For anyone travelling by plane, a crying child can be the difference maker between a pleasant trip and minutes of incessant wailing at a decibel level so irritating, you'd wish you shelled out $400 for those noise-cancelling headphones.
On the other hand, a crying child can be a nightmare for a parent too, having to juggle the fuss of calming down your baby while dodging the ire of annoyed passengers.
So, what's a traveller to do? Well globe-trotting moms and dads, take heed of this pair of proactive parents from Califronia.
Armed with goody bags, Christina Diaz, 38, and Michael Rubinstein, 32, who were travelling for the first time with their 14-month-old twins, Arrow and Jasper, hoped to curb potential complainers with candy. If you can't beat 'em, bribe 'em, right?
Their efforts for the San Francisco to Washington, D.C. flight appeared to have worked as fellow passenger Andrew Merritt snapped a photo of one of the loot bags -- filled with some Jolly Ranchers, a Werther's Original, a square of TCHO chocolate, as well as ear plugs -- and posted it on Reddit, a social media website, as reported by Business Insider.
"I was really, really nervous about getting on the flight with them," said Diaz, a photographer from Berkley, California. "There's always that stigma of getting on the plane with babies because people get annoyed if they're crying," adding that the family of four "didn't want to encroach on people's personal space when they didn't have an option to go anywhere else."
While the treats were a pleasant touch for the passengers, what was even nicer was the note found in each of the couple's "apology bags".
"We'll try to be on our best behaviour, but we'd like to apologize in advance just in case we lose our cool, get scared or our ears hurt. Our mom and dad (AKA our portable milk machine and our diaper changer) have ear plugs available if you need them," according to the Reddit photo.
And true to their parents' words, the tiny tots didn't even let out a murmur throughout their maiden voyage.
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2) Beach Sand Is Cleaner Than Playground Sand
Babies love sand. And they always take a mouthful -- at least once. Wouldn't you prefer that first sandy taste test be on a pristine beach, rather than the mucky sandbox at your local playground? <em>Photo courtesy <a href="http://havebabywilltravel.com" target="_hplink">Have Baby Will Travel</a></em>
3) They're Portable...
The littler the baby, the easier they are to cart around. If you travel before your baby is mobile, chances are they will be content to ride in a stroller or be worn in a carrier, and you are free to roam city streets or country lanes with a fellow passenger who's happy to come along for the ride. <em>Photo courtesy <a href="http://www.miniglobetrotters.com/" target="_hplink">Mini Globetrotters</a></em>
4) Getting There CAN Be Half The Fun...
You know who likes riding public transit? Typically not commuters heading to and from work, but toddlers sure do. You can save a lot of money on rental cars and taxis, avoid lugging the car seat around and it's easy to transition to other activities by the promise of a bus or subway ride. <em>Photo courtesy <a href="http://www.suitcasesandsippycups.com/" target="_hplink">Suitcases & Sippy Cups</a></em>
5) Liquid Diets...
As a first-time mother, I wouldn't have believed this, but a young, exclusively breastfeeding baby, is the easiest travel companion. No concerns over food safety or allergies or picky eaters to manage, a baby who is still on a liquid diet is the easiest to feed while traveling. If you're bottle feeding, pack enough formula if you're not certain you can get your brand at your destination, and it's really not that hard to <a href="http://havebabywilltravel.com/2011/12/17/how-to-sterilize-baby-bottles-in-a-hotel-room/" target="_hplink">sterilize bottles in a hotel room</a>. <em>Photo courtesy <a href="http://havebabywilltravel.com" target="_hplink">Have Baby Will Travel</a></em>
6) Take Advantage Of Early Bird Specials...
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7) You Get To Be A Kid Again...
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8) Travel To Places Where People Actually Like Kids...
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10) They Become Great Travelers...
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