Unfortunately, things were just beginning. About two minutes later "the face", again. This time accompanied by an even louder grunting, and a definite poop explosion. Crap. (Literally). Ok, I guess we're doing this again. Last time wasn't so bad. Hopefully it's not too messy in there. I assume the position. MJ on my lap, onesie opened up, ready to go in. I see the woman next to me shoot me a glance like, "Seriously lady?! We've been on this 2 hour flight less than 15 minutes and you're changing your kid for the second time?! Right here on your lap? Nice". At least that's how I interpreted it. Probably about right. Anyways, this time MJ is a total mess. We've got a major situation going on inside this diaper. Gross. I finally awkwardly get him all cleaned up, and throw the second dirty diaper on the floor (what else was I supposed to do?). By this time I'm pretty sure not only the people on my row, but the surrounding rows as well would like a seat change. This is embarrassing. Then, to add insult to injury, when the flight attendants finally come by the isle with an open trash bag, I reach down, feel around for the diapers, grab them both with one hand, and reach across the two poor passengers next to me to drop the diapers in the trash. The male flight attendant holding the bag stops, looks at me, then keeps going as I hear the female flight attendant behind him say not so quietly "did she just hand you a diaper?!". He nods as they go around the corner. I can hear them whispering to each other since I'm in the very back row. "Yeah, she can't do that". A couple minutes later the male flight attendant comes back around the corner and loudly says, "Excuse me, ma'am?" so I can hear him from the window seat. This means everyone else can hear him too. "Was that a diaper you put in the trash bag I brought by?". Yes, idiot. Obviously! That's how I wish I would've responded. "Yeah," I said. "Well, just so you know, it's not sanitary to give us diapers to throw away. You should put them in the bathroom trash. We throw our trash away next to the food". WOW. As if I wasn't already embarrassed enough, now I was humiliated. "Oh sorry," I said, "this is my first time flying with a baby. I didn't know". "Ok, well now you know for next time". I wanted to cry.
Delta...was that really necessary?! I know I have issues and probably didn't' make the best decision changing my baby's dirty diaper on my lap, but I still don't know what I'm supposed to do when I need to change my baby on a flight! Thanks for making my already stressful situation 10 times worse by making me want to crawl into hole or suddenly take up sky diving during your flight. That was humiliating. A tip for next time…at least wait until the other passengers are off the plane before embarrassing a first time mom trying to care for her baby!
Some Tips for Other Moms
Now, although I had an overall horrible first time experience flying with a baby, I did learn a few things I'd like to share with any other baby mamas out there. Some of these things I learned from friends with kids who gave me advice before my trip, and some I figured out on my own from this experience. Anyways, I hope these tips can help any other first time moms have a better experience flying than I did!
1. Wear Flip Flops
As you can see in my first picture, I made the mistake of showing up to the airport in over the knee boots. Not ideal for getting through security! Next time I'll be sure to wear flip flops or other shoes that can easily be slipped on and off.
2. Invest in a Baby Carrier
A must when traveling by yourself! I don't know how I would've gotten everything checked in and made it through the airport without one. You don't even have to take it off when going through security which is great. I have the Ergobaby 360 carrier, which is awesome, but MJ is a little too small to sit in it facing front. I wanted to be able to switch him around if he got fussy at the airport, so I ended up getting this Infantino carrier from Target for the trip because it was super cheap (only $17.99!) and MJ could fit in the front or rear facing position. It's not nearly as comfortable as the Ergobaby 360 (which has great back support and makes baby feel super light), and it doesn't have the hip and back carry options, but for the price it worked great!
3. Give Baby a Bottle or Pacifier When Taking Off and Landing
A friend told me this one and I'm so glad she did! Sucking or swallowing helps pop baby's ears so they don't hurt from the pressure when taking off and landing. I did this with MJ on both flights and it worked like a charm! He was a happy (although stinky) baby :)
4. Bring Ready Made Formula
If you're supplementing with formula, don't mess around with powder formula and having to make a bottle on the airplane. Buy the similac ready-made bottles so all you have to do is shake and pour! They'll let you bring the 8 ounce ones through security.
5. Don't Show Up Hungry
I didn't have time to eat with all the stress of getting everything ready and getting to the airport on time for my flight to San Diego. I figured I'd just grab something at the airport, but didn't account for the fact that I'd have a baby strapped to my chest the whole time. I got a sandwich on the way to my gate, but ended up only getting a few bites in because the tray table wouldn't go down all the way and it was hard to maneuver it eating over MJ. Moral or the story…don't show up hungry to the airport. Eat at home while you can still set down your baby!
I hope this helps any other new moms out there who might have to fly alone with their baby! I'd love to hear any other tips from seasoned veteran moms as well :) If you have a similar story, or any advice for what I should do next time I need to change my baby on plane, please share! I obviously need all the help I can get.