The first time I traveled with my daughter by myself was on a short flight. We purchased one ticket for me, and she was a Lap Infant. She was a little over one, walking, and aware enough for me to get a little worried about how it was going to go. We had been discussing our destination and plane travel for the weeks prior, calling out "Hi Mr. Pilot!" every time we saw an airplane, and the building excitement helped us both. There are a few tips I gathered that made our first plane ride together a great memory.
TAKE IT SLOW
Depending on when the flight is, give yourself extra time for bathroom trips, the security screening, and finding the way to the departure gate. Two hours before take off should be enough time to settle in before boarding.
WEAR THEM THROUGH SECURITY
Carrying my daughter in our Ergo made our TSA screening much easier because we didn't have to struggle with a stroller or wrangle hand-holding. With just a rolling carry on and a big tote, I had the ease of both hands to hold everything. When we reached the conveyor belt, gracious strangers were eager to help line up a few bins and lift my bags. There was no need to go through the full-body scan, just a simpler metal detector.
SURPRISE THEM WITH SOMETHING NEW
Some great advice I received from a few fellow mamas was to visit the dollar store for some inexpensive toys that we could unwrap mid-flight. This worked beautifully. I found a few coloring books with stickers and crayons, packed some of her favorite books, headphones, and a stuffed animal to snuggle.
KEEP THEM FED
Ensuring littles keep their cool, means they need to be well hydrated and full. Squeeze pouch snacks were allowed, and it helped to have them packed in a clear plastic bag for the TSA, and it made clean up easy. I passed her a squeeze pouch for take-off and landing to keep her ears from clogging with the altitude change. If you are still nursing and they are extra clingy, it's a great time to snuggle and soothe them that way.