Sweetie’s First Plane Trip: Handling A Spirited Baby 20,000 Feet Above Ground

Earlier this week, my family received some sad news about a death in the family, and I knew that Koolma was going to travel the 1500 miles away it would take to be there in support and love. Muse-Pa’s work has been very busy lately, so I figured he would probably not be able to accompany her, and I couldn’t bear the thought of her being all alone, not to mention that I wanted to be there for my family, too. So I told her to let me know when she had figured out more details, and that Mr. Sweetie and I wanted to go, too.

There was the possibility of hitching a ride with a longtime family friend who was incidentally headed to California yesterday, the same day we were talking about leaving. But car trips are long, and we made the decision to travel by plane, with Muse-Pa and Sweetie in tow.

I wasn’t sure how he would do in an airport, on a plane, for several hours, especially since we gained an hour due to time zone, and the final flight’s arrival time put us well into Mr. Sweetie’s typical bedtime. There was a lot up in the air (pun intended) regarding his reaction to the change in his routine, and so we went ahead, hoping for the best.

The first leg of the flight was pretty rough. Mr. Sweetie has quite the voice (I have yet to meet a baby as loud as he is), it was a new experience, the plane was small, no one else had a baby (so I was painfully aware of how unpopular I’m sure we were, especially to the poor guy in front of us), and it was right during a typical nap time for Sweetie. Lately, I believe due to teething discomfort, he won’t take a daytime nap unless I walk, bounce, and sway him, all while he is comfort nursing. Normally, this is easy enough to accommodate, but not on a plane! He screamed, shrieked, squirmed, and wailed, almost the entire way through the flight. By the end, my exhausted body and mind were completely shot, and I’m sure Koolma felt similarly, as she had traded someone seats to be next to us, and was helping to entertain him. I don’t think I would have been in too good of shape when we finally unloaded from the plane had she not been there.

The second leg of our trip was a shorter flight, bigger plane, there were several other babies aboard, and it was nighttime, when I can usually settle Mr. Sweetie without a bunch of extra movement and effort. This made all the difference! He slept through almost the entire flight. The difficult part came when we were being picked up from the airport by my aunt. Sweetie, who doesn’t do well with having his nighttime sleep interrupted, was beside himself in the car on the way to the house where we were going to stay, crying and screaming so much that he started choking. The worst part was how he was looking at me, like he couldn’t believe I would just sit next to him and leave him in the car seat while he so obviously needed boob and a good sleep. I felt terrible, but all we could do was just endure it for the ten or twelve minutes it took until we finally reached our destination, and I could take him out of the car and hold him like he wanted.

In summary, I have learned a few things about traveling with an infant, especially a spirited one, and I gladly share them here with you, dear readers and mamis, should you ever be intimidated by travel with your little sweetie:

1. Try to plan flights or driving during the times when your sweetie will be sleeping. Things can get very tearful very quickly with a baby who needs some rest, and an enclosed space is no place to be with an overtired sweetie for any length of time.

2. Be sure to bring a few really interesting objects for those grumpy moments. Spoons, clean used plastic wrappers, extra keys, bells, wwhatever you can find that could possibly fascinate your sweetie for even just a few minutes. Those minutes all add up to equal hours, and it will make a difference!

3. Try to honor your sweetie’s schedule as much as you can while out of town. Even though you probably will have a lot of events or visits planned, the ideal itinerary would be one which can be built around a couple solid naps a day at your sweetie’s usual times, and regular feedings, to keep everyone fresh and caught up on their rest.


What are some things that have worked for you and your sweetie when traveling? If you were a new person, what do you think would be interesting to you on a long trip? Please leave your suggestions or tips in the comments below!

Encouraging Empowered Mamis Everywhere To Do What They Do


Mami is an artist, aspiring entrepreneur, and first-time, full-time mother. She enjoys long walks with Mr. Sweetie, good food and cooking, her family and dear friends, writing, arting and crafting. She doesn't know everything, but wants to learn, and loves to do research and share what she finds. She thinks life is like a box of puzzle pieces: you keep trying until it fits, because every piece has its place. She owns and operates whatever she sets her mind to, and knows that the sky is only the limit if you haven't left the ground yet.

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2 Responses

  1. Skye says:

    I completely empathize! The flight there was pretty rough and the way back was much easier. I had read up on other people’s experiences before our first flight, but I really feel like it’s largely one of those things you just have to do so you can see how your baby will handle it. I agree with your tips, though!

  1. June 30, 2015

    […] I used to think it was really “if mom ain’t happy, nobody’s happy” but for the past week, Mami and I have been out of town due to a death in the family (which is a whole other topic in and of itself…), but what really came up on Mr. Sweetie’s first long-distance trip were all the travel related topics that made me realize “if the baby ain’t happy, nobody’s happy.” (You can learn other travel tips from Mami’s last post Sweetie’s First Plane Trip.) […]

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