Gulp: We Took Our Baby On His First Flight…

Gulp: We Took Our Baby On His First Flight…

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Ford and I became parents just under a year ago, as our son, Miles, was born in August 2022. Even though we’re very frequent travelers, up until this week we hadn’t yet flown with Miles (the exception was when he was a few days old to get him home, but that doesn’t really count, because he slept through the entire flight, and that wasn’t for leisure). We’ve now taken Miles on his first “real” flight, and goodness, was I terrified.

Let me share why we’ve limited our flying with Miles up until now, and how our first experience went.

Why we limited flying with our baby for some time

Prior to this week, we had done a good bit of travel with Miles, but exclusively by car. We’ve done staycations in South Florida, and we’ve also driven several times across Florida to visit family. However, we hadn’t flown with him for a variety of reasons.

For the first six months, it was quite intentional. We didn’t want to fly with him or travel with him in a non-controlled environment, simply because he was still getting his basic vaccinations, and when infants are so young, they’re at the highest risk. Perhaps TMI, but since Miles wasn’t breastfed, his doctor recommended we not travel with him for the first six months.

We had planned to take Miles on a trip by plane when he was just over six months old, but we ended up canceling that, because the people we were visiting got coronavirus a day before we were supposed to visit, so that didn’t happen.

Since then, we haven’t been opposed to taking a trip with Miles, though we also kind of put it off. Why? Well, being a parent is exhausting. It’s exhausting enough at home in a controlled environment where you have everything at your fingertips, and it’s way more complicated when you’re away from home.

To be perfectly honest, here’s what our hestiation has been:

  • Miles is an amazing sleeper (overnight and during his nap times), but only in cribs; he refuses to sleep in a stroller or in our arms, which is not ideal for travel
  • If we had traditional jobs where we could take time off and not work while traveling a certain number of weeks per year, we wouldn’t hesitate to travel with Miles at his current age; but that’s not the reality of our travel, as we’re always working, we’re switching hotels so that I can review them, etc., and that’s not very conducive to traveling with an infant (the fact that I make a living traveling is also why I can otherwise work from home, and spend a lot more time with him than most people can)
  • I don’t think an infant gets a whole lot out of travel when they’re just several months old, and they’re probably happier at home

For the most part, Ford and I have traveled separately this year, so that one of us was home with him. For situations where we traveled together, his grandparents were so excited to take care of him, and we knew he was in good hands. We thought it was better for everyone, including him.

Let me also say that I know that while it will be complicated to travel with him when he’s several years old, it’s something I can’t wait for. There’s nothing like seeing the world through a kid’s eyes.

I was kind of terrified of our first flight with Miles

With the above out of the way, we decided it was finally time for a low-stakes “trial run” of what it’s like to fly with Miles. We decided on a destination just a two hour flight from Miami, and figured this was a great way to give it a shot. We traveled with him as a lap infant, rather than buying him a seat. In a separate post I’ll talk more about that.

I was terrified in the days leading up to our flight. I mean, I’d like to think I’m an expert at the process of navigating airports and airplanes, though I felt like a complete newbie leading up to this. I barely slept the night before.

Also, let’s be honest, no one is excited about flying in a cabin with someone else’s infant. And we’re also gay, and I realize some people have not-kind opinions on that, so might be even less forgiving. I was picturing him just screaming for two hours nonstop, despite our best efforts, like the below video.

We did everything we could to prepare, from packing toys and snacks, to having a plan for how we’d entertainment him. But there’s only so much you can do to control the behavior of babies.

So, how was our first flight with Miles?

The good news is that our first flight with Miles wasn’t a disaster. Was it perfect? No. Was it as bad as I feared? Absolutely not.

On the plus side:

  • Everyone we interacted with was nice to us, including our fellow passengers
  • He didn’t have a complete meltdown onboard the flight or even cry*, including during the ascent and descent
  • He seemed fascinated by airplanes, and everything in them, so that’s something I’m happy about
  • Miles loved learning about the exclusive inflight offer on the AAdvantage Aviator Red Mastercard, and wanted to apply, but then he found out he wasn’t old enough
  • Miles loved the trivia game where the crew asked passengers to guess their collective number of years at American Airlines; he couldn’t believe that the four flight attendants had been at American for 140x as long as he has been alive
  • Miles got his pre-departure beverage of choice, plus his first meal choice, which is more than most American passengers can say
Miles was fascinated by the AAdvantage Aviator Red Mastercard!
Miles’ pre-departure beverage
Miles enjoying his pre-departure beverage
Miles’ meal choice (better than the adult food!)

On the minus side:

  • It’s not only us adults who don’t like American’s tiny Boeing 737 lavatories, as Miles doesn’t either; the second I put him down on the changing table he started screaming at the top of his lungs, and that stopped the second I lifted him up
  • Miles babbled a bit on the flight while we tried to entertain him, which is fair enough, though I realize it’s not ideal for others
  • Miles didn’t nap for a wink on this flight, but was just fidgeting the entire flight and interested in everything, so we spent our whole flight just passing him back and forth
  • He was well behaved on the flight, but then had a total meltdown in the evening when we got to our destination; after all, he had missed both of his naps for the day
Miles was happy when the flight was over
Miles was less happy when he realized he missed all his naps

So all-in-all, I’d say our first flight with Miles was a success.

Bottom line

Our first flight with our son was better than I was expecting. He was well behaved and everyone was friendly, which is all that I could ask for. However, I can officially confirm that traveling with an infant is exhausting, especially if they’re not the kind of babies that easily sleep anywhere.

I’m happy we ripped the band-aid off. Next up, we’ll need to do bath time in the Emirates A380 shower suite, and do shots of Hennessy milk at the Emirates A380 business class bar!

To fellow parents, do you remember your first flight with your baby? How did it go?

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  1. JohnB Member

    Congratulations for your new family! Very cute baby!

  2. Corey Guest

    Lucky the more you fly with Miles, the easier it gets.

    My daughter has hit 31 countries and roughly 80 flights. Overnight to Japan last year, overnight to Europe to next year etc.

    At 8 she’s better at flying than me most of the time.

  3. karen hatto Guest

    my youngest son, was really excited about going on holiday. We’d been reading airport and airplane books at bedtime in the weeks leading up to the flight. I had books, toys, snacks to entertain him. But the second he got on the plane, he curled up and fell asleep and had to be awoken when we’d landed…l!
    His older brother struggled with his ears on landing, a lovely lady who was sat next to...

    my youngest son, was really excited about going on holiday. We’d been reading airport and airplane books at bedtime in the weeks leading up to the flight. I had books, toys, snacks to entertain him. But the second he got on the plane, he curled up and fell asleep and had to be awoken when we’d landed…l!
    His older brother struggled with his ears on landing, a lovely lady who was sat next to us offered him a sweet, which he promptly threw across the plane as he was in pain and stressed. I was mortified, especially as she had cooed over him for the whole flight and shared she had just found out she was pregnant and was very excited to have her own bundle of joy soon, I think my Syd may have rained on that parade a little!

  4. Bill Guest

    We always bought a seat for our children even when under 2. Safer for them and the benefit of having our chosen car seat for them when we got to our destination.
    Added benefit of traveling with young children - if your seats get somehow separated anyone will gladly swap with you. Congrats on your collective milestone.

  5. Fauquier Guest

    I love that post!. My husband and I are flying for the first time with our son next Tuesday from LAX to Paris to visit my family in France. We are both also very anxious about how it! Your experience gives me some comfort that he may not be a total disaster!
    A fellow flying enthusiast dad!

  6. Marco Guest

    How nice to see all of you! With all the devaluations and changes to the points game, maybe it's a subtle change in direction of this blog to go from "One Mile at a time" to "One Mile at a time with Miles". A new blog on how to travel with babies (wink).

  7. ecco Gold

    Loving the baby posts! He looks like a gorgeous boy. Looks like a vigorous little boy as well, as boys are!
    I took my 18 month old son on the AKL-SFO flight, an overnight, 12 hour flight! The flight was full and I was too mean to pay for an extra seat… I don’t know what I was thinking… I thought he would sleep on my lap!
    Needless to say, he niggled and...

    Loving the baby posts! He looks like a gorgeous boy. Looks like a vigorous little boy as well, as boys are!
    I took my 18 month old son on the AKL-SFO flight, an overnight, 12 hour flight! The flight was full and I was too mean to pay for an extra seat… I don’t know what I was thinking… I thought he would sleep on my lap!
    Needless to say, he niggled and grizzled the whole flight. All i can remember is all the people around me giving me looks of great pity when we landed. They had all noticed us!
    My advice for long haul is - buy that extra seat.

  8. jetset Diamond

    Even if / when he has a meltdown, ultimately when flying commercial it's everyone's responsibility to control their own experience to the extent possible - bring noise cancelling headphones if you don't want to hear screaming babies, for example.

    The behavior I find annoying always comes from parents or other rude passengers - not infants.

    I once had a flight where the mildly intoxicated man next to me was full on howling every time a...

    Even if / when he has a meltdown, ultimately when flying commercial it's everyone's responsibility to control their own experience to the extent possible - bring noise cancelling headphones if you don't want to hear screaming babies, for example.

    The behavior I find annoying always comes from parents or other rude passengers - not infants.

    I once had a flight where the mildly intoxicated man next to me was full on howling every time a joke was made in the movie he was watching. FA asked him to keep it down because there was a baby sleeping and his response was "OHH so why can't I ask the baby to shut up when it's crying?".
    FA's (perfect) response: "Sir, you are a full grown adult and that is a baby"... Honestly - some people really don't grow up.

  9. Lune Diamond

    My oldest is 1 year older than Miles. I still remember two big milestones: the first time my wife and I took her on a plane, and then, the first time I took her by myself (gulp).

    They were surprisingly easy (or at least, less disastrous than I had in mind). A couple of notes:
    1. Strongly recommend buying that extra seat. I'd say 3 seats in economy is better than 2 in business...

    My oldest is 1 year older than Miles. I still remember two big milestones: the first time my wife and I took her on a plane, and then, the first time I took her by myself (gulp).

    They were surprisingly easy (or at least, less disastrous than I had in mind). A couple of notes:
    1. Strongly recommend buying that extra seat. I'd say 3 seats in economy is better than 2 in business because even though either way you have an entire row, having an actual separate seat allows you to have a car seat which often is more familiar / comfortable for the baby to fall asleep in. And even when they get too big for the car seat, it's actually nice for them to have their own seat. They feel like they have their own space, their own tray table, their own "stuff" (Miles wouldn't have had to steal your American Airlines credit card application :-). It also helps you because once they're settled in, you have space to eat your own meal, etc.

    2. The bathrooms are atrociously small and nearly unusable to change a diaper. Unfortunately, our kiddo likes to have a massive poop when we're in the air (I'm creating a new medical condition: altitude-induced bowel movements). These tend to be all-hands-on-deck situations, and since both of us parents + baby literally couldn't fit into the bathroom, the attendants let us keep the door open while we changed the baby. One parent would be doing the changing, and the other one would be behind them passing them wipes and diapers.

    I can't remember which aircraft it was (I think it was an A320?) but one of them had an awesome feature, whereby 2 adjacent bathrooms could be converted into 1 big bathroom, for when a disabled passenger needs one. The flight attendants could basically swing a wall between them open and combine the space. They did that for us and it was much, much nicer. I would literally limit my flying to only that aircraft type if only I could remember what it was... I wonder if there are other aircraft with this feature? (Maybe you could do a post on best airlines / aircraft for passengers with disabilities).

    3. I agree that between ages 1-2 years can be difficult just because the kids are so mobile and they want to explore. My daughter didn't cry, but she wanted to play peek-a-boo with the passengers behind us, made sure to inspect every piece of paper she could get her hands on, and eat whatever assorted stuff she picked up off the floor. My solution was basically to find something *more* interesting than anything on the flight. So for her last trip, I got a pair of child headphones. That, combined with a fully charged phone with her favorite nursery rhymes pre-downloaded, was enough to keep her interest focused on the screen and off the rest of the plane. It also helped put her to sleep after she watched a few videos. (Note, if you use headphones for your baby, you should get ones designed specifically for children; not only are they made for smaller ears and heads, more importantly, they are volume limited so that you can't exceed what's considered safe volume levels for children).

    4. I was also surprised by how friendly the vast majority of people are to parents with kids. From check-in staff, TSA agents, gate agents, flight attendants, to fellow passengers, the vast vast majority of people were kind, friendly, and very understanding. Of course it helps that our kids have been pretty well behaved overall. But I think sometimes seeing so many obnoxious posts online make you forget that there aren't as many trolls in real life as they are online. So don't be so afraid to travel with Miles!

    P.S. Did you put enough loyalty points in Miles's name that he could fly as an EXP? Would have been a hoot to have the flight attendants thank him for his loyalty and have surrounding passengers assume he earned his status with butt-in-seat miles :-)

  10. Margie Power Guest

    Make eye contact with women who appear to be past the baby-bearing stage. We usually have a hunger to hold a baby in our arms again, and will happily take the baby off your hands for a while. You can get a much longer break than you realize, and there's no risk Miles will be kidnapped!

  11. Greg Guest

    Glad your trip went well and I am sure you two were roll models for how to be a good parent on an flight.

    I often think that traveling with a baby can be important for the parents as they can see and connect with family a d friends afar.

    The hardest time to travel with little ones is 18-24ish months as once they get mobile they want to walk and can't understand the...

    Glad your trip went well and I am sure you two were roll models for how to be a good parent on an flight.

    I often think that traveling with a baby can be important for the parents as they can see and connect with family a d friends afar.

    The hardest time to travel with little ones is 18-24ish months as once they get mobile they want to walk and can't understand the seat belt signs or reason for that matter. However after that brief period it just gets more routine and easy every year as they grow up.

    My tips - not that you need any is bring activities for them books to read, toys and of course phones/tablets. Also flying up front helps as you often get meals, more overhead bin space to cary extra gear and a little more space. Oh and get them the extra seat if possible. We liked to put the car seat and buckle them into that familiar seat. Not sure if that is still a thing or not nowadays but worked well for my kids

  12. Coolbeans202 New Member

    My husband and I have a two-and-a-half year-old and had a very similar experience to yours the first time. Our son just would not sit still on our DCA-MCO flight so we vowed from then on that we would get him his own seat and bring a car seat. He loved the car seat and was happy to (mostly) sit there and nap or be entertained. I did some research on the best car seats...

    My husband and I have a two-and-a-half year-old and had a very similar experience to yours the first time. Our son just would not sit still on our DCA-MCO flight so we vowed from then on that we would get him his own seat and bring a car seat. He loved the car seat and was happy to (mostly) sit there and nap or be entertained. I did some research on the best car seats for airplanes and found one that is super light and inexpensive (Cosco is the brand). Now that he's in the terrible twos, we'll probably wait a little longer before getting back on a plane with him.

  13. LBLB New Member

    awesome awesome awesome!

  14. Vinny Guest

    Due to the pandemic, our first flight was October 2021, when our daughter was 18 months old. Lap infant on air Canada signature business class Toronto to Vancouver...could have been worse ;). She literally just sat on the floor and looked around the entire time. Flight attendants were great and one even juggled for her

  15. TheBestBlackBrent Diamond

    Thanks for clarifying he is not being breastfed, I would not have guessed!

  16. JetBlueFanboy Diamond

    Congratulations Ben! Glad to hear that Miles' first flight went well.

  17. Ryan Guest

    Love this. What a cute kid. And I finally just "connected the dots" with the name Miles. Awesome! We adopted our son in Texas and flew him home to Connecticut when he was 12 days old. We flew first class from DFW to JFK. If there ever was a flight on which to buy first class tickets, that was the one. He did great. We bought earplugs and candies for the other first class passengers...

    Love this. What a cute kid. And I finally just "connected the dots" with the name Miles. Awesome! We adopted our son in Texas and flew him home to Connecticut when he was 12 days old. We flew first class from DFW to JFK. If there ever was a flight on which to buy first class tickets, that was the one. He did great. We bought earplugs and candies for the other first class passengers in case he fussed (he didn't). Being an avgeek, I am very happy that his first landing was the Canarsie approach to Runway 13!

  18. K Helldoge Guest

    No one gives an orange shit

    1. XPL Diamond

      If you had read the comments, you would have known that many of us do.

  19. Points and Miles Doc Guest

    Gorgeous family Lucky and what a pleasant little passenger you've got there! :) I lol'd at his love of the Aviator card offer. Well done!

  20. iamhere Guest

    If there is a destination you plan to go to often you could perhaps pre-order some things that you are used to at home for Miles and then store it there. May be convenient if staying with someone or even at a hotel they can store a bag or box or two.

  21. TProphet Guest

    This is too cute. I'm sure this is only the first of many adventures! :)

  22. Pete Guest

    It's great that Miles sleeps so well. Be warned though - Murphy's Law insists that your second one will be an absolute nightmare, and drive you completely nuts for months.

  23. docntx Guest

    Thank you for sharing from your heart.
    As now a grandparent, I have arrived at the conclusion that us, as the parental figures are invariably a much bigger problem than the baby due to our own anxiety.
    Congratulations, you are doing a great job. Calm down. Miles is amazing.

  24. PM1 Guest

    Amazing Ben!!! So happy to see you as a father writing about travels your husband and son. More please! :)

    BTW, Ford has better fashion sense than you. (coming from an unfashionable straight guy). :)

  25. Ley Guest

    The post was absolutely a joy to read! The descriptions of what did/did not happen, along with the adorable photos, made my evening. Congratulations to Miles, Ford, and you on a successful first flight. I have a feeling Miles will get a kick out of your candid report when he becomes a father himself. Thank you for sharing real life experiences such as this one with your many followers, Ben.

  26. Anthony Guest

    Well done Ben. What a lovely smiley young lad he is!

  27. Pieter vd Westhuizen Guest

    Oh wow! My wife and I have been flying with our kids (now 22 & 20) from around 3 months each - albeit in economy only! Being from JNB all the international flights are obviously massively long for them but the best advice I have is: a relaxed parent means relaxed (traveling) children.

    Enjoy the trips and travel with him, I agree with you, seeing a destination or experience an event through the eyes of...

    Oh wow! My wife and I have been flying with our kids (now 22 & 20) from around 3 months each - albeit in economy only! Being from JNB all the international flights are obviously massively long for them but the best advice I have is: a relaxed parent means relaxed (traveling) children.

    Enjoy the trips and travel with him, I agree with you, seeing a destination or experience an event through the eyes of a first time traveler is *amazing*

    Happy travels Ben, Ford and Miles!

  28. Andrew Guest

    We took our 6 month old to the Dominican in January. He is a good sleeper and loved the plane. Slept most of the way. I just remember how tight the bathroom feels when trying to change a diaper! We even got the first class upgrade on the way home which I was super nervous about, but little man slept from when the door closed in Punta Cana to when it opened in Boston! On...

    We took our 6 month old to the Dominican in January. He is a good sleeper and loved the plane. Slept most of the way. I just remember how tight the bathroom feels when trying to change a diaper! We even got the first class upgrade on the way home which I was super nervous about, but little man slept from when the door closed in Punta Cana to when it opened in Boston! On a side note, the priority pass lounge there has a pool, so of course we all had to go for a swim before departure!

  29. Elteetrav Guest

    What a handsome guy! Glad the first flight was a success.

  30. Kent Guest

    Traveled with our three month old son for the first time, in the eighties, from India to Algeria via Italy . It was a pleasant journey especially since the flight attendants back then were also trained to tend to infants so parents could catch a wink. We were fortunate to have a child that loved travelling and was quiet and well behaved. Our growing pains started when he reached his adolescence.

  31. Jeff Guest

    We flew often with my now college aged kids when they were young. The look of horror on fellow passengers faces when you sit near them with an infant/toddler is memorable, though I don't recall much else other than all the stuff you have to bring with a young child(strollers, toys, diapers...). I can't imagine what it would be like now with all the baggage limitations and charges.

    My favorite travel story is when...

    We flew often with my now college aged kids when they were young. The look of horror on fellow passengers faces when you sit near them with an infant/toddler is memorable, though I don't recall much else other than all the stuff you have to bring with a young child(strollers, toys, diapers...). I can't imagine what it would be like now with all the baggage limitations and charges.

    My favorite travel story is when my daughter was about 4 or 5 and had been to Europe several times in business using miles. We were flying to Florida on Southwest and she kept asking how to get the seat to turn into a bed.

  32. Frankie Up Guest

    Phew! Success! 1st flight for our only child was at 5.5 months to visit the last great grandparent on a 6.5hr flight across the country. We were lucky to be able to upgrade to 1st using miles plus copay (which we did for every domestic until he turned 2). Woman after the flight complimented us, and said he was a prince the entire time. Great Grandma had our not even 6 month old "sip" champagne....

    Phew! Success! 1st flight for our only child was at 5.5 months to visit the last great grandparent on a 6.5hr flight across the country. We were lucky to be able to upgrade to 1st using miles plus copay (which we did for every domestic until he turned 2). Woman after the flight complimented us, and said he was a prince the entire time. Great Grandma had our not even 6 month old "sip" champagne. Nice.

    One thing that was helpful in general was the Maxi Pad in the top back of the diaper trick for serious blowouts. We also used a product called Baby Backups, but don't remember which was more effective.

  33. Dan Guest

    Congrats on taking the plunge! My son is also an Aug 2022 baby and we flew with him on a trial flight in January (on the day of the great FAA computer meltdown) down to Florida and then took the training wheels right off by flying down to South Africa when he was 7 months old to see his grandparents. That was not an adventure for the faint of heart although he also performed quite...

    Congrats on taking the plunge! My son is also an Aug 2022 baby and we flew with him on a trial flight in January (on the day of the great FAA computer meltdown) down to Florida and then took the training wheels right off by flying down to South Africa when he was 7 months old to see his grandparents. That was not an adventure for the faint of heart although he also performed quite admirably on all his flights. A bit of discomfort on the ascents/descents but other than that he was pretty chill all the way. Slept a bunch...wish Dad and Mom could have said the same

  34. Pa Guest

    Congratulations on the milestone.
    Mine enjoyed playing with an empty plastic cup on her first flight. Good luck on the return.

  35. Peter Guest

    Great post. Hoping someday you can share a "best of" flights with Miles.

  36. Carrie Gold

    I love that you so gorgeously and generously shared your milestone family travel tale - yes, pun intended.

    And seriously, the most difficult age to travel with children is in their twenties - the demands, the partners, the walking off in foreign airports to shop, the baggage left in the weirdest places ..... I have become a UN level trained negotiator and diplomat!

  37. François Guest

    Congrats!! Was wondering when you guys were going to hit this milestone lol.

  38. Andrew Guest

    We made the mistake of not flying enough with our young kids. The sweet spot to fly with them is up until they’re about a year old, because they aren’t mobile yet. They just sit in your lap the whole time and can’t go anywhere. The tough time is that period (12-ish months) when they get mobile, through about age 3 - all they want to do is climb under/over/around everything, but they’re too young to really follow directions.

  39. Guillermo Rodriguez Guest

    Congratulations and many blessings!!!….I enjoyed the post and Miles first airplane adventure!!!

  40. Ryan Guest

    Congrats Miles! My family and I fly 5-6x a year so my routine is pretty set. Now when I get to fly by myself every so often, I’m so thrown off because it’s such a different experience solo vs everyone in tow haha

  41. JoePro Guest

    Just chiming in to say I enjoyed this post.
    Cheers.

  42. Samo Guest

    Sounds like Miles is gonna love earning some miles. Congratulations on such a match and teach him well! :)

  43. Nate nate Guest

    How many frequent flyer accounts does Miles have now? Is he going for lifetime status on AA, or a OW partner?

  44. gideyup11 Member

    This is awesome!! Congrats on a first successful flight with the little one.

  45. Lana Guest

    He's gonna be walking soon! Speaking from experience (I have a 2 year old), I would HIGHLY recommend getting him his own seat when he starts to walk even if he's still able to be a lap infant. It makes a world of difference. Your legs (and other parts) will thank you for it! Age 1-2 is the worst age to travel because all they want to do is move and they're not yet occupied...

    He's gonna be walking soon! Speaking from experience (I have a 2 year old), I would HIGHLY recommend getting him his own seat when he starts to walk even if he's still able to be a lap infant. It makes a world of difference. Your legs (and other parts) will thank you for it! Age 1-2 is the worst age to travel because all they want to do is move and they're not yet occupied by screens. But travel with him anyway! It's so much fun watching them have fun at the destination. Congratulations on your beautiful family!

  46. dee Guest

    We took our first born baby girl to London then onto Brighton Beach at 10 months of age.. We had the bulkhead and made a bed for her..She slept the entire trip from Florida to LHW but on arrival when we were exhausted she was ready to go.... She had Pate for the first time on the trip. We have the best pix of our friends 1 and 1/2 year old holding hands and walking down the street in Cheshire...She was an early walker...

  47. Jai Guest

    I look forward to all the reviews of the Disney properties starting in 2028

    Congrats to you and Ford on being promoted from a couple to a family!

  48. Dr. McFrugal Guest

    OMG! Miles is so adorable!!!

    Your first flight with a baby experience is similar to ours. We just passed the baby around to try entertain her. It gets so much easier when they turn 3 and understand a little bit more.

    Congrats on your first real flight, Miles!!!

  49. Elizabeth Guest

    Congratulations on the first flight with Miles! I have a 9 month old, and she seems most content on flights with lots of distractions and plenty of milk/food. She's been on short 2 hour flights too. I'm really interested to see/hear about how jet lag works with baby schedules...stay brave and keep traveling with him!

  50. Donna Diamond

    Miles is just too cute! My sons are 11 months apart and we’re both born in Italy and their first flight trip was from FCO to JFK a on a TWA 747. The younger one was six weeks and the older one was around one year. We had a whole bulkhead row in the center. I flew alone with them and was terrified. I will never ever be able to thank the flight attendants who...

    Miles is just too cute! My sons are 11 months apart and we’re both born in Italy and their first flight trip was from FCO to JFK a on a TWA 747. The younger one was six weeks and the older one was around one year. We had a whole bulkhead row in the center. I flew alone with them and was terrified. I will never ever be able to thank the flight attendants who helped me out during the flight along with a few moms seated nearby. Everything worked out in the end. My younger son napped a lot and eventually my one year old went to sleep.

  51. jjmpdx Guest

    Baby’s First Mileage Run! Congratulations; so cute.

  52. BradStPete Diamond

    You are such a wonderful family. Thanks for the post. I remember MY first flight at age... almost 4. United DC-6, San Diego to Seattle. God I'm Old ! and Miles' name is just perfect... ! Very best wishes

  53. Stephen Guest

    Fab story, always admire parents who travel with young ones,

  54. Kyle Guest

    We've flown both economy (with and without a car seat) and first with our kids at that age, and the car seat in economy was a better experience nearly every time. Although it was less comfortable for us, our kids were both safer and more comfortable, and often slept way more vs in our laps. Something to consider if Miles sleeps well in a car seat.

  55. Janet Guest

    My first flight with my twin sons was at 2.5 months, as I wanted to use the last few weeks of my maternity leave to visit my parents in Toronto from Tokyo. A friend offered to travel with me to hold one child. We were in business class and the flight attendant kindly upgraded the person next to me to first class so I could put a car seat in the seat next to me...

    My first flight with my twin sons was at 2.5 months, as I wanted to use the last few weeks of my maternity leave to visit my parents in Toronto from Tokyo. A friend offered to travel with me to hold one child. We were in business class and the flight attendant kindly upgraded the person next to me to first class so I could put a car seat in the seat next to me but my friend and I had to be in different rows due to oxygen masks. The boys slept most of the flight.

    We took them from Tokyo to Hokkaido at 8 months, to Hawaii at 9 months and again to Canada at 15 months. By then I was buying a seat for each of them.

    Overall they were good travelers. Age 2 was the toughest and it got better at age 4.

    Keys to success were having plenty of snacks, changes of clothes (for them and me), giving them new toys every few hours on long flights and getting their own seats from age 1. The pacifier also helped immensely for takeoff and landing, and we used it until age 3.

    Good luck in your travels! Miles is a real cutie!

  56. Whirlwind2000 New Member

    Great post! I was beginning to wonder / be slightly envious that you hadn't travelled with your child yet, and had grandparents nearby to look after him while you and Ford travel around the world! We just flew back LHR - PHX in the new BA Biz cabin with our 15 month old, and he behaved superbly, but all the joy of movie watching, having a glass of wine, eating your meal with both hands...

    Great post! I was beginning to wonder / be slightly envious that you hadn't travelled with your child yet, and had grandparents nearby to look after him while you and Ford travel around the world! We just flew back LHR - PHX in the new BA Biz cabin with our 15 month old, and he behaved superbly, but all the joy of movie watching, having a glass of wine, eating your meal with both hands is gone. I'm really interested to see what you Dads do post 2 years, when he's no longer a lap infant, as the points game for business class is challenging for 3 people, or at least I'm waiting on your advice for how to do it! Good luck for the return flight!

  57. Jack Guest

    You did it, congrats to all 3 of you! Love the story and the pics. Also, I may be slightly obsessed with Ford's shirt! But very strategic for any baby messes haha.

    1. Natalie Guest

      I've been waiting for this post! Congrats! We started flying when our oldest was 10 weeks. I think nearly every flight we've taken has gone better than my anxiety-riddled expectations. It's almost always some meltdown or scene at the hotel that I'm unprepared for :)

  58. Caroline Guest

    I love this post!!! What an adorable baby! Congrats on a milestone.

    1. AD Diamond

      He's just gorgeous. Watch out, in a decade the girls, boys and non-binaries are going to be swooning over him, especially if that hair stays blonde!

  59. David Guest

    How long was his first flight? We ended up taking our baby on 16 flights in her first year and it included Europe. Sometimes we added our dog bc traveling with kid isn't complicated enough, lol!

  60. Julie Guest

    What a gorgeous little boy. Well done, loved the article.

  61. Tg Guest

    First class or Economy (coach)

  62. J Reg Guest

    Nice of you to write this up and take pics. Im sure Miles will love it when he gets older - and if he follows in your footsteps what a story/pics it will make for his 1st blog, book, or whatever is the way of communicating 20 years from now!

  63. D3kingg Guest

    Lookin good OMAAT fam. Ford needs to turn down the volume on that boogie nights shirt tho :)))

    Nothing stops me from flying. I don’t mind crying babies. Bose noise cancelling headphones are one of the best purchases I’ve ever made.

  64. Anthony (The Bulkhead Seat) Guest

    He looks so much like you, Ben. Glad it went pretty well.

  65. Anna Guest

    We did our first flight at 3 months and it went super well. To the point the passenger in the window seat was shocked I had a baby with me when I took him out of his carrier. That was just 2 hours though. Now we’ve got a 12 hour overnight flight coming when he’ll be a year, and I’m legit terrified.

  66. Mick Guest

    Beautiful baby!

    We tried to limit travel with our kids between say 9 months and 2 years. Post crawling and pre iPad :). Saying that short haul was fine.

    My small tips are always go with the car seat installed on the airplane seat. Way easier than having on your lap. We did this up to like 2.5/3 years old. Note Canada has its own rules on car seats and they have to be...

    Beautiful baby!

    We tried to limit travel with our kids between say 9 months and 2 years. Post crawling and pre iPad :). Saying that short haul was fine.

    My small tips are always go with the car seat installed on the airplane seat. Way easier than having on your lap. We did this up to like 2.5/3 years old. Note Canada has its own rules on car seats and they have to be certified. Otherwise they’ll stop you from using it. Australi also has its own rules regarding which rows you can use a car seat.

    Have something to suck on for landing and takeoff. So many kids scream their heads off on descent as their ears hurt. Lollipops or drink bottles or those pouches you took a photo of. Note that you need to unscrew kids drink bottles and not just pop them open mid flight. Unless you want to spray the 3 rows around you and the roof lolll.

    After a while you care less about what other people think of your toddler. Not saying you let them run riot. But little kids have big emotions and the best parents (and kids) can’t always stop screaming. It’s a fact of life to have some emotion and you can’t be worried about uptight other passengers. Noting most people are glued to screens with headphones on these days.

    We flew overnight to London for the Olympics with our 9 month old on United in economy. Had 3/4 seats… we apologized preemptively to the fourth gentleman in our row. He said to my wife “ma’am you won’t bother me. I have 4 kids who are older now. Just let me know if you guys need help”. Legend.

  67. DMoney Guest

    Congrats Ben and Ford on this critical milestone! We took our twin boys last December on their first flight (ever) to Mexico in AC domestic First class (we also had our then 6-year old with us). Similar experience as yours, except it was a 5-hour flight (from Toronto). The boys were super excited to see all the new things and most people in the cabin and the economy cabin behind us (we were in the...

    Congrats Ben and Ford on this critical milestone! We took our twin boys last December on their first flight (ever) to Mexico in AC domestic First class (we also had our then 6-year old with us). Similar experience as yours, except it was a 5-hour flight (from Toronto). The boys were super excited to see all the new things and most people in the cabin and the economy cabin behind us (we were in the last row of First Class) were highly supportive of our bold adventure!

    Since then, we have flown Etihad business class with them from Toronto to Mumbai and back. The overnight flight outbound to AUH was totally fine, but the late night departure from BOM and mid0night connection from AUH on the way back wasn't helpful at all and the boys barely got their sleep in one go. On the plus side, when we landed in Toronto in the evening, the kids were exhausted and slept at 8pm, basically overcoming jetlag right away (our 6 yo even went to school the next morning!)

  68. RD Guest

    long-time reader and first-time pregnant over here. i SOO appreciate you sharing all of this. i'm so antsy to be able to show this baby the world and get her acclimated to airplanes, etc. once feasible!! i am honestly so relieved that you will be experiencing/reporting on all of this a year ahead of me :) interesting note about the breastfeeding (definitely not TMI imho) you're the best and Miles is such a cutie!!! you must be so proud!

  69. Leigh Diamond

    I loved this post! What a wonderful family, and he's such a cutie! Keep us updated as you travel with Miles, as you can offer good practical info for families. I also really like the comments on this post; cheerful and very helpful!

  70. Nicole Guest

    My first flight was at four months to Amsterdam with our son. We took another flight at at 1 1/2 to Europe and specifically chose Jfk-Fra on Singapore for the full bed option in business. He is 2 1/2 now and I find myself doing Google searches for best family seating in business but no one is as thorough as you :) Besides QSuites I would love your opinion on this!
    Also, hope you had a great time with your family on vacation.

  71. Andrew Guest

    Glad one of you didn't have to give the airplane "speech" from Modern Family :)

  72. Ben Guest

    Better than the adult food - LMFAO!

  73. Mlp New Member

    What an absolute sweetheart! Congratulations on such a beautiful baby.

    Toddler travel isn’t all bad: I always had new movies or shows for my daughter when she was 24 months and over. She had limited screen time when not on travel, and knew that there would be a movie or show she had never seen before when we took off. The only time she ever had a melt down was when the battery of our...

    What an absolute sweetheart! Congratulations on such a beautiful baby.

    Toddler travel isn’t all bad: I always had new movies or shows for my daughter when she was 24 months and over. She had limited screen time when not on travel, and knew that there would be a movie or show she had never seen before when we took off. The only time she ever had a melt down was when the battery of our dvd player ran out (I’m dating this experience). The flight attendant offered a free drink to the very nice gentleman who sat through her wails.

  74. Chris Guest

    We did our first flight with our 4 month old in June, choosing LHR-MAD on the IB A350 which proved a great choice as we could use the unoccupied galley space between business and premium economy to stand and ‘rock’ the baby without disturbing fellow passengers.

    The return flight on the A320 NEO was more challenging, I can barely use the bathroom myself, let alone change an infant.

    All in all, I think it’s...

    We did our first flight with our 4 month old in June, choosing LHR-MAD on the IB A350 which proved a great choice as we could use the unoccupied galley space between business and premium economy to stand and ‘rock’ the baby without disturbing fellow passengers.

    The return flight on the A320 NEO was more challenging, I can barely use the bathroom myself, let alone change an infant.

    All in all, I think it’s great that parents travel with young children and get them used to the process, it makes for a far easier time later in life (proven by our 7 year old who’s already a better traveller than me!)

    1. DMoney Guest

      I couldn't agree more with your comment that traveling with young children eary makes it easier later. We have been traveling with our now 7yo since she was 1.5 years old (she's taken more than two dozen flights by now, including a dozen+ long haul flights in both economy and business) and she now knows how to travel. On our last long haul flight from AUH to ORD, we were in business class, and she...

      I couldn't agree more with your comment that traveling with young children eary makes it easier later. We have been traveling with our now 7yo since she was 1.5 years old (she's taken more than two dozen flights by now, including a dozen+ long haul flights in both economy and business) and she now knows how to travel. On our last long haul flight from AUH to ORD, we were in business class, and she was pro at ordering hot chocolates for herself, selecting her meal (and asking for replacement/customization), asking for snacks/nuts when she was watching TV, and even chit-chatting with the FAs, all while we were struggling with our twin infants! The FA even came to us and complimented us for having such a well behaved and well-traveled 7yo!

  75. Nicola Guest

    My husband and I took our children for their first plane trip when they were 2.5 and 9 months.

    Our 9mo was NOT having it and was very upset the whole 1:45. Fortunately the flight back went a bit better.

    I see why you haven’t wanted to travel with your son and leave the comforts of home.. the home setup sure is convenient eh

  76. FFup Guest

    Congrats on the milestone. As others pointed out, it's sooo much easier when they are super young. I have flown a bunch with our now 2.5 year old daughter, including alone with her to Germany last year during the summer (she was 1.5 years) and this summer. It was night and day. Last year, as a lap child was a dream: fell asleep on my seat right after take off, woke up upon landing 9...

    Congrats on the milestone. As others pointed out, it's sooo much easier when they are super young. I have flown a bunch with our now 2.5 year old daughter, including alone with her to Germany last year during the summer (she was 1.5 years) and this summer. It was night and day. Last year, as a lap child was a dream: fell asleep on my seat right after take off, woke up upon landing 9 hours later. Business class was perfect for that. This time, 2.5 years and her own seat in business class was horrible. Try having a 2 year old sit still alone in her seat. You can't reach her or interact with her because she's too far. Economy would have been so much better, lessen learned. Oh, and of course the time of the flight makes so a huge difference. Choose wisely.

  77. Glen Guest

    Congrats. And just wait until his first paid flight where he has his own FF#. My 1 year old son got his first credit card offer in the mail from Delta only a few months later!

  78. derek Guest

    You MUST start record keeping by starting a flight log for Miles. My parents did not so I tried to re-create it years later. Naturally, it had a lot of gaps. For example, the airline flown was long forgotten but at least 3 airlines flew the route.

    Another thing is to realize that Miles is being put in danger from Covid. I would wait a few more months before travel. Why risk killing Miles?

    1. derek Guest

      So then masks should never completely go away.

      Polio, measles, rubella have not gone away completely but managed much better than decades ago. The Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918 killed many millions but did go away for practical purposes.

    2. derek Guest

      Yes, I am serious. Look at Japan. They wear masks every winter for decades.

    3. BenjaminGuttery Diamond

      I hope Your kidding. It's actually GOOD to expose babies/children to things. He will have a stronger immune system than both of his dads by age 5. Y'all are literally in a cult of being perpetually scared.

  79. BenjaminGuttery Diamond

    Ben & Ford, VERY happy for You both. Glad the baby didn't give Y'all too much trouble on the flight.

    That being said: I can't stand screaming and bad behaving children on flights. Especially in ANY premium class. I would demand a refund of points or a credit from any airline if my experience was interrupted/ruined by a child like the one given in the video example. Planes should have a blocked off row...

    Ben & Ford, VERY happy for You both. Glad the baby didn't give Y'all too much trouble on the flight.

    That being said: I can't stand screaming and bad behaving children on flights. Especially in ANY premium class. I would demand a refund of points or a credit from any airline if my experience was interrupted/ruined by a child like the one given in the video example. Planes should have a blocked off row (like the size of a bathroom) for breastfeeding, children behaving badly, and to lock up disruptive passengers. Just my strong opinion that I'm not ever changing. I've had items thrown at my head, my seat kicked for hours, kids shows/songs and games played LOUDLY without headphones for hours, and I don't feel 1 ounce of sympathy for the parents or the airline staff at all. Period.

    1. D3kingg Guest

      Are you serious? Fly much ? Or is this New York sarcasm ?

    2. BenjaminGuttery Diamond

      100% Serious D3KINGG.

    3. henare Diamond

      Lol. Any airline worth their salt would send you packing. This is mass transit, even in a premium cabin. Any upset infant is more tolerable than any misbehaving adult (which is what you sound alike here)

    4. BenjaminGuttery Diamond

      Huh? A business "worth their salt" would/should send premium paying customer packing? First/Business Class is not "mass transit" and doesn't have those kind of prices. If I'm paying thousands and thousands for an 9 hour flight to and from Europe, I expect to have other passengers around me not being disruptive. And if it's a minor, then their parent takes responsibility for their noise making, running in the aisle, throwing things, and kicking chairs.

    5. lasdiner Guest

      Speaking about kids in first class, I 100%agree
      Hope they won’t be on MY a380 shower suite bathing gorgeous Miles!

  80. Frank C Guest

    Congratulations! Those are great pictures and I’m sure great to remember before he turns 2 and wants to do it all on his own! Thanks for the post.

  81. ScottS Member

    We just did a count of our daughter's travel since she's been born. She just turned 2 just over 2 weeks ago. Her first flight was also a short flight around 2 hours to Portugal (living in UK at the time) at 3 months old (She was breastfed, docs said it was fine and she had her first few injections by then.) Including the 3 flights coming on Monday we're doing to the UK, she...

    We just did a count of our daughter's travel since she's been born. She just turned 2 just over 2 weeks ago. Her first flight was also a short flight around 2 hours to Portugal (living in UK at the time) at 3 months old (She was breastfed, docs said it was fine and she had her first few injections by then.) Including the 3 flights coming on Monday we're doing to the UK, she will have done 31 total flights including 10 of those long haul and 2 seaplane flights in the Maldives. Her longest flight being just over 11 hours from CMB-LHR coming back from the Maldives.

  82. Sean Guest

    Do it now! Baby travel is easy. Toddler travel is hell. I wish we traveled more when our daughter was under 2. Covid limited things.

    But the more they travel the better they get at it.

  83. Tennen Gold

    "Perhaps TMI, but since Miles wasn’t breastfed"

    @Ben, I'm sure we'd all love to see photos of you and Ford trying to breastfeed Miles! That would be one heck of an entertaining (and hilarious) post! XD

  84. WL Guest

    Congratulations! How lovely family!

  85. JC Guest

    It gets way easier the more they fly. Soon he'll be running down the jet bridge all happy ready to watch movies and get pampered on his big boy business class seat.

  86. Richard Porter Guest

    Congratulations on such a beautiful baby. I hope you guys are having fun getting to know each other. The travelling will become easier the more you do it and most people love kids and babies.

    1. David Guest

      Miles is absolutely adorable. Congrats to you both. Glad he had a great first flight!

  87. Minos Guest

    That's funny for a travel blogger. Ours is 10.5 months and has been on 58 flights. But then, I do not brand myself as a travel expert :-)

  88. Adam Guest

    Night flights helped - as they get older tire them out in the airport departure area and bring lots of milk and toys! We did Toronto-Rio twice and the second time was a lot better as he was 15 months.

  89. Vlad Guest

    Congrats on a meaningful milestone, Miles, Ben and Ford!

  90. RPCV Guest

    Congratulations to the both of you. Hope you got those kiddie wings for the little guy on his first flight!

  91. MaxPower Diamond

    Congrats on the adorable kiddo and the opportunity to be great dads!

  92. Towelie196 Member

    We did a lap infant once in business class... never again. Economy with a car seat is just so much better if the baby is used to car rides.

    1. Klaus Guest

      I love european business class for that reason: infant sits in the car seat in the free middle seat.

  93. Chris Carley Guest

    Congrats to you, Ford, and little Mr. Miles! Your little boy is *so* cute!

    I smiled reading your article -- I remember feeling some of those same emotions leading up to my daughter's first flight when she was at the ripe old age of three months. Longest. 45. Minutes. Of. My. Life. (But it went off without a hitch.)

    Here's to many more years of happy travels for you and your family!

  94. Debo Gold

    My daughter's first flight was SFO-CDG in Air France business. Spoiled much?! Thank goodness she still fit in the Air France bassinets. I held her most of the start of the flight (and overnight during turbulence); she was well entertained with books and toys. My wife took the morning shift and they shared a nice breakfast.

    We are very lucky our daughter is a great traveler. We know what entertains her and keeps her happy....

    My daughter's first flight was SFO-CDG in Air France business. Spoiled much?! Thank goodness she still fit in the Air France bassinets. I held her most of the start of the flight (and overnight during turbulence); she was well entertained with books and toys. My wife took the morning shift and they shared a nice breakfast.

    We are very lucky our daughter is a great traveler. We know what entertains her and keeps her happy. Since that first flight we've been SFO to Florida, Boston (twice), Colorado (she loved the snow), Chicago, and Italy. Like me, she even enjoys trains (just high speed rail in France and Italy though).

    What we've learned: be prepared, do your research, have snacks and toys, know your options and alternatives.

  95. Kevin B Guest

    My wife and I adopted a baby back in November, he was born across the country from us so we had no choice to fly him back home once he got out of the NICU. Since then he has been on 7 different flights and has been an absolutely amazing flyer.

    I really think that babies are generally pretty good fliers it is when they become toddlers it becomes more difficult. I am really...

    My wife and I adopted a baby back in November, he was born across the country from us so we had no choice to fly him back home once he got out of the NICU. Since then he has been on 7 different flights and has been an absolutely amazing flyer.

    I really think that babies are generally pretty good fliers it is when they become toddlers it becomes more difficult. I am really excited now that his adoption is finalized (it takes a while to finalize) to get his passport and take him on international trips.

  96. Jon Guest

    Great post! To give another perspective we haven’t taken out 3 month old on 4 long-haul flights (plus a short domestic to get home at 4 days old.) The first international was at 7 weeks after first vaccines (and he was fed breast milk up to that point).

    The flights were all uneventful - other than some very excited - and amazing- crews. Very cute to see him lying on an airplane flat bed!

    ...

    Great post! To give another perspective we haven’t taken out 3 month old on 4 long-haul flights (plus a short domestic to get home at 4 days old.) The first international was at 7 weeks after first vaccines (and he was fed breast milk up to that point).

    The flights were all uneventful - other than some very excited - and amazing- crews. Very cute to see him lying on an airplane flat bed!

    Would love to see a post about infant fares on award tickets. I learnt that a lap infant really changes the game here. US carriers charge 10% of the full fare (ouch on a business class ticket) whereas the European carriers allow you to pay 10% of the miles and fees. Even with the high surcharges, this can make the European airlines a better deal.

  97. Jerry Staples Guest

    That chuld will be piloting planes before you two know it!

  98. steven kapellas Guest

    I loved reading every word of this post, so I read it again.

  99. Stuart M Guest

    Just got back from a trip from JFK-MNL with my then soon to be 1 year old for his first birthday (my wife is from the Philippines). The flight there was a disaster as it is 16 hours, and we had to wake our son at 3am to head to the airport. Since his sleep schedule was messed up he had a few meltdowns on the flight and did not sleep much. I was dreading...

    Just got back from a trip from JFK-MNL with my then soon to be 1 year old for his first birthday (my wife is from the Philippines). The flight there was a disaster as it is 16 hours, and we had to wake our son at 3am to head to the airport. Since his sleep schedule was messed up he had a few meltdowns on the flight and did not sleep much. I was dreading the flight home, but it turned out amazing. This time the flight left at 7pm, so he was sleeping by 9pm and he slept for 10 hours without crying at all on the flight. I was amazed and it was a great and relaxing flight. Lesson learned is for long flights, try to fly at your child's sleep time.

    We just did a quick trip to West Palm Beach from Newark. Despite delays, he was very good on these flights too. I also feared flying with my 1 year old but now I am comfortable and look forward to our next travels.

  100. Amol Guest

    Cute! We took our baby when he turned 100 days old. Cried for less than 30 seconds of a 4-hour flight when he was hungry. Passengers around us couldn’t stop smiling at him. Found it to be much less stressful than I thought.

    We have Southwest companion pass this year, and Southwest is by far the best airline we’ve flown with the baby. Went to Colorado and Hawaii at 4 months old, we got...

    Cute! We took our baby when he turned 100 days old. Cried for less than 30 seconds of a 4-hour flight when he was hungry. Passengers around us couldn’t stop smiling at him. Found it to be much less stressful than I thought.

    We have Southwest companion pass this year, and Southwest is by far the best airline we’ve flown with the baby. Went to Colorado and Hawaii at 4 months old, we got a whole row to ourselves when the plane was not full and we were able to bring his car seat on board, even though he was technically booked as an infant-in-arms. Plus you’re guaranteed boarding before B group.

  101. Jared Guest

    May your travels together be non-eventful and stress free, with happiness and health for the entire family.

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

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steven kapellas Guest

I loved reading every word of this post, so I read it again.

5
Vlad Guest

Congrats on a meaningful milestone, Miles, Ben and Ford!

4
MaxPower Diamond

Congrats on the adorable kiddo and the opportunity to be great dads!

4
Meet Ben Schlappig, OMAAT Founder
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