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Parents with little children on flights.

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Shouldn't/Couldn't they be more considerate?
11 years ago, June 22nd 2009 No: 21 Msg: #77239  
B Posts: 160
My first and worse experience was on my flight back to India last week when a kid in the seat before me kept throwing up. The smell was nauseating and no amount of air freshener helped.

I think I can empathize with his mom however its an awful experience as a fellow passenger bcoz all you too want is some peace and quite and some sleep on a long flight. Reply to this

11 years ago, June 23rd 2009 No: 22 Msg: #77424  
1 post deleted on request of the poster. 😊

Mel Reply to this

11 years ago, September 5th 2009 No: 23 Msg: #85362  
Wow... Just seen this thread as it's now on the front page...

I've never been bothered by babies/kids on flights, but I know I'm pretty laid back and easy going. Babies cry and Kids charge around noisily, that's children for you, what's the point getting worked up about it.

Maybe there some truth to babies picking up on stress, as My little one (11 months now) has been on some long flights and quite frankly was better behaved than a lot of the adults on the flight, but then my wife and I are the same so there's no stress to pick up on.

We were recently on a flight to Marrakech, and there was a mother in front of us, with an ~2 year old who was really excited about flying and kept shouting 'fly mommy fly' over and over again (and over again)... The lady in front of then started shouting at her to shut her child up and then started shouting at the kid... Now like I said, not much winds me up but My wife had to literally hold me back, from screaming back at the woman complaining... I mean Jeez, get over yourself lady, and to shout at someones 2 year old is frankly out of order! I'd happily rather sit next to a screaming baby than share any kind of space with a person like that.

My wife and I (and son) are flying to San Francisco, next week, and I'm not worried at all about the flight, but if anyone else is flying with United next Monday and hates flying with children on board, you'd better get yourself an upgrade cause he's still a baby, and guess what? Babies cry sometimes! 😉 Reply to this

11 years ago, September 6th 2009 No: 24 Msg: #85379  
Hi Michael,

Love your post. My big guy is 9 years old and his little sister is 7. They are both pretty well behaved in flights and both hold high level frequent flyers...by the time he was 20 months old, he had 63 flights on his counter...this is to give the image.

So parents flying with younger kids! Easy...take off and landing....this is the BEST time to give breast feeding or the bottle....even if they are 2! The sucking will reduce the pain on their little ears...and that's help a LOT! Next news, most little guys, after feeding, well, they love to nap....and a napping baby is for sure not a crying baby.

Next step, jet lag....do prepare your little one at least 3 to 4 days before...the earlier he is used to jetlag...the most happy everybody will be!

Next...if you think keeping a little guy busy in a car for 5 hours is possible...it is easier in 10 hours flight...but you neecd to come equiped. I'm not a big fan of gameboys, DS, etc....but on a flight... they are a life saver, same point for personnal DVD...a new cartoon movie is 90 minutes...if you get a good routine, you do keep them busy easily.

And for those idiots who complain on baby crying...I'm sure they have never been themselves babies. And for sure, if you don't have, don't intend to have babies...you won't feel concerned...but hey...if your Mum didn't had a baby, you would not be here.

We can all be tired and may all want some sleep. I've seen parents completely panic by the idea of flying...and even more because they have their little ones with them...if this little guy is panic and Mum and Dad have no idea what to do, I stand up and tell them...I know, I've done it too...why don't you stand up 5 minutes with your little one and have him a little walk...when you come back...have a milk bottle..and you'll see. You know what...20 minutes later, when the little monster is now and angel, everybody is happier. We can all help!

Do you want to know if it works...well...last summer we did beat a record with my son. Thursday in LAX, week-end in Washington, monday...lost in the plane, Tuesday and wednesday in Shanghai, Thursday and Friday in Saigon, Saturday in HK, Sunday in Paris...and yes, Sunday night we were dead....in Morocco...no cries, just love! Did I mention in between flights...we were walking a lot! Reply to this

11 years ago, September 6th 2009 No: 25 Msg: #85392  

Now like I said, not much winds me up but My wife had to literally hold me back, from screaming back at the woman complaining... I mean Jeez, get over yourself lady, and to shout at someones 2 year old is frankly out of order!


I had that experience when I was at the airport in Bangkok with my daughter. A grown German man roared at her for bumping him with her balloon. OK, so she bumped him more than once and I didnt tell her off because when you are as tired as I was things like that just arent a priority..., but that roaring from an over six foot man even scared me. We went to the back of the queue to get away from him, even though it meant an extra half hour of waiting.

Other people are what make parenting the most stressful job in the world. I dont think there is any other job that people give out as much unsolicitied advice and critisism about. Whenever, I consider whether I would have another child, amongst the off putting factors are other adults attitudes towards children. It is right up there with things such as sleepless nights and toddler tantrums. Reply to this

11 years ago, September 6th 2009 No: 26 Msg: #85393  

...if this little guy is panic and Mum and Dad have no idea what to do, I stand up and tell them...I know, I've done it too...why don't you stand up 5 minutes with your little one and have him a little walk...when you come back...have a milk bottle..and you'll see. You know what...20 minutes later, when the little monster is now and angel, everybody is happier.


I have taken unsolicited advice too, but not because I believe that the advice givers have superior parenting techniques than I have, but because it is one way to make the advice giver quiet. I sometimes also thank them for their advice, to make them even quieter. And, yes sometimes it does make my child quieter too, which I already knew it would, but I was already keeping them quiet in this way for hours on that day, and needed to stop doing it for a while....

I have even smiled and thanked people who have offered to pray for my crying baby, even though I am not religious. Then they walk off happily, instead of arguing with me and maybe offering to pray for me too.





Reply to this

11 years ago, September 8th 2009 No: 27 Msg: #85572  
Here are some great tips when traveling with a toddlers on an airplane. I for one avoid flying with my 2 year old as much as possible as she tends to just hate the experience all together.
Travel tips for Toddlers Reply to this

11 years ago, September 9th 2009 No: 28 Msg: #85700  
B Posts: 27
Mel, I agree that it is not good to give children sedatives just to keep them quiet. However, when my children were very young and we were travelling from Australia to England (a flight of up to 36 hours at that time) I did use a night time dose of Phenergan during the sleep period. It only lasted for 2 or 3 hours but it meant the child got some useful sleep and gave me chance to rest for a while, too.

I travelled with a 4 month baby and a 4 year old toddler, on my own. It is very difficult keeping both happy and quiet but I managed for most of the trip. I agree with PA that the take-offs and landings are the worst for little ears. I found giving a drink during landing helped. Sucking on the teat kept the ears clear. You had to time it correctly, though, or they would finish the bottle before the worst part just before you actually land.

For the toddler, and for myself, I used chewing gum (still do). I never normally eat it but it is great for take-offs and landings. Works better than the boiled lollies the attendants hand out. Just make sure the kids dispose of the finished gum back into the wrapper and YOU take it off them and dispose of it correctly.

As for the milk for travelling, I carried ready sterilised, premeasured water in bottles (plus a couple of spares in case of delays) and just got the attendants to heat the water for me and then I added the formula and shook it up. Worked fine and didn't bother them too much.

The worst part was trying to change nappies in the poky toilet cubicles on board!! Reply to this

11 years ago, September 9th 2009 No: 29 Msg: #85703  
Hi Kathy,

Agree 100%.

You know that Richard Branson tried to adressed the issue of changing nappies by fitting some of his airplanes with special rooms for it, by taking toilets out basically.

Well, he had to stop the initiative after 2 weeks, out of 10 airplanes fitted, 8 rooms had been "damaged"....adults where using it for something else, I let you guess.

When Branson get interviewed about the issue, he was actually smiling a lot...but declared that at the end they had to stop the great initiative...because plane are not made to be broken by passengers...

Peter Reply to this

11 years ago, September 9th 2009 No: 30 Msg: #85721  

Mel, I agree that it is not good to give children sedatives just to keep them quiet. However, when my children were very young and we were travelling from Australia to England (a flight of up to 36 hours at that time) I did use a night time dose of Phenergan during the sleep period.



Ah, so that is the secret then, rather than a cutting edge child psychology technique! Reply to this

11 years ago, September 9th 2009 No: 31 Msg: #85789  
B Posts: 27
Hi Peter
I hadn't heard about the change room/toilets on Branson's planes. It was a great idea. What a pity it was spoiled by others. (probably NOT those travelling with little kids, they would have been too grateful for them to wreck them). You can't blame him for not wanting the constant repair bill, though.

And Mell, no amount of child psychology can help a mother who hasn't slept for more than 36 hours (you don't get chance to sleep before the flight begins) deal with 2 young children who haven't slept either. Both my children were subject to food allergies, so I always carried Phenergan wherever I went so I could quickly administer it if they inadvertently ate something that could kill them (and no, you don't have to be negligent for that to happen either!). Giving them a one off dose for a different purpose was not detrimental to them in the least. I'm sure you would happily give your child a pain killer if it was recommended. Reply to this

11 years ago, September 9th 2009 No: 32 Msg: #85790  

And Mell, no amount of child psychology can help a mother who hasn't slept for more than 36 hours.


Yeah, tell me about it. Jet lag makes travelling with kids incredibly stressful. You dont get to just sleep it off like people travelling without kids. You have all kinds of child care chores to attend to. Reply to this

11 years ago, September 9th 2009 No: 33 Msg: #85792  
B Posts: 27
Regarding unsolicited advice, if the person giving it has my child's best interests at heart then I would GENUINELY be grateful for any suggestions or help offered, not take it just to shut them up. Now that my children are adults themselves and I no longer have those problems, I can empathise with parents who are having difficulties and offer to help if I can (especially a sole parent flying with more than one child). If it is not wanted, that is fine, but unlike Mell, some parents are grateful to have someone take a child for a time to give them a break, or distract them for 1/2 an hour.

Just because someone offers suggestions does not mean they think they are or were better parents but rather, that they remember how difficult it is and want to assist a person who is struggling at that time and in that situation. No matter how good we are, all parents have times when things do not go well. A kind soul who notices and wanted to help rather than complain or criticise, I found, was most welcome! If nothing else, it was a chance to speak to another adult about a mutually interesting and important subject. Reply to this

11 years ago, September 9th 2009 No: 34 Msg: #85800  

but unlike Mell, some parents are grateful to have someone take a child for a time to give them a break, or distract them for 1/2 an hour.


I am very grateful when people do that. That is a completely different thing from giving unsolicited advice.
Reply to this

11 years ago, September 10th 2009 No: 35 Msg: #85898  
B Posts: 27
I learned another flying with kids lesson the hard way on that 36 hour trip. Keep your seat belts done up whenever you are in the seats, loosened but done up.

We were only about 3 or 4 hours out of Sydney, over water, when we hit sudden and very violent turbulence. I had my 4 month old son on my lap (the flight was full and there were no basinettes available) and my 4 year old daughter next to me, in the window seat. We had been given our meals and were about 2/3rds through them. I hadn't bothered to do up our seat belts as I was up and down like a yo-yo to the toilets, for walks and to get the bottle heated - it seemed pointless.

My daughter rose out of her seat as high as the arm rests and looked like going further until I threw my arm across her and grabbed the armrest on the other side of the seat to act as a barrier. I had the other arm locked around the baby and my elbow trying to keep my tray on the table. I didn't have enough arms left for my daughter's tray so it slithered off the table and ended up next to the window, left over contents and all.

I then had the task of trying to put the seat belts on all 3 of us without letting go of either of the children. I put my daughter's on first so I would have a spare hand to do mine and the slip-on one round my son. I managed with great difficulty but breathed a HUGE sigh of relief once we were safely buckled in.

The turbulence lasted about 10 minutes and many people were putting their trays down in the aisles to get them off the tables. This was a really stupid move because it made it impossible for the attendants to move around the cabin and help people. Some of the overhead lockers burst open, too, which they needed to deal with.

Once everything calmed down again the attendants had the lovely task of retrieving all those trays and putting them into the trolleys. I'm very glad I wasn't one of the clean-up crew when we landed at the end of that leg - they would have had a large and lousy job to do.

After that, whenever I travelled, especially with the children, I always kept the belt on loosely. It is much easier to just tighten it than to find the ends and put it (or them) on in an emergency. I still do, 20 years later. It was a very powerful lesson! Reply to this

11 years ago, September 10th 2009 No: 36 Msg: #85915  
B Posts: 602
Worst we ever had was on Continental. I will never fly with them again! They did not pressurize the cabin correctly and our ears hurt the whole trip. The babies on the trip cried the whole way. It was not their faults, there was just no way to explain to them how to yawn to make their ears quit hurting. Reply to this

11 years ago, November 2nd 2009 No: 37 Msg: #91789  
12 posts moved to this new topic: Flying With Children - revisited. Reply to this

10 years ago, December 17th 2009 No: 38 Msg: #96664  

My daughter rose out of her seat as high as the arm rests and looked like going further until I threw my arm across her and grabbed the armrest on the other side of the seat to act as a barrier... I didn't have enough arms left for my daughter's tray so it slithered off the table and ended up next to the window, left over contents and all.



I vividly remember the tray falling off the table but have no memory of coming out of the seat! Wow! Reply to this

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