Saturday, December 15, 2012

Air Travel & Infants

As promised, I finally have time to write about traveling with an infant. I would like to begin by letting you know that because my littlest is very good natured and isn't usually too fussy, my experience was probably easier than others. It doesn't take much to keep him happy.

Security does not make you go through the body scanners if you have a baby with you. That being said, I missed my first flight anyway and spent four hours in the airport waiting for the next flight out. My son was unfazed at spending all that time in the airport (so thankful I didn't do this with my two year old!) since I laid out my coat on the floor and let him stretch and play while waiting so long.

Once we got on the plane we had to wait for them to de-ice the plane and he started getting fussy. I tried to make him hold out so I could feed him during take off but it was pretty clear he wouldn't last, and I didn't want to disturb the other people on the plane. I fed him and then popped a pacifier in his mouth, and he fell asleep. For the entire flight. Since he was sucking on something the pressure changes didn't even wake him up.

The trip back was different. He did fine for the first flight since he took a pacifier for me but I had a connection that I pretty much had to run to make on time. By the time we got to our seat, my little one and I were overheated and we had a middle seat in a group of three so we were really cramped. Then he had a screaming panic attack.

I was stuck between a young man and a heavier middle aged man and they had pretty nervous looks for me when I arrived late and with a baby. And then he started screaming. I was horrified. He wouldn't nurse or take a pacifier. I tried singing since that helped during the first flight. He wouldn't have any of it. He was screaming inconsolably. Then I stripped him down to his diaper, turned on the fan above us, held him tight, and he calmed down enough to take a pacifier. He didn't nurse until half way through the flight. He was awake for take off, sleeping for landing.

I was very impressed with how my 4 month old handled all that stress. I can say pretty confidently that if he was a fussy baby I would never want to attempt air travel with a baby. The key though was to give him something to suck on and stay calm. If you panic, the other passengers probably will too.

I did get a lot of compliments from my fellow passengers at how well he (and I) handled everything. This could have been a very stressful experience and I am very grateful my little one handled it so well.