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Would you "drug" your baby for the airplane??

1162 Views 19 Replies 18 Participants Last post by  redsmama
So DS and I are flying to FL next week and the advice I got was to give him Baby Tylenol so that it would help him sleep....
At first I was like YEAH RIGHT!!! (this was a few months ago...) Now ds has become very fussy in the last week (literally screaming
) and usually won't calm down unless he is being held/carried. Even then he is sometimes fussy due ti teething and I need to supply frozen washclothes... Now that our trip is 8 days away I'm starting to panick. I cannot imagine him being in a good mood during the 3.5 hr flight.

I know the reasons he gets fussy. He gets tired but does not want to nurse to sleep so he needs motion instead. Also the teething thing. He is such a happy baby in new places walking around in his sling... but I can't walk/rock him to sleep in my seat on the plane!!

SUGGESTIONS????? I don't know anything about herbs except that chamomile soothes but I don't know how to transmit that to babe...

I'm already thinking:

-try not to let him sleep on the way to the airport, that way I can put him to sleep before getting on the airplane and hopefully he will stay that way for 1-2 hours

-try to get my window seat in the middle of the plane switched to one in the rear, hopefully with empty seats around me so that I'm not packed into seats with strangers that may not like kids and be rude. Also being in the back maybe I could pace the area in front of the restrooms?
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the only "drug" we use for flying -- and we flew fairly frequently during dd's first 18 months -- is a decongestant. Ity makes it so their ears don't get blocked -- which as I understand it can be extremely painful for a baby or anyone, for that matter.

This is a tip I cannot stress enough -- decongestant. I have seen people try to drug their babes with Benardryl and wish they hadn't -- it never seems to work the way they intend it to.

good luck!
How about Rescue Remedy? I've heard great things about that.

Ok, flame me, but we gave our toddler Benadryl for our last long flight and it was lovely. He stayed in his carseat and played w/stickers, the magnadoodle, etc. Otherwise, he insists on trying to walk in the aisles the ENTIRE trip and is mad b/c we won't let him.
BUT...some kids have the opposite reaction and get hyper. Something you'd need to know ahead of time.

We flew to London in August with our 7 month old. I see that your babe is younger than that, but that should actually make it a little easier. We didn't use any meds, and her ears were fine. If you nurse, be sure to nurse on take off and landing. That helps them keep the ears clear. I hadn't heard about decongestant, so that would be good if you're not nursing (and probably couldn't hurt anyway), but if you can nurse it's probably not necessary.
I live in Colorado and swear by Benadryl (i fly to ft lauderdale!).

I have seen people try to drug their babes with Benardryl and wish they hadn't -- it never seems to work the way they intend it to.
Of all the times i have flown, i have never seen this happen. alot of the parents give a bit of benadryl, as do I, and we get the wanted effect. what i do see unfortunately is screaming crying infants and toddlers, toddlers running up and down aisles, tapping me on the back of my head (oh, she just wants to touch your hair! gag me) leaning over the back of the seat for most of a 3.5 hour flight.....I guess i am supposed to find all this adorable, but i dont.

Good luck and have a safe flight! Oh, and bring your carseat, that has always helped me in the past. its worth the extra money for the ticket.
My parents always gave us Dimetap (sp?) when we'd fly when I was little. My mom always said it was for our ears, but I think it had an added benefit of making us conk out. I thought it was great because I just looooooved dimetap (grape flavor, of course

I wouldn't be against using something. We're not planning on flying anywhere anytime soon, though.

I think that timing his nap to coincide with the beginning of the flight would be a great idea. I do that for long car rides and it works great.

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Bonnie has flown a dozen or so times in her three years. More than half those flights were 4-5 hours long. I have never given her any drugs for it. I bring some brand new toys and books, giftwrapped. I pack snacks (sometimes in a soft sided cooled with an ice pack sometimes not.) Have you tried Hylands for the teething? I found the 1-2 punch of both the tab;ets and the gum ointment unbeatable. Good luck with your trip.
We flew from Atlanta to San Francisco last year, and I was terrified of how Em would react to the plane. She was about 14 months then, not walking, and teething.

We packed some baby Tylenol, but didn't end up using it. Fortunately, on both flights to get out there, there were extra seats on the plane and people were more than happy to swap seats with us so we could have a little extra room. Make sure you tell an attendant as soon as you board (or the one at the gate) that you are traveling with a small child and sometimes they can get you first dibs on an empty seat if one is available. They can also talk with passengers to see if anyone will scoot over for you.

Bring a few new, interesting toys as well as the old standby's. Em's favorite thing to do for the 5 hours was put things from the pocket in the back of the seat into one of the air sickness bags.
: But, hey....kept her entertained.

When I didn't have to sit, I walked to the back of the plane and swayed with her, just to give her a change of scenery. And we nursed. And nursed. And nursed. Often for just 2 minutes at a time, if that, but that was ok with me. Wear a super comfy nursing shirt if you think he might even want to nurse for a moment. That way, you're ready, lol.

A note on the Benedryl makes some kids hyper. My soon to be step sister has this reaction with a 2 and 4 year old.
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I personally only use medications when medically necessary
That said I've flown both ways with my dd who is 2 now. She's done great everytine. I find that the plane makes her sleep great, noisy and kinda bumpy constant motion I guess. All I did was nurse her on take off and descent and any other time she wanted to obviously. The times I used medication were when she had a cold and I used a decongestant so she wouldn't be in pain. DD always surprised me and handle travelling like a pro. She loved the airport so much to see and then she crashed on the plan sleeping much longer and deeper then she would at home. She was also a baby that wanted walking in the sling to fall asleep but she never needed it on the plane weird.
This last time we flew was the first time she was awake for most of the trip (at 2 years) we've flown at 4, 6, 9, 12, and 18 months for 2 and 4 hour flights (with an 1-2 hour layover in between) and she's always done great. Relax I bet he'll surprise you and do great
Definitely take the tylenol and decongestent in the diaper bag just to be safe. I also recomend Camomile Calm by herbs for kids it can really help take the edge of for a overtired cranky baby
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Originally posted by Janessa
I personally only use medications when medically necessary
Me too.
Of course, if my little guy was in pain from teething (which he is now, poor thing), I would surely bring some baby tylenol.
I flew with him when he was 2.5 months old and he was no problem at all. The timing of his eating/sleeping was perfect so that he slept most of the flight (4 hours) and was happy the rest of the time.
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We had a discussion on this board a while back about cammomile. The only thing with that is if your family has an allergy to rag weed you should not give it to your babe because it could cause an allergic reaction.

Also about Benydryl, dimatap, ect. The biggest problem with that is that it can become an easy fall back. Babe/Tot can't sleep give them a drug. Used reguarly it can cause VERY serious concequences in both children and adults like depression and anxiety disorders.

On the other hand I was allergic to citric acid as a child. My ignorant mother would let me drink orage juice or eat a tomatoe sandwitch sometimes. I would break out in hives and would not be able to breath. Several times a shot of benydryl at the emergency room saved my life.

Medicines and herbs are to be respected.
hi there,
we just returned from england (a ten hour flight) yesterday with our 1 year old. we have flown ALOT with her...almost a trip a month and have never given her medication. luckily, her ears have never bothered her. here's what works for us:

-lots and lots of nursing...often she spends hours at the boob on a plane ride. when she was younger, cuddling and nursing were her favorite activities and, thus, being forced to sit in my lap for hours was actually quite nice. nursing is also good for helping relieve ear pressure and staving off the inevitable dehydration of flying.

-whenever possible we bring the car seat on. we have never bought her a seat, but if there is extra space on the plane they have always let us bring it on. we just bring it with us to the gate and gate check it if there is no space. it is so much easier and so much safer having a carseat. Though, we have found that every airline has a different safety policy for lap children and some are pretty crazy...we were once forced to take her out of the car seat (she was asleep!) and hold her in our arms because that was their policy.

-now that she is older we bring a ton of snacks and toys, but before either of those were a part of her life we found that walking the length of the plane over and over and standing in the back looking at all of the buttons provided ample entertainment.

-in terms of teething...we always take teething tabs and that works for us. but, i do bring tylenol just in case. there is nothing worse than being on the plane without something you, my best advise is to pack it all and be ready for anything (the days of packing light are long gone!).

anyhway, good luck! may your babe sleep peacefully through the whole thing.

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We flew with Anneke to Amsterdam (from San Francisco) when she was 8 weeks and only used the boob. In fact, that's what our ped "prescribed" in case of ear pain on the descent. Weflew with her again to Florida, also a long flight, at 15 weeks and only took Hyland's teething tablets and used them sparingly. It sounds like they may help your ds. We are flying again to Florida next week, dd will be 20 weeks, and will take Tylenol for emergencies and Hylands but will probably only use the Hylands. That's really the only drug I use in general and it's a miracle pill.
We use a homeopathic liquid called serenol if we are going on a long trip. I am in Canada so don't know if you have it where you are. I would personally not drug my child but the serenol is camomile and some other things and just soothes them. I am going on a 5 hour drive this Thursday (and back on Sunday) and I'll be giving both of mine a dose of serenol before we leave!
I am curious as to what the decongestant is that you all use. I am taking a three hour flight on Friday and ds has come down with a nasty cold. I know his ears are already bothering him, so I will definitely give him something if it will help him stay comfortable.
We have used the Tom's of Maine kids decongestent and been very happy with it. The active ingredient is the same as most commercial decongestents I'm blanking on the name right now but can look if you would like me too. Anyway it's worked great for us and Shiah has tolerated it much better then the more mainstream versions (She would immediately throw up if I tried to give her like dimetapp or something like that I think she couldn't handle the dyes?)
I flew from Philadelphia to Australia with dd and dh when she was five months old. I did A LOT of nursing. On the way there, I didn't use anything and she was okay but didn't get a lot of sleep. She spent A LOT of time nursing. We were extremely lucky because on the leg from LA to Sydney, we had a bassinette that was in business class so we had more room than we had anticipated. While I was in Australia, I developed vertigo and had to take a decongestant to correct it. I took one benydryl. My dd slept like a log that night. On the way home I took a benydryl and she slept on both legs of the flight. It was so much easier. But if I was going on a shorter flight, I wouldn't give her anything. I also think that you will be surprised--flying is a big adventure with new sounds and lots of stuff to look at. I would try the trip there using the suggestions here and if it is a disaster you could try giving ds something. I would bring tylenol though, in case his ears start to bother him. Good luck. Let us know how it goes.
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Thanks Janessa, I didn't know Toms of Maine made a decongestent. I will check it out, though ds seems to be feeling much better today. Mayber we won't need anything but mother's milk for the flight.
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There is a homeopathic remedy called Camilla which helps with teething and fussiness. Sounds like your poor babe could use this, with out or without the flight, because he is having such a hard time with teething. You can get it at most health food stores.

We flew with baby when she was 6 months to Egypt from NY - almost a 20 hour trip with layovers. I used a bit of the camilla and mostly the boob. Good luck!
If I had a long flight (as i did) and if i had a baby (14 mos) who would make everyone on the flight miserable (as I do), I would give him a low dose of benedryl. I also justify it by his numerous ear infections, knowing his ears may not have drained well and the pressure may be difficult.
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