Flying on a plane with an 8 month old sucks!!* Maybe not every baby, but if you have an active daughter like we do, look out!
Since she was born eight months ago, our daughter has been on 3 trips. The first was a 5 hour flight when she was 10 weeks old, and it was a breeze – she slept the whole way. The second on a 2 hour flight – and, it was easy. This time around, no fun!
Let me digress to tell you that we were planning this to be a trip from Toronto to Hawaii, which consisted of a 5 hour flight from Toronto to Vancouver, followed by a 3 hour layover, then continuing on a 5 hour journey to Maui, followed by a 1 hour drive to our hotel.
There is a long story here, but essentially our trip to Hawaii was cancelled at the literal last second thanks to Air Canada – post coming soon about this! We ended up heading down to Miami instead – maybe our stars aligned, but after this 3 hour flight to Miami, I couldn’t imagine the journey to Hawaii described above.
Back to the story of flying with an 8 month old
Haddie was awesome on the flight – no crying, not yelling, but a heck-of-a-lot of work to deal with. Mentally, in advance, we had planned how the whole flight would go, from estimated nap times, bottle times, play times, and food times. Of course, that all went out the window the second our flight was delayed. Don’t sweat the small stuff, just go with the flow.
Here, in no order, are some tips:
- Crawling down the isles is disgusting. Who knows what’s on those floors, but it is one heck of a great way to get rid of her energy, and go exploring. So, let them crawl all they way, but don’t let them put their hands in their mouths after! Follow them with lots of wipes, and disinfectant wipes for everything she wants to lick! And, bring some extra PJs, because they get blackened with all the dirt.
- Showing baby’s a digital screen is said to be really bad until the child is 2+ years old. Haddie has never watched TV, or a tablet – but, on this flight we let her try out an iPad. Maybe because she’s never seen one, or maybe she just too wired, but it only provided 3 minutes of relaxation for us. If you need a quick three minutes to chill, not a bad idea (maybe physcologists will tell me that it is a bad idea – to hell with them, we needed that three minutes).
- Give the baby a bottle or a water sippy at take off and landing. It helps their ears.
- Air Canada Rouge sucks for space, especially when the person in front of you puts down their seat for the entire flight. Luckily, it was a pretty empty flight, and we scored a free seat between us for Haddie to play on.
- Be nice to the flight attendants!** Our flight crew were awesome!!! Thanks Team Rouge, your seats might suck, but your team is awesome.
- Having two parents on the flight is a big plus, and makes life easier.
- Let the baby drink lots of water!
- We tried a baby-carrier with her rear facing when she was exhausted to get her to sleep. It didn’t work. Baby just wanted to play. It was a good idea, and if we were on a longer flight, she would have eventually fallen asleep.
- Go with the flow. All your schedules might be out the window, but who cares? You are on vacation, just let that little one have a good time, and not cause a divorce.
- There was one baby, around 8 months old, who was asleep from boarding right until exiting the plane. Maybe he was drugged??? We didn’t want to go that route, but it sure made for a relaxing looking ride for those parents. Colour us jealous!!!
Thank you Air Canada for screwing our trip to Hawaii. I couldn’t have imagined that travel day. I think for the next few years we are only doing direct flights, with no layovers. Whether a three hour flight, or a 15 hour flight, I think the rules above apply – I think the real killer would be layovers.
Have any other tricks?? Let me know – we are flying back in a few days, and could use some more tips!
Big shoutout to the W South Beach Hotel, who gave us a killer upgrade when we arrived. We aren’t chilling in Hawaii, but we are in the laps of luxury down here. Thanks W.
* It only really “sucks” in comparison to flying without a baby. Remember sitting back in your seat, turning on a movie, or opening a book?? Fat chance of that happening! Goodbye relaxing flights, hello crazy baby!
** Whether with a baby or not, you should always be nice to the flight attendants. Be a good human.