My friend Lauren recently sent me the following article: How To Fly Cross-Country With Small Children (Without Benadryl). Presumably she expects I will be traveling frequently with my little one in the next few years: trips from Japan to both the East and West Coast to visit family, a Danube river cruise next summer, port-hopping to visit Damon, Christmas in New Zealand, vacations to Fiji… Okay, maybe I’m getting a little ahead of myself, but regardless, Baby is likely to get acquainted with airplanes fairly early on. I am already anxious over the possibility that she won’t be a good flier, so articles like this are helpful. Or not.
Being that I’m not actually a parent yet, I probably shouldn’t be commenting on others’ parental advice. But this I can’t resist.
The author clearly does not approve of medicating your child with Benadryl or other antihistamines for a flight. First of all, I didn’t know that was even legal, and now that I do, I find it to be FANTASTIC news! I regularly medicate myself for flights, so why not my kid? It’s only logical. (I’m sure someone is reporting me to Child Protective Services at this very moment…)
So what does she suggest instead? One of her ideas is giving your little tyke 4-5 surprise gifts throughout the flight (but only for flights longer than 4 hours). “You can get a good 20 minutes out of the novelty of opening the gift and exploring it…” I’m sorry, but when have you ever seen a child spend 20 minutes opening a present? I would say 20 seconds to destroy and immediately discard of the wrapping, max. But Non-Medication Mom may have thought of that: she suggests using a scarf for wrapping, buying you another 20 minutes of non-meltdown flying time by playing peek-a-boo or dress up with said scarf. Right.
Another suggestion: Pack snacks. Okay, I’m totally behind that. I get super cranky when I am not fed regularly, so I’m sure the same goes for a small child. What does the author rely on to stave off her kid’s hunger? Tofu cubes and organic protein bars… Because all small children love tofu? Cookies and crackers are deemed too messy; the crumbs might stoke the ire of passengers and flight attendants alike. What about the screams of a child being force-fed tofu? I’d think that would be a bit more offensive than, say, cracker crumbs.
Her final and “controversial” tip: the iPad. Not technology! She recommends using digital technology only when parents get desperate to control their tantrum-y child. While I also don’t believe in excessive media usage (I was allowed 1 television show a day growing up), I think airports and airplanes might be a valid exception to that rule. I used to think I didn’t need an iPad – until I was pregnant, in a non-moving line at an airport, and witnessed two very small children just in front of me behaving positively blissfully. I was amazed at how quiet they were. This was not normal. Children stuck in line are inevitably fussy and disruptive, right? But these kids were so peaceful. Then I noticed why: the iPad. And I immediately committed myself to buying one once Baby is born, if solely for the purpose of entertaining her during these exact situations. I guess that makes me a bad parent (to-be). Hey – If it prevents the wrath of fellow travelers, not to mention a migraine for me, I think it’s worth it.
Of course, I could just forget the iPad altogether and go for the Benadryl in the first place. Much cheaper, anyhow.Read More