As a father of two, I had my initial concerns about taking my children on a plane as infants. You can never be quite sure how well kids will behave at any given time. And, especially at a very young age, it can be hard to figure out what makes them happy.
Just as much as the crying of a baby can annoy fellow passengers, babies are dealing with a bunch of things in the air that are foreign to them. But, they can’t tell us exactly what’s bothering them, so parents are left to try to discern what a specific cry means. Helpless fathers like me choose the “NASCAR approach” where you feed ’em, change ’em, walk ’em, burp ’em and hope something helps soothe them.
A mother has invented something pretty simple that may help babies relax on airplanes (and, by extension, the people within earshot). Special thanks to the sweetest Aussie I know, my dear friend Yvonne, for passing this story on (BTW, you need to come back and make another Pavlova with the kids!).
According to the article, she invented a bassinet cover that helps reduce distractions for little ones:
It’s super lightweight — weighing about 500 grams — and has been approved for use on some Qantas and Virgin Australia cabins and aircraft.
“It’s like a little bag that unzips and pops up, like one of those pop-up laundry bags,” Ms Lovell said of the Fly Babee.
“It provides a really lovely, cozy dome that blocks out 97 per cent of light and it’s 100 per cent breathable and air permeant — it essentially allows air to flow as if it wasn’t there. It’s got a rainbow opening so you can get baby in without taking it off, plenty of kick space and a little peephole to check up on them.
“There’s also a little pocket inside for your iPad or phone so you can play lullabies or whatever you use at home. It’s just a really simple fix to a really common problem.”
Indeed. A very simple fix to a common problem. The fact that some airlines already approve its usage is a big plus, too, since I’ve run into plenty of situations where flight attendants wouldn’t let us use specific baby gear on planes.
It’s a little pricey, in that the unit is about 75 USD plus another $20 to ship from Australia. That also means you’ll need to plan ahead if you want to buy one for an upcoming flight. Parents of kids who have troubles flying can attest that this would be a small price to pay if it helped your kids sleep peacefully on long flights.
Our kids are past the point of fitting in a bassinet, so I won’t be testing it. But, I’d be curious to hear from others if they find it useful.
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