Tips For Babies On A Plane

[twitter]We’re coming up to peak travel season for families. Sure, summer vacation is busy, but you can do that one in a car camping within a reasonable radius of your home. When the winter holidays hit, that means quality family time, no matter how far away the family may be.

Samuel L Jackson may have got his ire roasted by Snakes on a Plane, but there’s nothing that will set a neighbor off more than grabbing a seat and seeing  Babies on the Plane.

If you’re traveling with a toddler and you’re looking for ways to keep your baby quiet for the long trip … good luck. Some recommend a bag of new and fresh toys you think your child will like (one for each hour of the trip). Others try to plan their travel to coincide with the nap schedule your child is on. Still others slip their kids “a little something” to help them sleep.

For our trip to France with our baby, we took a few different approaches:

1. We broke the trip up into segments, including a long layover so we wouldn’t be cooped up for a long period of time.

2. We brought along some puppets to entertain him.

3. We planned our longer flight as an overnight segment.

4. We took a humourous approach to break the ice with our seatmates should all our planning fail.

So we picked up a Congratulations! You Get to Sit Near Me tshirt from Milkbomb to try and bring a smile. It worked. It was a kind of admission that we knew the flight had a chance to no go perfectly, and we were going to try our best to make sure everyone was happy. The people around us smirked and chipped in to help entertain Zacharie and while he didnt necessarily sleep the entire trip, he did provide entertainment as opposed to stress to those around us.

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6 Comments

  1. Stv. November 2, 2009 at 3:23 pm

    So, we may just be lucky in Liam's an *awesome* traveller (example: he & I flew business class to the UK last year. You can imagine the looks everyone else in business class gave us when we sat down. At the end of the flight no fewer than 4 passengers all commented to me that they didn't even notice there was a kid because he was so good), but here's our tricks:
    1) Something new: kids *love* new things. Liam, with a new toy, will generally examine quietly for a long time, even when he was really little. To this day, he gets something new to him each trip. Liam also gets to choose what things *he* wants to bring on the flight so he feels involved and is happy with his choices. We have a little “penguin” knapsack that he brings as “his” carry-on that he can carry through the airport, and has *his* stuff in it.
    2) relax the screen rules: We let Liam watch as many movies, tv, whatever that he wants on the plane, be it on the in-flight system, my phone or my computer.
    3) Bring your own snacks: this saves having to bug flight attendants & solves the fussy-eater thing.
    4) Water – lots & lots of water, particularly so they're swallowing during take-off and landing.
    5) Be prepared to not sleep yourself. I've made 2 return trips to Europe, plus 1 to Hawaii with Liam – each time, when he sleeps, he sleeps *on* me. This generally means I don't sleep, but I am the comfortable, safe thing that lets him sleep. Just give flight attendants the evil eye when they tell you he should be in his own seat with his seatbelt on – they'll only get really insistent if there's bad turbulence or on landing.
    6) Books! When we went to San Diego last weekend, I brought 3 books. I think I read each one 6 times, each way.
    7) Set a “minding schedule” – Leah and I generally do this in 2-hour segments, and will physically switch seats to be separate from Liam when it's not our turn – with us, sleeping counts as a segment that'll be repaid upon landing, *not* during the flight.

  2. davidbrodie November 2, 2009 at 7:13 pm

    We took Isabella on a 14 hour flight to Tokyo at 3 months and 5 hour flight to Maui at 6 months. She was great, she smiled and laughed the whole time -but we were definely worried we would be the ones responsible for a crying baby on the whole flight.

    I would say to people thinking of travelling with babies to go earlier rather than later – a long flight would be a lot more challenging now that she is crawling around, at three months a baby will just sleep for most of the flight.

    I want that t-shirt – it would definetly help lighten things up!

  3. poppablog November 2, 2009 at 10:00 pm

    We had to take our daughter to Key West, FL from the Washington DC area when she was 2 months old for a wedding. We lucked out, she ended up being an amazing traveller, she barely cried and was able to sleep through the engine noise. Of course at two months, if she showed any sign of fussiness, my wife would just nurse her…with a 2-3 year old this probably isn't an option.

  4. poppablog November 3, 2009 at 4:00 am

    We had to take our daughter to Key West, FL from the Washington DC area when she was 2 months old for a wedding. We lucked out, she ended up being an amazing traveller, she barely cried and was able to sleep through the engine noise. Of course at two months, if she showed any sign of fussiness, my wife would just nurse her…with a 2-3 year old this probably isn’t an option.

  5. poppablog November 3, 2009 at 4:00 am

    We had to take our daughter to Key West, FL from the Washington DC area when she was 2 months old for a wedding. We lucked out, she ended up being an amazing traveller, she barely cried and was able to sleep through the engine noise. Of course at two months, if she showed any sign of fussiness, my wife would just nurse her…with a 2-3 year old this probably isn’t an option.

  6. poppablog November 3, 2009 at 4:00 am

    We had to take our daughter to Key West, FL from the Washington DC area when she was 2 months old for a wedding. We lucked out, she ended up being an amazing traveller, she barely cried and was able to sleep through the engine noise. Of course at two months, if she showed any sign of fussiness, my wife would just nurse her…with a 2-3 year old this probably isn’t an option.

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