Monday, March 30, 2009

Flying with an Infant

I was born and lived most of my formative years in Quebec, about an hour north of Montreal. I come from a large family (I have over 60 first cousins on my Mom's side alone) and most of them live in a 30 km radius. Consequently, now that I have a baby, I am especially keen to go back for a visit.

I was innocently perusing the Internet looking for travel tips as I have never travelled with small children and I cam across all of this very foreboding information about how dangerous it is to travel with a child on your lap.

I am not going to pretend that some of the urgency I feel about going back to Montreal is that the baby will get to fly for free and as a Mom at home, there isn't a lot of money to throw around. There are no discounts for a child flying so going back after she turn 2 means paying for another ticket.

But all of the information out there scared the poop out of me. Stories about Mom's losing their grip on their babies mid-flight during turbulence and the baby coming to serious harm. Or about how a lap child must be placed on the floor during a crash and how these baby's are often lost in the landing.

Okay - so I know that the chances of there being a crash on a plane is much smaller than in a car but turbulence is pretty common. And I can't help but feel like that fact that i have read about the dangers of a lap child, if anything happened (even something minor) I would be guilty of negligence.

Now I know the ultimate answer is to purchase a seat for the baby and strap her into her aviation approved Britax Marathon and call it a day. Unfortunately there is the problem of actually paying for the ticket. I am off on maternity and while I am still receiving some pay, it is just slightly more than half of my salary. There isn't a lot of extra money to through around and to complicate matters, the Hunky Hubby should actually be coming back with us. His father and paternal family all live in Montreal as well and he hasn't seen them for 5 years. We planned to slowly save for the trip and go in November when I had returned to work. But my Mom has decided that she wants to return this May or June and we both feel like having my granny, my mom, me and the baby all there at the same time would be a wonderful memory. My mom has offered to pay for my ticket (which I have not yet decided if I can accept) but that still leaves me to decide what to do about the baby.

Here is a link to the website recommended by Transport Canada for infant air safety. Take a minute to check it out and then weigh in - what would you do?

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