July 28, 2014 08:45 PM

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!

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.

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).

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.

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.

Paul Joyner Photo

What are your tips for flying with a baby?

— DeAnna Pappas Stagliano

More from DeAnna’s PEOPLE.com blog series:


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