Flying to Dominican Republic with a Baby —
Not bad. Not horridly, desperately, nor incredibly bad. Flying from Portland, Maine to the Dominican Republic with a 6 month old went as smoothly as I could expect. This kid knows how to travel, though I can’t say her parents give her much of a choice.
Baby Petra did not yell through the entire flight, the passengers did not shoot us sideway grimaces and huff that they were doomed to sit next to a baby, the stewardesses did not roll their eyes in the direction of the crying child in their coach. No, Petra has taken to flying well.
Her parents are very lucky.
“She is a good traveler,” my wife Chaya told an oogling stewardess who was admiring how well behaved Petra was on the flight from Portland to JFK.
Lots of stewardesses oogled over Petra. Petra likes being oogled over. It worked out well.
Petra, apparently, also likes the bright yellow life preservers that the stewardesses display during the pre-flight saftey instruction. She reached and cooed for it the entire time, the stewardess moved it closer to her, Petra reached out and joyously yelped for it some more. Too bad that Petra would only get to play with this new toy in the event of an emergency.
Then she cried. Then she got a boob in her mouth. Then she went to sleep. She woke up in JFK just in time to get on another airplane to start the whole routine over again.
On the flight from JFK to Santiago, Dominican Republic we had a fellow passenger sitting in the seat next to us. I feared for his sanity during the brief crying sessions that would soon ensue. Chaya went to look for a row of empty seats for us to move to.
I warned him that our baby is sometimes “una poca ruida.”
He was an older, well set, business man from the Dominican town of San Francicso. He wore a hanging sort of grumpy business face that hid any semblance of eye contact. It is my impression that sitting in the window seat on a plane tucked in behind two shabby looking Americans with their over active baby may have made him feel a little uncomfortable. When I feel uncomfortable I sometimes put on a grimace, too. But his hanging grimance turned to bright eyes and smiles at my offer of a salutation.
He told me that he was from San Francisco, I told him that I was going to Sosua. “En la playa,” he proclaimed with a big smile. Everybody smiles when they talk of going to the beach everywhere. It is just something you do. You say the word “beach” in what ever language you happen to be speaking, and then you smile. Everybody knows what you mean.
We were going to the beach, though Petra had no idea where we were going. One minute she was with a big family in a big house in cold, cold Maine, the next minute she is in a vibrating tube with funny looking people oogling over her. She gets a little grumpy on the flight to Santiago, but she is soon quelled by the default giver of solace: a spot in mommy’s lap with a nipple to gnaw on. She goes to sleep.
She wakes up smiling in a new country.
I pay $10 each for three visas, and three passports are stamped by a disinterested and tired looking immigration official. It is 3 AM. We have nowhere to go. But we arrived. The first travel visas of our traveling family were placed into three new passports.
This is the beginning of a new journey.
Apparently, babies only need a few things to be happy: a mom with breast full of food, a dad to play with, and the basic creature comforts that any person demands. I was comfortable enough on the flights down to the Dominican Republic, and baby Petra seemed to be as well. Petra has an entire world before her to yelp at and reach out for. I think we are doing alright.
Read more about traveling with a baby
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