“Any advice for my first flight with a baby?” I asked several ‘mom’ friends the week before take-off.
“Nurse at take-off and landing!” they all chorused.
Supposedly nursing or bottlefeeding during ascend and descend helps babies pop their ears. Obviously a 2 1/2 month old won’t be able to close her own nostrils and blow. Gum is out of the question to.
Confession….I’m modest. So…..I haven’t breastfed in public. So far in Little Traveler’s first 2.5 months of life, I’ve strategically planned outings, lunches, errands around her three hour feeding schedule. Yes, its a science, and I’m the mad scientist. I’ve done it in the car behind tinted windows, locked conference rooms, and friend’s/family’s homes (behind closed doors). I’ve brought pumped bottles to restaurants. Yes, I have one of those covers (that my mother-in-law made), so its not like I am just whipping out the ladies for the world to see. Why am I so shy about it?
It’s taken Little Traveler and I almost two months to get into the swing of things. I had no idea that feeding a baby the good ole’ fashion way would be so complicated. Not to get into the graphic details (sorry for any guys reading this), but its not a clean and tidy activity. It can be ‘geyser’-like at times, soaking anything in its path. Head-bobbing, thrashing, scratching, and the noise, oh the noise, noise, noise. When I see friends with quite babies that just get under that hooter hider and get straight to business, I can’t help but be a little jealous. My baby is more like Ralphie’s little brother from The Christmas Story. You know, the meatloaf scene?
I packed a 4 ounce bottle as a back-up plan. I wasn’t completely sold that I would have the courage to nurse in public amongst 150-ish other flyers. But when the time came to turn off all electronic devices and prepare for take-off, I was ready. And I hoped Little Traveler’s noises would be drown out by the jet engines. Can she also keep it clean? My nerves took over. Cue the sweaty palms.
I took my grey and yellow chevron nursing cover out of the diaper bag and put it over my head, guided Little Traveler underneath, and wait for it…..success! She nursed for the first 30 minutes of flight. Noise and mess free. I wasn’t looking around to see who was watching, but I don’t think anyone noticed, or cared for that matter. My friends’ advice worked. I didn’t have a crying baby!
Little Traveler slept the entire four hours across the states. When I felt the signs of descent, that hooter hider went right back over my head, and Little Traveler showed off her new mad skills once again. Noise, and mess-free. No crying baby. Did she know that being in public requires manners? I left the aircraft feeling a little more confident, with still a ways to go of course.
Little Traveler and I made it to the new mile high club. Any stories out there from other members?