Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Jet Setting - Traveling with an Infant

(This is part 3 in a series on traveling with an infant - Check out the other posts: What to Pack and Inside the Airport)

Well, we've got the bags packed, made it through security, and are on the plane. This is where my anxiety starts to kick in. How is Zoey going to do with the pressure change and the boredom that is bound to come on a long flight? What if she starts crying? What will the other passengers think?

Let's be realistic. She's going to cry. Hopefully it's not for the whole trip, but at some point she will cry. I mean sometimes I want to cry when flying. LOL! So the real question is, how can I make this experience more pleasant for everyone involved?

Here are some tips that I have found:

* One of the main sources of discomfort for infants traveling on airplanes is the change in cabin pressure when taking off and landing. Prepare for this by planning to nurse or give a bottle or pacifier to the child during take-offs and landing to help alleviate the pressure

*If your baby is awake and fussy, use a baby sling to walk up and down the aisle to give the baby a change of scenery

*Bring along an age-appropriate new rattle, book, toy, or stuffed animal to keep the baby amused, and don’t forget cool teething rings for babies needing something to chew

*It is perfectly alright to breast feed on the plane. You might want to bring along a small pillow for extra support. You can improvise and use few rolled up airplane blankets or baby blankets from home, and use an extra blanket for privacy. Book a window seat if you would like maximum privacy

*If you are using bottles, it is easiest to use the pre-measured, individual servings of formula. If using powdered formula, measure it out beforehand in individual baggies or in a container with compartments made just for this purpose. Bring along a small, soft-sided cooler for anything that is frozen or must be kept cool

*You can thaw out frozen breast milk in hot water using an airsickness bag. Just make sure it is one that is lined in plastic and won't leak. You can also use a collapsible bowl if you have one (can be found at pet stores)

*Many airplanes have fold-down changing tables in the restrooms. Ask the flight attendant which ones have the changing tables so you can plan accordingly. Be sure to bring along enough plastic bags to dispose of the diaper. If the baby is small enough, you may be able to change him or her in the seat, but as a courtesy to those around you, take the dirty diapers to the restroom for changing

*If you are worried about your baby crying during the flight and disrupting other passengers, ask to sit at the back of the plane, where the engine noise is louder, so the baby noise will only be heard by those in your immediate vicinity

*Remember that babies cry, that's what they do, so forgive yourself if yours cries during the flight. It will be okay

1 comment:

Michelle in a shell said...

Wow. That is so sweet of you to consider the other passengers on the plane. I don't have a problem with babies - I have a problem with rude adults that try to believe babies don't cry and make a fuss about it. That's the real baby!