Airport Babywearing 101

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Babywearing on vacation to the Pacific Northwest

When it comes to babywearing (wearing your baby in a wrap, sling, or carrier), there are plenty of options.  While we don’t consider ourselves ‘babywearing’ experts by any means, over the past 9 months, we have gained quite a bit of experience with babywearing through the airport.  Simply put, we LOVE it!  It’s so convenient.  BabyFlyer is safe and secure and we have both of our hands free to carry our bags, hand over tickets, or even have a bite to eat.

The first time we flew as a family of three, I honestly did not know what to expect.  Part of me was excited, and the rest was a combination of anxious and nervous.  As is the case with most of our flights cross country, we had an early departure out of LAX which meant for an even earlier wake up.  We assumed BabyFlyer would fall back to sleep on the ride to the airport and would potentially (hopefully) continue to sleep as we transferred her into the carrier and navigated through the airport.  However, that was not the case.

While she was peaceful the entire time, all the lights along the 405 (if you’re familiar with LA, you know how bright it is) caught her attention and she stayed awake the whole way there.  Once we parked at the Parking Spot (we always do self-park, typically roof top), we slipped her into the carrier and she continued to be intrigued by all the lights on the shuttle ride to the airport.  It wasn’t until a few minutes into our time at the Admirals Club that she fell asleep in the carrier.

You can babywear through most all of your travel experience, except when the plane is taxiing, taking off, and landing.  Because of safety regulations, you will need to have the baby in your arms, or in a car seat if you’ve bought your baby their own seat.

So far, I’ve tried three different carriers:  the Solly Wrap, the Sakura Bloom Ring Sling, and the Ergo 360.  By far, I enjoy the Ergo 360 carrier the most for airport travel.  While everyone is different, and what worked for BabyFlyer and I may not work for you and your little one, below are my two cents on each of the carriers.

Solly Wrap:  Perhaps it was BabyFlyer’s early fussiness when being worn and once she was happy in them we missed the peak time to use this wrap, but we honestly never got into using it much.

Before BabyFlyer was born, I thought we were going to use this wrap a ton.  We even practiced with a stuffed animal once.  The material is lovely, super soft and very flexible.  When your baby needs more head support, you can pull up part of it over the back of their head.  In practice though, it always felt like she was going to slip out, and no matter how tight I put it on, it would gradually become looser and BabyFlyer would get lower and lower.  Plus, I dont enjoy the feeling of my clothing being bunched up, and this wrap would always have a few too many wrinkles and my shirt wouldn’t fit how I liked it.

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BabyFlyer takes a nap in the Wrap.

This wrap, and ones like it, come in many patterns and materials.  It’s stylish, and easy to rave about this wrap.  I wanted to love it, but based on my experience using it, I chose to not fly with it.

Sakura Bloom Ring Sling:  We were given this sling by CT’s sister, and started using it once BabyFlyer was a little older and we were able to wear her in a hip carry.  Both BabyFlyer and I loved this carrier.  She loved that she was able to look in the direction we were going, and I loved how easy it was to use and cozy she felt in it.  Once you know how to use it (I watched the videos on the Sakura Bloom YouTube station) it’s fairly simple and quick to take your baby in and out.  You have to make sure you have the bottom band cinched fairly tight and pulled up high enough between your baby’s legs to get a safe and secure fit.  The few times I didn’t have it tight enough, it felt like BabyFlyer was going to slip out of the bottom.

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Just hanging out at home in the Ring Sling

I flew with this carrier once, and while it was great through the airport and on the plane (you can use it to prop up your arm up while holding a sleeping baby and as a cover while nursing), I currently fly with our Ergo 360, because the metal on the ring sling makes it so you can’t wear it through security.  Since BabyFlyer enjoys both carriers, it made sense to us to eliminate a step at security.  We try to stream line the experience as much as possible.

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The ergo is easy, secure, and comfortable for a day in the airport.

Ergo 360 Carrier:  Three words- we love it!  Especially for traveling.  It’s comfortable and BabyFlyer feels secure, especially when bending over to pick up luggage.  When she was younger, we used the infant insert but now that she is older (9 months), we been using it without the insert for a while now.  Since it doesn’t have any metal, we can wear her through security (we usually have TSA Pre-Check).  Once we are in one of the airline clubs, we take her out and let her play for awhile before putting her back in for boarding.  Since sometimes boarding is delayed and we always have a diaper bag with us and typically an additional small carry on, I tend to wear her in the ergo during boarding and take her out once we are on the plane.

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BabyFlyer on the go- The Ergo is great both in the airport, and at your destination.

The straps are padded and the back buckle helps make sure the straps stay on your shoulder.  The back strap can be a bit tricky to buckle, but with a little practice it’s certainly doable.  Everything about this carrier is adjustable which makes it great for people of different sizes to wear it.  My brother in law who is 6’4” has worn it, as has CT who is 5’4”.

Even though the Ergo is bulkier than the ring sling, the benefit of getting through security more easily, and that it’s an all around good choice to have with you on vacation, has made it our favorite.

Overall, picking the right carrier for your travel can make a big difference.  It’s also good to practice with whichever one you plan on using for flying at home before you go.  Both you and your baby need to get used to putting it on and taking it off, and to get comfortable using it for extended periods of time.  Once you get used to it, though, you won’t want to go back!

Wishing you Happy Travels & Smiling Babies!

-CR

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