DeAnna Pappas Stagliano’s Blog: Babies, Blowouts and Breastfeeding – on a Plane!

07/28/2014 at 08:45 PM ET

DeAnna Pappas Stagliano blog
Paul Joyner Photo

Thanks for welcoming DeAnna Pappas Stagliano!

The real estate agent and Bachelor alum, 32, was one of two finalists on Brad Womack‘s first season before headlining The Bachelorette, where she chose Jesse Csincsak.

Although the engagement didn’t work out, she met Stephen Stagliano through his twin brother Michael, who was a contestant on Jillian Harris‘ season.

After getting engaged in August 2010, Pappas and Stagliano tied the knot in October 2011 in Georgia.

In August 2013, the couple announced that they were expecting their first child. Daughter Addison Marie arrived on Feb. 6 of this year.

Pappas Stagliano can be found @DeAnnaPappas on Twitter and @DeAnnaStag on Instagram.

For those of you who know me, you know I love to travel.

I have been lucky enough to experience many different places in this world. I’ve been to Italy, Greece, Ireland, Belize, China, Japan, Iraq, Qatar, Afghanistan, Canada, France, the Bahamas, Mexico, New Zealand, Hungary, Germany, England and Turkey!

DeAnna Pappas Stagliano blog
Paul Joyner Photo

When Addison was born, traveling was the last thing on my mind. I wanted to bond with the baby and focus on her. Not to mention, I don’t know how moms find the time to travel with a newborn. Between breastfeeding, changing dirty diapers and sleeping in those first few weeks, how is there time for anything else?!

Addison was almost 3 months old when I took her on her first trip. We flew to Atlanta for my sister’s baby shower — I was excited and nervous all at the same time.

At that point, I finally had things under control at home with a newborn, but flying with her on an airplane was a whole different story. I would be traveling alone with Addison. That means only one person to change diapers, hold her, and look out for her on this trip. I had no idea how she would do on a plane.

DeAnna Pappas Stagliano blog
Courtesy DeAnna Pappas Stagliano

Before I was a mom, I used to hear babies crying and get slightly annoyed. People who do not have kids sometimes think, “Why can’t they make that baby be quiet?”

So, I reached out to my mommy friends for tips on how to travel with an infant. One of my girlfriends was a wealth of knowledge! She is a producer on The Bachelor and clearly travels a lot … I mean, have you seen The Bachelor?!

My wonderful friend sent me an email with a bunch of tips, and I chose to follow ALL of them.

First tip: I left my baby stroller at home and opted for the easier/lighter baby carrier that straps directly to your body (I had a friend who had a car seat and stroller that I borrowed in Georgia).

DeAnna Pappas Stagliano blog
Courtesy DeAnna Pappas Stagliano

Second tip: I packed my breastfeeding pillow in my carry-on. Newborns eat and sleep a lot. This way, she could sleep in my lap resting comfortably on the pillow while saving my arms a few hours of strength training.

Third tip: I followed the advice from multiple friends and as soon as I boarded my plane, I changed Addison’s diaper, whether it was dirty or not. Better to start out fresh when flying. Altitude does funny things to a baby’s digestive system.

She had a blowout on our first flight to Atlanta. Poop was all the way up the front of her stomach and up her back. I think people felt sorry for her … or me, it was hard to tell.

It is hard to believe this day and age, but only some of the planes have changing stations in them. Airlines need to get with it! I got used to asking the flight attendant for an extra blanket and utilizing my legs in flight.

DeAnna Pappas Stagliano blog
Courtesy DeAnna Pappas Stagliano

Fourth tip: It is also very important to feed the baby or give him/her a pacifier during takeoff and landing. The pressure during takeoff and landing can be very painful for an infant because they do not know how to “pop” their ears.

Addison is a breastfed baby. I am very comfortable breastfeeding anywhere — my boobs are no longer my own!

Fifth and most importantly, try not to stress out when your baby is super fussy, screaming or crying during a flight. Stay calm as much as you can. Babies can’t help it. Crying is their way of communicating.

I know, I know … it is much easier said than done.

One trip from Atlanta to Los Angeles, Addison screamed the whole way. I mean, THE ENTIRE WAY. I was so stressed and felt so bad for everyone around us. Not to mention she had another complete blowout on our layover.

Overall, most everyone was very gracious and helpful. I only got a few stank eyes the entire time.

DeAnna Pappas Stagliano blog
Paul Joyner Photo

What are your tips for flying with a baby?

— DeAnna Pappas Stagliano

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Showing 40 comments

NightGuest on

Why is this nobody still in the news? Her 15 minutes expired long ago.
Her kid, on the other hand, is adorable.

stacy on

I will be traveling with my 3 yr old on an 8 hr flight this weekend for the first time am very nervous so I appreciate his article

Zoe on

Travelling with kids is not that hard or bad. Just be prepared and go with the flow if things don’t go as planned or hoped. I travelling with my daughter at 9 months, and then again when when the kids were 2 and 4 on a 13 hr flight. Keeping them occupied, lots of crafts and yes, tv time helped. People praised our kids for being so well behaved the whole flight.

Danielle on

NightGuest, you are not a night person!! You are actually a miserable snob. Why would you waste you time reading about this “nobody” if that’s the way you feel about her?

Stef on

Sweet. Her baby girl looks like its dad. Cute!!

Lauren on

Ugh, how about DON’T travel with a baby? Having kids is a choice. Stay home with that choice until the kid is old enough to sit in a seat and have good manners.

Pam on

F U Lauren!

Mommytoane on

As a mom myself, I don’t think the whole “shut that kid up” thing anymore. Instead I think of how the baby just wants to be picked up (in say a grocery store) or how a mommy/daddy prolly needs a little break. Sometimes just allowing someone else to hold the baby for 10 minutes and coo over it, is just enough of a break to relax a second, take a deep breath and start over again.
My suggestions for flights, use a slightly bigger diaper if your baby has a history of blowouts. Helps to contain that stuff. Also don’t forget something relaxing for YOU. Often parents focus so much on the baby they forget things like that. A book, cd, or even a piece of candy that helps you find your happy spot for a few seconds while your little one (IF that is) sleeps or is quiet. And if all else fails pass out little bags full of ear plugs, a little treat and a little card that thanks the other passengers.

Zhihuimom on

Really, do we really care? Try flying home 16 hours with a confused little baby from China, then you can blog me something new

georgiaonmymind on

I traveled from Atlanta to Salt Lake City with three kids under the age of five. I made sure the older two had a backpack with all kinds of goodies in there! (This was before portable DVD players) They had little hand held games and treats and snacks of all kinds. I held my six month old on my lap and made sure her ears popped during take off and landing. It went well they all did great! People on the plane were helpful and we made it. I still can’t beleive I did that without my husband but we were attending my brother’s wedding in Idaho and my son was the ring bearer! I still pat myself on the back for that one! 🙂

georgia on

Great tips! Doea anyone know the name of/type of baby carrier Deanna is using in the pic?

arlene on

I am so tired of mothers bragging how proud of themselves they are for parenting their kids. Congrats! You do your job. Get over it. I have two kids, my husband and I don’t brag because we do what we are suppose to do and take care of them. We’ve been on a plane with both kids, saw other parents too! It’s been happening for a long time.

Catbyrd on

Half of you need to go back to bed and get up again. If you’re not interested in DeAnna or her musings on travelling with a baby, don’t read it and shut the hell up. I have zero kids, but enjoyed the article and will have more patience with other’s kids when flying next time. What a beautiful little girl, congrats to DeAnna and Stephen!

Lucy on

@ Lauren sometimes that’s not an option. My little one is 5 months and my grandparents who I’m close to, don’t travel anymore due to health. So if I don’t fly 9 hours to England with my child they will never meet their only great grandchild. Think before you speak. Some people have family all over the world and that is the only way for their family to meet the newest member.

Kat on

If your kid is three years old, this article is not very helpful. It is pretty gross to hear about her daughter’s poops, but I’m sure she’ll be thrilled to see what her mom wrote about later on in life.

Izzy on

Is she already know that cry is the way babies communicate, why doesnt understand that baby cry when hungry, diaper change, is feeling sick , is uncofortable, why can she find a way to calm her down , by feedng her is she is hungry, change her diaper if that what is bthering her, and if if the baby is experiencing ear ache as most babies do when flying , she should have given her a little baby tykenol or a natural medicine to easy the pain, i dont like to see some new mother that act clueless and let the babies cry , pick her up and confort her , oh how i survived traveling with baby “survived ? Interesting choice of words. It reflects hiw smart this woman is. poor babies and poor the rest of passenger enduring a flight with such dumnb mon. Read and get inform ask the baby’ pediatrician, but most important get to know your baby , observe her , doctor can tell you so much ,there are not with your baby 24/7. Paying attention to your baby will actuallyy teach you a lot .but do learn that there is a reason why babies cry learn what it is and handle it better in rather of torturing passengers in a flight .

SarahJane77 on

Must be nice to have all that room in first class. I flew with my 14 month old and we thankfully were placed in the bulkhead row so we had a little more room. No extra blankets or legroom for us!

Anonymous on


Her carrier looks like the one I registered for. If so, its a LilleBaby!

Ginger on

Good tips. Its not that hard to travel with little kids, but you have to be well prepared.

Janel on

When flying with a lap child you can ask the agent at the gate if the plane is full. If the plane is not full they will usually sit you next to an empty seat. It is helpful to have the extra room when flying with a small child.

mel on

I have 6 kids under 9, including a 4 month old. When my oldest twins were 7 weeks old, we started travelling with them. In 9 years, we have criss-crossed the world, hitting many, many countries and creating many priceless memories.

Is it smooth sailing all the time? Nope. Is it worth it? Totally. Would I change anything about travelling with kids? Only when dealing with crabby people who don’t have an ounce of understanding.

Apparently they were hatched as fully formed adults and were never children.

Zoe on

Wow. This is ridiculous. Want to hear a real travel story? Back in 1951 my dad was in the service in the state of Washington. He and my mom traveled by train to Chicago so my dad could give his sister away at her wedding. They had my infant brother with them, and they had only $7.00 in their pockets when they boarded. They packed a few snacks for the trip, and the stewards kindly warmed bottles for my brother. THAT my friends is a travel with baby story. Not this drivel. Even in this day and age there are MANY people who travel with much less comfort and with very meager means. Seriously. Get a grip.

Anna on

I really don’t understand why women have to tear other women down? This is why women as a whole will never truly get ahead. If a man wrote or talked about “surviving” some experience with his child, other men would be practically slapping him on the back and laughing along with him. I don’t understand why a woman wrote about an experience that was new and nerve-wrecking for her and other women feel the need to make rude and insensitive comments?! Can’t you be happy for a fellow woman? Anyway, my comment is off topic but really had to get that out.

ginny on

To all the jerks on this thread with nothing nice to say–DON’T COMMENT. Period. This is an article written by DeAnna, who is a FIRST TIME MOM experiencing things for THE FIRST TIME. Let her enjoy writing about it, and keep your crappy comments to your crappy selves.

Congrats DeAnna! I flew with my LO when she was 5 months old from San Diego to Atlanta, and thought it was tiring and long, it’s an experience I won’t soon forget 😉 Baby wearing is THE BEST way to travel with an infant, hands down!

NightGuest on

Oh Mamagirl31, shut up. I would not waste my time reading this nobody’s blabbing. It was her cute kid’s photos that attracted my attention.
You are welcome.

happy on

It surely is miserable on others when a baby cries the whole time in a plane. It’s horrible and I can imagine people giving attitude. I know I wouldn’t like it but I also know they are trying the best they can and can’t help it. The worst is when the parents don’t even hear their kids anymore and are immune to it. New Orleans to Detroit I was about ready to beat the hell out of a mother who chose to sit and do absolutely nothing about her ill behaved kids (not babies). I paid for a ticket and shouldn’t have to put up with that on my vacation!

Rose on

NightGuest.. Why the need for the nasty comment? She is a human being, WHOMEVER she is, and does not deserve that.. She passed on some valuable information, which she received from others, and then asked others for their thoughts.. Win/Win/Win situation.. Check yourself as to why you are being nasty.. Not attractive behavior…

ellajane on

My boys are all grown up so I no longer have to worry about stank eyed people, but I can tell ya I used to get so upset at just how many people are downright mean, kids cry and in this day and age we do have to take them out with us sometimes. I always tried to calm my kids but there are times nothing works, and that is when you really need others to unmderstand. Deanna and Steven, you have got a downright cutie patutie she is so sweet!

im here on

WOW I cannot believe their baby looks so much like him I mean Deanna has such unique dark features and strong personality I cannot imagine having a baby that appears to not look even a little like you the deliverer you have to really be in love for that. I was thinking I knew what their baby was going to look like NADA!

Kelli on

Baby Addison and DeAnna’s hubby are such cuties! What a beautiful family! I have never flown with my son before, but I can only imagine how hard it would be. Heck, going out to dinner is hard enough sometimes! I think that there should be a seperate section on planes for people with children just so that it doesn’t inconvenience other people because people are very rude and inconsiderate these days. There is no worse feeling in the world than you trying to do all you can to help your child and just knowing that people are giving you that look because they wont stop crying. Granted, there are always those moms who just let them cry and don’t even attempt to try and comfort them…and I would be frustrated too if I witnessed that, but for those moms who are doing what they can…people should have a little patience with them. They’re just as frustrated as you, if not more.

NM on

Watched DeAnna’s season of Bachelorette few year’s back, so glad she found someone through that show because very few had found the love on that show.

Donna on

Seriously?? DeAnna Pappas is whining about a trip from LA to Atlanta? And she expected a changing station on the plane? Try a round-trip flight from Orlando, FL to Sydney, Australia – alone with an infant – twenty hours non-stop. TWICE! She was a toddler at the time of the second trip. If I’d had a different option, you can bet I would have taken it. Qantas, God bless them, has bulkhead row pull-down bassinets. That gave me a break from constantly holding her. The down side to that is that the big movie screen was right above it. I was not able to nurse, so I had to keep going to the restroom (with the baby) to prepare and heat her bottle (I was only allowed to bring two pre-made bottles onto the plane.) The only time I slept was when another passenger would graciously offer to hold her for a while. I was SO lucky that she was a very good little traveler. I did my best to respect the other passengers (beginning with taking her to the restroom to change her.) Yes, it was grueling, but unlike Ms. Pappas, I don’t consider myself some sort of hero. Parenting can be difficult and inconvenient sometimes – shut up and deal with it.

Jen on

I have four kids and all of them have flown and all of them behaved. Nothing is worse on a flight, besides crashing, than a spoiled, screaming child. It bugs the crap out of everyone. Make your kids behave on a flight or leave them with grandma. Don’t be selfish.

Giig on

Great blog with good tips and advices! They’re especially useful for the first time mom travelers.

hilla on

My advice for traveling with baby is: Don’t do it.

Karen on

A blowout? That’s a term when you want a nice blow dry for your hair….not when your baby craps its pants. Listen D List celebrity, how about keeping your baby at home…she doesn’t sound like she cares for planes. Try Skype or another way to communicate with your friends/fam. Don’t stress this poor baby out and wait till she’s older!

Guest2 on

DeAnna did a great blog. Loved her on Bachelorette!

Words of advice... on

My tip: if you do not absolutely, unequivocally, 100% HAVE to travel with babies or infants or toddlers, then DON’T.

A funeral for an immediate family member? Absolutely. Your Brother is being deployed overseas for a combat mission and his farewell party is in another town you cannot logistically get to by car? Of course. Your Mom is undergoing breast cancer surgery? 100%.

A trip to Disney World? A baby shower? A friend’s wedding? Sorry, but these do not fall under/constitute “must-travel” situations.

I thought parenthood was all about selflessness and sacrifice? (That’s always what parents love to say.) Well then, PROVE it by saving yourself, your baby, and the general public the stress and frustration that always go hand-in-hand with baby/infant/toddler travel.

April marcial on

You gave some very valuable tips for the traveling mom. Thanks for opening up and sharing your experience’s

Amaryllis on

Leave them at home. That description was absolutely horrifying.