Monday, February 4, 2013

Worst Flight Ever ( When Traveling With An Infant Goes Wrong)

After participating in yet another Facebook conversation about traveling with a baby, I feel it is time to share my story of infant travel gone wrong.

We survived our flights to and from Puerto Rico without incident. Baby Peach was a dream, spending some time playing and some time sleeping. It was the late afternoon flight from Atlanta back to Denver where it all fell apart. Bad, we had been upgraded. Worst, due to turbulence, we could not leave our seats. Baby Peach screamed, refused to nurse and finally reached "brain fried" where there is little you can do.

The bottom line is that it was bound to happen sooner or later - with 12 flights under his belt, Baby Peach was bound to have a bad day. I'm honestly glad it happened, because now it's under our belt.

Here is how we handled it:

1. We were overly apologetic to everyone. This even got us an apology from the man in front of us, who said, "I'm so sorry I keep glancing back. I know you are doing every thing you can, so please don't worry."

2. As soon as the seatbelt sign came off we took Baby Peach into the bathroom. These rooms are basically soundproof, so it will buy you some time. There is also a bathroom mirror, which thankfully calmed the little one down - he loves to look at himself!

3. Remain calm. This was not our strong suit on this flight. The added stress of being in first class really threw us for a loop. Papa Peach and I got defensive, and at some point, I outright blamed him for Baby Peach's behavior. Then we took a beat. Papa Peach cracked a joke and we relaxed and instantly the situation got better. The crying seems much louder to you then to the other passengers and the more flustered you get, the more flustered the baby will get. Remember, the jet noise drowns out a lot!

4. Once we were all calm again I was able to use a blanket to set up a little tent where Baby Peach could nurse and it was dark. This meant that he finally fell asleep. A state he remained in until we landed.

5. As one of my more experienced mom friends pointed out on the Facebook discussion - never underestimate the power of giving the baby to dad. People seem to be much more tolerant of a screaming baby in the arms of a dad then a mom. It's not fair, bit it is what it is. So hand that screaming baby over to dad. My boys found their way into the hearts of all the flight attendants - male and female. Baby Peach got a set of wings, a bag of Sunchips and my husband got a glass of wine.

Finally, A Sleeping Baby. 
I firmly believe the key to success is setting the bar really low. In most cases, my bar for traveling with the baby is to survive the flight. I prepare for the worst case and 90% of the time I am pleasantly surprised - the other 10% gives me something to blog about.

1 comment:

  1. I have learned the hard way that if I get frustrated little V feeds off of it and it only gets worse. Great advice :)