Baby on a Plane: To Benadryl, or not Benadryl

Flickr photo by hoyasmeg
As you're reading this, it's possible I'm on a flight to Los Angeles from New York with a very loud one-year-old. It's also possible I'm on a different flight, alone, to the Bahamas -- but the former is more likely.


My biggest worry right now is how he's going to sleep on the plane. Mostly because he's a new walker and thinks it's the coolest thing he's discovered since his penis. He also has three new molars that make him crazy some days, other days, not so much.

Having done this cross-country journey several times in the last four years -- since my daughter was born -- we know enough to book an evening flight so (hopefully) the littlest ones will pass out a few hours into a very, very long trip.

Sometimes, we call on Mommy's little helper, the baby Benadryl.

Before you call me out for drugging my kids, you should know that my allergist told me years ago that I should dose up with Benadryl every time I fly because my nasal cavities (like my mother's, before me) are very, very small. He said this was crucial in avoiding sinus infections, to which I am prone.

I don't think it's out of the realm of possibility that my kids would inherit what I also inherited. This is one of my excuses. The other is ready-made because about 75% of the time we've flown somewhere at least one of them has had a cold. My son is sporting a runny nose right now that's making me pro-Benadryl dose. He's also the loudest baby in the world, which is making me very pro-Bendryl dose.

Believe me, I would love to take the Benadryl myself, but need to stay awake with two small children in my care; awake enough to withstand the glares from my co-travelers. Instead, I'll probably (maybe, still not sure) give the baby some of the magic elixir but let my four-year-old suck chocolate milk through a straw as we ascend. (Did I also mention my baby boy is really not interested in pacifiers, boobs or bottles?)

So what do you do moms of babes? Benadryl? Or au natural?

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