Travelling With Baby

I recently had the good fortune of being upgraded to World Traveller Plus on a trans-Atlantic flight with British Airways – I thought that these free upgrades only happened in movies! Every time I’ve flown with BA, they always give each person a complimentary headset, toothbrush (with toothpaste) and a blanket. All things to make the flight go by a little bit smoother. Now on this upgrade they went that extra mile and also included socks, and an eye mask as well as some ear plugs. This got me thinking…

Recently there has been some talk about eager new parents travelling with an extra bonus to their fellow passengers. I’m sure you’ve read a story about this somewhere on the great big internet. I know I’ve witnessed some discussions about this a few times on Facebook. But just in case this is the first your hearing of it, I’ll break it down for you:

New parents are taking a flight with their baby/toddler and they are worried about how their baby will behave on the flight and so they – out of the kindness of their hearts – prepare cute little loot bags for their fellow passengers. I’ve heard that they’ve distributed them to just the people around them and have also heard of people distributing these bags to everyone on the plane. The bag is filled with items like ear plugs, candy and/or some kind of chocolate treat. It also includes a little note written on behalf of the baby that basically apologizes for crying on board the flight along with some kind of explanation for it. Something like, “I’m only six months old, this is my first time on a plane, I get upset when my naps and routines are messed with. My ears may hurt on take off and landing and this might make me scream and cry. Please understand and here are some ear plugs for you…” it can even rhyme if the parents are extra keen. Nice right? Not really.

I think it’s pretty sad that new parents feel that they have to explain or even apologize for their baby on a flight. If you are sensitive to people – young or old – and the noises they make maybe you should splurge and sit in first class? Just a thought. We all started out as babies and truth be told, babies cry when they are uncomfortable, upset, tired, etc… they can’t just say, “Hey mom, this flight sucks and I’m feeling kind of crappy.” so they cry. I know adults who can’t handle a flight why do some feel the need to complain when a baby is unhappy on a plane?

Whenever I see a baby on a plane who is crying or not settling down very easily my heart goes out to the parents. It really sucks when you are on display like that. When all you really want to do is to sit back and relax on your flight and you want your baby to be happy. It’s so tiring to travel with or without little ones – the preparation is killer and trust me when I say that nobody wants that crying baby to be quiet and go to sleep more than that baby’s parents.

So next time you’re on a flight and there is a baby on there with you. Give a sympathetic smile to the parent. You can even offer to help if you want to go one step further. Or if you really just can’t take it splurge and fly up front or invest in a pair of ear plugs and eye masks – you’re not helping anyone by shouting at them or shooting them evil looks. Try to remember that it’s just a short time that you’ll have to be subjected to it… you share the planet and you were young once too.

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