The Mental Battle Of Flying With A Baby

Flying to the USA with my six-month-old was more difficult for me than it was for her.  It taught me a few things I thought I already knew.

Flying to the USA with my six-month-old was more difficult for me than it was for her.  It taught me a few things I thought I already knew.

Travel absolutely includes journey, not just the destination.  I learned this the hard way during a disaster twenty-hour trek involving planes, trains and automobiles from Milano to Stuttgart (perspective: it should have been a one hour flight). From then on, I learned to roll with the punches. 

When my first daughter was three months old, I rushed over to the American embassy to get her a passport and social security card. It was important to me that she be a dual citizen and that we book to visit the USA as soon as possible.

So here we are. Lavinia, my six-month-old, was too interested in the people sitting beside us to sleep on the flight. She wanted to take it all in and practically jumped into the lap of the Irish, Facebook saleswoman sitting next to us.

The few times I tried to put her in the bassinet for sleep she got upset- who wouldn’t?  The thing looks like a dog’s cage. I freaked and felt like a terrible mother for dragging her across the world. What on Earth would happen if she didn’t take her naps at her scheduled times? Would we both implode? My poor little baby.

Lavinia was born wide-eyed. She started out staring at things intently before she could even focus her little newborn eyes. She would open them wide, rather than closing them in fear, when a shadow passed over her face or a new person came into view.

My curious little girl develops this trait further as she grows. She knows what she wants to examine and persists until something even more interesting distracts her.

The result of her staying awake for most of our 24-hour journey from Melbourne to Buffalo? She was so tired that she adjusted to the 15 hour time change within three days. I had worse jet lag than she did. Probably the best result I could have hoped for.

Ya can't force them to sleep on a flight (or otherwise), even if you think it's good for them. I need to trust my daughter more. This seems like a very important lesson in parenting.

Los Angeles
Back to Melbourne Like an Old Pro

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