Recently, I took a trip with my 5 month old son and up until our flight I was going crazy and had so many questions that needed answers. Also, I’m nursing and had to take along some milk and my pump. I flew on Southwest and here is my run down of what I needed. Keep in mind I also had my car seat and base. I’ll start with, that they do not charge you for bring your car seat/stroller, which is a plus. You can put it in a bag or choose not to, but if you put it in a bag it’ll keep it clean. I went to Target and bought the JL Childress Gate Check Bag for Car Seats, it was extremely spacious and easy to haul. I ended up putting my diaper bag in there as well and just carried some diapers and wipes in my purse.
When I arrived at the airport, I gave my car seat to them with my luggage and they put it in on a tray so it wouldn’t get so banged up. Also, as a side note I did have to call them after purchasing my ticket and make them aware I was travelling with my infant. They added him to the ticket free of charge of course. When I checked my bags and car seat I did have to provide them with something to identify him, they told me I could bring his birth certificate or shot records, I just brought the birth certificate. While in the airport I carried him around in my Evenflo Breathable Carrier I bought online at JCPenney, but they sale them in numerous stores.
I did see people go through TSA check with their strollers and then sat them at the gate and then the airport staff loaded them on the plane. Going through TSA check was smooth, I did have to remove my shoes but I walked though the basic metal detector and they checked my hands, that was all. Then, I brought my breast pump and milk through TSA check as well, so after checking my hands I walked up and someone was there to check the milk. My milk was frozen which a TSA attendant stated was “Very Smart,” I also had some pureed bananas and mangoes in there with my freezer pack. Everything was smooth.
Once through TSA check I arrived at the gate and when began to board they stated families with children could go and I went ahead of the B group. It was smooth so I got to get a good window seat. Now on my departing flight, I kept my baby carrier on and they did not mind, however, on my return flight I was asked to take it off during the flight, which was no big deal. I guess it just depends on your flight attendant. Then the flight was not bad either during take off and landing I just breastfed my son in case he would be irritable from the changes in gravity and his ears popping. Overall, the panic was not necessary and it went smoothly. Flying with a baby was not that bad after all. Let me know if you have any questions.