I’m pretty sure I’m going to have to move to Austin. Not really, of course. Jack’s grandparents would flip out, but it’s tempting. I am just so impressed with this city full of character, beauty, and the kind of urban planning you just don’t see in Louisiana.
Nick is here with us now, but for the first leg of our trip on Tuesday and Wednesday it was just Jack and me. We flew from Baton Rouge to Dallas to Amarillo, where we met up with my parents, sister, brother in law, and cousin to celebrate my Pawpaw’s 90th birthday. It was Pawpaw’s first time to meet Jack (his namesake and only great grandchild). Here they are together with my dad.
Jack was such a great little traveler. He slept through most of the flights, but even when he was awake he mostly sat and played peacefully on my lap.
We had layovers in Dallas for both trips, plus a two hour delay before boarding in Baton Rouge. I had a blanket in my bag so I just spread it out on the ground and let Jack sit and play. He was very popular with our fellow travelers.
Here's a blurry bathroom pic of us in travel mode. Baby in the ring sling, diaper bag stuffed to the brim slung across my body. The only hitch in my plan was that the rings set off the metal detector at security (you can't see them in this pic, but the fabric in the sling is woven through them to adjust the tension and hold it tight).
This is my second time flying with a baby in tow, but I was a little nervous this time about A) doing it solo, and B) bringing along food and entertainment. Here’s what I did:
Borrowed a carseat travel bag from a friend and checked our carseat for free. I used the extra space in the bag to pack diapers and wipes. We usually use cloth diapers but I bought disposables for the trip.
Packed all of our clothes and accoutrements (including some simple baby-friendly foods, like bananas and string cheese) in one big suitcase and checked it. I used an insulated lunch bag and ice pack to keep the string cheese cold.
Recruited Nick and my parents to help me with checking our luggage and picking it up from baggage claim.
Stayed calm when our luggage was delayed by six hours in Amarillo, and politely requested that they reimburse me for the diapers and warm clothes I’d have to buy (it was super cold there and our jackets were in the suitcase). They loaned me a carseat to use until ours arrived.
Packed plenty of snacks in the diaper bag, like string cheese, teething crackers (a special treat because they taste like cookies), and string cheese. I tucked Jack’s arms into the ring sling and tightened it at the top to turn it into a baby straightjacket for feeding him banana without it ending up all over both of us. He loves banana so much he didn’t mind. At security I just put the food in the bin with my phone, baggie of liquids (including baby Tylenol + dropper just in case!) and nobody even asked me about it.
Packed a small, see-through bag of favorite small toys plus a new one he’d never seen before. The see-through bag doubled as a toy itself because he could turn it around and look at all the stuff inside. I saved the brand-new toy for a time when I needed to bring out the big guns and I haven’t had to use it yet. This little bag-o-fun has also come in handy for the many restaurant meals we’ve been eating.
Dressed Jack in legwarmers instead of pants for easy diaper changes. I also stuffed a complete change of clothes way down in the bottom of the diaper bag just in case.
Wore slip-on shoes to make getting through security easier and dressed in layers for discreet nursing.
Nursed on take-off and landing and encouraged pacifier use anytime we were in the air to help his ears pop. I usually try to only give him the pacifier for sleep or when he’s stressed out but there have been so many new settings and changes to our routine on this trip that I basically just let him have it whenever he wants. Calm baby = happy mama.
The whole trip has gone so much more smoothly than I expected, even with the delayed flight and lost bags. Everyone we’ve encountered has been so sweet and helpful and it was so worth it to get to visit with family. I really wanted to introduce Jack to my Pawpaw and since we shared a hotel suite with my parents we got in some nice bonding time with them as well. Now we’re in Austin and off for a day of family fun today! The weather is gorgeous and I can’t wait to check out more of this weirdly lovely city.