Monday, December 13, 2010

Drowsy or Drugged?

Drowsy or Drugged?

By Juliya Sheynman


"We thought we were doomed to spend 6 hours apologizing for the 
repeated shrieking, tear bursting wails of a new walker..."


So I have a dilemma. We're boarding a six hour flight soon for our first, but definitely annual, trip to Seattle. It's 3,000 miles and hundreds of passengers between the seats and the sanity of my husband, my one year old and myself.

We've heard that Benadryl can be a great help in easing the babes flight experience and the parents blood pressure - so we wanted to give it a test run before the flight. Couple weeks ago, "M" got a 1/4 teaspoon of delicious (though her face said otherwise) cherry flavored Benadryl. Then we sat and stared at her, waiting to see if our babe was one that goes a little koo koo or catches her zzzzzs with the elixir.

At first, we thought she was for sure drugged - babbling, laughing, kicking like a little rockette. We thought we were doomed to spend six hours apologizing for the repeated shrieking, tear bursting wails of a new walker. But then, a little eye rubbing action gave us a glimmer of hope.

Three minutes of rocking, and babe was out cold in drowsy dream land.

So we soon take our flight, and I only pray we can recreate this magical experience. Do we try it and hope for the best? What experience have you had with your little monkey...drowsy or drugged?



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Juliya Sheynman is a marketing professional with most of her experience working with Jewish non-profits. A first time Mama - constantly Googling everything from weight average for infants to croupy coughs and colored poopies - she now shares her Mamale questions and dilemmas on LadyMama. 

11 LadyMama voices:

Anonymous said... [Reply to comment]

I haven't flown with my monkies, but my little one used to get terrible motion sickness during long car rides, and considering that we live 4 hrs from Crown Heights, you can imagine how distressing this was. My Doctor recommended Benadryl, as it is supposedly a little more mild than the childrens dramamine - it worked wonders for us! She didn't seem to sleep that much more than usual, but it kept her settled and calm, even when she was awake. Saved our car trips, and my upholstery!

neomi said... [Reply to comment]

Wld never ever do that.. My baby is not just a baby.. She's a person! And has as much right to be on that plane as any other person.. I'll do my best to keep her happy as I always do.. And if anyone has a problem if she kvetches a little.. Well I think her kvetching is nicer on my ears that that big guy over there who is talking to loud cos he drank too much!! My baby is a person! Not to be drugged for convience.. Gee people need to learn, when you decided to have this baby you need to realize that she is not just an extention of yourself, or a cute plaything.. She is a person and shld be treated with respect of another human being... Learning this will solve many parents many hardships bringing up their kids.. From newborn all the way thru to their twenties ( that's as far as I can vouch for so far) but I'm sure it goes even further then that... :)
Best of luck and love for you and the special persons ;) in your life :) <3

neomi said... [Reply to comment]

Wld never ever do that.. My baby is not just a baby.. She's a person! And has as much right to be on that plane as any other person.. I'll do my best to keep her happy as I always do.. And if anyone has a problem if she kvetches a little.. Well I think her kvetching is nicer on my ears that that big guy over there who is talking to loud cos he drank too much!! My baby is a person! Not to be drugged for convience.. Gee people need to learn, when you decided to have this baby you need to realize that she is not just an extention of yourself, or a cute plaything.. She is a person and shld be treated with respect of another human being... Learning this will solve many parents many hardships bringing up their kids.. From newborn all the way thru to their twenties ( that's as far as I can vouch for so far) but I'm sure it goes even further then that... :)
Best of luck and love for you and the special persons ;) in your life :) <3

neomi said... [Reply to comment]

On a flight take dollies and crayons and toys that take a long time to play with... You will be tired at the end of the flight cos you'll have to do all the entertaining cos there is no walking around entertainment... But I've traveled successfully very oftenthis way.. And if I may show off ;) I have received compliments from air hostesses and fellow passenger... ( sorry couldn't help that.. I never had an opportunity to show off abt that before) kiss up your little ones... And smile at fellow passengers.. They have the privilege of traveling with your baby ;)

Rivki said... [Reply to comment]

Hi Juliya! Great post. While I haven't tried it myself, I've been tempted. Our flights have always been shorter (CLE to St. Louis ot Memphis), and so a bit more manageable.

Traveling with kids is hard on them. Their schedule is turned on its head, and for little children who crave routine, this can be very upsetting.

I would bring whatever toys, books, and nosh she enjoys, and try that route first, but if you see that she's reached her limit, pull out the Benedryl.

Good luck!

Becky said... [Reply to comment]

I am always on the fence with these types of situations. I would love it if my kids that I flew with would pass out like drunks, but then again I always think how unnecessary drugging is, uh, unnecessary.

There are a few things you need to keep in mind. When you gave over the benedryl you were at home in a familiar place, it's much easier for her to doze off in a familiar and safe (according to her) environment. You were also able to carry her to her own bed.

Pluck her from her safe environment, which is home, stick her on a plane with lots of strangers, hold her the entire time and then try to imagine if the magic potion would work.

Even without benedryl on a plane my kids are so so tired that they become crazy monsters. I don't think it's an adverse reaction (in my own non doctoral mind) but more of a way for them to fight off sleep since so much is going on in front of them.

It's a gamble as to which way it will likely end up. Like many things we tend to fret over unknown experiences. Just take whatever happens in stride and remember countless mothers have been in the same situation and there is still no easy solution.

menucha said... [Reply to comment]

could not agree more with neomi!

can't help to comment on this, though I'm sure many will take this offensively, i feel too strongly about this common (mal)practice to leave it alone.

what an awful way to view your child; as a disturbance and a nuisance. Obviously the flight will be extremely difficult for you, and you will have to work tirelessly to keep your kid/s entertained... but that's our job as mothers! Yes, it could be simplified by having them conk out - drugged to sleep. But is that really an appropriate thing to do to your baby?

Rev yourself up for the trip, gear up with some new kids apps, a laptop, games, crayons, puppets etc. Act as if drugging your child to a slumber is simply not an option, put in some planning and effort and you'll be just fine (and granted, exhausted as well).

toby said... [Reply to comment]

hey... its toby.
first of all, cute blog.
also, our tali is very very car sick and we drug her w/ benadryl all the time!!! huge difference after she gets it.
it takes about 1/2 hr to see the effects. you might consider seeing how she's doing on the flight and wait to give it to her if she's stir-crazy.

Sarah said... [Reply to comment]

Mother of four here and I'm an experienced traveler with young children. Thank G-d, benadryl works wonders for my babies on the long hauls. First of all, when it works, it relieves so much stress. I'd much rather be a calm mom with a sleeping child than a harried one who's holding my screaming baby and trying to keep her from leaping out of my lap at every opportunity. Distractions such as crayons, dollies, and toys last seconds and add a lot of baggage I'd rather not shlep through airports with us. No thanks. And I certainly don't expect people to be thrilled to travel with a hyperactive toddler. When someone is inconsiderate - like being drunk and loud, that's certainly inappropriate, but to assume that other travelers should consider it a privilege to travel with an irritable baby - yeah right. I've gotten compliments for keeping my children quiet all the time. When the baby's young, I nurse going up and down to relieve pressure on baby ears. I keep food, diapers, snacks extra clothes and that dose of benadryl because I need my sanity. I also choose seats in the back of the plane and check if there are empty rows so we have space. Julia, my children have never woken up acting drugged, groggy, with side effects. They are people, certainly, and I love them to death, but I don't impose loud screaming infants and toddlers in small contained quarters where people are stuck for hours. Do your thing.

Juliya Sheynman said... [Reply to comment]

The fact is, I don't care about the awkward stares before the flight that are secretly cowering that they'll end up in the seat next to ours. I also don't worry about the constant apologies I'd willingly offer my co-passengers. The fact is, I want my babe to be as comfortable as possible during this exhausting waste of her energy and waking time. I want her to pass this time in comfort and ease so the already difficult transition of time zones and different scenery can be as easy as possible. So while Neomi has a great perspective, it's isolated to her reaction to others, and my concern is for my monkey - who, by the way, loved her Benadryl tasting flight and slept through 80% of it!!!

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If you have dilemmas of your own you'd like addressed, I'd be happy to blog/share my thoughts with you. Just email me at juliyagoolia@yahoo.com (subject line: dilemma).

YP said... [Reply to comment]

If it doesn't hurt the baby and will help the baby get through the flight what's the problem? I always feel bad when I see parents with screaming children. It's not like the babies are being bad, they're being babies!