I’m not sure if babies and traveling go together. I’ve read a lot of horror stories on Facebook threads about traveling with a baby and or kids. From my experience though, traveling with a baby has only been a pleasant experience.
The first time I travelled with K was when he was nine months old. I was also traveling with my sister, J. My husband dropped us off at the curbside and we unloaded the bags. I also unloaded K from his carseat and put him into my soft structured carrier (SCC, also known as a buckle carrier or full buckle). J and I walked over to agriculture check, then we checked in and headed towards security. (Now, here is where the horror stories usually begin; I usually read about how TSA is going to make you take the carrier off, then the babies shoes, etc. etc.) At security check they checked my ID and stamped my tickets. I went on to put my items in a tray for the xray machine. As I stood there, I thought to myself, “No one has said anything to me about wearing K. They are probably going to make me take him off.” But lo and behold no, security didn’t say a peep to me until I got to the whole body scanner. A female TSA worker then asked me to step aside and told me I was going to step through the old school metal detector. So I did. And guess what? No beeping. Awesome, so I passed? Not yet. I was then asked to do a hand swab test. A male TSA worker swabbed my hands with a paper and he ran it through the machine. I didn’t understand what this was for so I asked the lady. She explained how they have to check for any traces of weaponry of any sort. They also are checking that because there have been cases where terrorists act as they are wearing a baby but it’s truly a weapon. Well, my results were fine and they told me to grab my belongings and go on.
Going through TSA was really easy. The trickier part to the traveling was the actual flight. J, K, and I were on a red-eye flight but I was still worried K would wake up. I was still wearing him when we boarded and seated. K wasn’t asleep yet, but after takeoff he fell asleep and it was my time rest. At nine months old he was just the perfect size to still be worn and fit fine while I was seated on the plane. He was about 18 pounds 27 inches and his seat width was 15 inches. I slept comfortably and so did K in our buckle carrier. He did wake a few times but I was able to nurse him conveniently. We had a non stop flight to Denver and the six and a half hours went by fast. The travel there was perfect and easy. We enjoyed our trip and then had to head back home. On our way back to Hawaii, I had the same experience with TSA, and plane ride.
Fast forward to five months later, we were headed to Colorado again. The experience of getting through TSA was the same. The only thing that was different was that K didn’t fit in the width of the plane seats while in the carrier. I had to take him out and hold him this time around. And since he was mobile already, he wanted to walk around anyway. But once we landed, up he went and out the plane we went. Heading home was similar.
My experience with traveling and babywearing has been really great. Sometimes there are variables outside of our control; you might get a crabby TSA person; you might get a crazy flight attendant. Don’t let a “what it” change your style though. The words baby and traveling can go together. Babies, and traveling can be great.