If you don’t know the fear and anxiety associated with traveling with an infant for the first time, then you’ve probably been on the other end of the spectrum as a passenger.
There is something about buckling up for a three and a half hour flight that makes a newborn child look more like someone out of a scary movie, than the gift from God that he or she is. I heard about a couple with 14 week old twins who actually brought goodie bags for their fellow passengers to apologize in advance for the inconvenience; wow! Have we really become such selfish monsters that new parents would spend money to bribe passengers to keep dirty looks to themselves? Yes.
I understand that most of us are completely overwhelmed with life and are probably walking around like sleep deprived zombies, but come on people, they’re babies and kids. On my flight coming back from LA recently, a little 8 month old seated in her mother’s lap next to me kicked me incessantly. I didn’t get annoyed or ask the flight attendant to find somewhere to put this kid. I tried to reassure the mother that it wasn’t bothering me at all. You could see the worried look in her eyes when the kid would give me a good hearty kick in the ribs. I just kept talking to my travel mate as if nothing had happened. We could all stand to be a little more empathetic. It could be you one day.
If you are bothered by kids on a plane, here are a few tips to make your flight smoother:
• Bring headphones and your tablet
• Engage with the child, possibly play cute little games to get them laughing, instead of crying and fussing
• Offer to hold the child – (usually the kid will refuse and cling to their mother or father for dear life, but it’s a nice gesture)
• When all else fails, remember, there are always cocktails
Words by Sid Powell