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On the plane

Other people and your baby

Watch people’s faces as you board a plane with a baby. Most people will have a look of panic and you can almost hear them chanting “please don’t sit next to me!”.Babies have a bad reputation. Nearly everyone has a bad baby story and you just need to take a look at any business traveller or frequent flyer forum to find posts full of horror stories of screaming kids (or normal toddler behaviour).

In a perfect world your baby will be an angel and behave impeccably. People will give you glowing smiles of encouragement and all will be well with the world. Chances are though that this isn’t going to happen. You may well find yourself with a bawling baby at 35 000 feet. And what’s worse is that other people are going to make you feel bad about it. Some may even tell you (or the cabin crew) how they feel about having to listen to your child - as if you are enjoying the situation and haven’t tried your best to soothe and distract your little one. Even other parents can be intolerant, particularly if their child sleeps and yours doesn’t.

On aeroplanes with bulkhead seats and bassinettes many airlines will seat groups of families with babies and small children together. This can be both a blessing and a curse, depending on the circumstances. Most likely the babies will be of differing ages and have different sleep patterns. Inevitably, when your baby has finally fallen asleep another baby will start bawling or vice versa. If this happens - try not to look daggers at the other parents, even if you really really wish that their baby would just be quiet - as it could very well be you in that position.

If you are concerned about other babies disturbing yours and you don’t really need the bassinette (particularly if you are travelling with a toddler who will be too big for the bassinette anyway) then consider requesting a seat further back in the plane. That way you are unlikely to be near smaller babies and you will only be annoying other adults.


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