After you have kids, flying on a plane with a baby is still the most annoying thing in the entire world. The only difference is now the baby belongs to you, and you have no choice but to sit next to your spawn. Before you become a parent, flying on a plane with a baby is the most annoying thing in the entire world.
Here are the 12 emotional stages of air travel with a baby.
1. We have to travel, as in, fly somewhere. Oh no, do I really have to get on an airplane with this baby?
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Flying with babies shouldn’t even be a thing. It’s 2016. I should just be able to teleport by now. Maybe I can drive instead. Actually, scratch that — 14 hours on the road with a baby sounds even worse than flying. I guess I should just resign myself to never leaving the house again until this tiny demon is in middle school.
2. Okay, the flight is booked. I’m actually doing this, and I am terrified.
What if the baby has an Exorcist-style meltdown, and they kick us off the flight? Goody bags! We must not forget to pack goody bags for all the other passengers. We also need books, toys, snacks, a stroller, a car seat, 18 bottles of wine for me, our own private jet, a helpful nanny, and a licensed therapist to talk me through this traumatic experience.
3. Hey, get it together, me. This doesn’t have to be a big deal.
On second thought, screw the goody bags. I don’t need to bribe people to tolerate my baby. I’ll just make sure we get to the airport right at the start of nap time and let her sleep through the flight. I am a mom on a mission, and everything is going to be perfect. Except, as long as we’re in the company of other travelers, please, please let this child stay quiet…
4. Wait, I have to take her out of her stroller to get her through security?
But, then she’s going to wake up! I can’t believe we aren’t even inside the actual terminal yet and already my plans have been blown to smithereens. Okay, okay, fine, through the scanner it is, but if this kid stays up and cries for the next four hours, I’m holding you personally responsible, Mr. TSA Agent.
5. We made it! (Well, to the gate, at least.)
We’re actually past security, getting ready to board. I bought tickets for this flight specifically because they corresponded with the baby’s feeding schedule. That’s how organized I am, and if they delay us even five minutes, I will rage about this on social media with a force like they’ve never seen. I have 50,000 followers. Let’s get this shit show in the air.
6. We’re in our seats, the baby is asleep, and I am a maternal goddess.
Look at those mom skills. I can’t believe I was even nervous about this. The baby will sleep through the entire flight while I eat snacks and read about Taylor Swift’s new boyfriend. Then, when we land, everyone will applaud, and I’ll write a book on raising the best-behaved baby in aviation history. This is fantastic.
7. Oh no, she’s waking up.
We just took off. This can’t be happening. Listen to me, Baby, be cool. The guy next to us already gave us the evil eye when he sat down. Whether or not we’re hated by every traveler and crew member for the rest of this flight rests on your tiny shoulders — no pressure.
8. My baby is making the poop face. Stop it immediately.
I know, as an infant, you haven’t really been alive long enough to understand that changing a diaper in an airplane bathroom is every parent’s definition of hell, but just take my word for it: Do not poop. I believe in you, and also, I’m your mother, and if you don’t follow my instructions, I will totally remember this moment and tell all your future high school boyfriends about it.
9. I’m pretty sure airplane bathrooms could double as torture devices.
Am I actually supposed to be able to move around in here? This changing table is about the same size as the diving board on my old Polly Pocket pool play set, and I’m just praying this kid doesn’t kick a sock into the toilet. This must be punishment for everything I’ve ever done wrong in my life.
10. Please don’t start crying. Please don’t start crying. Please don’t start crying.
Oh no, you’re officially crying. I am that person with a crying baby on a plane. I never thought my life would turn out this way. Where did I go wrong? The man next to us looks like he might actually smash open the emergency exit and bail mid-air.
11. This flight is never going to end.
Mayday! I’ve exhausted my resources. The baby is crying again, she doesn’t want to eat, books are not helping, and every time I try pacing the aisle, the woman in seat C4 starts sighing loudly and muttering about birth control under her breath. Flight attendant, I need a tiny plastic cup of rosé, stat!
12. We’re landing! We made it!
I’d like to thank the Academy and also my parents, the flight attendants, the inventors of pacifiers, diapers, baby wipes, the pilot, the plane itself, and every god from every religion that’s ever existed in the history of the world. I am never doing this again — at least, not until the flight home.