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Your Baby’s First Aeroplane Flight

16/07/2013 | Child Health, Health, Room to Grow | by Catherine Godiva

We’re not talking about growing wings here, in case you had a vision of your baby flying around the living room –we’re talking babies on planes.  Going on holiday with baby can be a bit of a challenge, but as long as you plan carefully you should be able to enjoy a great family holiday without too much hassle.  If you’re flying abroad then you might be concerned that you may be the nightmare couple on board with a screaming baby.  There are a few things you can do to make the flight go as smoothly as possible and save yourself from potential embarrassment.

Firstly, try to make baby’s first ever flight a reasonably short one – this will save both you and baby a lot of stress.  On a short flight you might even get away without having to do a nappy change.

The hardest part of the flight for baby will be the ear-popping discomfort on takeoff and landing.  Because your baby is too young to understand that this is normal and will pass quite quickly, he’s likely to find the pain distressing.  You can minimize the pain and distress by feeding baby during takeoff and landing.  Just as sucking a sweet at this time will relieve some of the discomfort in adults, sucking at a breast or bottle will ease the pain for baby.

Have a new and exciting toy ready for the plane trip and whip it out as soon as baby starts to get bored or uncomfortable.  Play with baby, showing him/her all the things that you can do with this wonderful new toy – you’ll be surprised at how easy it is to change baby’s mood with a little distraction technique.  Unless baby falls asleep on the flight, you will probably need to spend most of the flight playing with baby to engage his attention and keep him from getting bored and fractious.

If things do go wrong and baby does end up screaming for part of the flight try not to get too stressed by thinking about what other passengers think of you.  Even if these people have never been in charge of their own screaming baby on a plane – they’ve all been a screaming baby at some point in their lives!  Concentrate on calming your baby – after all the rest of the passengers are adults and should be able to calm themselves.

One young couple who took their twin boys on their first flight recently were so determined not to annoy other passengers in the event that one of their boys cried on the plane that they went to quite unusual lengths to apologise in advance.  The couple handed out goodie bags to the other passengers containing a few sweets and a note of apology in advance!

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