December 29, 2012

Diaper Blowout at 35,000 Feet and Other Horror Stories

Do not, repeat NOT, feed the baby solid foods the day before the flight.

Happy Little Frequent Flyer

I thought I was being all clever putting Nicki in overnight diapers for the plane. Airplanes have such small changing tables in the restrooms, and with the possibility of turbulence I thought we the extra time an overnight diaper might buy us might be a necessity to get us to our layover destination. What I did not count on was poop. Oh, and there was poop. Lots of poop. On both legs of our trip. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Overtired parents

The day started out way too early. We had a 7:30 am flight, which would not be a problem pre-baby. When I booked the flight, however, I forgot that it generally takes us (or at least me) 2 hours from waking-up to out-the-door these days. I also forgot that the airport is about an hour away and that we were up late last night finishing up packing (and laundry and dishes, etc.) It was also the Saturday before New Years, one of the busiest travel days. Mommy did not plan the start of our travel day well, and she paid for her mistake with sleep deprivation.

Fussy baby won’t sleep.

Our trip out east went beautifully. Nicki fell asleep on the first leg of the flight, and was in a well rested happy mood on the second leg. (If she was going to only have one good travel day, I’m glad it was the one out east! Otherwise, our whole trip I’d be worrying about the return.)

This time? I knew we were in trouble when we had to wake Nicki up to go to the airport. She was so comfy and warm in her sleeper, and so unhappy about having to get out and have her diaper changed. Overtired and fussy, she wasn’t happy about the long security line to check a bag.

Nicki usually falls asleep when being rocked. The light vibrations of the car can also do it. She fell asleep during takeoff during our first flight. Since the flight was so smooth, she didn’t stay asleep and couldn’t go back to sleep. Once she was up, she was up. And cranky.

It wasn’t until we arrived at Las Vegas and I got out the ergo that she took a little cat nap on me. And by little I mean just enough that she wouldn’t fall asleep on the second flight until we were halfway through our final descent. She stayed asleep until our luggage came off the carousal. This second cat nap was just long enough to keep her from going to sleep on the drive back to the house. For those of you keeping score at home, that’s one ten minute name, one half hour nap, and one 15 minute name.

Fussy Baby won’t nurse

Another thing that went well on the trip out was nursing. It was my first time nursing outside the house, and also my first time nursing with a nursing cover. Neither seemed to bother Nicki. She was a champ. We had expressed breastmilk and formula (first time mom is always over prepared!) The formula was never used, but the expressed breastmilk looked like it was going bad well before the four hour mark, so we decided to skip expressed breastmilk for the flight home.

This time? She wasn’t having any of it. Not one drop. We tried to nurse four separate times. Not only did she refuse, but she would grab and pull at the cover while screaming at the top of her lungs. If anyone at the airport didn’t know we were trying to nurse, they did after that! Good thing Domingo insisted we bring four bottles of emergency formula. She consumed the fourth and final bottle on the drive from the airport home.

Lessons Learned

(1) Don’t plan the flight too early. The day runs much better when the baby gets a full night of sleep.
(2) Overnight diapers are the way to go (but they aren’t full proof.)
(3) New toys only help for a few minutes. Keep a set of five toys (new or not) and cycle through them to keep baby distracted.
(4) Try not to take the baby out of the carrier close to landing, she will not want to go back into it!
(5) Relax. Much like weddings, something will go wrong no matter how much you plan. It wasn’t all bad, and now she is sleeping quite soundly.

Posted in Family Life, Travel | Tags: , ,



  1. […] now! And remaining seated and still and using indoor voices are typically not among them.) Our last east coast venture resulted in a diaper blowout during each leg of our return trip. What would be in store for us this time? The answer was not […]

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