Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Sightings of Savvy Parent Travelers

Yes, we're back out on the road again. From San Diego, California to Chapel Hill, North Carolina, we're sharing ideas and hearing what others are doing to support babies and their families. Usually, we would post a photo and tell you that we'll be back soon. But this week, I was fortunate to observe some parents that have clearly done their homework when it comes to traveling with their babies and I wanted to share some of their great ideas with you.

1. Tag Team Security
With two kids, a stroller, baggage, and today's security screening requirements, parents typically are struggling and juggling all the way through the TSA line. But this last weekend, I saw two parents of an infant and toddler work through a closely choreographed routine that looked almost effortless, handing off kids, belts, shoes, bags, in perfect step and at just the right time to get everything through security with a minimum of stress. Several fellow passengers stopped to watch the "dance" and once we were through security, I asked them if they had practiced it all at home. "Oh yeah!" said the proud dad, "only about 100 times."

2. Baby Yoga at the Gate
On my second trip of the weekend, I arrived at the gate to find a young couple and a baby close to the windows doing yoga together. While dad stretched out, mom gently moved and stretched the babies arms and legs. She also sang a song and smiled at her alert and happy baby. After a few minutes, dad kept the baby busy while mom went through a few poses. The mom told me that they always stretched during layovers. She said, "Makes sitting in planes and car seats easier when we take these breaks."

3. Toddler Take Off
Even though I couldn't see them, I heard a young mom talking to her older toddler. "What does the plane do?" The baby made a rumbling sound and mom made a rumbling sound. I heard her say again, "What does the plane do?" The toddler laughed while mom said "Zoooooommm!" They repeated this game several times before the plane actually took off and just as the plane lifted into the air, I could hear the baby laughing and making the rumbling sound as loud as he could.

4. Aisle Stroll
One of my flights was nearly 4 hours long, and as soon as the fasten-seat-belt sign went off, I noticed a dad, holding a young baby, pacing back and forth in the aisle. As flight attendants and fellow passengers moved around the cabin, he kept closer to their seats, but he kept walking for about 40 minutes. The baby was alert, relaxed, and looking around as they passed by my seat several times. When someone commented on what a "good baby" he had, the dad said that the walking made a big difference in keeping the baby happy, even if the baby didn't fall asleep. I didn't hear his baby cry at any time during the flight.

Obviously, these parents had a lot of experience traveling with young babies and toddlers. Given the press in the past about parents' struggles with their kids on planes, I really wanted to share some stories of parents who really do it right. So, how about you? What do you do to make air travel with your baby a little easier?

No comments:

Post a Comment