Wednesday, December 23, 2009

jetsetter baby

Let's be honest: the prospect of flying with your infant is terrifying, especially around the holidays when planes and airports are chaotic and full of anxious travelers. I have heard lots of people recently talking about giving their children Benedryl or other sedatives for flights, but I am wholeheartedly against giving anyone--much less a BABY--any medications that they don't need. Clearly, if I can break my foot while 4 months pregnant and walk around in a cast in NYC for two months without even taking one Tylenol, I am not somebody who is about to shove chemicals down my baby's throat for a plane ride! I also recently read about a plane that had to be diverted for an emergency landing because a sedated baby stopped breathing (no, thank you)!

That being said, a whole day in airports (with an almost 4 hour layover in Detroit--yuck!) with a 5-month-old is not exactly my idea of a fun day.

My biggest worries are Ruby's safety in my lap (we did not pay for an extra seat) in the event of severe turbulence, her ears popping upon takeoff and landing and scaring her into a crying fit, diaper changes in an aiplane bathroom, and her ability to nap in the bright airports and aircrafts.

Here are some things I am carrying with me to combat said worries:

1) Safety Harness

This is a pretty clever little tool that allows your baby freedom of movement on your lap, but holds her close in case of intense turbulence. To me, it's worth the price to have an added safety measure in place.

2) Pacifiers

During take-off and landing, I think breastfeeding is the best option to both soothe baby and help keep her ears clear. However, if baby's not hungry, a pacifier will help do the trick. Also helpful in the airport and for getting to sleep on the flight. For travel, I like the Haba chains that clip to the baby carrier so she can't knock her pacifier to the ground. Also, the soothie pacifiers are BPA-free and my daughter LOVED hers from the first time we offered it. Wubbanubs are also great--they have a Soothie pacifier attatched to a little stuffed animal that makes it easier for baby to hug and hold onto it.

3) Hooter Hider

Breastfeeding is definitely the easiest way to feed (not to mention soothe) baby on the flight). No need to worry about how much milk you're bringing with you in case of delays or layovers. The Bebe Au Lait covers are great because of the boning at the neck to help make a line of vision between you. However, I love-love-love the Busy Baby Wrap because they are simple and stylish enough to leave on as an extra layer on-flight or could double as a blanket for baby.

4) In-flight Entertainment

The key to bringing toys on the plane is that you want stuff that is small enough to pack and also quiet enough to not bug your neighbors (ie. not rattles or squeaky toys). Here is an assortment of some non-toxic toys and teethers that fit the bill.

5) Clean-Up and Cuddling

They are a splurge, but I adore Aden & Anais muslin blankets. They are oversized, which makes swaddling easier, but they are so thin that they can fold up tiny in your bag. I use these for everything--burb cloth, wiping up spit, peek-a-boo, swaddling, cuddling, sun shade, nursing cover, etc. Plus, they're adorable.

6. Diaper Station

There's not a lot of room to change a diaper on an airplane. Keep everything in one place so you're not dragging baby plus five other things into the lavatory.

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