4 hours ago
Saturday, January 1, 2011
Flying With a Baby -- Happy New Year 2011!!
I am slightly germaphobic in case you didn't know that about me. I will say though that since having a child I have become less and less concerned about germs (makes no sense right??). What I have quickly learned is that while traveling I can't keep my daughter from chewing on the edge of every fast food table when I forget her travel place mat. I don't have time to sanitize her toys and pacifiers every time she flings them out of her mouth while we are running full speed across a terminal to catch a flight. I can't hold my daughter for 3 hours while we are on a layover at the airport when she needs to crawl and get her energy out...Oh my gosh I still cringe when I think about how black Daisy's pj's were after I let her crawl around on the floor. I had to take her to the bathroom before we boarded and washed her black hands and feet in the sink with soap. EWW!! I suppose I could have found ways to not let these things happen but, when I think about how much more stressful that could have made our traveling experience I realize...to heck with it, happy baby, happy mommy...happy mommy, happy daddy:-). Perhaps that is why my little angel now has a cold. Too many germs on this vacation or perhaps it was just inevitable. I suppose traveling with a dozen severely sick people in a plane who were hacking their lungs up and rooming with a good deal of sick family over Christmas probably could be the culprit too. lol.
In summary, Daisy did far better than we expected on the four flights we had to take this Christmas. She slept 90% of the red eye flight out to CA, though I must add that she squirmed and fussed and woke up several times, making sleep and comfort absolutely impossible for me for five hours...brutally uncomfortable and I hope to never again share a seat with an infant...but, she slept, Praise God! The flight coming home to NC was a day flight and this one was certainly the most challenging. It took every ounce of mental and physical energy for my husband and myself to keep Daisy preoccupied with toy after toy, walking around the plane, eating cheerios, nursing, bouncing, standing up in the window etc. to keep her content for 5 hours. I equate these two home coming flights to me running a 40 mile marathon. I felt that dead when we landed...but, she behaved excellently as a result of our efforts. We even got several compliments from men and women on all flights stating how wonderful and charming Daisy is. We did after all make all the effort to keep Daisy quiet to keep them happy so it was refreshing to hear that they appreciated it! lol.
What I learned about flying with Daisy:
1. Bring lots AND LOTS of toys and by toys I mean things like: TV remotes, magazines, food wrappers, cell phones, lip gloss, desitin tubes, bottles of shampoo, wipe containers, and new toothbrushes. Her real toys were pretty worthless but, our "things" were a gold mine of fun for her!
2. Though it goes against everything in your fiber to let an infant have something sweet before they turn one...or perhaps two...a sees sucker might just become your best friend, a life savor, a hero in a plastic wrapper! Think about it...those suckers are quite large...they taste delicious, I should know because I only got five licks and Daisy got 4,000 and it was supposed to be my treat to myself...sigh. I will have to buy some online soon. Anyways, that sucker gave us an hour of distraction (along with all of those toys), then Daisy took a little nap and I saved the rest of the sucker for when she woke up and it gave us another hour! Don't judge me...flying calls for desperate measures! hahaha. For the record...I am still very anti sweets for my kiddo for as long as possible. This was what I'd like to call a special occasion:-)
3. Changing a baby's diaper on a plane...ummm, clearly infants were not thought about when airplane bathrooms were designed. At one point I thought Daisy had gone #2 so I marched nervously to the microscopic bathroom in the back of the plane..shut the door behind us and realized that not only could I not turn around in that tight space but, there was absolutely no where to lay Daisy down...even the toilet seat (shut) was too small to support half of her body. I began to feel sweaty and a tad bit overwhelmed...checked her diaper and found that it had just been a fantasticly stinky toot. Fabulous!!! Diaper situation averted!! And no, I could not have changed her diaper in a seat as I was smashed in the middle of a heavy set person and my husband on all 4 flights...hyperventilate with me please. Cattle call anyone?? :-)
4. I discovered that Daisy was absolutely fascinated by the air blowing out of the vents above us. I would lift her up to the vent and let the air blow around her hair and face and she would open her mouth and flap her arms and legs wildly with the hugest smile on her face. Yes, all I could think of was, "look at my cute puppy sticking her head out the window." It entertained Daisy for an hour. My arms were numb and tingling after five minutes so Joey and I took turns hoisting her over our heads and soaked up her excitement as it was quite priceless...the other passengers agreed:0. Try it sometime!
In conclusion: If we can afford to we will purchase a seat for Daisy the next time we fly. I will probably not wear Uggs as I felt like I was overheating 90% of the time but, between the jackets, diaper bag and my purse I could not even reach my feet to take my Uggs off. I am thankful that flights are only 5 hours...driving would be 40+. It was very worth it even if it was beyond exhausting. Daisy did great! Truly, we were so proud of her and I think we loved her even more after the entire experience because we all survived and did far better than we expected. Way to go Daisy bean!!
What tricks have you learned that help your flying experiences to go more smoothly?