Flying with Mingli

On Tuesday I flew down to visit my parents in South Carolina.  I was really nervous about flying alone with Mingli, especially since he refuses to take a bottle, but it went but better than I expected.  He slept most of the way through all three plane rides, and during our two layovers we walked around the airport for a while, then laid a blanket down and let him play for a few minutes before having to get back on the plane.  The one time he did start to cry was landing on our first plane ride.  He was awake and the pressure seemed to bother him.  I tried nursing him to help, but he would nurse for a minute, then cry for a few seconds, then nurse again.  He kept repeating that pattern until he fell asleep.  Nursing was also easier than I thought.  I do not like covering Mingli up with a blanket when I nurse, or nursing in a bathroom, but I also like being modest.  Most of the time this means trying to find someplace comfortable and private to nurse, but I knew that wouldn’t be possible on an airplane.  The people at the gate were really helpful and got me window seats on all of my planes so I would have a little more privacy, then I managed to arrange Mingli’s blanket so it was not over his face but it was also adding more privacy.

The one thing that did not go well was that my stroller had to be checked.  I was planning on having it in the airport with me so I wouldn’t have to carry Mingli between the gates, but apparently American Airlines has a policy that if a stroller is more than 20 pounds you have to check it.  Carrying Mingli around the airport with my luggage was a bit of a pain, but it all worked out.

Things I am glad I did:  Usually when booking my tickets I go for the shortest layovers, but with this flight I tried to get slightly longer layovers, between 1 1/2 and 2 hours.  This worked well because Mingli got a little bored with being on the plane, so he enjoyed walking around the airports and playing on his blanket.  It also made it so I did not have to rush between gates.  I also paid a little bit more to check a suitcase instead of taking it all through the airport with me like I usually would have done.  This was especially nice since I did not have my stroller.  My carry on luggage was a backpack, so this made it much easier.  The other thing that made the flights easier was that at the beginning of each flight I took a burp cloth and a couple of toys and put them in the seat pocket in front of me.  This made it so I did not have to keep pulling things out from under the seat, which was especially hard with a baby.

All in all I think it went pretty well.


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