Mommy Monday: Flying With An Infant

Happy Monday!

As you know, we recently traveled to the Big Island of Hawaii. It was our first time flying with James, and Ben and I were more than a little nervous. (James was 5 1/2 months, FYI.) The flight to Hawaii is around six hours long and we were scared that it would potentially be six hours of James screaming his head off. We didn't want to be those people on the flight - you know, the people with the screaming baby. We also didn't want our little guy to be uncomfortable. It's the worst when you hear those poor screaming babies on airplanes and you just know that they are in pain from the pressure changes and their ears popping. :(

We did some research online about flying with babies, and I also called James' pediatrician and asked for any tips. The main thing that we picked up was to feed James during take off and landing to help his ears pop. And also to ignore any rude people on the flight. ;) We also packed a lot of different types of toys for him to play with while we were in the air.

James did great in the airport as we went through security and as we got situated on the plane. We checked his car seat at the gate which was handy. But, we realized that we might as well have checked it before going through security because it was just an extra thing to lug around through the airport with us and we didn't need it for James because he prefers to be held in our arms anyways. So, on the way home, we checked our car seat before going through security and it was SO MUCH BETTER.

We also didn't check any bags on the flight over. Ben and I always try to travel with just carry-ons and not check any bags. When we flew to France last year, we did it all with carry-ons, but then on the way home we checked bags and it was way easier. Same thing happened with this trip to Hawaii. We carried on all of our bags for the flight over, but on the way home we checked a bag along with the car seat and it was such a better experience.

Lesson number one for traveling with an infant: check bags AND check the car seat BEFORE going through security. Make it as easy on yourself as possible and don't have too many things to carry. Just carry-on the bare minimum. Juggling bags, a car seat, PLUS a baby is just more trouble than necessary.

Take off went great. I fed James his bottle and then he played nicely with some of his toys. He took a few little cat-naps on my lap. But, honestly, the flight over to Hawaii was ROUGH. We were absolutely those people. haha Our flight left in the morning - around 10am I think. We thought that would be a good idea because James would be awake but then he would take his usual naps at around 10 (when we took off), noon, and three. But no. He barely slept at all. There was too much going on and too much newness for him to sleep. Ben spent a good portion of the flight walking up and down the aisles of the plane with James in his arms. As soon as they would sit down again, James would cry. Poor little guy.

During landing, James was crying too much to eat so he wasn't a happy camper. Luckily, the people on our flight were nice and we didn't have any rude people. The flight attendants were so sweet too. And Ben and I were able to laugh about it and keep a good attitude, although it was a very stressful experience and we basically swore off ever traveling with James again until he was a teenager. haha

Lesson number two for traveling with an infant: feed your baby during take off and landing to help his ears pop. You can also give a pacifier. The idea is just to get that sucking and swallowing motion going.

Needless to say, Ben and I were DREAAADING the flight home. This time, our flight left at around 3:00pm (Hawaiian time, which was 5:00pm to James...his bedtime is between 5:30pm and 6:00pm). You guys...NIGHT. AND. DAY. I'm not sure if it was because of the time of day, or because he had already flown before, or what...but he didn't cry at all the entire flight. He was so happy the whole time, playing with his books and toys, and he actually ended up sleeping the majority of the flight!

My theory is that it was his bed time, so he played a bit and then went to sleep. It was such a relief! The flight home was a dream, haha. So, now Ben and I are willing to try flying with a baby again. Which is great, because we have quite a few trips planned that involve flying.

Lesson number three for traveling with an infant: plan flights during the hours that your baby usually sleeps.

The flight over was rough, but the flight home couldn't have gone better, so I count that whole experience of flying with an infant for the first time a win! And as with all things as a first time mom, I learned A LOT.

Lesson number four for traveling with an infant: keep a sense of humor!

I am only minorly afraid to fly with James again, haha, but overall I'm optimistic!  I think even if he is upset on a flight in the future, it will be fine as long as Ben and I keep a sense of humor! Being able to laugh about the situation makes the world of a difference! And having a partner there to help out and share soothing duties with is so so so nice! I have a whole new appreciation for Ben - he is SUCH an amazing, caring dad.

Lesson number five for traveling with an infant: bring a variety of toys to keep your baby occupied.

I hope this was helpful for any of you other parents out there who are nervous about flying with a baby for the first time! As Ben and I fly more with James, I'll update this and let you know of any new tricks that we figure out. Also, I'd love to hear any other tips that those of you with experience have!

Travel Diary: The Big Island

Four Generations!

Where the heck have I been the past week or so, you may ask. Well, I was in paradise.

My little family and I jetted off to the Big Island of Hawaii!

My grandparents live near Kona, and we went to stay with them. It was our first time seeing their new house, and it was a DREAM. The views were out of this world and they have the best little jungle pool in their yard. Seriously...the entire trip was heavenly. My mom was even there for a few days, which was so fun! And it was SO nice to get to spend time with my grandparents!

I had only been to Oahu and Maui before, so the Big Island was new to me. It is SO different from the other islands that I've been to, and I LOVE it! There are so many different types of terrain and things to do and amazing features and places to explore!

This was our first time flying with James. I will write a blog post soon about our experience flying with a baby and some tips I picked up, so check back for that...probably next Monday!

Anyways, James did so well traveling such a long distance, and although there was a bit of an adjustment for him with the time difference and new place and everything, (PLUS he's TEETHING), he was such a little trooper! We had the best time adventuring with him!

Ok, I could ramble on and on, so let's dive right into it:

First things first: coffee.

Our first morning in Kona, we found the. best. coffee shop. Seriously. Look no further, next time you're in Kona. Just head to Green Flash Coffee. Every morning (except two mornings when we made the mistake of trying different coffee shops) Ben, James, and I headed to Green Flash Coffee at the crack of dawn. I fell in love with their croissant breakfast sandwiches with ham, and Ben and I got coffee cake to share. And we got coffee...of course.

Some mornings we enjoyed our coffee and breakfast at the coffee shop in their outdoor courtyard, and some mornings we brought it all with us to the beach. Regardless, every morning we headed to the beach and swam, laid in the shade, and watched the body surfers. James LOVED playing with his toys on our big beach blanket. Ben took James into the ocean for the first time. We made such great memories.

After our morning outings, we would head back to my grandparents' house and my grandpa made us his special oatmeal and we would eat fresh papayas and read and relax...it was the best.

We did so many fun things while we were there! We took a tour of the Kona Brewing Company, Ben and I went out for a couple of date nights in Kona, we went and watched a dolphin show with my grandpa, and we went on a snorkel tour!

The snorkel tour was amazing! James did so well on the boat, we saw humpback whales, and SO many gorgeous fish. I highly recommend this tour if you're going to the Big Island. Click here for all of the info!

One day, Ben, James, and I drove around the entire island. It was such an amazing day! We went to Rainbow Falls, fell in love with the town of Hawi, (go get sandwiches at Kohala Coffee Mill!!!) and we saw SO many beautiful sights, including this black sand beach.

I had never seen a black sand beach before and it was so pretty! We were going to stop by a green sand beach, but the parking area was SO crowded, so we decided to continue on our way.

We also went to the southern most point in the United States of America. For a few minutes, we were the southernmost folk in all the land. Which was a pretty cool feeling. And very neat for James, at only 5 1/2 months old!

On our way back home after our drive around the island, we stopped at this cute, nice restaurant called The Strawberry Patch. It was some of the best food I've had - I had the Spring Salad, and Ben and I split the Rustic Roasted Garlic Bread. So yummy. BUT the service was reeeeeaaaallly SLOW.

That night we saw the most unusual sunset as we were driving back to my grandparents' house. I didn't manage to get any pictures of it, but it was magical.

We saw so many beautiful sunsets while we were on the Big Island. One evening, my grandpa took us to this beautiful spot where we had pina coladas and watched the sunset over the ocean. Our last night, my grandpa took us to another beautiful place...a rocky beach where you could wade out and look down and see fish swimming around. And the sunsets from my grandparents house were unreal.

Our last morning, we got our coffee and breakfast and headed to the beach for one last family beach morning. It was a gorgeous day.

After that, we headed to Huggo's On The Rocks for a farewell drink and to soak in the view. It was such an incredible trip and I'm leaving out so many details because there is just no way that I could get them all down in one blog post. But it was just the best and we love the Big Island and can't wait to go back some day!

We really want to go to the volcano and the space observatory, but we couldn't this time because James is too little. Next time! There is so much more to do and explore!

This trip was the BEST way to kick off 2017...this year is already shaping up to be one heck of an amazing ride! Soo many exciting things in store!