I'm not a babywearing fan, I actually can't stand the word "babywearing". But, when having a second baby and a very active toddler and living in a small appartment, reality hits you and the need for a carrier becomes mandatory.
I only have a hand me down black Maya sling, black, woven. It took me some time to actually learn how to position it properly, and it is way trickier than regular carriers, but, at the same time, it is very versatile. After finally getting understandint how to use it, it hasn't been as painful and has grown a little on me (can't deny the fact that Tiny Guy likes being on it when I'm moving).
Having said that, and that I never ever use it inside the house, well, I realized it was the best thing to bring on the plane, I already had enough stuff to push to also bring a gigantic stroller as well. I have to say it was a lifesaver, it allowed me to eat during the flight, hold my toddler when he had to be restrained and even chase him around.
I also have to say that, when you are pushing a rollator with a boy on top, a diaper bag in the inner basket and are pulling a carry on suitcase, you feel you're the queen of the world if having an infant on your chest on top of all that.
The trip was way more smooth during the first flight than I had expected, thanks to my love-hate relationship with that pice of fabric. But then, when we were fastening seatbelts for the second flight, a male attendant passed and mandated me to take the baby off the sling for the take-off. He said that device was not allowed during them or landings. WHAAAAAATTTTT?
Of course, my poor husband had to stay there and hear my low volume fist rant and complaint. I just couldn't understand how it was safer for my baby to be held only by my arms, when he could be held by my arms and a tight piece of clothing, and, as you could guess, that takeoff was a nightmare. I was trying to help my husband keep Little Guy in place, who wasn't happy with the whole ordeal, and trying to hold Tiny Guy with my remaining hand, who, by the way, ended up falling asleep in the sling position..without a sling. On top of that, I had left him only in a onezie because he was suffering from hot weather and now he was getting cold.
Finally, once we were on air, I was able, not before waking him up, to place him in his little haven. Of course, since nobody told me to get him out of there, he landed on it and didn't get out until we reached the car and he was placed in an infant car-seat.
Anyway, I turned to my friend Google for some answers and this is what I came up with:
- The safest place for an infant to be in a plane is an infant seat, buckled up to the plane seat, however, that would involve being extremely lucky to find the seat besides you empty or having to buy an extra ticket.
- If option number one is not feasable, the next safest place is the parent's lap, due to the forces that may occur with troubbled landings and take-offs. Baby can get smashed if attached to parent's chest instead of flying around and having a little chance of survival. Having said that, the odds of that happening are so low, that the airlines don't even force parents to do the seat thing in the first place.
- Baby carriers are not designed to support those forces and can rip off, so parent can't be confident that it will do the job of a seatbelt. Again, the odds of something like that occuring are extremely rare.
- United Airlines (I didn't check other ones) prohibits the use of baby carriers inside the aircraft accoding to their written policies, however, they don't enforce it. They will, sometimes, ask you to not use it during takeoff and landing.
In my experience, I did see the sling as a safe place to have the baby during sudden turbulence, which doesn't reach the speed of downfalls and was glad baby was all tight.
Fast forward 5 days...
I'm back home, with lots of adventures to tell, we are all safe and happy and Tiny Guy is happily wearing his CD's again (and so is Little Guy).