Paityn’s First Airplane Adventure

This winter, knowing that law school was quickly approaching and with it, very broke years ahead Landon and I started planning to visit my family in Alaska. I had flown home the Christmas after I had met him, but he hadn’t been home yet. We had just got to spend Spring Break with my parents + sisters so it felt good to be seeing them again so soon. Visiting family can feel easy to postpone, especially with the eternal perspective that we have — “oh we’ll be together forever, let’s see the world!”


Without any reservations about flying with a baby, we booked two tickets during the Alaska Airlines mileage sale. Her 4 month birthday was such a perfect time to fly, especially as a breastfeeding mama. I packed all of my favorite outfits for her, then fifteen more, and called it good. I knew we’d be able to grab diapers and wipes one we got there, and there weren’t any toys or books that she was attached to yet. The once thing we couldn’t forget were the Ergo carrier, that was the key to our success!

We drove down to Sacramento once Landon was off work, with Subway for dinner on the drive down, of course. We checked two suitcases and her car seat. Because Paityn is under two she flew for free as a lap infant. I know some mamas hope for an open seat on the flight so they’re able to buckle in their babe, but I wasn’t up for hauling a heavy seat all around the airport.

So it was just us, Paityn, the Ergo and a small purse when we boarded her first flight to Seattle. In my purse, that doubles as a baby bag, I packed keys, my wallet, diapers, wipes, an extra footie, an Aden + Anais swaddle, the Great Gatsby, and some MAC lipstick. And you know, when your babe is just 4 months old, and you breastfeed, that’s all it took!


We took advantage of boarding early on both flights, and everything went perfectly. The only hiccup we ran into was an overeager flight attendant trying to enforce a rule of having the Ergo unsnapped for takeoff. At that point Paityn was already asleep, and I wasn’t about to wake her up. With two fake unsnapping motions we avoided eye contact, and made friends with the other attendant. The flight from Seattle to Fairbanks seems to always be 30 degrees too cold, so I was grateful for her extra body as we cuddled up and all fell asleep for an hour or so.

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Going home is the best. I was bouncing up and down with excitement for days, weeks! When we arrived, at 1:30am, the midnight sun was out to greet us. “Welcome”, it might have said, “to the city of your childhood.” More to come of our adventures and time with my family in Fairbanks + beyond


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