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Q2U – Would you give your child Benadryl to help him sleep on an airplane? (a poll and giveaway)

Welcome to the first Travels with Baby Q2U!
I get asked a lot of questions by parents, but one thing I enjoyed most in 2010 was hearing answers to some of the questions I posed to you readers in our giveaways. So in 2011, I’ll be posing a “Question to You” poll now and then that’s related to some of the sensitive and sometimes silly aspects of travel with young children, and I think everyone participating here can appreciate and benefit from our collective wisdom and experiences. If you are a blogger with a related post on the topic, feel free to include your link with your comment. What’s more, I’ll be randomly selecting one comment from each Q2U to send a copy of the new companion to the Travels with Baby ultimate planning guide: Take-Along Travels with Baby.

So, my first Q2U: Would you give your child Benadryl to help him sleep on an airplane? Just click your answer on the poll appearing in the upper right of the blogspot page, and share a comment below. If you are a blogger with a post or article related to this topic, feel free to include the link in your comment.

As for me… I have a lot of sympathy for anyone—fellow passengers and flight crew included—trapped on a flight with an overtired baby or toddler who for whatever reason cannot seem to settle in to sleep. And guess what? I have been there myself, early in my days as a traveling parent, negotiating a wild-eyed exhausted toddler who was supposed to be taking her nap (thereby helping us pass part of the time during a long flight with her) during our strategically scheduled flight.

Unfortunately, the airport and the airplane were far too exciting for her this time around, and the in-flight nap backfired. She could only grow more agitated by her exhaustion and, I’m sure, our mounting levels of stress. It was not pretty. One flight attendant asked me exasperatedly if I couldn’t just PLEASE give her some Children’s Benadryl or something to make her sleep? I explained, feeling awkward that I’d somehow failed to work “drugging my child” into my travel planning, that I didn’t have any with me. By the time we landed after the 5.5 hour flight, an older woman deplaning with us scoffed for everyone to hear, “Who in her right mind travels with a baby?!”

And that was the outbound flight.

It was a learning experience for us to be sure, but not nearly as colorful as the one to follow when, on our return flight with yet again a nap-less crankster, I pulled out the fluorescent pink liquid antihistamine I’d picked up during our vacation… just in case. I’d never given my daughter Children’s Benadryl before. And I haven’t given it to her since. In case you haven’t been warned before, it actually has the opposite effect in some children. Mine included.

Obviously we survived that flight and went on to undertake several more as a family, which has since grown to include two additional, younger travelers. I can’t say that nothing fazes me now if and when we hit a bump in the road during travel, but I can say I have a much better sense of humor about it—and a heck of a lot more tools in my toolbox.

As for you… How would you or will you help your cranky child get rest on your next flight? Would you consider giving Benadryl or some other “sleep aid” such as the homeopathic Calms Forte for Kids? (As always, confirm appropriateness and proper dosing with your child’s doctor before using any new drug–and unless you like living on the wild side, consider trying it at home first.) Click your answer in the poll above and share your comment or tip with the rest of us!

Win a book! One subscriber who comments to this post will get more tools in his or her toolbox, too, with a free copy of Take-Along Travels with Baby, my new guid packed with hundreds of tips to help your family while traveling and on vacation (this one’s open to my friends overseas as well–where the book’s not yet available!). You can bet I’ve included tips to help soothe fussy babies on airplanes, manage toddlers on airplanes, and of course help children sleep on airplanes, too—all without Benadryl.
Thanks for playing!

Safe journeys,

Shelly Rivoli
Author of Travels with Baby and the new Take-Along Travels with Baby
https://travelswithbaby.com/    Travels with Baby on Facebook