Don’t Give Me a Lollipop: Message to Moms on the Plane

I’m a mom who frequently travels for work. I always have my carry-on ready to go, travel toiletries stocked, and a good book from my to-be-read list. I often take a moment to appreciate how nice it is to travel light. And by “light” I mean without my child in tow.

You might be one of those moms that is also traveling for work, focused on the project or meeting awaiting you upon arrival. Or, you may be one of those moms traveling with your kids, juggling your bags and all the things that you hope will keep your little one happy. If you fall into the latter category, I have a message for you: Don’t give me a lollipop.

If you travel with children…

I’ve read about this trend making its way from Pinterest into the minds of anxious moms everywhere. Moms who are preparing to fly with little ones can appease their fellow passengers by making treat bags with a note of apology-in-advance should their child act up or make noise in flight. Your little bag can include candy and chewing gum and must have a note—preferably with a catchy rhyme—signed by your eight week-old baby or toddler. You could also write a postscript, offering earplugs to any passenger who would like to stop by and say hi.

Yep, in addition to packing multiple bags and fun activities for your kid, you must also think ahead to how your child might affect everyone else’s trip.

As a mother and frequent flyer, I am calling baby poo on this one.

The only person who should feel as though they are responsible for everyone on the plane is the pilot. And the only person who should feel as though they need to worry about their comfort is the flight attendant. Now, of course as parents we are naturally going to anticipate what our kids will need to stay occupied and quiet on a flight. Of course we will apologize profusely when our kiddos act up or cry or otherwise make life less than pleasant for our fellow travelers. That’s called manners.

I think the reason that I have a strong, negative reaction to this idea is that it is just one more thing on a long list of things a mother is supposed to anticipate when having their children in public. Parenting is hard enough without also managing the emotions of strangers.

The Solution?

Flying is one of those unpredictable experiences. Like Forrest Gump’s box of chocolates, you never know who you’re going to meet in seat 5A. It could be a baby. It could be loud cell phone talker who thinks that we all want to hear about his fourth quarter sales figures as soon as we touch down.

If you want to reduce your distractions and annoyances, do what a baby cannot do: Stop crying about it and plan ahead.

Pack your noise-cancelling headphones, queue up your playlist, and settle in. And, if you have room, bring your smile and understanding nod to give to the harried mama on the plane. You never know when you might be the one inconveniencing others with something you cannot control.

What do you think of this trend for flying with kiddos?



Sherri is a transplant from Oregon who came to be a Hawkeye in 2006 and stayed for the sweet corn...and for the Iowa boy she met along the way! She and her husband (Kyle) have a 9 year-old daughter, Aissa. Sherri earned her Ph.D. in Higher Education and Student Affairs at The University of Iowa and works for Ruffalo Noel Levitz as an Enrollment Marketing Consultant for colleges and universities. When she's not working, you can find her with her family, enjoying Iowa City and cheering on the Hawkeyes.


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