Jetlag + rain = a baby who sleeps until 9AM (and a VERY happy mother)

You know how usually you get off a plane after a cross-country flight and you’re like ugggggggg I’m exhausted I just want to be home already? Yesterday, as I was pushing my daughter’s stroller through the snow towards the taxi stand with one hand and pulling a sixty-pound (oops) suitcase with the other, a laptop bag and a camera bag and a diaper bag and a purse hanging from my body and a half-eaten package of popcorn suspended precariously in the cupholder, I heard actual music playing in my head. And it wasn’t, like, Sarah MacLachlan: it was a TRIUMPHANT ORCHESTRAL SYMPHONY. I think it may have been the Rocky theme song.

Because I KILLED IT yesterday.


Yesterday marked the first time I’ve taken a flight alone with Goldie (and really only her second time flying ever, if you don’t count the flight we took with her right after she was born), and I was nervous. I mean, the last time we flew wasn’t exactly an experience I’d like to repeat (please not ever again, oh seriously please). And also: 18-month-olds, having just discovered the ability to launch themselves in the direction of various places where they are not supposed to go, like airport tarmacs, aren’t especially interested in this whole “sitting still” thing.

So: nervous.

But it was – if not one of the more “relaxing” experiences of my life, also kind of…honestly? Totally fine. Sure, I got off the first plane last so I could spend a few minutes doing a little Goldfish recon, and sure, there was a moment just before she fell asleep on the second flight when she cycled through virtually every emotion in her extensive repertoire within the space of approximately three minutes, but you know what else happened?

I read a book.

I bought Not That Kind Of Girl at the airport, and actually giggled as I paid for it, because come on, but I totally read it. Like, a lot of it. And also? There was not a single thing that I needed on that flight that was not readily available. Oh, did you just coat yourself in melted Twix, honey? Let me get that for you. Oh, you want a book/not that book/the other book/wait I meant the first one? No prob. Oh, you’d like to play the “sprinkle milk on the tray table and then wipe it up” game for the next hour and a half? Here is a wipe. And here is another. Oh, you want to clean with a paper towel instead? HERE YOU GO.

It was kind of amazing. And so now I will impart all of this FlyingNinjaMom wisdom to you, with the very large caveat that most of what happened yesterday was that I got lucky – and I can virtually guarantee I will be writing a very different kind of post following our return trip, because kids enjoy few things more than keeping their parents on their toes.

Waxed canvas khaki diaper bag


{ Ikabags diaper bag }

The Perfectly Packed In-Flight Diaper Bag

  • 1 diaper per hour of travel time (nighttime diapers are best; if you get stuck somewhere – like on the runway – there’s much less chance of leakage)
  • 1/2 package of wipes (a full package would be too heavy; if you don’t have a partially-used package just fold a bunch into a Ziploc)
  • 2 plastic bags per flight (use these to gather every tiny speck of trash that you and your offspring generate, and pass them off to the flight attendants when they pass by; it keeps your space way more manageable)
  • A few folded paper towels
  • 3 small books
  • 3-5 types of snacks (separated into Ziploc bags or those awesome little unspillable cup things) per flight, plus a piece or two of fruit so you don’t feel guilty about all the carb-and-sugar delivery (don’t feel guilty; the goal here is survival, not nutritional superstardom)
  • 2 empty bottles and 1 full one (you can fill the others with milk/formula/water as needed)
  • A few small toys, plus one “surprise toy” (everyone recommends this for a reason: it really works)
  • iPad (if your child isn’t into TV, try the Brushes painting app)
  • Change of clothing for your child
  • Change of clothing for you (here is why, if you missed my explanation the first time around)
  • Lightweight blanket (you can ball this under your arm for support during nap time)
  • Emergency cookies or candy (lollipops are Goldie’s kryptonite; use whatever works for high-decibel meltdown situations)

And if your child cries? GIVE HER WHAT SHE WANTS, even if what she wants is her sixteenth lollipop. This is a horrible policy in life; on planes, it is gold. You’ll be a shining beacon of parenthood later, but for now what’s important is getting there alive, and that is greatly facilitated by not making your seatmate want to kill you.

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