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On the Fly

Calvin traveled amazingly well yesterday.  He endured some very long flights, being around LOTS of other people, and the loud airplane.

My gripe is Northwest airlines wouldn’t let me select all seats for all our connections when I booked our tickets online.  I called them in advance to tell them we had a baby and wanted to have our seats together.  We were told just to check in at the gate at our initial airport and that they’d take care of us.  Yeah, right!  Instead we were assigned middle seats apart.  We got that corrected in Detroit, but 2 legs of the trip we were in non-reclinable seats in the aft of the plane.  NOT fun.  So, I plant to call Northwest airlines with comments and suggestions for our return flight home.

When in Seattle-Tacoma airport, we had a 3 hour layover.  The food court was jam-packed and finding an available table wasn’t an option.  So, we found a table with another family with small children and asked to join them.  Of course, we talked about kids ages, what they were like traveling, and our various destinations.  As with any other public place, having a baby is an instanst conversation-starter wtih complete strangers.  Babies are cool like that.

Calvin ate pretty frequently on the trip . . . he wanted to nurse about every 2-3 hours . . . and he was HUNGRY.  I think he’s having another growth spurt.  He’s about due for one, it’s been at least a month since the last one.  Nursing also helped him with the altitude changes. 

One family in front of us had a young girl (less than 2 years old) who slept the entire 2.5 hour leg of one flight.  Afterward, the mom turned around to talk to us and asked us if we used dramamine or motrin with our son when flying.  We said no.  Then, she insisted that it helped them with their ears and helped them to sleep.  We told her we just breastfed during take-off and landing to help him clear his ears.  She was still persistent and told us how it helped her daughter and that they ALWAYS used it when they flew.  Steve told her he never got upset during the flight, he just got a little loud when he wanted to be playful, but that only lasted a few minutes.  I wanted to say, “no we don’t dope up our son to make flying more convenient for us.”  But, I didn’t, I bit my sassy sarcastic tongue.

On the 4.5 hour flight from Detroit to Seattle, a woman was behind us in line preparing to board with her 3 month old baby girl decked out in cool sunglasses and at least 2 snowsuits.  She said the baby’s grandma nicknamed her pterydactyl and she just hoped she’d be somewhat quiet on the flight.  She didn’t explain the nickname thing, but we learned ALL about that soon enough. 

Once we were on board, this other young mom was seated in the row behind and across from us, and pterydactyl presumed to make loud, shrill, shrieking cries and eardrum piercing screams.  Steve and I looked at each other with an “oh no, I can’t believe that sound, and why are they near us?” desperation.  A young man behind us smiled and laughed (he was a veteran dad to 2 youngsters at home).  A middle-aged woman and man in front of us were frantically scanning the packed flight for available seats in ANY other part of the cabin where pterydactyl wasn’t within earshot.  They even asked the flight attendant numerous times for other seats.  Fortunately, pterydactyl napped several times during the flight, but when she was awake, her prehistoric cries pitched through the cabin.  I thought there had to be something wrong with that child to sound like that!  I was also grateful Calvin didn’t delve into empathetic cries.  He was pretty content, and when he was upset for brief moments (mom, you’re not feeding me FAST enough!), I think the comparative sounds from him and pterydactyl caused those seated around us to not mind Calvin’s noises too much.

Pictures from the travel and from our stay in Washington will be updated on our flickr account soon enough.  Stay tuned!

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4 Responses

  1. Oh I’m so proud of you for sticking to your guns about not medicating your child for flight! We were told the exact same thing when Sophia was younger but I just did the nurse during take off & landing thing too.
    People just need to remember that they too were once young & show a wee more grace towards the children that will soon be our future.

  2. Josh’s first flight was @ 5 weeks old, he’s traveled pretty much every month of his life since then including 3 trips across the ocean. Medicating doesn’t work, in fact Benadryl makes many children hyper or just extra cranky and tired. Babies will make noise on planes, but nursing went a long way to keeping Josh calm. Having a well prepared diaper bag is key including spare clothes for everyone. Another good tip if you pump and need to heat a bottle, we found several airport Starbucks that were more than willing to give us a free large cup of boiling water to heat up the bottle. Also it is possible to change a diaper in an airplane lavatory, if you’re lucky they have changing tables (also a good place to let your 1-year old blow of some steam by bouncing on the table and making faces in the mirror.

  3. Amazing that people actually do dope their children for flying; never crossed my mind!

    Two great tips to make traveling less stressful are to bring earplugs to offer fellow passengers and even better – to bring a pair of ear muffs to your baby. Since the speakers are often really load when flying it can both scare and wake up just about any baby.

    Happy traveling!

  4. Hi I totally agree that doping your child for convenience is not a solution. I am thrilled that you had such a smooth flight with Calvin. He sounds like the perfect baby; however, comments regarding the small baby referred to as pterydactyl sounded like you might not have empathy for parents who do not have perfect babies. Do you have any advise for people who have vocal infants that might cry out during the flight even if they are being fed. Tylenol is obviously not an option.

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