I’ve written several posts about baby-wearing and wrapping. We’ve tried negotiated airports, planes, and travel wearing baby in a wrap and having baby in a stroller. A baby wrap makes airport travel really convenient with a baby/ toddler. Baby wraps come in all sorts of brands, materials, prints, etc. and are great whether you travel or not, because you can always keep baby close and snug to you with two free hands to get things done, while baby has a great view of everything you’re doing. That makes for a happy baby, and baby-wearing is promoted by Dr. Sears’ attachment parenting style.
Reason #1: Baby is snug, comfortable, and secure. Airports and planes can be hectic with lots of people, noises, and lights. I’ve noticed that Veda is much calmer observing all the action from the security of being wrapped to my chest. Other kids may be different, but she usually doesn’t last too long in a stroller in an airport (or in a car seat on a plane), so we’d just end up carrying her and pushing the stroller, anyway. In a recent long half hour wit through airport security at O’Hare I was grateful to have Veda secured to the front of me, and she spent most of the time calmly breastfeeding and observing everything around her.
Reason #2: Less crap to deal with. Leaving the stroller behind makes one less thing to gate-check or check. It also makes going through airport security much easier, as you have to take baby out of the stroller, fold up the stroller to put through the metal detector, etc., all while juggling baby. With a baby wrap, you have two hands free to deal with airport security, less stuff to worry about, and baby can sleep through the whole process. Most airports I have been through allow me to wear baby through airport security and the metal detector (with the exception of the airport in Amman, Jordan where I am always instructed to remove the baby and wrap). In the U.S. and other places they typically let me through and sometimes do an additional check where an agent checks between baby and my belly or swipes the wrap/ baby/ my hands for a chemical test to make sure I’m not hiding anything dangerous along with baby.
Reason #3: It makes the plane ride more restful. I’ve tried the infant bassinet on international trips, and have seen many moms use it. Babies, especially younger ones small enough to fit in the bassinet, wake up frequently to feed. I see haggard mothers being roused from sleep (sometimes much later than the rest of us surrounding her) because baby is in the bassinet and is hungry and crying. Having baby secured to me with a wrap for a long flight makes it much easier for me to simply help baby find my breast when she’s hungry without crying, and we both drift quickly back to sleep. We’re both better rested and happier (plus everyone else around us on the plane), and the bassinet has served a great purpose for additional toy storage.