Baby's First Year: Week 22 (First Plane Ride & Meeting New People)

Michele Zipp

baby girl sitting up
Photo by starburst1680
Meet first-time mom starburst1680. She's sharing the roller coaster ride of her first year of motherhood. Check back every week for all the emotion and exhaustion -- right up to Kathryn Grace's first birthday.

Week 22:

Kathryn had her first flight this week. My husband's grandma passed away on Tuesday so we flew down to Atlanta on Thursday for her service.

Kathryn did amazingly well! On the way down there, we had to connect through Dallas, so it was about a three-and-a-half-hour flight and then a one-and-a-half-hour flight. We didn't get a seat for Kathryn, so either my husband or I was holding her the whole time. She took a few short naps on the first plane and one more on the second. We didn't make any attempt to keep her on any sort of schedule that day.

It ended up working out well though because when we got to my husband's aunt's house, Kathryn went to bed at her normal time even though we were three hours ahead of home (we live in Washington state), and she slept through the night every night we were there.

Everyone down there LOVED seeing Kathryn! Only a handful of people there had seen her before. I'm glad that they all got to see her while she's still little. At first Kathryn was overwhelmed by all the new people and their eagerness to look at/touch/talk to her. When she started to get overwhelmed, I just took her into a room away from everyone else and we spent some time talking and playing together. Then she was ready to see more people again. She did pretty well with her stranger anxiety though. She didn't cry at many people when she first saw them. By the second full day we were there, Kathryn was being passed around with no problem. It just took her a little time to get used to the new people before she was ready to spend much time in a room full of them and be held by them.

The other challenge we had was naps. I knew Kathryn would have to nap in a pack ‘n play while we were there, so I'd been having her take her naps in our pack ‘n play on Wednesday before we left to get her more used to it. She had no problems sleeping through the night (like I said before). The challenge was with naps the first day and a half or so. I'm pretty sure it was just because she wasn't familiar with her surroundings. She had trouble falling asleep and staying asleep. I had to rock or bounce her to sleep; I couldn't put her down awake like I normally can. Then when she would wake up about 30 to 45 minutes into the nap like she usually does, she wouldn't put herself back to sleep. It was a rough time but eventually it got better. By the middle of the second full day, Kathryn was putting herself back to sleep when she woke up (therefore resulting in longer naps), and she was in a better overall mood because she was rested.

On the way home, we flew direct so the flight was a little over five hours. Kathryn was a little cranky at first, but once we were able to make a bottle and feed her, she was happy again. She never fussed for more than about 30 seconds at a time on any of the plane rides, which was one of the things I was most stressing about before we left. My husband and I are just amazed by how well she did on all three flights! On the flight home, she took two naps -- one was about an hour and a half, which was fantastic. Again, I just followed her lead and let her decide when she wanted to do what and for how long and didn't put an effort into staying on a schedule or pattern. She napped in the car on the way home tonight and went to bed at her normal time, so she's right back on her schedule now (I hope). Overall the trip went really well. That first full day we were there was kind of rough, but Kathryn did much better than I thought she would over the course of the whole trip.

(We're celebrating starburst168's first year with baby, so thanks for keeping your judgments about parenting choices to yourself.)

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