• Babies on a Plane Part 2: I Believe I Can Fly

    Posted on June 18, 2013 by Stephens Family Daycare in Crib Notes, Traveling.

    We just got back from our first official family vacation in Switzerland. We were sick and it rained the whole time, but it was a vacation nonetheless. April was beyond excited to meet her great grandmother and the feeling was mutual.

    I can’t even tell you how nervous I was to take an overnight flight with a baby. I am already a nervous flyer so I wasn’t sure how I would handle my first flight in over a year, with an infant in tow, and no sleeping pills to knock me out. My only hope was that my fear of April screaming the whole flight would trump my fear of flying.

    Luckily for me, and the surrounding passengers, my fears were unfounded. April couldn’t tell if we were riding on a plane or a donkey, and she slept the entire flight. And me, well, the flight was very smooth so I didn’t have a total panic attack and a couple of glasses of wine certainly didn’t hurt.

    Before we left for vacation, I asked the pediatrician and my friends for advice on how to handle April’s first flight. Obviously I had to bring extra diapers and wipes, but here are a few other items that I found made traveling with an infant easy breezy:

    1) Nursing cover or a few bottles of formula – In order to relieve any pressure on April’s ears, the doctor recommended nursing her during take off and landing. I also nursed April every time she stirred in a desperate attempt to keep her asleep, meaning I fed her for almost half of our 8 hour flight.

    2) Umbrella stroller and baby carrier – The lightweight stroller was great for navigating the airport and we needed it at our destination. Alternatively you can wear your baby throughout the airport, but you’ll probably need somewhere to put the baby down at some point during your trip. The carrier comes in handy if your baby melts down and you need to walk up and down the aisles to calm her down, but hopefully this will never ever happen.

    3) Change of clothes for you and the baby – April was over-served on the flight and kindly saved her blow out till we landed, but you just never know. And the last thing you want to do is spend hours covered in poop or spit up.

    April turned out to be a much better flyer than her mother. In fact, when we got off the flight I overheard a woman say to her husband, “That baby was so good, I didn’t even know there was a baby on the plane.” That’s right people, my baby can fly!

    Infant In Flight

    Babies and gentlemen, please be seated for takeoff

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3 Responses so far.

  1. Darcy says:

    Just a warning, the more mobile the babies get, the (way) harder it gets to fly… or do anything for that matter. There is this period between about 8 months and 18 months where they want to move move move and unfortunately will not settle down with the iPad, DVD player or whatever else you can use to distract them. Nowadays all of our flight bookings are strategically planned timing wise so as to get the kids to sleep for as much of the flight as possible. (We tend to take evening or very early morning flights.) Sigh, kids. Just when you think you have it all nailed down!

  2. Janice says:

    Noa – Thank you for this post and the previous one. I am happy to say that thanks to your advice, we had a dream redeye from SF to NY. I was planning to nurse my daughter Maddie at takeoff as you recommended but she was hungry earlier. Apologies to the embarkers who might have gotten a flash of boob. Luckily, that nursing session was the only one of the flight. She passed out before takeoff and woke up at baggage claim. The Ergo kept her in place so we could both sleep. I highly recommend it for flights. Nursing is also much more private using the Ergo. So now that the flight was a success, we are trying to tackle jet lag. Her bedtime at home is 8:30. It is now 10:30 here and she is definitely awake (after 2 attempts of getting her to sleep). Any advice here?

    • Noa says:

      Those embarkers should consider themselves lucky hah. And amen on the Ergo! That thing is a lifesaver.

      So jet lag was tough but I found it took less than 3 days for April to recover (for a 6 hour time difference so hopefully 3 hours will be even easier). Do you have a bedtime routine? That helps a bit.The first night was a mess but the day after we kept her on her regular nap schedule and put her to bed a couple of hours earlier after her bath, boob, book routine. Next night we put her to bed a couple of hours earlier and then next night, voila! Your baby will probably wake up more often in the middle of the night for a few days but that’s normal. Enjoy your travels!

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