I read a few blogs before we headed out on our longest flight with Claire and the main thing I read was that your 9 month old is a completley different traveling companion than your 3 month old or even 6 month old. In a lot of ways they were right but I have to say Claire is still better on airplanes than I am.
This was our first time flying in the evening and I thought that maybe flying while she should be asleep might be beneficial to her and to all the other passengers. Even though I thought it was a good idea, what worried me was that this would be the flight that other people would get even more upset if she did have a tough flight because they wanted to sleep.
I skipped the goody bags, wore an easy nursing shirt and popped her in her Ergo and off we went.
Ryan and I knew we would have to bring a car seat since we had about 8 hours of driving once we arrived to our destination and when we traveled from Outer Banks to DC. So my only tip with that would be to gate check it so that you have less chance of it getting tossed around and possibly broken if you were to check it with your luggage. We did leave the stroller at home though, we knew there would be many hands to hold her and we had the Ergo if she needed a nap while we were on the go.
What worked for us is very similar to what worked for us last time with a few new things.
*wear your baby, makes it easier for nursing and having two hands for luggage or hand holding is a plus. Claire sleeps really well in hers so we love it. Ps- the ergo has a pocket which is nice for my id and boarding pass.
*they let me carry on my pump and new water bottles since I said they were for the baby. Score.
*nurse/bottle feed/give pacifier at take off and landing in case the pressure hurts your babies ears. Claire hasn't had any reaction to it though, sometimes she just didn't want to nurse at those times.
*bring toys. I'm the worst at this. I don't want to carry them, pick them up when she throws them or even wash them after she sucks on them. But they did help for a little bit. I read bringing new and exciting toys can be really helpful but I stuck with ones we already own.
*bring snacks for you and baby. I get hangry (hungry/angry) so her yogurt pouches and my nut mix really helped everyone since airlines don't hook you up like they used to.
*give your baby some freedom. depends on your parenting but I let her sit on the floor, climb up our legs, play with the screen for the in flight entertainment and I let her talk away. No reason to try to silence her, I've learned that leads to screams instead of chatting.
*sleep as much as you can. Hopefully you both can catch some z's
None of my tips are earth shattering, I know but I googled for these answers and I'm happy they worked out for us!
This trip was awesome. Not only is my sister now a lawyer but we got to spend time with all my family, get to know Keith's family and really enjoy Claire&Ryan even on an airplane. I'll update you all on out family vacay soon ;)
Hope you had a nice weekend
Oh ps- matching with your husband and baby (even if on accident) will get lots of strangers chatting you up