Babywearing Hampton Roads

Keeping caregivers and children close since 2013

Ask a VBE: Babywearing and Flying

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Back in January of 2013, I took a trip to see my sister get married in Phoenix, Arizona. I started typing up a blog about it after we got home but we ended up getting pretty sick from the trip so I put it off for a long time but I’m finally ready to share! Now, I am in no way an expert on flying. I did it once with Carmen and we really did learn a lot so I thought I’d share any advice I could. Remember that every situation may be different depending on the time of the year you fly and which airports you fly out of. Security has some basic standards but each are a little different.

We took our Didymos Anthracite Stone Indio (a short sz 6 with some fancy fringe,) and we packed our Didymos Roses (sz 2) for quick trips. I decided to go with something simple and that was kind of a beater (a wrap I didn’t feel bad if it was stained or somehow lost or stolen) ASI can easily be washed, makes a great wrap to do a ruck and was long enough for really comfy carries like a double hammock with a candy cane chest belt. It was fancy enough for my sister’s wedding rehearsal and looks great with my black polo and denim capris. I can’t praise simple wraps like this enough. I also like to travel with wraps like this in case someone asks about it. I can then direct them straight to a vendor since this wrap is in stock in a few places.

If you’re really worried about wearing and going through security, just be prepared to be flexible. Read up on the guidelines before going. They’re posted online, you just have to Google who’re flying through and their security guidelines. It makes it so much easier when you have kids when you can fly through security. Some may ask you to take down your baby (even in a wrap with no metal) and some may not even bat an eyelash. I found that the more open I was about Carmen’s sippy cups being filled with almond milk and volunteering to have my bag searched, the nicer security was to us and we were processed through security much quicker. Also, do not be afraid to ask for help if you need it.

I got these rocking bags on Amazon for $20 each!

We had our hands FULL though. I had to pay for two tickets since Carmen was two years old at the time and I felt strongly about her being in a car seat for the duration of our flights. I even bought a light Cosco seat so I wouldn’t have to use a car seat from the car rental company and it wouldn’t be as heavy as her Evenflo Triumph. So since I spent so much on tickets, I took full advantage and got two really great rolling carryons that I thought I could simply carry behind me. It worked out so well in my head. Simply flip the car seat over one carry on and buckle it on, my backpack with things to keep Carmen busy on the other, Carmen on my back, a carry on in each hand and BAM! It all seemed so ideal and while it worked – it was still a hassle. My bags would flip the side and I was kicking them like a crazy person trying to get them to flip upright. Sometimes I needed these hilarious looking running starts to get them rolling right and finding walls to rest them up against so I wouldn’t have to pick them up. Plus, if I wanted to do a quick trip into a store for water or snacks, I couldn’t leave both of my bags behind and I did not have a hand to do things like carry my stuff or anything. If I could go back, I would have checked a bag. It would have been worth every dime. Plus, I got a lot of flack from staff about both carryons despite being allowed to have them and insisted we check them but that wasn’t feasible on our way home. It also seemed unfair as I had done so much research making sure they were the perfect size for carryons and watching fellow passengers bring on these massive suitcases. So while babywearing kept me “hands free” to man-handle these bags, it was still a lot of work. I definitely felt like supermom though when we got home and I survived until that nasty after-flying cold and deafness set in.

The flights were excellent though in the end and I have never been more proud of Carmen. The car seat was a great choice. She slept well and I felt comfortable knowing she was in a 5 point harness as some turbulence in past flights have lifted me out of my seat before! My wrap came into play beautifully! I braided the wrap half way and use part of it as a neck support, like the ones you pay $20 for in the airport! Okay, not that my wrap is cheaper but I love when something has multiple uses and I have to carry less stuff. I then let out the other half and used it as a blanket since I am weary of the ones that are used on the air planes. Has anyone ever seen those washed? Gross!

While we were always the first one on each of our flights, we politely waited to be last as we needed the space and thought it would be rude to be in the middle of aisle for a few minutes getting all of our stuff together. I then was able to wrap in the aisle. With that said, be super careful of your baby’s head. I totally bumped Carmen’s head on the overhead compartment and she was already grumpy from waking up from her nap. Big mommy fail on my part but at least she had my shoulder while on my back and I kept leaning my head back onto hers to comfort her. Truly a reason why I love to babywear. Being there emotionally for your baby while getting things done!

It was quite the adventure flying my first time with Carmen but she did amazing and we ended up having a lot of fun in Arizona seeing family and seeing my sister to get married. We hope this helps you a bit if you decide to fly and comment with any tips you’d have for flying with young kids!

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