The best summaries of what to bring were on the Feeding Tube Association's site, and on the blog Feeding Raya.
The logistics of how to get Evie through the TSA process and how to feed her on the plane, in a hotel, and in a hot environment were not situations in which I wanted to "wing it." Here goes.
GETTING THROUGH SECURITY
All our medications were put in a small cooler the size of a thick phone book.
The ice packs were frozen solid, because I had read that if your ice packs are slightly liquified in any way, the TSA will confiscate them. Sure enough, I heard TSA agents both times mumble "frozen" to themselves as they confirmed that the ice packs were nice and frozen.
Printed this card: TSA Card
This card alerted the agents in the line that we needed more screening than the average person. On the way back, an agent saw Evie in her stroller and asked if we had formula. I said yes, and we got to go through the quicker line. Yay!
One of us carried Evie through the security gate, and we were through. When I called the TSA's special needs hotline, I was told to get to the airport at least 2 hours before the flight. In hindsight, I wish we had gotten there 2.5 hours before, because it seemed a little tight for us to get food for the plane and feel situated. But hey, we made it, and that's what counts.
This was our first time being eligible for pre-boarding! We were allowed on our Jetblue flight after the Mosaic and Even More Space customers. Once we got on the jetway, our handy Gate Check bag came into play. Evie was in her carrier and her snap and go, and we threw the whole thing (without Evie) into the big red bag. It had a pink Gate Check tag from the check-in agent, and into the plane we went.
My awesome friend GY told me to bring a Boppy on the plane and that I would not regret it. The thought of lugging around a big Boppy made me hesitate, so I decided to look up a travel boppy. Lo and behold, the Boppy people knew my need. This was the best thing ever on a 5 1/2 hour flight with a 16-lb little girl on our laps.
This travel boppy folds up into a cute purse-like thing and is very light.
Evie needed a couple bottles and g-tube during the flight. Erick put 2 ready-made Dr. Brown bottles in the cooler, and I had packed 2 canisters of 2 teaspoons of oatmeal each to thicken her formula.
I knew I hoarded those Medela pumping canisters from the NICU for a good reason!! They are perfect for pre-measured amounts of baby oatmeal!
G-tubing wasn't much different on a plane vs anywhere else in public...we used our trusty Pepe backpack and had her g tube extension tube primed and ready to go. I felt a little self-conscious about the loud beeps that the pump made, but no one even looked over at us. They were too busy making googly eyes at Evie.
|Re-enactment of Pepe on the over the door hook on the pack and play|
It's really a glorified travel organizer, but it was worth having everything together. I have more emergency supplies in Pepe the backpack. Speaking of Pepe, it's time to retire Pepe I and hire Pepe II. Pepe I started flaking from frequent use. Pepe II has an extra pocket and seems stronger. Thank you for your service, Pepe I!
I highly recommend Feedie Friends on Etsy. She adapts the kid backpacks for G-tubes so well.
|Evie living it up and G-tubing on the bed in the hotel|
Vegas in August is so hot. We avoided being outside as much as we could. We also avoided the smoky casinos. The bright sun was a concern, so I got a sun shade for Evie's infant carrier. It's like a little cabana for your stroller. It gave me peace of mind about the strong sun shining on her on the unforgiving Vegas sidewalks.
|The caption is right--this keeps out strangers as well.|