The tiny one and I have taken 2 roundtrips together. We have flown Southwest both times. The first flight was fairly dreamy. I carried the small bundle of love inside a Moby wrap. The bestie flew with me on the outbound flight because I was scared to fly alone. We had an entire row to ourselves and Teeny only cried when people eyeballed our middle seat. He was cute and sleepy the rest of the time. On the way home, it was the same. The first leg of the flight was so empty that most people had their own row. A woman across the aisle said she was moved by the way I looked at him. The biggest challenge I had was convincing the person in front of me that the gaseous, adult-like noises were not coming from me, but a 3 month old infant. That particular plane did not have a changing table in the bathroom. I thought that was rough. Little did I know….
We flew again when he was 5.5 months. I was not nearly as nervous. I felt I knew his behavior. I was a little worried about missing his afternoon nap, but he slept almost the entire time on the previous flight, so I assumed he would again. The first leg was challenging, but doable. We again flew Southwest and again no one wanted the middle seat. He fussed, but we walked the aisles and it was ok. He fell asleep 20 minutes before we landed. We sprinted for our gate and all hell broke loose. He was a complete and total mess for the next 1 and a half hours. I would like to say that when people boarded after us they saw a woman with large blue eyes and youthfully tousled hair, discreetly nursing a baby with just a hint of womanly cleavage showing. In all actuality, I had a crazed look in my eye with hair that could have housed beavers, and I would have offered my fully exposed teats to anyone who could make this baby stop screaming. He would not stop. He missed his nap. I took his clothes off because he’s a little nudie. I sang to him. I offered him a bottle. I walked the aisles with him and apologized to passengers. He.Would.Not.Stop.Screaming. The ‘dude’ (you fake hipster) in front of me kept turning and looking at me, and it certainly was not because he was interested in my still exposed breasts. I finally yelled that there was nothing I could do to make him stop crying. He did not turn around even once more. The kind, princess-of-the-air flight attendant came over when we had to buckle up and offered to walk with him. I burst into tears and sobbed the rest of the flight. She assured me over and over again that it was ok. She walked with my screaming mess and appeared to like him. I am certain she was the only one on the flight who did. She was an angel at that moment. The way back was not nearly as traumatic. The amazing, fabulous, professional flight attendants let us take our car seat on the flight, which helped immensely, and told me that mothers drink for free on their flight. I am flying back in a few weeks (with reinforcements) and I had no problem paying an extra $40 to fly Southwest*. Southwest, you are amazing and are a luxury for terrified mothers. I am yours….for life.
*I apologize in advance for any non-parents on my flight.