Sr. Marketing Manager Ali Gerakaris is a new mom and dragged her family with her on her first post-baby business trip. Here are her thoughts:
I am lucky enough to travel for business to some amazing destinations. My first post-baby work trip was 9 months after the birth of my daughter, and I was reluctant to leave her at home. My husband had some available vacation days, and we decided to make a family vacation of it. Now that the trip is behind me, and hindsight being 20/20, here are a few tips for traveling with an infant on an airplane:
- Buy her a seat on the airplane and bring her FAA-approved car seat (it will say so on the side). Yes, she’ll end up on your lap eventually, but when you both need your space, it’s there. Plus, the car seat gave her enough of a boost that she could look out the window or around the aircraft and keep herself entertained. She even fell asleep, and I was able to relax myself. For our family, this was the best money we spent the whole trip!
- When they call for families and people traveling with children for pre-boarding, take advantage of it. It was so nice to be able to install the car seat and make sure our bags were stowed without feeling like we were inconveniencing everyone else trying to board. There was no stress at all, and the baby got to watch everyone else walk past our row. This is a very fun activity for a 9-month-old!
- Bring a bottle for the flight’s ascent and descent. She was so busy eating, she didn’t notice that her ears were adjusting for altitude.
- Don’t forget the snacks! My favorite travel snacks are pouches of pureed fruit from Ella’s Kitchen (www.ellaskitchen.com). The pouches are easy to pack, you don’t need a spoon and you can’t break them like a normal jar of baby food. (*DISCLAIMER: when we traveled, the pouches were allowed by the TSA. Your mileage may vary.).
- Pack a few new toys or toys you haven’t played with in a while. When I brought out a book she hadn’t seen before, it bought us a half hour of time.
I had a pretty good idea of how the baby was going to behave on the airplane. She’s generally laid back, exceptionally observant and gets antsy if I don’t anticipate her schedule. By laying out a plan of action for the airplane, I was able to make sure her vacation got off to a good start. Most importantly, our fellow passengers weren’t bothered either. We did not want to be THAT family on the plane!