View Full Version : Mothers who drug their babies on flights

09-25-2007, 08:43 AM
Mothers who drug their babies on flights

From Times Online
September 24, 2007
Emma Mahony

As a mother of baby twins with a four-year-old son, I was guilty of dosing my child up for travel, and was surprised at quite how easy it was to get a doctor’s prescription. So many tired parents of twins have done the same in the past – given their babies a spoonful of “medicine” to keep him or her sleeping when they most needed it.

First, let’s make one thing clear. Mothers of twins are mothers in extremis, always looking for ways to cope with the constant pressure of two or more small children demanding the same thing at the same time. The behaviour of twin mothers, who generally have less time and less sleep, may not mimic that of singleton parents. Stress and sleep deprivation can turn quite ordinary people into angry monsters, so isn’t the occasional spoonful of something to knock the little darlings out worth it just once in a while?

We were flying with my elder child only, so, on the day of the flight, I gave him a dose before boarding, my heart thumping. My husband and I sat back in our seats, and waited for peace to descend. It never came. Instead, our normally inquisitive four-year-old became unusually alert - throwing crayons around, snapping books shut, emptying raisin cartons on our laps and switching lights and blowers on above our heads. We waited for the sedative to take effect, as he discovered the bouncy trampoline qualities of the seat tables, annoying everyone around us. His energy refused to dwindle as the hours wore on.

When the stewardess announced there would be an unscheduled stop in JFK to refuel, adding another two hours to our journey inside the plane, I began to feel claustrophobic. It was now approaching midnight at home, he had normally been asleep for five hours by now, but still he wasn’t tired.

As my husband and I passed him backwards and forwards between us like a basketball, we realised that our plan to drug him had backfired. The small contra-indication saying “may cause agitation and insomnia” had been read too quickly – and never mentioned by the doctor who gave the prescription.

We never read the small print. And boy did we pay the price. After 12 hours on the plane, with no sleep for any of us, we reached our destination a complete wreck. It was, and still is, the worst flight in my living memory, and we had only ourselves to blame.


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09-26-2007, 05:29 AM
No one should drug their baby, no matter how much sleep they're lacking. But then again I'm not a mother so I can't judge, but I'm not judging, they really shouldn't do anything harmful. Even if it will help them or the kid sleep, it isn't to be done... they should find alternative ways because I highly doubt drugging their kid was the thing to do.

09-26-2007, 06:10 AM
OMG, that is horrible. Manners are the key, instead of drugs, the parents should focus on teaching their kids how to behave. Believe it or not, you can train kids as young as 1 years old.

09-27-2007, 12:02 AM
Yeah, kids are sponges. The earlier you teach them the better.

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09-27-2007, 02:27 AM

That is so sick. Such a selfish act. ::( :grumbling

09-27-2007, 02:31 AM
This is disgusting. But no supprise to me. Most kids are on some type of behavior drug in the western world. Quick fix for everything instead of real parenting.

09-27-2007, 02:38 AM
Dat's like really scary but someti9mes people just doit becauise dey want but aftewords dey r feeling guilty!!!! but anyways evryone should be careful!

09-27-2007, 02:41 AM
you guys know about how some parents even slip alcohol or rum into their kids bottles to help them 'sleep' easier?

yeah it's pretty common. how sick is that??

09-28-2007, 08:11 PM
hey pliz all of u take a break! Don't start blaming the parents for all this. It's even recommended by the doctors at times. They even have motion sickness drugs so if the child is uneasy they can be used. It's not just for the parents, it also becoz the child might feel uneasy in air and there is no way a parents can explain a small kid what's happening.

There r even drugs for infants as small as 3 months, the colic ones. U don't know how hard it is to see ur baby cry like hell without u knowing the reason. I'd cry with my daughter whenever she cried. Sometimes for hours. Just because I didn't know what was wrong with her. But it's just what little babies do.

If we talk about older kids like toddlers, u'd still not want ur child sick. Prevention is better than cure. As a parent I can say, it works wonders if u can prevent something in time, it saves a lot of pain on both sides. But I definetly am against drugs. I give my daughter the least I can. But sometimes, when I feel she's extremely tired and and is a bit warm, and I know this might lead to fever, I give her a little panadol syrup to prevent her from getting ill.

09-29-2007, 12:39 AM
I dunno, I'm not a parent yet but I would be really uneasy giving my kid any drugs, I barely take anything myself.. I dunno, overdoses can happen so easily with kids and it can be such a small mistake, it happens a lot in the world...

I think there are some drugs that are safe but others.. that are out of the question

10-02-2007, 09:27 PM
Have to agree with amrfisal-- ever been on a 14 hour flight with a child that will not be consoled? Any clue about the pressure gradient on flights and what it does to little ears.. heck even adult ears? Sometimes medication under doctor knowledge and strict guidelines are best in extreme circumstances... It isn't up to a particular article or public opinion to set guidelines for the individual case.. I do hope all parents exercise caution and use best judgement when embarking on a long flight..
if need be and one isn't sure, it is best ask in advance on what is safe to give and how much ot it.. a doctor or a pharmacist will counsel a parent appropriately and the rest is in God's hands!


10-03-2007, 02:45 AM

Normally if travelling with kids, choose an airline which travel at nite so that the kids could sleep throughout the journey. Make them feel tired during the day and they will easily fall asleep during the flight:smile: Children are our amanah so be careful with what you give them, it could be a relief for you but not for them. Ive seen parents drugging their kids too quite often and when they grow up they become so dumb:cry: As a parent we do what is best for our kids and the rest Tawakkaltu Allahlah.

Some traveltips for parents:

In the Air

One of the main sources of discomfort for infants traveling on airplanes is the change in cabin pressure when taking off and landing. This causes pressure in the ears, and can be quite painful for the baby, particularly if the baby has a stuffy nose. Prepare for this by planning to nurse or give a bottle or pacifier to the child during take-offs and landing to help alleviate the pressure.

Younger babies (under 6 months) tend to sleep on planes, and many are lulled by the engine noise. If your baby is awake and fussy, use a Baby Bjorn or other baby sling to walk up and down the aisle to give the baby a change of scenery. Bring along an age-appropriate new rattle, book, toy, or stuffed animal to keep the baby amused, and don't forget cool teething rings for babies needing something to chew. Airsickness bags can make an on-the-spot hand puppet – just draw a face on the bottom of the bag and amuse your child with endless games of "Peek-a-Boo".

When it's time to eat, it is fairly easy to nurse on the plane. You might want to bring along a small pillow for extra support, since the ones provided by the airline are fairly small and slippery. A Boppy pillow is probably too big – a few rolled up airplane blankets or baby blankets from home will do and use an extra blanket for privacy. Book a window seat if would like maximum privacy. If you are using bottles, it is easiest to use the pre-measured, individual servings of formula. If using powdered formula, measure it out beforehand in individual baggies or in a container with compartments made just for this purpose. Bring along a small, soft-sided cooler for anything that is frozen or must be kept cool.

You can thaw out frozen breast milk in hot water using an airsickness bag. Ask the flight attendant to pour some hot water into the bag (make sure they are usually plastic lined and won't leak). Put the frozen milk in, slosh it around, and wait for it to thaw or warm up. Another idea is to get a collapsible bowl at a pet store and use this as your bottle warmer, along with hot water from the flight attendant.

Many airplanes have fold-down changing tables in the restrooms, but not all do. Ask the flight attendant which ones have the changing tables before you hike all the way to the back only to find that the changing table is in the front of the plane. Be sure to bring along enough plastic bags to dispose of the diaper. If the baby is small enough, you may be able to change him or her in the seat, but as a courtesy to those around you, take the dirty diapers to the restroom for changing.

The main thing to remember about traveling with baby is to relax – it will likely go much better than you are anticipating! For us, the times that strangers and flight crews were kind and helpful far outnumbered the occasional rude stare. It was amazing how often business people and random strangers got misty-eyed looking at him and telling us about their own kids or grandkids. For many parents, this is the best time to travel with kids. Enjoy it!

traveltips for kids.com

10-10-2007, 08:17 PM
Personally, I don't agree at all with drugging kids on planes. I understand that the pressure change is painful, but nurising a baby or giving older children a snack or some gum to chew during take off helps to equalize the pressure. Also giving them things to do to keep them occupied can take care of the boredom.

I don't have any children, but this is based on my own experiences as a child when flying on an airplane. Drugs aren't the answer. Good parenting is.

10-10-2007, 08:31 PM

Relax everyone

It happens...


10-12-2007, 06:07 AM
Selam aleykum,

I think the thread has served its purpose.


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