My wife and I are in the process of adopting a baby girl, known affectionately as ‘Squish’ here at the Daily Dad until her adoption is finalised.

In this regular column, I am sharing the ins and outs of parenting a newborn and the joys and challenges of adoption.

Enjoy this week’s edition of ‘The Adventures of Squish’.

A Little Person With Big Needs

Last month, Squish had her first adventure 40,000 feet up in the air. We enjoyed our first extended vacation as a family, spending a week in Florida to escape the icy Midwest winter.

The flights were something we thought about a lot ahead of time — in part because we know air travel will be a significant part of our future, given that our lives will forever be spread between Australia and the United States.

One advantage of flying with a baby is that some airlines fly babies free (mostly just domestic flights — often, there are costs attached to international flights), generally up until age two.

There are also some significant disadvantages, as you might imagine… from disrupted nap routines to lugging a whole lot of extra supplies, to the fear of making the journey a nightmare for fellow passengers.

Below are some important lessons that Angie and learned from our first flight with Squish.

Work As a Team

Our biggest piece of advice is to work as a team. In the days before we left, Angie packed Squish’s bags, while I took care of all of the paperwork. At the airport, Angie was responsible for the baby while I looked after our passports, tickets, Ubers, etc.

Most airports let you wear your baby in a carrier. Angie found this much easier than juggling Squish on her hip through check-in and security.

We left with plenty of time to spare. Once at our gate, we laid down a blanket for Squish to play and enjoy tummy time. The more movement for all of us before a long flight, the better.

Squish loves to nap in the carrier, so Angie took a long walk through the airport while the baby had a half-hour sleep.

Up, Up and Away

When our flight was called, we waited until the very end to board, which we highly recommend. Less time on the plane means less time for things to turn pear-shaped.

Angie had packed a separate bag for Squish, which I took charge of while Angie held the baby. In her bag were bottles, formula, a few of her favourite toys and books, extra nappies and wipes, and even extra shirts for the two of us — just in case.

We are happy to say that her first flight — all three hours of it — was a success. The flight home was a bit more challenging, even though we stuck with the same strategies. That’s just part of what it means to travel with a baby.

Overall, we are so thankful we took the time to get away. The journey can be rough (this is also true for car travel), but it is absolutely worth it. There’s nothing quite like taking time away from your ordinary routines to focus on the ones you love, be refreshed, and pray and dream together.

Take Time Away

As a dad, I loved the extra time I had with Squish, seeing more of her daily routines that I normally miss because of work, and paying more attention to her growth and development.

In a previous article, I urged fathers to remember to keep dating their bride. The same goes for quality time away with the whole family. Don’t let life get so busy that it passes you by. Take time away to be with your family.

Don’t let the fear of flying with your baby stop you from taking that important time away.

Of course, you may not always be able to afford a flying vacation… don’t worry — we can’t either! Even if it’s just a night or two away in a nearby destination once in a while, slow your pace down, put work aside, and be with the ones you love.

It’s worth every minute.


Image courtesy of Unsplash.

About the Author: Kurt Mahlburg

Kurt Mahlburg is Canberra Declaration's Research and Features Editor. He hosts his own blog at Cross + Culture and is also a contributor at the Spectator Australia, MercatorNet, Caldron Pool and The Good Sauce. Kurt is also a published author. His book Cross and Culture: Can Jesus Save the West? provides a rigorous analysis of the modern malaise in Western society and how Jesus provides the answer to the challenges before us. Kurt has a particular interest in speaking the truths of Jesus into the public square in a way that makes sense to a secular culture and that gives Christians courage to do the same. Kurt has also studied architecture, has lived for two years in remote South-East Asia, and among his other interests are philosophy, history, surf, the outdoors, and travel. He is married to Angie.

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