Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Flying with a newborn

I don't know if its just me, but I've been feeling very judged this week.  I feel like everything I say baby related is being judged by the people around me.  Its been bothering me.  Its not like all these other people are parenting experts.  I wish people would just keep their opinions to themselves, or at least just don't ask me questions if you are going to openly disagree with my answer.

It's no secret that Darren and I are planning to take our daughter on a plane when she is about 2 weeks old.  This has been a big issue for which I have had no shortage of opinions on.  Several people have been openly upset that we would take our baby on a plane so young.  I even had one person suggest it would be better to drive.  That makes absolutely no sense!  How is 3 full days each way in a car better than a 4 hour plane ride?  This trip is very important to me.  It is my grandparents' 60th wedding anniversary and we are having a huge family reunion at a resort in Oregon.  It's going to be so much fun and I'm excited for the entire family to meet the new baby. :)

Most people I have told about this think that our baby will get sick if we take her on a plane that young.  I guess I understand the fear, but I am pretty confident that won't happen.  It's a 4 hour plane ride, so there isn't a lot of time for too much exposure.  Plus, its not like we are going to the middle of nowhere.  There are doctors and hospitals all over in Oregon, and I will have an abundance of very experienced family members around should something happen.  My sister and my sister-in-law are both nurses with their own kids as well, so I'm confident any situation will be just fine.  I have been doing a bit of research into the matter anyway, and what I've found makes me feel even better about it.  Most airlines will accept babies on flights at 7 days old.  American takes babies at 2 days old, but they prefer them to be 7 days at least.  Airplanes have a good amount of fresh air moving through the cabin, so you aren't breathing the same stale air over and over again.  They say it's highly unlikely to get sick through the air unless the sick person is sitting within a row or two of you.  Most people who get sick from plane rides get their illness from touching things other sick people have touched previously, such as tray tables and bathroom handles.  Since the baby won't be touching anything I think we're pretty safe there.  I did read that the parents should keep a bottle of hand sanitizer with them and use it often during the flight since we are the ones that will pass the germs along if we touch things on the plane.  That is definitely good advice and we will use that.  Darren is a germophobe anyway, so he will be very happy to extra sanitize.  I wouldn't be surprised if he takes a bunch of sanitizer wipes on the plane to wipe everything down around our seats when we first get on.  He does that a lot with other things (shopping carts in particular).

There were several forums I found on this subject, and most people said everything went great when they took their newborns on planes.  There was a lot of talk on this subject on adoption websites.  It's a common thing for people who adopt from other states or countries to take their new babies home on airplanes at very early ages.  If it is fine for all of them, it will be fine for us!  Of course, if our baby has any kind of medical problem or sickness before the trip we would definitely rethink our plans, but as long as she is healthy we are absolutely going.  The big concern at the moment is flying standby vs. buying a real ticket for me.  It will be the end of summer travel at the time, so flights may be pretty full.  Darren can always jumpseat, so he doesn't need a ticket, but I'd hate to get stuck if flights are all full.  We are considering purchasing a full fare refundable ticket for me and then canceling it at the last minute if the flights look open enough.  We'll see what happens with that.  It's a bit expensive, but may be totally worth it, especially if we're flying with a baby for the first time.  It will be stressful enough without the added pressure of wondering if we'll actually get on the flight.

In other news, we have our first daycare visit on Friday afternoon.  I know I said way back in April I needed to take care of it, but I am a terrible procrastinator.  I have called a couple of places so far.  I left a message at 1 place and they never called me back.  The 2nd place gave me some basic info but told me to call back after the baby is born because they don't like to plan that far in advance.  This 3rd place I just contacted yesterday and they set us up immediately for a visit.  We'll see how it goes.  I'm hoping we like it because there are only a few places close to our house and I really want one convenient for both of us to drop off or pick up.  The lady was extremely nice on the phone.  I'm sure I'll update after our visit.


  1. I think flying is fine! I want to meet my neice!

  2. One of the biggest things that I struggle with is the constant foisted opinions, judgments, and just downright uncalled for comments related to my parenting abilities.
    None of us is a pro at this!! All we have are our own experiences to share, not foist upon other parents as The.Only.Way!
    If I ever do such a thing to do - not on purpose!! - tell me to shush! :)

    You know what is best for your baby! And for someone to suggest that you would put her in harms way is just wrong - and a smidge rude!

    I'm a bit grumpy on this topic, - people are VERY judgmental and it irks me to no end! :)

    Good luck at the daycare interview!!

  3. Make sure to keep the baby covered as much as you can. That should help. :)

  4. Tell people SHUSH!!! Don't let Darren OD on the sanitizer...not good for babies. When J had H and P was going to go crazy with Purell and all that crap I sent them a few articles showing babies do need SOME exposure to things...ooops darn it I piped in with advice! BAD ME!!