We’ve posted pictures of Noah’s trip to see his great grandma before we wrote today’s post on Noah’s Dad Facebook Page, and we got asked several questions along these lines:
“How did Noah do on the plane?” “Do you have to do anything special traveling with Noah on a plane since he has Down syndrome?” “Is there any difference taking a child with Down syndrome on a plane than a typical child?”
Long story short, there is no difference taking a child with Down syndrome on an airplane than there would be taking any other child on a plane. I wanted to share a little bit about our first experience flying with our 11 month old son (who just happens to have been born with Down syndrome) for those of you curious or about to take your first airplane trip with a baby.
Over The River And Through The Air, To Great GrandMother’s House We Fly….
Noah’s going on his first plane ride today. We’re going to Missouri to meet his Great Grandma. I was pretty nervous to travel with Noah, mainly because I was concerned that he was going to be the screaming child that everyone gets annoyed at on the plane.
I had a realization though…this is not a movie, people aren’t guaranteed a nice comfy ride to their destination. The true purpose of the plane is to get you from A to B quicker than a car. Every person has the right to do that, even crying babies. 🙂
Packing (and a travel bargain for parents)
You have to bring a lot of stuff when you are traveling with a child. Gone are the days of carrying on all our baggage. This is only a weekend trip but I had to bust out my big suitcase. We packed diapers, food, bottles, and toys. Hopefully the trip back will be a bit lighter thanks to Noah using up some things. One nice thing is that they check your car seat for free so we were only paying for the one bag. They will also check your strollers at the gate for free. It’s great (and really helpful for traveling parents) that the airlines provide these services for free!
Getting a child on the plane is also a fun adventure. We have our stroller plus the diaper bag and my purse. I think the smartest thing I did was bring a carrier as well so that way my hands were free when walking onto the plane. We switched Noah from the stroller to the carrier and checked the stroller at that gate. So being in the carrier made it much easier to get on (and off) the plane.
Now, I know that the safest way for my child to travel is in a car seat. However, I do not know too many people who shell out the 200+ dollars to get that extra seat for their child including ourselves. Who can resist free travel for their child? What was really funny is that the flight attendants told me that I couldn’t leave him in the carrier either. I hadn’t planned on that, however I would think it a bit safer for him to be connected to me than to nothing.
Noah did great on the flight. Take off and landing can be the most irritating parts for children as their ears are popping and it can be painful, especially if your child is prone to having fluid in their ears like children with Down syndrome. Some ways to get through this are to have them drink a bottle or suck on a pacifier during these times which helps the ears pop. It is the same theory as adults chewing on gum. Noah made it through take off with no problems. In fact he was quickly asleep and slept through the entire flight. We were flying later at night so it was close to Noah’s bedtime, but flying during sleep times for your children can make your flight a little better. This was a big sigh of relief. Now on to meet Noah’s great grandma.
Have your traveled with your child? How did it go? Any tips for travel?