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