Monday, May 28, 2012

Not So Friendly Skies.

Alice Jet-Setting. May 2012.

We are on a little family vacation for Memorial Day weekend.  This vacation required us to take a transcontinental flight with our just over two-month old baby.  Recipe for disaster?  Sort of.  Before the flight I'd done a ton of research, talked to a few different moms and did a lot of thinking about how to manage Alice during our flight from Boston to Salt Lake City.  No problem, I thought.  This will be easy.  It's not like she's a toddler and needs to be entertained or anything.  Well... I was right about the not needing to be entertained but I was totally wrong about it being easy.

Our first problem was that Alice's afternoon nap kept getting interrupted by our trying to get to the airport and through security.  Just when she'd be nodding off, I'd have to take her out of the car seat or out of the baby carrier... and BAM!  She was wide awake.  And an overly tired baby is no fun.

We gave her a bottle that I had pumped the previous night shortly before getting on the plane.  Right before boarding, she was dozing off and I thought Perfect!  She'll snooze and be fine for an hour or two!  We found our way to our seats and the guy sitting at the window could not have been a worse combination for sitting next to a baby.  Older guy, maybe early 60's.  Heavyset.  Wearing not one but TWO fanny packs.  And wearing not one but TWO watches... one on each wrist.  Totally bizarre.  So I take all this in as I am sitting down and I say to the guy who obviously sees a small baby strapped to me and is probably cursing his luck, She'll be quiet, I promise. 

And then two minutes later.... Alice was screaming.  

Oh man.  There is only one thing worse than being on a plane with a screaming baby.... Being the parent of that screaming baby.  Because we were still in the process of take-off, I couldn't get up and bounce and jostle Alice to help her get to sleep.  And two-fanny-pack man was totally encroaching on my seat space so I wasn't able to get her into a comfortable position after taking her out of the baby carrier.  As her screaming escalated and the people around us began craning their necks to see what kind of torture I was subjecting our baby to, I turned to Lee and frantically said I guess I'll just nurse her to sleep.  Our fanny pack friend had his elbows well into my seat space so I had to squish up next to Lee to get Alice in a position to nurse all the while trying to keep my boob from being exposed by Alice's flailing arms.  I may have been sweating just a little.

Alice quieted right down as she nursed and our plane took off but that was not the end of her crankiness.  I spent 20 or so minutes walking and bouncing her down the narrow aisle of the airplane getting some sympathetic and not so sympathetic looks from my fellow passengers.  She finally fell asleep at her usual bedtime of 8:15PM and was pretty much asleep for the rest of the flight.

And I learned something.... Don't fly during witching and bedtime hours.  Just don't.

Have you flown with a young baby?  How did it go for you?  I didn't know this but babies don't have the issue of their ears bothering them from changes in altitude till they are over 6 months old.  My pediatrician told me that their eustachian tubes aren't fully closed until then and that the pressure doesn't bother them.  Either way, I made sure to have Alice sucking on something during both take-off and landing.  Our problem wasn't altitude changes, though... it was a sleep-deprived kid!   


  1. Oh no, that sounds terrible, you poor thing. We were lucky to have a spare seat next to us on the way to Adelaide & on the way back the guy next to us swapped with my friend who was traveling with her 6 month old. There were at least 5 other babies on the plane too. Still didn't stop us from being anxious when Lulu got cranky on the descent.

  2. We flew with our infant at 6 weeks and again at 7 months. Ask the gate attendant if you can switch seats. They put us in the very last row for each flight and it was nice to board first and have the back of the plane to ourselves. Hope your flight back goes better! *hugs*

  3. oh no! Nolan did great flying from Germany to the states, I think maybe it was time of day. We left at 0930 and so it was like a normal day for him.

    He was fussy from Newark to St.Louis, luckily that was a short flight! He is also at the age that if I walked up and down with him, he was happy to check stuff out.

    I hope coming home is better! We got a bulkhead seat so we could get a bassinet for him, but that doesn't solve the crying issue.

    why did the make you take her out of the carrier? I wore him in the Ergo through security, no issue. At several airports.

  4. oh gosh! i can only pray our flights with our soon to be son are gonna be okay. we have to fly from south africa to the states when he is only about 3 months old!! eeeekkk!! i'll start praying now :)

  5. Curse that crazy man who was sitting next to you. He sounds kind of nutty. (2 watches, 2 fanny packs... probably 2 of everything). Oh well, you won't ever be seeing him again (hopefully).

    Your flight home will be trouble free. You and your cute husband are going to be wonderful parents. xo


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