Since I traveled to Atlanta and back with a 2 month old and lived to tell about it, I thought I would share some of my traveling tips today. I was incredibly nervous about flying with Atlas, but we made it through TSA and both flights with only a few hiccups. Below are my thoughts/tips on traveling with a newborn.
Yes, Atlas is screaming in the above photo. Like I said, we had some hiccups.
*I do want to mention that I was traveling alone with Atlas. Dave wasn’t with me, which made things more challenging. If you’re traveling with your baby, but you have another adult going with you I think things will be significantly easier when it comes to getting through airport security.*
- If you’re flying Delta, your airline ticket must say ‘Infant in Arms’ on the bottom (I’m not sure about other airlines). I learned this the hard way. I got all the way to the security checkpoint where you have to strip down and was told I had to go print a new boarding pass. This is easy though. If you’re printing your boarding pass yourself or using an E-ticket on your phone, just click on the ‘special services’ button and select ‘infant in arms’ and it will print on the bottom left portion of your ticket.
- Your baby isn’t allowed to stay in their carseat while going through TSA. I learned this the hard way too. Atlas was asleep in his carseat and they still made me take him out so they could search his carseat. If you’re able to avoid traveling with a carseat, I would. But of course, I had to have one for Atlas to get to and from the airport safely. Because they have to be out of their carseat, I recommend wearing your infant via a Baby Bjorn, Tula carrier or Ergobaby carrier. I wore Atlas on the way back and it was much easier getting through security. On the way to Atlanta, I had to take him out of his carseat which woke him up and then ask a stranger to hold him while I took off my boots. Which brings me to my next tip…
- Dress appropriately! I wore the boots featured in the photo above and because I was traveling alone, it was difficult unzipping them, taking them off and putting them back on while holding Atlas. I would wear shoes that are easy to slip on and off because those little tasks are so much harder with an infant. However, if you have another adult traveling with you, I’m sure it would be easier to just pass the baby back and forth between the 2 of you. But I had to take off my scarf, jacket, etc. so it was tough when I was holding Atlas on the way there. On the way back, I got smart and just strapped him to me in the Bjorn.
- Play dumb. And be nice. I didn’t wait in the TSA line. I went where the first class people go even though I didn’t have a first class ticket and asked if I could go through security that way since the line was significantly shorter. I flashed them a big smile and tried to look as frazzled as possible (not hard to do when you’re alone with an infant) and on both trips I got to go through the shorter line, which saved me a ton of time.
- Pack light! I usually try to fit everything in a carry on bag when traveling, but I recommend checking a bag and only getting on the plane with your baby and diaper bag. It is worth the $25 fee to check the bag and go through the airport without luggage. I left my laptop, camera and oversized purse at home and threw my wallet and essentials in a clutch that fit into my diaper bag. This was a good call since I was carrying a carseat + Atlas through the airport. Pack plenty of diapers and wipes and a change of clothes for your baby, just in case your flight gets delayed but don’t bring another bag full of magazines, books and entertainment. You most likely won’t need it because YOU will be entertaining your baby.
- I checked Atlas’ carseat at the terminal right as I got on the plane and I put his carseat in a big garbage bag. I think this kept his carseat from getting all beat up. I’m also OCD, so if you’re more relaxed ignore this tip.
- Don’t forget a blanket! I nursed Atlas on the flight and it was nice to have a lightweight baby blanket to cover him so we both had some privacy. Atlas ate as soon as we boarded the plane to Atlanta and was asleep before take-off, so I didn’t wake him to feed him. He slept through the take off and landing like a champ, which brings me to my next piece of advice…
- If you can, try to plan your flights around nap time. Our flight to Atlanta was during a time when Atlas typically sleeps so he had no trouble sleeping through the entire flight. However, our flight home was during his fussy time. Luckily, he didn’t fuss (Let me take a minute to thank the Sweet Lord for that AGAIN) but he certainly didn’t sleep. He was wide-eyed and bushy tailed so I had to entertain him through the entire flight to keep him happy.
- Pack toys in the diaper bag. Atlas can’t ‘play’ with toys yet, but he loves looking at new things so I had 2 toys in my diaper bag (compliments of his Aunt Tammy) that kept him mesmerized during the flight. He also enjoyed looking at himself on the camera on my iPhone. Lucky for me I have a vain baby, so that was a good 30 minutes of our flight. And when he got bored of those, I nursed him. Luckily, our flight was short so the 2 hours went by quickly for both of us.
- Put your baby on the plane hungry. Atlas was hungry on both flights, so he nursed as soon as we got on the plane which typically puts him in a good mood or puts him to sleep.
- If you can’t plan the flight around nap time and your baby decides to scream because they hate the toys you packed, don’t stress. Anybody on the plane with kids of their own understands what you’re going through. And the people without kids don’t matter because you’ll never see them again once you get off the plane. Just love on your baby and don’t be afraid to ask the flight attendants for help.
Okay – I think that about sums up my travel tips. If you have questions, don’t hesitate to ask! And if you have suggestions of your own, leave them in the comments below!
On Tuesday morning Atlas & I kissed Dave, Ob & Marley goodbye and headed to Atlanta to spend some quality time with my sister, brother-in-law, nieces and nephews. Ob had a tough time saying bye to Atlas, but he promised her we wouldn’t be gone long.
I was incredibly anxious about flying with an 8 week old by myself (so much so, that I felt physically ill the night before we left) but Atlas was a terrific flyer. ← Answer to prayer! He slept the entire flight to Atlanta and I ate pumpkin pie truffles from Momofuku’s to ease my nerves.
(I am in the process of writing an entire post about flying with a newborn, so more on all that later.)
My sister and brother-in-law picked us up from the airport and after making a quick stop at chik-fil-a (it was a must since I don’t have one in NYC) we headed to their house so Atlas could meet his cousins. Their entire family is so fun, welcoming and warm so it was no surprise to me that Atlas was immediately smitten with all of them.
I think I speak for both of us when I say we had the best week. My sister, Tammy, is the baby whisperer and took Atlas from me the moment we got to her house and pretty much didn’t give him back until Friday.
Judging by the above picture, you can probably tell that Atlas didn’t mind being left to play with his Aunt Tammy. And that was totally fine with me because it gave me time to love on her sweet kids. It felt good to wear my ‘aunt hat’ for the week.
My youngest niece, Joy, loved kissing on Atlas and helping during his bath time. Joy & I had tea parties, wrote letters to Santa and played ‘spa,’ which is the best game ever invented. Joy pretends to own a spa and she gives free massages and pedicures. She will also do your hair if you have a princess party to attend. So, I sat on the couch while she massaged my feet and brushed my hair and it was all her idea.
Oh, and electricity (aka cell phones) aren’t allowed in her spa. I really want a little girl just like her.
I was super excited when my nephew, Bradly, asked to go for a run with me. Their neighborhood is filled with hills so Bradly and I made a game out of our run. We jogged and every time we came to a hill, we would sprint to the top. Bradly won every single time, which made me feel incredibly old. He’s a superstar though, so I guess I can’t beat myself up too bad.
Seriously – those hills. No.joke. During our run we discussed a lot of important topics like:
- How cool it would be to be a ninja
- Strategies to winning the Hunger Games
- Careers in Hollywood as a stunt double
- How cool it would be to buy Michael Jordan’s house in Chicago
He may be my favorite running partner ever.
This is how Bradly waits for cookies to bake.
No doubt, we are related.
Then, while my sister and brother-in-law watched Atlas one night, I went to a movie with my oldest niece and nephew, Christy and Wil. We saw Catching Fire and had the most fun together. They had already seen the movie, so they enjoyed laughing at me since I jumped at all the scary parts. Typical teenagers.
My sister’s house was fully decorated for the holidays so I felt fully immersed in the Christmas spirit while we were there. The outside of her house looked like something from a magazine…or the North Pole.
To make the season even more fun, my sister and her husband have ‘magic elves’ that do funny things every night while the kids are sleeping. One morning we woke up to see that the elves had a snowball fight.
I can’t wait until Atlas is old enough to get into things like Santa and magic elves.
All of my sister’s kids are so precious and it made me excited for the years to come with Atlas.
I know it is a long ways off, but if Atlas turns out anything like my oldest niece and nephew, I honestly can’t wait for the teenage years. I think if Dave and I are able to raise our boy right, those years have the potential to be the most fun for our family.
We stayed around her house most of the week because Atlas wasn’t a fan of his carseat. He did enjoy the car a lot more once Aunt Tammy bought him some toys for his seat so we were able to venture out to Trader Joe’s and Target one day.
This is worth mentioning because while at TJ’s we picked this chai tea latte mix up on a whim…
It tasted like a holiday drink you would get at Starbucks and I highly recommend you run out and snag some before the Christmas season is over.
The memories we made were well worth the stress of flying with a newborn and I’m already planning our next trip back to visit.
I hope you all had a great week and are enjoying a weekend filled with holiday fun, family and friends!
It was a family filled weekend around here!
We spent Sunday in Brooklyn with my sister, Michelle, and her family. We walked through Brooklyn Bridge Park, ate some delicious ice cream and enjoyed quality time together.
I spent today packing, doing laundry and entertaining Atlas. I was able to squeeze in a 3.5 mile run with Ob before dinner (chicken & spinach) and now I’m watching the CMA Country Christmas show while Dave puts the lights on our Christmas tree. I’m also drinking a pumpkin milkshake. That should be mentioned because it is delicious (TJ’s pumpkin ice cream + almond milk + chocolate covered pretzels. Do it.)
This post is going to be short because I’m soaking up as much time as I can with these 3 before Atlas and I head off to Atlanta tomorrow morning…
I’m so excited to continue the family fun this week with my other sister, Tammy! I’ll miss Dave and the pups, but I have a feeling Dave may enjoy a few quiet evenings at home.
Say a little prayer for me tomorrow. I’ve never flown with a baby so I’m pretty nervous about how the flight is going to go with this little guy…
He looks so innocent, but the kid can be a stinker sometimes!
I know he will be a happy camper once he meets all his cousins though because they are fantastic!
I’ll try to pop back in this week with pictures, but I’m not bringing my laptop to ATL. I’m traveling light…minus all the baby stuff…and the actual baby.
I did manage to pack my running shoes so perhaps I’ll be back this week to tell you about how the hills of Atlanta owned me.
It was an exciting week in the Andrews’ household! Atlas got to meet his Aunt Mimi (my sister, Michelle), Uncle Matt and cousin Pierce.
It made my heart so happy to see Atlas with my nephew, Pierce. They both seemed to immediately love each other. Michelle lives in Florida, but they spend every Thanksgiving in NYC so it was such a treat for all of us to be together in the Big Apple this year.
Atlas is getting spoiled by having so much family around to entertain him. Dave and I are getting a bit spoiled too. We decided to take advantage of my mom staying with us and let her watch Atlas so we could go out on a date. It was our first date since Atlas arrived 8 weeks ago, so we knew we had to do something extra special.
A run through Central Park seemed like just the ticket! We leashed up Ob and completed a little over 4.5 miles through the park. Isn’t that everyone’s ideal date?
We talked through most of our run and had a great time. We did stop a few times to walk because Dave took me on a new route and we tackled some crazy hills. I told Dave I wasn’t feeling up for an intense run so I asked him to take me on an easy route, but apparently what he heard was ‘I want to run rolling hills for 3 straight miles.’ Words were exchanged. Let’s just leave it at that.
If you ever get to run Central Park and you want a challenge, run the north part of the park. It kicked my butt.
Atlas enjoyed the quality time with his Grammy while we ran, so a great time was had by all.
After our run, we got cleaned up and headed down to Rockefeller Center to look at the City’s Christmas decor and hit up the Top of the Rock.
If you’re ever in NYC and you want to see spectacular views, go to the observation deck at the top of the Rock. It is breathtaking. Dave and I did it this summer and wanted to take my mom during her visit. Last time we went during the day, but we wanted to go back to see the city at night this time.
I’m afraid of heights, so I almost chickened out the first time we went but I’m so glad I decided to ride the elevator up. If you go during the day the view of Central Park is amazing and if you go at night you can’t beat the view of the Empire State Building.
It was freezing, but we had fun taking in all the bright lights of the city.
And because Atlas can’t go more than 3 hours without eating, we had to walk across the street to Saks Fifth Avenue so I could feed him (they have big bathrooms with oversized chairs – perfect for nursing moms). How convenient, right? We didn’t shop (that’s not as fun with a baby), but I enjoyed seeing all the holiday decor. The window displays on 5th Ave are always beautiful at Christmas and this year was no exception. The theme at Saks was the Abominable Snowman.
So cute, right?
Nobody decorates for Christmas like NYC.
It has been such a special week! First dates, family time and holiday fun…a trifecta of perfection.
*Note: I’m not hiding the Thanksgiving turkey under that jacket. I’m wearing Atlas in a baby carrier. When it is really cold, I wear one of Dave’s jackets so I can zip Atlas all the way up in his own little cocoon. He’s snug as a bug in a rug in there!
Our first Thanksgiving in NYC was terrific!
We watched the balloons get blown up for the Macy’s Day Parade.
Then we watched the actual Macy’s Day Parade.
My favorite balloon was the Pillsbury Doughboy. Obviously.
We also enjoyed seeing Kelly Pickler, the Duck Dynasty cast (pictured above on the bottom left), Florida Georgia Line (you know this southern girl loves her some country music) and Jimmy Fallon in the parade. So cool. I’m also 99.9% sure we saw Bob Harper from the Biggest Loser watching the parade from the Dakota Building.
It was pretty darn cold and windy, but we had smiles plastered on our face through the whole parade.
Atlas thought the whole thing was a snooze fest.
After the parade, we grabbed holiday flavored coffee from Starbucks before spending the rest of the day relaxing with family. Then it was off to Central Park for a fancy Thanksgiving dinner…
Atlas wasn’t excited about going out, but my mom kept him entertained.
He finds her stories so much more exciting than giant balloons and celebrities. She is a pretty amazing story teller, so I can’t say I blame him.
It was a wonderful holiday spent with some of the people I love the most.
Happy Thanksgiving from the CNC family! I hope your day was filled with lots of desserts, family time and maybe even a nice, long run!
I gave up on reading the parenting books. That’s right; when it comes to parenting, we’re officially winging it. I was drowning in all the conflicting information out there and finally said to heck with it – I’m just going to try and enjoy the ride that is motherhood, tailor what I’ve read to Atlas’ personality and hope for the best. Wish us all luck…
So, as of now we are not currently following a strict schedule with Atlas. Our routine changes a little from day to day.
However, one thing I do strive to do every morning is read to Atlas. It is a tradition I hope to keep for years to come. Every morning we make it about 3 pages into a book before he decides he is underwhelmed by the story. The kid is a tough critic.
But this morning was different! I pulled out a great classic: Oh, the Places You’ll Go by Dr. Suess.
My sweet friend, Janny, got this amazing pop up book for Atlas and he was mesmerized by it today. He let me read it from start to finish. I think he enjoyed the pop up aspect of the book, but I found myself thoroughly enjoying the book’s message.
Ob & Marley seemed pretty interested in the story too.
In case you haven’t brushed up on your children’s literature in a while, here are some excerpts from the book…
You won’t lag behind, because you’ll have the speed.
You’ll pass the whole gang and you’ll soon take the lead.
Wherever you fly, you’ll be best of the best.
Wherever you go, you will top all the rest.
Except when you don’t.
Because, sometimes, you won’t.
I’m sorry to says so
but, sadly, it’s true
can happen to you
And when you’re alone, theres a very good chance
you’ll meet things that scare you right out of your pants.
There are some, down the road between hither and yon,
that can scare you so much you won’t want to go on.
But on you will go
though the weather be foul.
On you will go
though your enemies prowl.
On you will go
though the Hakken-Kraks howl.
Onward up many
a frightening creek,
though you arms may get sore
and your sneakers may leak.
On and on you will hike.
And I know you’ll hike far
and face up to your problems
whatever they are.
You’ll get mixed up of course,
as you already know.
You’ll get mixed up
with many stray birds as you go.
So be sure when you step.
Step with care and great tact
and remember that Life’s
a Great Balancing Act.
Just never forget to be dexterous and deft.
And never mix up your right foot with your left.
And will you succeed?
Yes! You will indeed!
(98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed!)
KID YOU’LL MOVE MOUNTAINS!
As I read this great classic, I thought about the life Atlas has before him and as much as I want to protect him from pain and trials, obstacles will inevitably be a part of his life. As silly as it sounds, Dr. Suess reminded me that one of my main goals as a mother isn’t to keep Atlas on the perfect ‘eat, play, sleep’ schedule, but rather instill in him the character, tenacity, courage and humility to make it through those hang ups and bang ups that life throws our way. One of my greatest responsibilities in life will be to teach my son that life is a great balancing act and it is important that he learns what’s truly important (hint hint: people, not things) in order to keep his life in balance – through the good times and the bad.
I just felt compelled to share this today for anybody out there who is going through a rough patch because this poem also reminded me that no matter how lonely/crazy/stressful life can get, brighter and better days are always just around the corner…98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed!
***And that’s my cheesy sentiment for the day.***
In other news…remember that time I ran Central Park in the pouring down rain? That happened this morning with my great friend, Linda! Running with friends is so much more fun. I’m 2 for 2 in Central Park – one run in the freezing cold and 1 run in the pouring rain.
I hope you all have a wonderful Wednesday! Be sure to eat lots of carbs today…just in case you don’t get enough tomorrow.