The little jet-setter


Since Joshua was 10 days old, he has taken plane rides with me almost every month. My little one is a frequent flyer.

We learned many things throughout our travels and I’d like to share these with my other mommy friends.

1. Always pack the essentials in your carry on bag. It is so important to have the following in the bag: 2 diapers, travel size wipes, changing pad, baby blanket, jacket, extra shirt and pants, breastfeeding cover, and a few toys. These sound bulky, but it really is not. All these can fit very well in one carry on bag. I have changed Joshua in airplane toilets for pooping up in the air. So better be prepared than sorry.

2. Breastfeed going up and going down. Our baby’s ears are subject to pressure because of the change of altitude and it needs to equalize. To relieve the pain, the moving of the jaws help equalize the ears. When breastfeeding or bottle feeding the motion of sucking allows the ears to readjust its pressure. I have become sensitive especially during the descend to feel my ears. I take it as a cue to start feeding my son. This usually is about 25-30 minutes before landing. If I dont catch it on time, I end up really stressed because Joshua would cry and it would be very hard to console. Not to mention the embarrassment and having to apologize to other passengers for bothering their flight with my crying baby. To make it easier for myself, I have prepared a pre-pumped milk in the bottle for Joshua to drink during the descend.

3. Cheap distractions. Usually the domestic flights we have taken are about 1 to 2 hours. Sometimes Joshua would sleep on the flight, and sometimes he won’t. My objective is to make him as comfortable and relaxed as possible. So, packing about 2 handy toys and a book can help. I also use the emergency instruction card as a “story book”. The bottled water is also good distraction by shaking the water inside and allowing him to play “shake the bottle”. It is also free to pack some nursery rhymes to keep baby from boredom.

4. Note the time. By 4 months, our babies have already accustomed themselves to a schedule of sleeping incorporated with eating and playtime. So it is super important to check the schedule of the flight and what your baby is doing at that time. For instance if the flight is at 12nn, make sure you packed lunch for babes who have started solids (usually 6 months and above). Always pack crackers in the bag and fruit for snack periods. Never make the mistake of starving baby from food or sleep….it is stepping on stress zone!

5. Never forget to pray! This seems like last on my list, but in reality it is what parents should do all the time. When we pray, God takes over as our pilot and He is our best travel companion. Every time we travel, we pray and lift to God the specific details of the trip. “Lord make this flight enjoyable for us, that Joshua will be comfortable and will not have tantrums or cry on the plane. Lord, we thank you that it will be a delightful trip and we ask you to make the take off, flight and landing smooth. Be with us all throughout the flight”. In my experience when I pray I have more pleasant flights than unpleasant ones.

As a newbie mom, traveling can either be stressful or be enjoyable. I think traveling will become a norm in our family and so I choose to make good memories by enjoying it with my little jet-setter.



Youngest Passenger

Steve and I were getting excited as we were nearing the birth of Joshua. I was finishing up work, getting the baby bag ready for the hospital, getting ready for my family to arrive from Iloilo and Manila… Lots of exciting stuff were happening.

Suddenly, about a week before Joshua’s delivery, we got news that my father-in-law got confined in the hospital. This time around it was serious. My father-in-law who we all fondly call “dad” is diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. Our joy about Joshua’s arrival felt sort of bitter sweet. We were expecting our first baby, and at the same time we knew that dad would have very little time with all of us.

Steve would be tearing in the room and really felt sad about this. I found myself crying too because dad prayed for this little one. He looked forward to meet Joshua. He was so excited for us to have our own family. I remember I would get calls from dad checking on my pregnancy and asking I give birth in Manila. But we stuck our guns on giving birth in Gensan because I was not ready to be apart from Steve on my last trimester. My husband works in Sarangani and to give birth in Manila it meant on my 30th week I have to be based in Manila. So we decided Gensan would be the best option.

With that decision, the natural consequence was for us to stay in the province for Christmas and rejoin my husband’s family after Christmas. Although in my heart, I prayed to God to allow us to spend Christmas in Manila. This was the Christmas that my husband’s siblings who lived abroad would come home as well. All the more I desired for Steve and the newest member of the family to be together with the rest during the holidays.

After the delivery and bringing home the baby, I began checking the airlines and found that the youngest traveler should be at least 16 days old. Any younger than that the airlines refrained a child from traveling. I began counting, 16 days old meant after Christmas. I began to pray and claimed God will permit us to go before that.

I tried my luck booking tickets for us and the airlines were really strict about the age. So I called a friend who worked in the airline and ask if we can be given an exception. After explaining to her in tears that we needed to show our little one to dad. She still told me that rules are rules and there would repercussions flying a baby that early. Nonetheless she would try to ask. I was asked to draft a letter stating our concern to the head of their medical services unit. I continued to pray and believe God would do something as I drafted a letter pleading the allowance of our newborn to take the flight. However, I also trusted that if God will not allow us to go, we would stay in the province and it would still be good for us.

After sending the letter, I spoke to my friend and thanked her for helping. I also told her I was willing to submit to the result of the request whether it was negative or positive.

In about a couple hours I received a call giving us a go signal to book our flight and to fly with us a doctor or nurse as an insurance in case we may have complications with the baby on flight. The very next day, Joshua’s 10th day from birth, he became the youngest passenger on that flight. My heart was overjoyed and moments on that flight my eyes were flooded with tears for God has once again answered our prayers. Joshua was such a good boy and a very quiet baby on that flight.

When we got to manila we sneaked the baby in the hospital. It would be the first time for Joshua and his grandfather to meet. When they finally did, there was not a dry eye in that hospital room. It was a blessed day for the family.

Looking back that December we celebrated my son’s very first Christmas and it was his grandfather’s last. Trully, God’s timing for everything is perfect and we feel blessed and favored to have this quality time as a family.