• http://www.e2theLos.blogspot.com emily

    i don’t have kids yet, but when i was about six months my mom took me on a plane and i screamed my motherfucking head off. there was nothing she could do. finally this well-endowed woman came up to her and insisted she hold me for the rest of the flight. apparently, i made myself quite comfortable on her big ole titties and went right to sleep. the woman told my mother she “just needed more bosom.”

    so, pass the frog to some big boobs, if need be. :)

  • Tracy

    This is for a previous poster: Who the hell gives their 5 month old a slice of pizza to eat?????????

  • danni

    I think that you should have Jon bring her on the plane and then shoot dirty looks at him if she starts to cry. Or you could just give her a handful of paper towels and when the flight attendants see that they will realize that you are an unfit mother and take her away from you for the flight. Getting her back might be a little tricky.

  • http://misha-pooh.blogspot.com/ Mish

    I like that massaging above the ears thing. I heard that babies cry on planes b/c of the pressurized(sp??) cabin. It seems to hurt their ears way more than our ears and they cant do that popping (not pooping!) thing. The massaging above the ears seems soothing and might help to relieve inner ear pressure. Thinking more, more children vs. adults get ear infections so maybe baby ears are way more delicate. Good Luck!

  • http://suspendedanimation.blogs.com jilbur

    Best advice here addressed the most critical problem (I infer from your previous posts): sleep patterns. I agree with posters who mention the pack’n'play. I wouldn’t leave it to chance that the hotel will have an acceptable crib–I’ve had more than one bad experience with that. No matter how carefully you request it, you can’t be sure what you are going to get. Besides, from what I read here, Leta is very much a creature of routines and habit. So: like someone else said, concentrate on making that Pack’N'Play a familiar place by using the same sheets and blankets she uses at home. familiar familiar familiar. Better yet, get the Pack’N'Play ASAP and start substituting it for the crib for naps, so that she doesn’t have to make any adjustment on the trip (except place).
    The plane is somewhat trivial. You’re already way west, right? This is a couple of hours of your life. There’s a limit to how bad it can be. Not as bad as labor, probably. Be as soothing as you can; offer the boob, or something else (the lollipop idea was fine; dried unsulphured mango is also a sweet, unchokable, drool-therefore-swallow-inducing treat) on takeoff or landing; and if she screams, please don’t give a rat’s heiner about your fellow travellers. If they aren’t quarterwits, they know that all you can do is your best. They’re supposed to be the adults, right?

  • Athena

    Oh jeez, do not, repeat DO NOT rent Fearless (a la comment number 151). I don’t have children OR a fear of flying but I seriously lost my shit watching that movie. Like, the sobbing uncontrollably kind of losing my shit. Seriously. Don’t watch it until Leta is 37 years old. And even then, it might be too much.

  • mummie

    Take it from an experienced flyer with babies, BUY A BABY DECONGESTANT!!! If you give Leta a decongestant 1 hour before you fly, this will HELP SO MUCH with hurting ears during the flight. I recommened childrens liquid advil decongestant if available to you. If Leta experiences this type of pain her entire flight and probably that entire day will be absolutely miserable. Other than that i suggest just take it all in stride and have fun, take lots of pictures. If you want to keep her busy on the plane buy/bring something NEW and FUN that she has not played with yet or is normally not allowed to play with-which will be ok now since you are sitting with her the entire time. Bring a walkman with headphones playing morrissey, shit bring some people food for her, fruit, something out of the ordinary that won’t kill her. Get a window seat. Next time fly jet blue they have tv’s with cartoons.

  • mummie

    Take it from an experienced flyer with babies, BUY A BABY DECONGESTANT!!! If you give Leta a decongestant 1 hour before you fly, this will HELP SO MUCH with hurting ears during the flight. I recommened childrens liquid advil decongestant if available to you. If Leta experiences this type of pain her entire flight and probably that entire day will be absolutely miserable. Other than that i suggest just take it all in stride and have fun, take lots of pictures. If you want to keep her busy on the plane buy/bring something NEW and FUN that she has not played with yet or is normally not allowed to play with-which will be ok now since you are sitting with her the entire time. Bring a walkman with headphones playing morrissey, shit bring some people food for her, fruit, something out of the ordinary that won’t kill her. Get a window seat. Next time fly jet blue they have tv’s with cartoons.

  • Kristine

    Travel light. Take only twice what you think you will need, not 10X. Don’t bring ever implement you have, you can cut her toenails when you get home. They sell diapers in San Francisco, too. I always carry the car seat on the plane in the hopes there’s a spare seat and the baby can be strapped in the seat instead of in my lap (safer and saner). If not, they’ll check the thing right at the gate with your stroller, which you will roll to the gate with all your stuff. You get to pre-board, too! Cool! Bring the Bjorn, the D-70 and then just go with the flow. Have fun and remain calm, Leta will be calmer and (hopefully) you will, too. Oh, and breastfeed her on takeoff if you can, it helps keep her little ears from popping.

  • http://talpidae.diaryland.com Shawna

    I wish I could offer some sage advice but since you have a baby and we’re just in the “thinking about” stage, I learn about parenting from YOU (and your comments section).

  • WindyLou

    I have heard that baby tylenol works wonders……..but that might fall into the paper-towel chewing category of no-no’s.

  • http://www.noho.com/~filas/huxley/index.html Heather

    If you’d like to minimize dirty looks from other passengers, take along half a dozen earplugs for those around you (I know, you barely have time to think about your own self let alone the wellness of strangers) & a change of clothes for yourself to carry-on in case Leta spews all over your carefully chosen matching, well accessorized flight outfit. We’ll be going from MA to CA with our son (who’ll be 8 months) in Dec, so I’ll be bookmarking this page for my own selfish reasons! Let us know what worked for your family.

  • http://everydaythingsscene.com/ Beerzie Yoink

    Got any Vicodin left over from the birth?

  • http://www.gardenofwords.com Frances

    My bro. and sis-in-law invested in a truly splendiferous car-seat/stroller when they traveled from San Jose to Boston to see me last year. If you like, I can ask them where they got it.

    Also, most hotels will be happy to place a crib and a fridge in your room for the baby so that you have someplace to store the baby and the baby food.

  • Pookins

    I would think that the main thing would be to make sure she is eating when you take off and land. I hate the pressure on my ears and it must be miserable for a baby who can’t clear them. Sucking on a breast or bottle would remove that. It wouldhelp prevent the screaming at least.

  • Kristylyn

    Dear Dooce,
    Since you have finally opened your comments – I thought I would take this oppertunity to just say that I think you are doing great with Leta. She is a beautiful little girl, and is very, very lucky to have parents like you and Jon. I wish I had some advice, but I’m only 16 – and thankfully not with a child of my own yet. Regardless, had I a child, I probably could not supply any information not yet given. Nevertheless, have a wonderful trip, take lots of pictures, and don’t worry about how people on the plane react should she end up screaming, as chances are you’ll never see the people again anyway. Best of luck,

  • http://everydaythingsscene.com/ Beerzie Yoink

    (For you, not her.)

  • http://agearp.net Dee

    OMG – I cant believe I am telling you this after your binky experience but a binky is excellent for the plane. If they are sucking on it during take off and landing it keeps their ears from plugging up (that’s what the ped told us when we took our DD to Europe anyway) — :) My DD slept through the entire trip…we travelled at night so it was a normal sleep sched for her. I now want to take a trip with my DS but I fear this one…..his screams are just too much for mommy to take, I can only imagine the plane full of strangers…they may fling him and me out to the cargo area

    Good luck

  • pink

    shoot leta.

  • Carrs

    Stuff with wheels is key. I have carried many a diaper bag for some poor woman struggling to carry on the baby, the diaper bag, the car seat and the giant mommy purse. I know Jon will be there, but even a small bag gets heavy fast and he needs all his strength to carry the Jim Bean.

  • Valerie

    My sister and I recently traveled to Chicago from Reno with her 7 month old. The hotel did have a play pen for him to sleep in and he slept well. On the plane we just had tons of treats and entertaining things…he didn’t do so great on the plane but we had a 3 1/2 hour flight and you’ll only have about an hour and 1/2 so maybe she’ll make it… :-) Good luck, you’ll be fine.

  • Dave Thomas

    Commenter #157:

    Seriously? Google the stats for infant injuries during turbulence AND rent “Fearless?” To prepare for a flight with a kid?

    That’s Googling hijacking stats and renting “Speed” before riding the bus.

    Not to trample any no-flame laws, but this perspective is ridiculous.

    By the way, don’t go to New York, because the polar ice caps could melt and you’ll drown and freeze. Oh, and don’t be Arnold Schwarzenegger, or you’ll get pregnant.

  • Val

    Find as many implements on the SF end as you can to borrow — a car seat specifically. Yes to the breast feeding on take off and landing. Especially landing. ESPECIALLY. Flight attendants love to hold babies.

  • http://www.echoleigh.com/blog Echo

    I flew with my daughter when she was 15 days old, then back home again when she was about 3½ weeks old. I nursed her going up and coming down and she slept the rest of the time. The sucky thing was that the seats were so small and I was sitting next to a large man, it was hard to nurse her comfortably and discreetly (back in those days I cared about people seeing my boobs). I checked my carseat at the gate – I had too much other stuff to carry on! Bring the Bjorn – that thing is amazing!

    Most of all – don’t forget to have fun. Even if she screams, one day you’ll look back and laugh!

  • http://www.ceece.net Courtney

    I too am faced with this conundrum. Fi is heading out to basic only a month before baby is born, so we will attempt to venture down to good ole Fort Benning, GA where daddy will be sweating his but off and we will be crying.

    anywho, I have heard that the bjorn carriers are fabulous, and ia gree with the above poster about her ears, make sure she has a bottle or, pacifier-oh scratch that as I just remembered the drama from just a few weeks ago.

    good luck

  • http://verymom.com Jae

    260+ comments, Dooce! You are loved! Don’t let this many comments make you think that traveling with an infant is rocket science. You’ll all be fine! It’s a short flight, Leta will probably sleep the entire time and all of this nonsense will be just that – nonsense.

    And here’s a round of applause for Dave Thomas, Julie, and The Husband.

  • http://www.malcolmson.org Elizabeth

    LOL — No idea how you travel with a baby — guess I refrained from the necessary alcohol intake to make that decision! But I promise to laugh lots at watching you try it! :-)
    Seriously, we did do a long weekend once — my car recorded temperatures of over 100 degrees. Point #1: Keep everyone cool.
    Point #2: Evaluate everything you’re bringing and decide if you really need it — ’cause it turned out that we never used the bouncy seat. Preserve your lugging energy for the things you really can’t live without — like the favorite stuffed bunny/dog/duck. Otherwise, as long as you have face wipe diapers, drool bibs, and baby butt wipes, you can handle anything — you can buy whatever you forget.
    Good luck!

  • Michelene

    Visit this site: http://www.babysaway.com
    They have everything from cribs to strollers. So you can see if they are in San Fransisco and that way you don’t have to carry 100 pounds worth of gear!!!

  • http://evilsciencechick.blogspot.com Regan

    Do they make baby nyquil? Or baby benedryl?

  • Danika

    Ignore all the ass people on the plane giving dirty looks or making comments. As others pointed out they were young once.

    I’ve flown on flights with babies beside me, around me or not at all (either too quiet to hear or just no baby on flight) and even though I get tired of the crying I really don’t mind it. I mean you have a right to travel just like anyone else does. Have fun! I’m sure you’ll do great!

    P.S As others have said don’t forget to write alllll about it. :D

  • Laura J.

    Oh my gosh — an opportunity to post a comment! You are so funny and it is so obvious how much you love that kid — in spite of some of the things you write that completely and totally shock me senseless!

    Most hotels have cribs available — just ask the front desk. Bring blankies from home that smell like home — if it works for a puppy, maybe it will work for Leta. But no matter how difficult it may get, resist the temptation to buy a binkie. It’s a high price to pay after all your hard work in detox.

    Enjoy your trip!

  • Thealias

    The baby books/websites/mags. have so many articles and tips on traveling with your eyes will wear out before you are able to read them all. Unlike asking the web, most of their advice will be useful, not web crazy.
    Oh, and hair gel for all three of you. You dont want to get to the city with plane hair.

  • http://www.livejournal.com/users/sabonai Hilary

    Whatever you do, DON’T try to change the baby in the airplaine bathroom. And be prepared to sing in public!

  • Laura

    So ironic that I would read this post just before flying from Omaha back to Ontario.

    There were about 8 children under the age of two on my plane, most of them sitting in the rows in front of me. All of them were quite well behaved except for one who screamed the entire way to our stopover in Phoenix.

    Here is what I learned: No matter how annoying, how cranky, how redfaced and bawling, this is your flesh and blood; the fruit of your womb. It deserves your compassion and affection.

    Don’t be a bitch to your kid.

    Stay calm, stay pleasant and excited about the trip, and keep up the pointing and explaining absolutely everything that’s going on. She won’t have time to cry she’ll be so busy listening to you!

  • http://www.colemanblake.com Jen Blake

    Well, after more long trips in the car than I can count in the last months (a 11 hour drive coming up this weekend!) with the now 7 month old Coleman, I can offer the following advice: if you do not have a pack n play it makes a great temporary crib, but hotels also have cribs if you give them warning (check for safety- some are OLD). Also, it is Benadryl that you want to drug her with- check with the nurse at her pediatrican’s office for dosage and you need to try it at home first because it may make her hyper instead of out cold (as said by nurse at OUR pediatricians office who happily supplied us with benadryl, syringe and dosage info). I agree with buying diapers there instead of travelling with a ton of them, and you can also wash clothes at a laundromat if you need to instead of packing all 25 pair of pink pajamas. Do take along medecines and sunblock so you don’t have to hunt for them when you need them most. AND take lots of compact flash cards for the d-70 or a laptop to dump the images on… you’ll need the space. Enjoy!

  • jen

    Somehow, I never have a problem with babies screaming on planes, mainly because they can’t help it. I take issue with adults who act obnoxiously, or shoot dirty looks at moms or dads trying to do their best. THEY can help it. You do sarcasm well — just look back at them and say, “Oh, sorry, that was my fault. I pinched her to see if I could get her to scream, but I meant to aim her at the person next to you.”

    I don’t have kids yet, but I want them, and reading your site is helping me deal with the deep-seated fear of being a mom. So, thanks. A lot.

  • Reader

    I will agree with the taking just twice what you would normally and not 10 times, and DEFINATELY breast feed her on take off and landing. If you don’t have any moral objection, which after reading your blog for a while, I realize you don’t, give her some baby tylenol before the flight. And if she screams, so what. Every flight I’ve been on there’s been a fussy baby. At least it’s a short one. And you’re going to San Fran, not East India. There will be drugstores on every corner with all the stuff you’ll forget. Just bring the portable crib if you have one or can borrow one. Bring a slew of onesies. Sure as hell, if you bring the whole “cute” wardrobe, she’ll throw up all over it. DON’T PANIC. She’ll probably do much better than you. Oh, be sure her blankie hasn’t been washed so it smells like her.

  • http://pamalamadingdong.blogspot.com/ Another Pam

    GOD! I hate people that think they can be pissy about babies on planes. I mean by all means be pissy but keep it to yourself. Like the dirty look or stupid comment will make you go “OHHHH I should comfort her? See I didn’t think of that…thanks for being such a ASSHAT and pointing that out.”
    Also another word of caution…on one of our many flights with just me and my son I gave him gravol ONCE (he had been a little ill the day before we were set to go home). Anyway he was WOUND like a top for the entire day (2 flights and a 2 hr layover). BAD BAD BAD idea.

  • http://khathryn.blogspot.com Meg

    If you are staying at a hotel, most ~DO~ have cribs, or at least Pack-n-Plays. (Call ahead to ask/reserve one. Most hotels don’t charge for their use.)

    Also, don’t forget, a roll of quarters takes up a lot less space than extra clothes. I’m sure that they have a laundromat SOMEWHERE in San Francisco.

    Since you’re nursing, don’t forget to take a snack for yourself for travel time – you never know about delays!

  • http://mac.antville.org mac

    Great Project! First time that I came here, but I will return.

  • Jen

    Forget the Bjorn and the nail clippers. Bring the bourbon for you AND her.

  • http://www.v-hold.net vic

    i get the sneaking suspicion that the people who keep saying to breastfeed the baby on takeoff and landing are actually perverts who are booking a flight to san francisco in hopes that you’ll be sitting next to them.

    makes you wonder, huh?

  • http://www.bellacara.blogspot.com bellacara

    Actually, I think you are going to have a great time and Leta will just love it..giving you a false sense that you can take her anywhere, but that will change after 8 months when all she will want to do is crawl (or try to walk) everywhere. This is an incredible age to travel. Enjoy!

  • http://footinmouthdisease.blogspot.com/ Naaman

    My mother-in-law runs a Russian daycare (seriously). Leta can hang out with the the kids, learn cyrillic, and eat borscht.

  • http://soul-glimpse.diaryland.com alyssa

    decide how much your sanity is worth and invest in a nanny and a third plane ticket in the back of the plane. :) kidding, obviously. i’m sure you’ll be fine.

  • brian

    I haven’t read through everyone’s comments, but here’s my two pence:

    Think about ponying up for another seat. You’ll only pay half price, and you’ll get a whole row to yourself. And you can carry a carseat on — cos rental carseats are kinda nasty.

    Our son did great on a flight from PA to CA, but he didn’t appreciate getting his diaper changed in the airplane restroom. It’s really noisy in there — heck it’s almost scary for me. If can avoid that, you’ll be golden.

  • http://verymom.com Jae

    Dear Dooce and Lady Leta,

    We had a screamer too. And I traveled with him. The flight out of SLC wasn’t bad. I nursed him at take off and he fell asleep. The flight home was worse… much worse. But I won’t tell you that story. Even if Leta screams the whole way home you’ll have an interesting story to post here about the angry man who asked you to sit in the bathroom with your screaming baby.

    They do make children’s Benadryl and I know how to figure out how much to give a tiny baby. Baby doses of Benadryl can either knock them out for a long winter’s nap or wire them up so that they look like they’re on speed. So it’s a gamble.

    They do have cribs in hotels, but I ended up sleeping with my screamer because the unfamiliar crib was a scary thing for him. But at least you’ll have options.

    Now, because I’m taking up way too much room already – leave most of the baby gear home. Take a stroller and the Bjorn, oh and some booze for the both of you should Leta find out that SF is really hell on wheels. And protest audibly the entire time.

  • http://www.francesmcpantses.com Stephanie

    I will be a voice of dissent in the hundreds of comments.

    Please get a seat for Miss L. If you can’t use her carseat in the current proper rear-facing form, turn it forward. In the event of even moderate turbulence, a baby makes a really shitty projectile.

    You can get a nylon carry case with straps like a backpack to haul the carseat around airports for all of $25 at amazon. You’re going to need the carseat anyway and who wants to rent someone’s used, befouled-by-another-foul-possibly-contagious-baby carseat? Blech.

    Westin Hotels changed their infant cribs and sheeting in 2000 to match the adult sheeting–their big thing is that you sleep like a dream at their hotels. When you bring an infant to a Westin, you’re getting a big, safe, crib, not a rickety, overused (again, befouled, nasty, possibly germy) deathtrap.

    Get the kid a ticket. Please. She’s worth it.

  • Sefeffa

    Well, as a non-married, non-parent kinda girl, I can offer no advice on luggage and things of that nature. However, as a frequent flyer, I can say that I agree with Kristine and go with the breastfeeding advice or bring something for the little Leta to suck on (and to think, after the fact of The Weaning of the Dreaded Pacifier). I always feel so horrible for the parents and especially the little babes on takeoff when they’re screaming their fool heads off because of the air pressure. So, as being one of those parents that could really do without said screaming, as enough of that occurs in regular air pressure, be sure to take that advice and good luck – I’m sure it’s MUCH less stress than you imagine.

  • Leigh McClurg

    Wow. I frequent this site periodically and am always dumbfounded by your honesty and openness, by expressing such sentiments about your child and family. Just be careful of asking for advice from the web in general, because like it’s name it can be entangling. “she who builds on the advice of many will live in a crooked house.”