If you’ve ever flown in the same plane as a screaming baby, you know exactly what Sartre meant in No Exit by “hell is other people.” If you’re the parent of said baby, you’re more likely to believe that your formerly sweet child is Virgil reincarnated, leading you into some unnamed 10th circle of hell. Either way, it’s an unpleasant experience. Luckily, though, Jen Leo of the LA Times has compiled a few helpful tips to make the experience a little less hellish:
- Bribe your seatmates into assistance, or at least a little tolerance. Starbucks gift cards work well, as do goodie bags containing ear plugs and sweet treats.
- Nurse or bottle feed during takeoff and landing.
- Be prepared. Extra diapers, extra clothes, blankets, plastic baggies, a thermometer, and Tylenol can all come in handy when you’re cruising at 30,000 feet with a sick baby, as does a snack for you.
- Program the number of a pediatric advice nurse into your cell phone.
- Bring distractions: toys, shiny objects, sedatives (kidding!), etc.
- Cheapflights.com Chief Travel Officer Carl Schwartz added, “Ear pain relief!!! Ask the flight attendant for 2 plastic cups and paper towels soaked in hot water. Place the wet paper towels at the bottom of the cup and then cover your baby’s ears. This will create a vacuum that will help equalize the pressure in the ear. I felt odd doing it at first, but it really works.”
- Don’t forget to have fun!