Surviving My Infant Son’s First Plane Ride

Eight months.

I think the best way to begin is to share a few things that I would rather do than take an eight month old little boy on a plane from Nashville to Sacramento:

1) Be forced to watch a 24 hour marathon of MTV’s 16 and Pregnant, sending out a Tweet every 15 minutes praising the show, though I despise it more than the awful movie Something Borrowed;  which is the worst movie I’ve ever seen- and that’s saying a lot because I’ve seen When in Rome.

2) Shave “racing stripes” into my hair until they grow out and when people ask me why I have resorted to a hairstyle trend that was briefly popular in 1988, I could only respond by saying “Cut… it… out!”, along with doing the accomanying hand motions, made famous by the character Joey Gladstone on Full House.

3) Walk barefoot on broken glass like Bruce Willis did in the first Die Hard movie.

When taking an infant on a plane, you must provide proof that your child is less than two years old.  I know this now because we did not.  (Dave Stanley, if you are reading this, I’m going to need you to email Jack’s birth certificate to me so we can leave Sacramento on Sunday…).  The lady was nice and let us board the plane anyway.  Thank God.

I’ve never seen my son pee so much, in a reasonable amount of time since his diaper was last changed, that I look down and see a puddle at my feet while standing in line to buy a snack before boarding the plane.  And I didn’t even care that I didn’t have time to wash my moistened hand before boarding the plane.

A guy who looked just like “Comic Book Guy” from The Simpsons brought his Shih Tzu dog on the plane, hogging up the front row of seats; when my wife and I tried to sit in the remaining two seats next to him, he responded sarcastically with, “Uh, sure, I guess it wouldn’t be a bad idea for both a dog and a baby to sit in the same row.”  It wasn’t worth it; we ended up settling for having to sit in the middle of the plane; my wife was in front of me and I was in the row behind.

The flight involved Jack sleeping as long as either my wife or I held him while standing up in the aisle.  My arms are still sore from that.

Of course, Jack won’t remember any of this along with how much he didn’t enjoy the flight.  But at least he can read about it in a few years. 

Ah man, there for a minute I actually forgot… We still have do this whole thing again when we fly back to Nashville.  Shazbot!

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  1. by Rachel

    On August 4, 2011 at 10:29 am

    Funny story! I have had the joy of taking an infant on a plane. My first was 3 weeks old and slept the whole time! My second was 3 months old and is more of a handful. I was up for days worrying about the whole experience, he too, slept the whole way! I think it was sitting by the engine and the loud constant roar that did it! Next time try a seat at the back :)

  2. by Karen

    On August 4, 2011 at 10:34 am

    We had no idea about the proof of age thing the first time either! We have since scanned Anna’s birth certificate and store a copy in PDF format on both of our phones.

    I also downloaded an episode of Sesame Street onto my iPhone. We don’t let the baby watch tv much, but Elmo is magical, sound is not even necessary.

    Anna is 9 months old and we’ve survived 6 flights in the past 2 months. It gets better. ;)

  3. by jose

    On August 4, 2011 at 11:05 am

    ive traveled with both my children from ny to vegas where their grandmother lives. the proof of age thing is funny to me but we called the airlines days before our flight to see if there was anything special we needes for the children, they told us about the proof of age requirement. ive found the trick to traveling with infants is the bottle. give your child a bottle just as you’re reaching cruising altitude so their ears pop, and the feeding when combined with scheduling your flights around the same time your child would normally take their naps, will make traveling that much easier.

  4. by Lindsay

    On August 4, 2011 at 11:18 am

    You need this:

    It has saved my husband and I a lot of trouble on several plane flights. My son is now too old for it, so I’m going to have to come up with an alternative when we fly in a few weeks.

  5. by Jenny

    On August 4, 2011 at 7:18 pm

    We have had our Dr. fax our daughters most recent medical info. to the airline we were flying and they accepted that. They wouldn’t let us fly without something proving she was ours.

  6. by Nick Shell

    On August 5, 2011 at 12:27 am

    So I guess it’s common for parents not to know they need that stuff…

  7. by Nick Shell

    On August 5, 2011 at 12:29 am

    Yeah the proof age thing is kind of funny.

  8. by Cassie

    On August 5, 2011 at 11:53 pm

    I travelled with a one and half year old and a three month old at the same time. Both of which was surprisingly amazing. We flew from South Dakota to Washington state and it still surprises me now much awesome they did. No fussy moments, no dirty diapers (on the plane), no worries about food. It was nice to get compliments on how well they were.

    I did a careful check on everything before we left too and I also heard about the proof of age requirement. So naturally I copied their birth certificates and put them in the diaper bag but no one at the airport even bothered to ask for them. I thought it was strange but I was glad I was prepared.

  9. by Dave Stanley

    On August 6, 2011 at 1:21 pm

    consider it done.

  10. by Fatima Roselle

    On January 31, 2012 at 4:22 pm

    Thanks for your strategies.Hope this will work for me in the time to come. It was fun reading this post ! Similar article

  11. [...] 3) Fly to Sacramento and back with my infant son, again. [...]