gabba (see above).