If you ever have to fly with a baby, I suggest a better, more civilized form of torture. I'd rank swimming with a bunch of sharks or diving with a sinus infection to be a more enjoyable way of spending seven hours.
In the case that you do have to embark on such a journey, I'd recommend the following things:
1. Bring earplugs--For you and everyone else on the plane. It's the least you can do if you have a colicky baby like ours, who persists to scream even after her voice is hoarse.
2. Order 1,2,3 cocktails--It not only takes the edge off, but the baby have absorb some of the soothing liquor through evaporation. Just don't be surprised if she becomes an alcoholic later in life.
3. Put baby in a front carrier--The bastards at security made us take our sleeping baby out of the car seat when we went through the metal detector. Geez people, have you no decency? Can you not look into our faces and see that we are bedraggled, subsisting-on-two-hours-of-sleep-per-night parents? I think people plotting to take down a plane would have more composure than we did on that day.
4. Bring a tape recorder of a vacuum cleaner--Sounds absurd, but it's a miracle. The people at the airline counter couldn't believe their ears. "Two bags. Okay, attach here. Frank, do you hear that noise?...It's a buzzing. Where is that coming from?" I finally realize that they're talking about us. "Oh sorry," I fumble. "It's us. It's the tape recorder in the car seat. It keeps her calm." "Oh," they look bemused, but let us pass. Everyone looks at us like we're lepers. What's new?
5. Baby Tylenol--It's good for earaches, but it also has a nice side effect. They get oh so sleepy....We made the mistake of not doing this on our flight to Portland, but we changed our minds after we talked to the pediatrician and she confirmed that this was okay.
6. Lots of diapers and wipes--For some reason, she always poops more when we're out. Maybe it's the nervous hershey squirts. Alex has changed her on his lap when we are no where near a changing table. Thank goodness planes are equipped with a table above the toilet seat....uh, that can't be too sanitary...
7. Running shoes--If you have a baby like ours, you will be hopping, walking, trotting in the aisle, trying to calm her down. Your feet will start to swell and you will wish, with all your might, that you brought your Nikes instead of your Manolos. Fashion goes out the door!