Believe it or not, infants used to be stowed in the overhead compartment on airplanes. Now, you only need a handful of items to successfully travel with your baby or toddler (even twins!), and one of them is duct tape. Combining tested guerrilla tactics with scholarly research, ITEMS MAY HAVE SHIFTED: HOW TO TRAVEL WITH YOUR BABY OR TODDLER offers guidance on everything from altitude sickness to zoological hazards for the under-5 set.
This guide will help you:
Develop goodwill on an airplane with a crying baby
Learn how to unpack your emotional baggage
Get a fussy toddler to eat mystery food
Childproof a hotel room with no equipment
Learn when to whine and when to wine on vacation
This book is different from other “travel with baby” guides because it takes a MacGyver approach to common sense (you would be surprised what you can do with a shoelace, pipe cleaners, and a sock), it is supported by academic research, including medical journals, and it focuses on doing the maximum with minimum supplies.
If you want fellow tourists to think that you’re a Navy SEAL on vacation with your infant, this is the how-to-guide for you!
[Please note: this book has not been reviewed or endorsed by either MacGyver or the United States Navy. They just wish they had.]
Targeted Age Group:: 18-50
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
Trial by fire, really! We were flying home from Seattle the day before my twin boys’ first birthday, and after doing some calculations I realized they had been on more than 20 flights in less than one year! Through all that travel I had developed a lot of strategies to make things easier. A lot of the advice online and in books for traveling with babies was really helpful, but there was nothing that addressed the special hell of twinfants. Twins requires some more out of the box thinking. Then I found myself offering advice to other friends with new babies, and even strangers on planes. I was a know-it-all menace, actually.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
Now, meet your neighbors. If you are in the United States, according to surveys their most common complaints are uncomfortable seats or limited legroom (77%), hidden fees (71%), unpredictable delays and cancellations (67%), the cost of the ticket (62%), and last, but definitely not least, loud or crying children (50%).
In fact, 60% of people would choose to drive 10 hours by themselves in total silence rather than take a 10-hour flight with a crying baby (33). 82% of passengers believe it is rude to “knowingly” bring unruly children onto a plane. It is unclear to me why this group believes that their fellow flyers deliberately bring obnoxious little companions. It sure doesn’t make the parents’ flight any easier. It’s not like we prep them on the jetway. “Okay, Mayhem, it’s almost time. Make sure you let out a shrill scream every now and then and kick the seat in front of you until it bounces properly, okay?”
The debate over babies and crying children on airplanes has been vigorous in recent years, especially online. Malaysia Airlines has outright banned children from first class seating and the upper deck economy cabin of the A380 (if there is available seating in the lower deck), and some airlines have instituted a “quiet zone” on long haul flights. Gulf Air offers in-flight nannies to help parents. I would like to fly Gulf Air.
Meta-analysis of online discussion show that the more sympathetic passengers were in the minority, and the 60% majority of less tolerant people are quick to blame not the crying baby, but primarily the parents who are apparently unable to manage the situation.
On the flip side, 62% of parents cite their children crying or misbehaving on a flight as their number one fear of traveling.
Of course we are afraid of that. Hasn’t everyone been on a plane with a crying baby and wondered, “What are they doing to that kid?” I’ve experienced air horns at hockey games that are less annoying than some distraught children in flight.
Some websites, books, and parents suggest drugging your children. I’m not against drugging children. Hell, some of my fondest quiet moments have been when my little twinkies were doped out.
But this treatment for a crying child on an airplane is a bad one, and usually causes more problems than it solves.
Your blood oxygen levels and the absorption and impact of medication can change at different altitudes. Contrary to popular belief, airplane cabins are not pressurized to simulate sea level. In fact, the environment of a cabin at cruising altitude will be around 6,000-8,000 feet, or the equivalent of a small mountain.
On some kids, antihistamine or anti-nausea medications have the opposite of the desired effect, and you will be prying them off the headrest as they use you as a bouncy castle. Some children will experience extrapyramidal symptoms or ataxia, which are basically fancy terms for saying that their arms and legs will either be a rigid twitching mess, or turn to limp noodles.
Some kind of sucking motion will help relax them, but not in the way you think (helping their ears). In fact, because of the pressure changes in flight, the gases in our bodies (which includes in our abdomens, sinuses, and middle ears) can expand by 25%. So that bloated feeling after you’ve gotten off the plane is not your imagination!
Despite the common explanation of “it’s their ears,” only 15% of children actually experience specific ear pain, though it will seem like that 15% is on your plane every time. Much of the time a baby is crying due to the discomfort of the gases in their body. So, try nursing, feeding, rocking, snuggling, bribing, patting, swaying, or whatever you have to do without chemicals in order to prevent everyone’s eardrums being perforated by your child’s screams.
Even if you cannot successfully soothe your child, it is important to other people that you at least appear to make an effort to do so. A handful of airlines offer guidelines and suggestions on their websites to parents in order to ameliorate in-flight distress, but primarily the recommendation is just to have your baby suck on something. Because airplanes are considered communal space, often the airline staff are judged both as sentries who are scrutinizing parents of unwieldy children, and complicit in the misbehavior of the “perpetrators.”
Incidentally, American, British and Australian cultures have been shown to be more intolerant of babies on airplanes, compared to Asian cultures where children are considered more of a “blessing.” And even the more understanding passengers would rather deal with a crying baby than an older child who was running in the aisle or kicking the back of the seat in front of them.
And this is where it gets tricky…
Links to Purchase Print Books
Buy Items May Have Shifted: How to Travel With Your Baby or Toddler Print Edition at Amazon
Buy Items May Have Shifted: How to Travel With Your Baby or Toddler at CreateSpace
Links to Purchase eBooks – Click links for book samples and reviews
Is this book in Kindle Unlimited? No
Buy Items May Have Shifted: How to Travel With Your Baby or Toddler On Amazon
Buy Items May Have Shifted: How to Travel With Your Baby or Toddler on Barnes and Noble/Nook
Buy Items May Have Shifted: How to Travel With Your Baby or Toddler on Kobo
Have you read this book? Tell us what you thought! All information was provided by the author and not edited by us. This is so you get to know the author better.