Let’s Talk About Flying with a Baby

A little over 2 weeks ago, I found out that my grandpa had a heart attack, which I’ll write more about at another time.  As the week went on, he went downhill fast, and we made a quick plan to fly home to say goodbye.  By quick, I mean we bought tickets after Chris was home from work one night, and I left for the airport the next morning before Jayce was even up for school.  Chris couldn’t miss work and Jayce couldn’t miss school, so it was Hannah and I who would be traveling.

Photo 18Since she is not yet 2, we didn’t buy her a seat, but planned for her to sit on my lap.  AKA, I hoped desperately that the flight wasn’t full and that there was an empty seat that I could put her in.  Luckily, there was.

What did I pack to keep a 20 month old busy, on an 8 hour flight, without a trip to the store?  Randomness.  And things that she is normally interested in, but not allowed to play with.  

Like markers.  And post it notes.  And the little notebook that I use to make lists.  (Yeah, so I went through my desk drawers for options.)

And tape.  And paperclips. (I don’t know, I was desperate.)  I went through my craft stuff and grabbed washi tape, pipe cleaners, and any interesting-looking writing utensils.

Then I went through my kitchen cupboards, grabbed everything edible that is smaller than a quarter, (goldfish, raisins, gummy things), and every single type of cracker.  Then cookies.  And the chocolate that I don’t normally let her have, for when I was feeling desperate.

This is what I took.

Then, right before we boarded the flight, every single flight, between the time that they started the boarding process and when they called our group to start boarding, she pooped.  EVERY time.  Including the time that we boarded a plane, had a 2 hour delay on the runway, de-boarded, told to come back in 2 more hours, and when we were about to re-board, she did it again.  And I said loudly, “Hannah you have GOT to be kidding me!”  Not because I’ was mad.  But because she had to be kidding me.  5 out of 5 times, no joke.

But it was all worth it, because on the plane, she was a peach.  An absolute peach.  She wasn’t easy, because it took a fair amount of finesse, and was a bit like I was orchestrating and starring in a 3 ring circus, for 8 hours, but it all worked.  

Eventually we arrived in Ohio, and when I walked into the bedroom and turned out the lights, her little body immediately fell against mine in sleep.  Because she’d been awake for 19.5 of the last 20 hours straight.

Photo 13On the way home I was feeling a little confident.  This time our bags were well stocked with thoughtfully selected Target goodies.  But, this time, she was the opposite of a peach.  (What is the opposite of a peach, anyway?)  

She was a terror.

It turns out that, for the record, Hannah is the happiest, chattiest, and most charming little passenger during an 8 hour day flight.

But she is the most unhappy, unsettled, non-sleeping crier during an 8 hour night flight.  She cannot sleep on my lap, and on the plane, (or on a train or in the rain.  Sorry.)  So she was a miserable little gus.

Or maybe it had something to do with that 9 hour layover in Chicago before we even started the 8 hour flight home.  The one I mentioned earlier, where we were on the plane for 2 hours and never moved on the runway.  That could be it.

 But eventually we got home, I put her to sleep in her crib, and then I tried to catch up on sleep myself for days.  I’m finally getting there.

2 thoughts on “Let’s Talk About Flying with a Baby

  1. I haven't been on facebook for a good while and I feel so out of the loop! So sorry to hear about the deaths in both of your families. You all have had such a crazy couple of months. I cannot imagine an international flight with a little one. I guess on a positive note, one out of two isn't too bad, right? I hope things are starting to return to 'normal' for you all. We miss you terribly stateside!

  2. Sweet friend, so sorry that you had to go home (I know it was bittersweet…), but I still hate it for you. At the same time, I love it that you got to spend time with your family (hence, the bittersweet).
    And SORRY Miss Hannah was a stinker on your flight home. Yuck. I love it that she was good on the way there, though!

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