Everyone gives new-mothers the same advice when flying: “Give the baby something to suck on during take off and landing.” “Have a boob, bottle, or pacifier ready for when they have ear-pressure problems.”
Then there is the more exciting advice: “If you have to spend the entire flight in the bathroom looking at the pretty baby in the mirror, that’s what you do.”
And the most practical advice: “Sit near the engines, the noise and vibrations will help them sleep, and if they fuss they won’t be able to be heard over the engines anyway.”
Oliver’s first flight was from Oakland, CA to Houston, TX. It was remarkably uneventful. We purchased him his own seat, and he had his own boarding pass. He is under two, so we could have just held him in our laps the entire flight, but being able to strap him into his car seat when he zonked out was worth every penny.
I held him during take off, fully prepared to nurse, armed with a pacifier as back up. As we taxied about he started to look increasingly sleepy, and by the time we were in the air he was soundly asleep.
When he woke up, he was hungry, got a new diaper, and then amused himself by looking at the brightly colored high-contrast in-flight safety brochure.
Between the colorful images and his fascinating (and tasty) fingers Oliver had a fairly fuss-free flight. He only got a little excited when he wanted to eat, or needed a new diaper. When it came time to land, I held him once more prepared to nurse/pacify as needed. While the toddler a few rows back raised hell, Oliver simply looked bored with the process.
The return flight went equally smoothly, Oliver nursed during take-off and was soundly asleep before we reached cruising altitude. He woke up demanding to be fed shortly before we landed.
Over all Oliver’s first flights were a grand success. He was charming to the TSA, and polite to his fellow travelers. Perhaps he has a future career in aviation.