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    Emily Malone

    culinary arts grad. nutrition facts lover. vegetarian chef. marathon runner. country music maniac. failed dog trainer. barre fanatic. loving mama.

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    A Look Back.



Baby’s First Flight!

Our plan for Christmas travels was to fly out of Seattle around 7am on the morning of Christmas Eve, which would put us in Indianapolis around 4pm.  But the day before, we looked at our itinerary and noticed our second flight had been changed without any notification – to a much later flight that wouldn’t get us home to family until well after dinner time.

Our bags were not packed, our presents were not wrapped, and our dogs had not been taken to the kennel.  But even so, around 6pm on Friday night, we ended up switching to a 1am red-eye that would get us home much earlier than planned – 1oam the next day.  Even though I knew taking the red-eye would mean little sleep for me and Casey, I thought it might actually be the better choice for Cullen, since he sleeps so consistently at night these days. 

We quickly scurried to get ourselves ready for a week out of town, and headed to the airport at 11pm.  It was a struggle to stay awake that late!  Our little traveler snoozed all the way from the car to to airport security in my Ergo carrier. 

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Traveling with an infant is definitely a lot more complicated than traveling as an adult.  We needed so many more things, and we had so few less hands to carry it all!  Getting through security was probably the trickiest part because I had to take Cullen out of the Ergo (while still sleeping), run all our stuff through the conveyor belt, and then re-strap him on while Casey managed all our bags and coats.  But we survived and headed to the gate with our still-snoozing baby. 

I definitely felt like we got a few dirty looks from surrounding passengers on the plane when they saw the baby, but Casey says I imagined them.  I was nervous Cullen would scream when his ears popped, but he stayed asleep through the whole thing!

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Eventually I went to sleep too, and we slept together chest to chest.  It was very peaceful and cozy.  He only woke up once, and I could tell he was doing some pooping, so we took him out, changed him on the floor of the airplane (first time for everything!), and then popped him right back into the Ergo and back to sleep. 

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We had a layover in Minneapolis, which gave us all a short break to wake up, do another diaper change, and grab some of our beloved Caribou Coffee.  (Would you believe that we live in the coffee capital of the US, and sadly there is not a single Caribou!?)  On our second flight, Cullen slept for a short bit, but woke up around 7am – his normal wake-up time.  Luckily he is happiest in the mornings, and he was a smiley happy guy.  Not a single tear!

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The flight attendants were all totally in love with him, and kept checking on us so that they could make googly faces at him.  They also gave him his first tiny pair of wings!  I can’t believe they still do those!

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He sat and smiled all through the rest of the flight and the landing, and we were really proud of our good little traveler. 

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We finally landed in Indianapolis around 10am that morning, and were greeted by a very excited grandmother who hadn’t seen him since his first week.  Since then we’ve been visiting, eating, laughing, resting, and having a wonderful time back home. 

I’m so proud of Cullen for doing so well on his first airplane adventure.  We have a vacation to Hawaii (!) planned for February, and I’m glad to know he can travel so well.  Here’s hoping our return flight is just as successful!

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67 Comments so far
Leave a comment

fittingbackin     at 8:44 pm

What an amazing little traveler! The other passengers must have been AMAZED – how lucky for you all and how pleasant for him that flying agrees with him. Adorable little wings! Glad you made it there safely. Cute pics!

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Jessica     at 8:46 pm

The pics of him sleeping on your are SO precious! The proud daddy pic is super-cute too.
SO happy your flights went well, and thumbs down to anyone who would give you dirty looks.
Hope you have an awesome time and awesome flight back!

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Jordan Lynn (Ciao Cow)     at 8:48 pm

So glad the flight went well! I’m also a huge fan of Caribou Coffee!

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Emily Malone Reply:

We need to open a Caribou in Seattle! :)

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Jillian Reply:

Have you tried Caffe Ladro yet?! They serve organic, fair trade coffee exclusively. Or you could just go to a Cafe Vita- I think its the best in Seattle.

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Emily Malone Reply:

Love Cafe Ladro! We have one in Fremont!

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Leah Reply:

That would rock. Serve vegan scones there and I’ll be first in line. :)

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Claudine @ The Kathmanduo     at 8:53 pm

I am impressed — not only with Cullen but also with you two! My husband and I always make an effort to smile at parents with babies on planes because we know that one day soon (we hope) we will be in the same boat. It’s a karma thing.

I also love Caribou but don’t understand their franchising scheme. Would you believe there is a Caribou at the Bahrain airport?! I couldn’t believe it either, but since Bahrain is our standard layover between Nepal and the U.S., we are very happy to have Caribou there.

Enjoy the rest of your trip!

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Madeline @ Food, Fitness & Family     at 9:00 pm

Isn’t it great when things go better than you expect? We had a 20 hour road-trip with Em (2 weeks older than Cullen) and she slept the WHOLE time! Enjoy your time with your family :)

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Emily Malone Reply:

20 hours!?! That is impressive!!

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Heather     at 9:01 pm

Not gonna lie I get nervous when small babies get oh long flights with me. I like to sleep hahs. So glad to hear he did so well on the plane!

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Emily Malone Reply:

Haha totally understandable. I was worried about waking people up! I would have felt terrible if he screamed.

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Sana     at 9:02 pm

What a champ! So proud of Cullen!!!

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Brittany     at 9:04 pm

So happy that Cullen’s first flight went so well!! :)

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Army Amy*     at 9:08 pm

Sounds like things went off without a hitch! I once saw a woman flying alone with an infant and a pre-school age kid. I was honestly impressed watching her manage both kids and bags at the airport.*

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Lindsay     at 9:27 pm

cullen is adorable! did you guys spring for first class tickets for the trip? I am a frequent traveler and those look like first class seats! good call- probably made a huge difference

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Emily Malone Reply:

We have a boatload of Skymiles, so we used them to get an upgrade! It was PRICELESS. The extra room and row to ourselves was so nice with a baby on the lap!

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Lindsay Reply:

good call! I use my skymiles for upgrades all the time. And spend a lot of time at the MSP airport- its the best.

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Erin @ Girl Gone Veggie     at 9:28 pm

So glad your first trip with him went so well!! And ohmygoodness, a trip to Hawaii in February? Lucky girl!! I know you guys are going to have the best time!

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Annamarina     at 11:19 pm

So glad to hear that your trip went well! I wanted to let you know that there were recent changed to security checkpoint procedures and you can now leave the baby in the carrier and walk through! I have an 8 month old and we travel a bit…I was always having to take a sleeping baby out of the Ergo until our last trip and they said I could leave him in it. It worked at 2 different airports! So make sure you tell them that for the return! Enjoy the rest of your trip :)

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Brittnie (A Joy Renewed)     at 4:42 am

So glad your first flight with him went well. That is awesome. Ever since I have traveled with my nieces and nephews I have a totally different perspective and sympathy for passengers w/ small children on flights. So much is out of the parents control and they simply do the best they can in the moment! Enjoy the rest of your trip!

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Dorsa     at 5:25 am

Yay so happy your flight went well! Hopefully he continues to travel well :)

Enjoy the week with your family!

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Christina     at 5:47 am

Oh my gosh, Cullen is so adorable. I’m glad you guys had a good flight, enjoy your time with the family :)

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Katie @ Peace Love & Oats     at 5:51 am

I can’t believe he was so good! that’s great! I’m glad your flight went so smoothly!

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Lee     at 6:14 am

I have a friend who did lots of flying with her daughter when she was a baby and she says that it made her a really good flyer. Hopefully the same will happen with Cullen. So far, so good, right?

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Marci     at 6:18 am

What a good baby! Glad to hear it went well! I just did our last flight yesterday until after baby. A little bittersweet to know it will never be that simple again! But we are planning a trip when the baby is about 3 months and I’m glad to see yours was A-ok!

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Amy     at 6:50 am

I’ve been traveling with kids for 7 years now and you didn’t imagine the dirty looks! I’ve been lucky to always have good traveling kids, but people are just so rude these days.

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Chelsea     at 7:04 am

Can I ask something? You say you changed the dirty diaper on the floor– do you mean in the aisle? Did that not smell or make a mess, or did anyone say anything? I have NO experience changing diapers or anything so I don’t know and am legitimately curious as to how that works! I am SO particular about the smells on planes because the air just sort of sits there and gets stale. I was once on a flight where a woman sprayed perfume in an area behind me and I thought I would die, it bothered me so much.

Anyway, so glad to hear he was so good. Have a wonderful continued holiday!

[Reply]

Emily Malone Reply:

Sorry for the delay! We were in the front row of the plane, so we had plenty of room at our feet. I would never put him down in the aisle. We also have a plastic changing pad to put down that we quickly changed him on (tag-teamed). As far as the smells go, breastfed newborn poop actually doesn’t smell at all believe it or not. No one around us even turned their heads! I figured a tightly wrapped diaper in the trash was way less gross than a baby sitting in poop anyways.

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m     at 7:05 am

So encouraging to read! We have 17 hours of travel (including one 12 hour flight and one layover) planned next week with our 7 month old – she has never flown and I am nervous! The main flight is overnight so I am hoping she will sleep a lot! I had never thought to wear the Ergo on the plane. Is Cullen still “froggy” legged in there? I wonder if it would be too much for her now that her legs are out of the carrier…

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Emily Malone Reply:

His legs are starting to come out the sides a bit, but he’s still pretty small. My sister just flew with her 6 month old in the Ergo though!

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Jennifer (The Gourmetour)     at 7:28 am

That’s wonderful!! I’m so glad that he is a good travel baby! Have a wonderful holiday with your family!
p.s. I’m so jealous that you’re going to Hawaii! that will be so great, and a much shorter flight from the West coast huh!

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Gina @ Running to the Kitchen     at 7:32 am

Wow, can’t believe how well he (and you guys) did on a red eye. Way better than I do on them! Hoping you have a good trip back :)

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Judy     at 8:04 am

The last picture is a riot! He is sooo cute. So glad to hear that the flight went well. Time to start planning some more, hee hee

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Heather     at 8:10 am

What a good little traveler! I love the little wings- he’ll love them too when he’s a little older :-) Happy holidays!

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Jen @ The Well Read Fish     at 8:29 am

He is just so dear! Merry Christmas happy family!

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Maria @ Beautiful Busy Bee     at 8:45 am

Happy holidays! I’m very impressed at his ability to not be hysterical on an airplane. What an A baby! :)

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SkinnyRunner     at 8:56 am

Flying with a 4 lb dog makes me out of control nervous so id be a mess with a baby. i would totally be imagining that everyone around me was giving dirty looks.

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Emily Malone Reply:

Haha I would be afraid my dog would bark and surprise everyone!

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Meagan     at 8:57 am

Surprisingly a red eye does sound like it was a good idea! I’m glad it went well. Enjoy family :D

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Kris     at 9:06 am

If I’m seated near parent(s) and baby, I always try to be pleasant and helpful. But, I understand other passengers’ apprehension. I was on a TPA to LAX flight where two kiddos two rows behind me SCREAMED for almost five hours. It doesn’t mean we hate kids, but it’s tough on everyone. Glad to hear Cullen was a trooper.

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Liz     at 10:11 am

What a trooper he was for the flight! Hope all 3 of you are enjoying the holidays…oh, and major jealous of the winter Hawaii trip ;)

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Amber K     at 10:46 am

So glad his first airplane ride went well! I’d be so nervous about upsetting the other passengers. He looks so happy, I’d definitely be cooing at him if I were one of the flight attendants.

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Emily (Edible Psychology)     at 10:49 am

Wow,he looks like he is getting so big! And I am so glad he did so well. I live far from my parents and having kids one day and having to travel with them is a big fear of mine.

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radhi     at 11:07 am

yay, so glad things went so well for him! but definitely give yourself & casey credit for preparing so well and helping to make it so smooth for the little guy! happy holidays!

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Samantha     at 11:14 am

Your husband’s comment made me laugh. I bet no one was giving you dirty looks, nothing to worry about. :)

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Alex @ Raw Recovery     at 11:16 am

I’m glad Cullen was such a good traveler. I’m sure that made it much easier. Maybe a good substitute for a Caribou Coffee shop would be a Keurig with Caribou cartridges? I got a Keurig a few months ago and love that I can have such variety.

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Angela     at 11:18 am

Welcome to the mile high diaper changing club! I had a flight attendant tell me to always change your child at your seat. DO NOT use the restrooms! Our first flight with 5 month old twins was crazy. Every flight was a mess but thankfully the kiddos were champs. Proof that kids really can adapt to anything!

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Emily Malone Reply:

There was no changing table in our restroom, so it was really our only option. We were in the front row of the plane too, so we had room in front of our seats on the floor.

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Lexi @ A Spoonful of Sunshine     at 11:24 am

I don’t think I’ve ever seen such an ADORABLE face! And awwww his first wings :)

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Laura     at 11:28 am

I’m glad you Christmas travels went well – those pictures were so cute!

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Lynne     at 11:49 am

Yeah, Cullen!!!

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leianna     at 12:56 pm

Caribou is a Minneapolis company. Live here and wouldn’t trade for Starbucks ever!

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Leah Reply:

I love their k-cups so glad because that’s my Caribou fix here in MA!

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Alaina     at 1:16 pm

That smile he has with Casey is just too adorable!! That is so lucky that he’s good with flights (knock on wood). My cousin was great with flying too; never a fuss. :-) Hope you had a great holiday weekend!!

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Jessica     at 2:30 pm

Oh my goodness, what a good boy! I am so glad it was a good experience – I have a friend who has a little girl that SCREAMS like crazy in travel situations, and I feel terrible for her. Way to go Cullen (and mama too)!

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Samantha     at 3:52 pm

The more you do it, the easier it gets! The first time I flew post kids was w/o my husband, but with my 18 month old and 4 year old. Not easy, but doable! Glad he was a trooper for you guys!

PS, Caribou is my favorite too but alas, none in Japan. I can get Kcups though!

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Kat     at 5:52 pm

WOW that is so incredible! I can’t believe how well he did. We’re going to travel with P for the first time in February and I am already terrified!

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Gabrielle     at 8:01 pm

Congrats to Cullen on his first flight! My last flight was in ’99, and I fell asleep, but woke to piercing pain in my ears, along with the sound of a baby screaming because he was probably also experiencing the same thing. I hate flying. Also, however, I worked at Caribou several years ago, was a barista and all – loved their coffee! Hope you guys have a safe trip home to Seattle.

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Kristina     at 6:36 am

Gah, I HATE when airlines do that! American bumped up our connecting flight out of Chicago the return flight from our honeymoon…which wouldn’t have been an issue except that it lseft us with almost NO time to get through custom and immigrations, and then shuttle over to the domestic terminal. We almost missed our flight home!

I’m glad everything still worked out so well for you guys, and that Cullen is such a trooper :)

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Lisa     at 6:48 am

That’s great that it went so well!!! From the looks of your wings, you few Delta? Glad you had a good experience with them – well, other than changing your flight without notification! I’ve found them to be incredibly non-family friendly unfortunately. We’ve flown 3-4 times a year with our 2.5 year old and if it weren’t for miles and free bags, I’d never fly them again.

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Leah     at 11:40 am

I am obsessed with Caribou k-cups. Nomnomnom! Looks like you had a great holiday.

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Sarah     at 8:21 pm

What a great little traveler!

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Bethany @ Accidental Intentions     at 6:19 pm

When I had a 6 a.m. flight out of Seattle a week ago, I didn’t mind seeing little babies in line for our flight at all! I was excited to see the little munchkins! (Until they cried on the plane…then I stopped being excited).

I used to love getting those flight wings! I’d get them all the time when we’d fly out to see my grandparents in Seattle. It was great! Back in the day they used to let you see the cockpit too, but I imagine that stopped after September 11.

[Reply]

Week 10: Baby’s First Vacation. | Daily Garnish     at 9:36 pm

[...] was a big week for Cullen – his first Christmas, first plane ride, and first time traveling!  These past ten weeks Cullen and I have figured each other out [...]

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