The very first time I ever flew with Nola, she was 2 months old. I boarded a Delta flight headed to Los Angeles so that I could introduce my baby to people in my family she hadn't met her yet. I was so anxious that I sweated through my nursing tank. I was worried that she would cry the whole time, or that I wouldn't nurse her at exactly the right moment and her ears would hurt or that she wouldn't go to sleep. I was so nervous that I didn't even drink water on the flight, I didn't want to have to pee and wake Nola up if she was sleeping. I was a mess. She nursed and slept that whole flight and didn't make a peep. She was an absolute dream.
The next time I flew solo with her was during the holidays when I decided to head to California early to enjoy the holidays with my parents. Shep had to work a few more shifts so he couldn't fly out with us but I'd already had such a great experience with her flying that I wasn't worried at all. Nola was 9 months old and still nursing so I packed a few snacks, one or two toys and a bottle of formula just in case and thought I was set. I even booked an evening flight because I figured Nola would sleep.
Thinking about it now legit makes me laugh. True to form, Nolie wasn't with the shits. She cried the entire flight...except the last 45 minutes when she decided to sleep. I ran out of snacks, milk and she wasn't interested in her old toys. I was so frazzled that a sympathetic flight attendant brought me a glass of wine out of sheer pity and told me that despite the moment I was in, I was doing a good job. The Nola grabbed that glass of wine, and threw it across the aisle, hitting a sleeping couple and soaking them in chardonnay. I started crying, Nola was already crying...shit I'm sure the passengers sitting around us hoping to get some sleep were crying. It was a mess. I swore I'd never fly with her again.
But the fact is that my family doesn't live in Atlanta and if I ever want Nola to spend time with them back in LA, I have to get on a flight. During Easter, my husband and I flew her to Washington, D.C. to see some friends and I came prepared. Tons of different kinds of snacks, at least 3 Disney movies downloaded and some new toys she'd never played with before. She was amazing on the flight there and back!
Through all my travels with Nola, I've learned a few tricks that I truly believe will help you along on your journey as well! Drop me a line to let me know if any of these were useful!