Stories of kindness when traveling with kids

 Cancun International Airport after 10 hours in the air

Cancun International Airport after 10 hours in the air

This week we are traveling with the kids and I’m a bit anxious about it. With our first, we went to 7 different countries in the first year! To ease the stress and worry of traveling with baby, here are inspiring stories of kindness that helped some babies and baby mommas have a safe and pleasant journey. From my own experiences I am now extra conscious of traveling families, and so willing to give a hand. Well, that is, when I’m traveling solo and not already juggling my own nuggets.

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When my daughter was one and half years old we did a trip from the UK to India. When I boarded, I noticed we had a seat in the back row, smashed up against the back wall and toilet. Thankfully, a kind person, offered to switch with us. They were in a front row with lots of leg space. This made a world of difference given I would have my baby on my lap for a long inter-continental flight. I was blessed!

World traveling momma of two

 

On a long flight from Europe to South America, I had luck! I was traveling with my baby. At first, I located my seat and could see the look of horror in the eyes of those who were going to be sat nearby, looking at the baby and me. However, my baby was relaxed and calm and slowly people came up and said hello and played with him. They asked questions and made jokes. Other passengers also helped me with luggage and bags, which is always challenging when you have your hands full with a little one. Honestly, it was such a pleasant experience.

Chilean mummy

 

What was probably only a 5-minute cry session, feels like eternity

I was about to go on my first intercontinental trip with baby A. From our city we had to do one layover, which was a bit of a pain. As we boarded the flight, I was next to a couple and their two-year-old daughter, and across the aisle, another older couple. The couple next to me offered to help along the way in any way they could, I think they could see a few hours in, I was struggling. At one-point baby A had a crying fit, so I put him in the carrier, walking up and down the aisles and mostly in-between the ‘alley’ between the bathrooms and food prep area. At one point, I put my head against the wall and didn’t think I was going to make it. What was probably only a 5-minute cry session, feels like eternity (you know what I mean traveling mommas). The couple across the aisle came to my rescue. They said I was doing a great job, that they had two older twin boys and struggled so much with them as babies. I was thankful for the encouragement. The food trolley came and went, and I didn’t take anything because how would I eat with a baby in my hands? Later on, once the meal service ended, they pulled out a tray and said, ‘Hey, we saved you some food’. They were angels. As the hours went by, I grew more and more comfortable with them, eventually even handing off baby for a bit to eat, and run to the loo. They loved it! They were so happy to connect with the baby and I was so happy to have a short break. I’ll never forget them. They saved me on my first long flight alone.

Country hopping momz

 

I was traveling international to Canada via Air Canada with my three-year-old while being 7.5 months pregnant. Upon reaching the gate, the attendant called me up the computer desk and asked to see my tickets. Without even asking we were bumped up to first class seats! It was so nice of them to do and so convenient for me! I appreciated that a lot.

Mama of now three little nuggets

 

It’s always hard for me to trust strangers, but this guy was just sweet and exactly what I needed in that moment.

On a long flight from Europe to South America, I had luck! I was traveling with my baby. At first, I located my seat and could see the look of horror in the eyes of those who were going to be sat nearby, looking at the baby and me. However, my baby was relaxed and calm and slowly people came up and said hello and played with him. They asked questions and made jokes. Other passengers also helped me with luggage and bags, which is always challenging when you have your hands full with a little one. Honestly, it was such a pleasant experience.

Momma of baby boy

 

We had a flight from the UK to Mexico and I was alone with baby. It was going to be about 10-hours. I sat behind a family that had 6 kids! So, that took the pressure off a bit. Although the entire time I was thinking, ‘how could you do it with so many kids’? Although, they weren’t all babies, there were many trying times throughout that flight, I wanted to give that mamma a big hug. We made small talk with the Indian girl next to us. She thought baby was adorable. She eventually moved seats as there was an available row in the back, so we had an extra seat! Baby was chill almost the entire flight. He wasn’t much into napping, which made for a long 10 hours. I kept counting down the hours on my watch. Thankfully, it mostly flew by. There was a point, about 7 hours in that I was stressing. There was a hippy full of adventure Spanish chica next to us. She offered to take baby for a bit, and was delighted to do it. It was brilliant. Baby and her immediately connected, she entertained him for about 30 minutes. Then the Indian chick came back. She whisked Adrian up and took him for a walk in her arms up and down the aisles. Although, I wasn’t a fan of them doing selfies, I just went with the flow. I was so thankful to have them help out with baby on this long flight!

Mother of two little dragons

 

The last leg of one of my trips to the US from Peru I sat next to this old guy.  He reminded me of my grandfather.  I was exhausted and in desperate need to pump.  I think he could tell I was a little antsy and trying to get organized.  He basically just took Steven from me.  He had offered many times but I really didn’t want to be a bother.  Instead he grabbed some of the books I had lying out and held Steven and read him a few books while I sat there and pumped.  He was very sweet and talked about his grandkids.  It’s always hard for me to trust strangers, but this guy was just sweet and exactly what I needed in that moment.  Most people probably prayed I was not going to be the one who sits next to them, but this guy welcomed us.  Those small acts of kindness go such a long way with a frazzled, sleep-deprived mother of an infant.

Multicultural mamma

 

She oozed warmth and positive energy and we instantly felt comfortable with her.

One time I was traveling alone with my baby, Lucas, on a train. He was a bit scared of being on the train, especially as it was a fast-moving Euro train, and began crying. I could already tell it was going to be a LONG journey. But, how would I get him to calm down for our t rip? Luckily there was a friendly old couple, a French set of grandparents, that were seated in front of us. They were so content to have my baby close by and played with him the entire journey. Every once and a while when Lucas would cry, they would tell me not to worry, “ne t'inquiète pas,” because babies can do whatever they please, and all parents have had similar experiences with their children. They were the best!

France living mom

 

I was traveling to France with my kids last summer. My son had brought along his book, Augustus and His Smile, which his auntie had bought him. The book was in both English and French. The French part, he didn’t know how to read or pronounce (and neither did I unfortunately.) We ended up sitting next to a lovely old French lady. She oozed warmth and positive energy and we instantly felt comfortable with her, as if we had known her from a past life. She sat next to my son. He pulled out his book, and that’s when the magic happened. They both read along together, him in English, her in French, and truly enjoyed each other’s company and sharing of the book. To this day, my son will pull out the book and recall the lovely lady on our flight to France.

Queen B MUM

 

On a flight to Italy we had both girls, who were little. At one point they both feel asleep on top of us. We couldn’t move and opted to just let them stay sleeping on us so they could get some sleep and be rested. The love of parents. The passengers in the row behind us passed orange juice and prosecco, because they had had similar experiences and wanted us to feel comfortable!

Mother of two little divas

 

When my first was full-blow nursing I travelled with her and my parents. Our seats ended up separate, so I was sat next to aa dude who didn’t seem excited to be seated next to us. Eventually, I explained that the baby was calm and I would be nursing throughout the flight, given she was tiny and I was still feeding frequently. He reassured me it was ok and changed seats when there was an available spot elsewhere. In the end it was more comfortable for him and us!

My secret is: go into auto-pilot.

Jet-setter mama of angels

 

We were traveling for a family wedding and the kids were super excited to be on the plane. We all loaded on to the plane, got situated, pushed off from the gate and then found out we could not take off due to bad weather. Since we had already left the gate, we had to just sit on the plane until we were given the ok to take off. 30 minutes went by and the kids started getting restless. It’s so much easier to keep them in their seats and entertained when we're in the air. Sitting on a plane that's not moving is torture. Then we get an update that it’s going to be another hour or so before we get the green light to go. You could hear the sighs from all of the adults and the cries of unhappy children! Shortly after, the pilot comes down the aisle counting children. He then asks each of them if they would like to check out the cockpit and see what it’s like to fly. He took the kids, two at a time, up to the cockpit and let them sit in his chair, take pictures and explore. He even let them say hello to their parents on the loudspeaker. It was the most fun my kids have ever had on a flight and we were super relieved that we didn't have to deal with toddler meltdowns before take-off!

Mommy with two bitty boys

 

Tips from the experts:

Pack a bag full of things to do, pens, pads of paper, iPads, stickers.

I find the games or puzzles that require more time and attention are great for keeping them entertained and busy for longer spurts of time.

I’ve always been a frequent traveller, myself, so having kids didn’t stop us from seeing the world. Don’t let it stop you.

We have been on so many flights, I can’t even remember them all, they’re a bit of blur to be honest. Be in the flow. Smile a lot. Humor also goes a long way, so does coffee.

My secret is: go into auto-pilot. Don’t stress about what will happen, or what-if scenarios, just go with the flow. If they have a meltdown, tackle it and they will be fine (and so will you and the other passengers), if there’s a delay, figure out how to distract them and keep them entertained (as well as a cocktail for yourself).

 San Francisco International Airport. Stretches and play before boarding our flight. 

San Francisco International Airport. Stretches and play before boarding our flight. 

Have you had a pleasant experience traveling with your baby? Please share. We’d love to hear from you!