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To be so worried about taking my baby on this plane?

(26 Posts)
upthewolves Sat 21-May-16 01:30:31

My daughter is 9 months old. We live in Australia and all our family lives in the UK. My in laws and my dad have never met DD as for various reasons they haven't been able to come here and we haven't been able to go there since she was born.

We are due to fly next week and will stay there a month. I am not able to look forward to it because I'm dreading the journey so much. Last week DD picked up a cold at daycare and she has been sick all week. She had a week of disrupted sleep because she was so congested and couldnt breathe through her nose, it has now gone to her chest and she rattles when she breathes. I now have it too and feel shocking which combined with the sleep deprivation probably isn't helping!

I'm really worried about taking such a congested baby on a flight and if we cancel or postpone it will cost us hundreds of dollars. We have one week for it to clear up. I took her to the gp yesterday and he basically said it was viral, there was nothing he could do and that taking a baby on a plane is "an act of faith, even when they are well". I haven't been able to get this out of my head and still don't really understand what he meant - does he think the risk of flying is so great it would be foolish to take her? I am a very nervous flier anyway and have previously taken something to make me sleep on the plane but obviously cant do this while looking after DD.

At this point I am ready to say unless she's 100% better she's not getting on the plane. DH thinks im massively overreacting. AIBU and neurotic??

EchoOfADistantTide Sat 21-May-16 01:37:32

I think that by what he said, he meant that no matter how healthy a baby (or anyone really) is when they get on a plane, especially for a long flight, you have to accept there's a pretty good chance they can catch something or get sick.

If you're thinking "aircraft safety" I really don't think that's what he meant at all - just health-wise.

Pinkheart5915 Sat 21-May-16 01:37:50

In a week she will more than like be better or almost better should be ok to fly. The Doctor didn't say she can't fly.

In terms of generally taking a baby on a flight me and dh took ds to San Francisco from the uk when he was 8 weeks. It was totally fine.

AppleMagic Sat 21-May-16 01:41:57

I think he meant that babies can be hard work when flying whether they are ill or not and not to worry about it. I don't think he meant they are likely to catch an illness either - just that they can be cranky and hard to settle. Mine have travelled loads when little (we're expats) and never caught an illness from being on a plane.

I think you are being a bit neurotic and reading too much into what he said.

Clare1971 Sat 21-May-16 01:48:11

Your gp was trying to be funny. It's hard work taking a baby on a plane because you have to try and keep them happy the whole way and do everything in such a tiny space. Only a blind optimist would look forward to a long haul flight with a baby hence his comment 'act of faith'. If he'd thought it was even slightly dangerous he would have told you not to go. If you're at all worried book an appointment the day before the flight. If your gp actually tells you not to fly then hopefully you can claim the money back on insurance, but I'm pretty sure you'll be fine to go and hopefully your little one will sleep lots on the way.

upthewolves Sat 21-May-16 02:42:36

Ok your replies have relieved me (and made me realise I am being a bit silly ). I have always been afraid of flying but it got worse after the Malaysian airlines incidents a couple of years ago. With mh17 I had taken the same exact flight the week before. Adding in a few Google searches turning up perforated ear drums in babies sent me into a real panic.

Good idea, I'll take her back to GP the day before we go. Think I'll see a different one because this one is quite sarcastic which doesn't help!

3luckystars Sat 21-May-16 02:51:22

You can take xanax and it will not make you sleepy, your doctor can prescribe these. I would not be able to get on a plane without them. Get the prescription when you bring your baby back to be checked before you go. She should be much improved by then. Good luck!

BananaInPyjama Sat 21-May-16 03:15:23

I agree with the GP- it is an act of faith- with adults we can put up and shut up, or whibge, but kids and babies just cry.
I have made the same trip as you 9 times since we had a 4month old, and as a matter of course I always pack Nurofen. Nothing worse than a baby feeling ill (temp or whatever) and no way to help. Its the first thing I pack.

Your DD should be better by next week, but make sure you pack a dummy/bottle/breast to help with equalisation at take off and landing,. Allowing the baby to suck is a huge help. (Older kids are allowed chupa chups now for this purpose).

and babies can be a pain on a long flight, but really you just have to grin and bear it. And ignore other passengers!

VioletBam Sat 21-May-16 04:11:29

OP I had to do it multiple times with DD1. The first UK/Oz flight she did, she was 3 months.

It IS scary but it's fine. It's easy with a baby compared to a toddler! THe staff will help as much as they can.

Pollyputhtekettleon Sat 21-May-16 06:12:14

It will be fine. She may well sleep a lot due to the noise and vibrations. Babies always sound horrifically chesty even when it's just nasal drip or upper respiratory stuff so as long as she's not struggling to breath or has a temp then I wouldn't worry about her cough. The coughing can last a month+ in little ones. Only thing I'd keep an eye on is ears. One of mine always gets ear infections along with colds and I imagine flying would be painful with infected ears.

TurquoiseDress Sat 21-May-16 07:38:30

OP I don't think seeing a different GP will give you much of a different response.

Sounds like your LO has had a viral illness- another GP is highly unlikely to tell you not to take her on the flight or prescribe some antibiotics.

Honestly, travelling with a baby is so much easier than a toddler!

It is indeed an "act of faith"!

DoItTooJulia Sat 21-May-16 07:43:19

grin at pack a breast!

Mistigri Sat 21-May-16 07:52:13

If your doctor thought your baby wasn't well enough to fly he would have told you! What he meant is that travelling with a baby is stressful, and how stressful it is, is a bit of a lottery. A baby who is perfectly well and happy can suddenly throw a wobbly about ear pressure changes, or about being confined in a seat when they don't want to be. I was on a flight recently where a toddler who had been perfectly behaved all flight went bonkers during the descent and it took three adults to restrain him. I'm sure the (perfectly nice, and very embarrassed) parents weren't expecting that! That's what the doctor meant, that babies can be hard work on flights not that your baby would be in any danger.

FWIW I think flying with a pre-walking baby is MUCH easier than with a toddler, so I would take the opportunity to travel now. I hope you all feel better soon.

ricketytickety Sat 21-May-16 07:59:19

If you can, feed on take off and landing to help relieve any pressure that might build up (doesn't always happen - seems to depend on the speed of ascent/descent),

sunnyoutside Sat 21-May-16 08:11:05

I took my then 10month old to Florida and gave him a bottle on take off. He brought it all back up blush and the attendants had to replace my actual seat (just the base) and gave me a towel to wrap around me because my trousers were sodden and covered in vomit blush blush I then had to spend the rest of the flight listening to passengers moan about the smell of vomit. The return flight - he was an absolute star and I actually had a passenger (who had moved to an empty seat a few rows away after realising they could be stuck in front of a baby - fair enough, I didn't blame them grin ) say to me what a well behaved baby he had been and they hope they hadn't offended me by moving! I laughed, said it was fine and told them about the first flight grin

ExtremelyConfidential Sat 21-May-16 08:15:00

I did Oz to UK with a 9 month old.

Have you booked a bassinet? DS was just big enough to fit in still. Just having a big tray to keep his stuff in was helpful.

I was the only parent who didn't use phenergan to tranquilize my child...I regret not doing that grin (ask your GP)

Whilst you're there, I say don't hold back on requesting some diazepam or similar for yourself.

I am very sympathetic to your fears on this one, but you are going on the trip and that's that.

I think babies smell fear and you won't be doing yourself or your DC any favours by not doing everything you can to help yourself on that score.

I hope your DC feels better soon and you have a fabulous trip.

Slackalice42 Sat 21-May-16 08:19:49

For goodness sake test the phenergan first it makes some babies go totally hyperactive!

CountessOfStrathearn Sat 21-May-16 08:28:55

"I was the only parent who didn't use phenergan to tranquilize my child...I regret not doing that grin (ask your GP)"

Your GP will tell you that pheregan is a very bad idea, especially in a child under 2.

It can cause severe respiratory depression, which is just what you want on a long haul flight, as well as agitation and hyperactivity.

upthewolves Sat 21-May-16 12:09:21

Thank you all so much. There are some great tips here! It is reassuring to hear from others that have done it. I did manage to fly from Perth to Melbourne when she was 3 months but she was easy then - non mobile, breastfed, slept the whole way. Now she is almost walking and generally very active. Plus I don't get as worried on domestic flights, not really sure why. I think I perceive there to be less of a terrorism risk and also there is the international airspace thing, flying over warzones, oceans etc. I realise as I am explaining it that it sounds completely irrational and that I can't even articulate which thing I am worried about - the plane crashing, DD being ill and her ears hurting her, or DD being difficult to manage. I am just generally very worried to the point that I am struggling to think of anything else! I have had very bad anxiety since having DD though and I am seeing a counselor but maybe I'll look into Xanax this week. Thanks everyone for your advice!

upthewolves Sat 21-May-16 12:11:43

Oh and someone already mentioned phernergan to me! I asked my child health nurse and she said she wouldn't recommend it as doctors don't like giving babies anything that makes them drowsy.

ExtremelyConfidential Sat 21-May-16 13:11:54

Crikey, thanks everyone for letting me know about the phenergan!!!! Sorry OP, clearly I was totally brainwashed by the number of people who told me I should have used that confused I stand firmly corrected! My parents did use it on me for "travel sickness" when I was a kid, but I was definitely over 2 years old!

I hope you're OK OP, I have been very anxious about flying myself and really feel for you flowers

Mommawoo Sat 21-May-16 13:18:23


Mommawoo Sat 21-May-16 13:20:06

I'll try again....

Do not take Xanax. Its a highly addictive and harmful drug and how people can just casually recommend it is beyond me.

3luckystars Sat 21-May-16 15:55:50

Regarding the xanax, I take it for flying, the doctor gives me 2 tablets, one for the journey out and one for the way back. How could I get addicted? I only have 2 tablets and only fly every couple of years.
It's anti anxiety medication, and flying is what makes me anxious. The doctor recommended it and I understand some people could get addicted if they had a load of them and were taking them long term, but to me it means I can get on a plane and travel.
Sorry if it was a stupid suggestion. I just thought the op could talk to her doctor about it when she visits before her trip.

Pythonesque Sat 21-May-16 16:34:33

You'll be fine - at least as far as anyone travelling that distance with children is fine. (I've done it a number of times, and my mother did with my sister and I).

Agree about having nurofen or similar with you in case. Also something like olbas for the fumes to help clear bunged up heads - I think we used to get "Inhalit" in Australia that was a bit like the UK Olbas oil. You might be able to get menthol (or similar) impregnated tissues which would be easier to use.

I think it was probably phenergan that my mother was advised to use with me the first time she took me Sydney to London, age just 1. And I had the not uncommon paradoxical alerting reaction to it. Remembering that the flight was longer in those days with more stops, plus we were delayed on the tarmac even before takeoff, and then hear that I finally fell asleep in the car after we were collected in London ... I've heard of plenty of other parents with similar nightmare experiences so definitely, if you are considering it try it out first at home!

Personally I always view the UK/Aus flight as "a day out of my life". One thing I did notice when flying with very small children is actually they get your sole attention for a much longer period of time than they usually do at home when you have other things to do. Be prepared to just roll with it and go with the flow as far as you can. Oh and let your families "pick up the pieces" at the other end as much as necessary.

Best wishes! And enjoy the trip.

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