With the holidays approaching, you may find that you will need to fly with your baby in tow. Try to make the flight as smooth as possible but know that some glitches are not uncommon.
You should apologize to the people sitting around you in advance. Explain that you know they do not want to fly near a baby, but you will make every effort to make the flight pleasant for all parties. People are more likely to be lenient instead of giving you death stares if you apologize beforehand. That way you are letting everyone know that you are aware of their problems.
Avoid bringing too much stuff with you. Instead you should try to limit what you carry with you. Limit your own items to the necessary documents you need and one book or magazine. If baby naps on the flight, you can stay entertained, but don't think that you will be able to get work done. Limit what baby can bring, too. You will need the necessities, such as diapers and wipes, and you should bring along two or three toys. Make sure they are small and quiet.
Bring snacks for your baby. You should bring something quick and easy - and not messy. You can try Cheerios or other similar cereals or some small crackers. Be sure that you have something to wipe up any mess. You also can try the little nipple-ready juice bottles so that you can avoid feeding your baby milk, which can get much messier, if at all possible.
You also should nip bad behavior in the bud. Do not wait for it to get worse before you deal with it. If your baby is squealing, distract him or gently put your finger over his mouth to let him know that he should stop. Do not permit him to get enraged or have a meltdown on the plane. If baby does something specific to another passenger, such as pull the hair of the woman in front of you, acknowledge it and apologize. Don't try to pretend that it didn't happen.
Try to schedule the flight around baby's naptime. Doing so is difficult, especially if you have connecting flights. It is much simpler when you can work it out, however. Instead of trying to feed and change baby on the flight, you should make every effort to get those issues out of the way before you and baby fly. If you can feed baby right before the flight, then you will be better off.
Also ask your pediatrician about the possibility of motion-sickness medicine before you go. Being on a plane for hours with a sick baby is not something anyone wants to experience, so you should see if there is something you can bring to give her just in case.
Remember that at the end of the day, you don't know the other passengers. They may be uncomfortable for a while, but they will get over it when they get off the plane and so will you.
By Julia Mercer