Gabrielle Union used to give out cards on flights apologizing for her baby crying

Gabrielle Union is one of the more open celebrities out there. She’s written two memoirs and never seems to shy away from getting in the weeds on important topics. I really like her and wish her, Dwyane Wade, and their family the best. Gabrielle opened up recently about traveling with her daughter Kaavia James when Kaavia was younger. Traveling with young children can be difficult, as Gabrielle and Dwyane learned the hard way.

Gabrielle Union’s active family is now used to life on the go.

Speaking with PEOPLE about her collaboration with Great Wolf Lodge on a family-friendly workout — “Adventure Training: Get Fit with the Great Wolf Pack” — the Being Mary Jane actress, 50, says that her family’s active life has gotten easier with time.

The mom spent her summer traveling with husband Dwyane Wade and daughter Kaavia James, 4, and while it’s a “non-issue” today, Union is open to the fact that it didn’t start out that way.

“When she was younger, it was not great. We would literally hand out ‘I’m sorry’ cards and earplugs to the people around us,” she tells PEOPLE. “But once we started traveling more, she’s been great. We download all her favorites on her iPad and she’s got her headphones. She’s really such a great traveler now.”

[From People]

I’ve been on flights before where people have handed out little goodie bags to get ahead of their misbehaving or irritable babies. It’s a nice gesture, and the mini Snickers sure beat the heck out of those little pretzels the airline gives you, but I’m never mad at someone who is dealing with an inconsolable baby. I don’t know; I always feel badly for parents who are flying with a crying baby. It’s stressful for everyone involved, but parents have that added pressure of worrying what everyone around them thinks. I wonder if handing those bags out is more for their own peace of mind, lol.

We traveled a lot when my older son was an infant and toddler. We were very lucky in that – and I kid you not – until he was about 15-months, the *only* time this child would nap for longer than 30 minutes was when we were on an airplane. It was wild. My younger son was different. He’d take hours-long naps at home, but barely sleep on airplanes. Honestly, my trick for that first year for flying with each of them was to just nurse or give them a bottle if they got agitated. Kids always love food while traveling!

Photos via Instagram and credit: Xavier Collin/Image Press Agency/Avalon

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12 Responses to “Gabrielle Union used to give out cards on flights apologizing for her baby crying”

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  1. SarahCS says:

    These day a lot of things irritate me quite quickly but while I will never enjoy hearing a screaming baby/child on a flight my heart always goes out to the kid and their parents.

  2. Becks1 says:

    That’s a nice gesture, but one I never bothered with, lol. My oldest didn’t fly until he was 22 months, and we brought his car seat on the plane so he was contained in that. On the way home he passed out the entire flight and the flight attendants commented to me how he was the best behaved child they had ever seen….I laughed and was like, yeah because he slept the whole way!

    We started flying with my younger when he was 9 months and there was a tricky time around the time he was 12/17 months (I think we did two flights during that time), where he couldn’t be soothed just by nursing or food and he had no interest in tablets/tv/movies at that point, so we just kind of prayed for the best. It was okay bc those were short flights but still kind of stressful.

    Now they’re 8 and 11 and love flying bc they just get their ipads the whole time, hahaha.

    Anyway in general I just always feel bad for parents of fussy kids. We flew to london last year and there was a woman on board with twins, maybe 2 years old? Their father wasn’t with her but her sister was bc they were flying home to see their mother (yes we learned a lot on that flight.) The twins were awful. I felt so bad for the mom because she was trying but sometimes what can you do? One would pass out on the seats, the other would wail for an hour, and then they would trade off. Finally as we were coming into Heathrow they both fell asleep and the mom was just like “of course.” but I felt so bad for her because she was obviously stressed that people were going to get mad at her and she was trying her best.

    • Bee (not THAT Bee) says:

      The alternating sleeping thing with twins is REAL. Even at home they will swap off fussing all night (one fusses all night on Monday, the other one does it on Tuesday… etc etc). The result is that each baby gets to sleep every other night while the parents are up dealing with it every night!

      Then as soon as they can walk/run, they will dash off in opposite directions! Having twins is wild, especially when they’re really young.

  3. Anna says:

    A flight is for transportation, not exactly to relax for a couple of hours. If I intend to relax/not be bothered I bring headphones and earplugs. Parents usually work hard to entertain their babies or calm them down for a couple of hours, they don’t need to apologize for traveling with their children! Yes, it is irritating but I find loud, drinking adults going to the bathroom constantly after 3 drink more irritating.

    Kids are allowed in a public sphere, how else are they going to learn how to behave? Do we expect parents to disappear home and emerge once kids are 10?

  4. Flowerlake says:

    I appreciate it when parents do that.

    Never got annoyed with a kid on a flight with one exception. A girl kept doing ear piercing screams and her parents said nothing about it. The kid wasn’t upset or anything. Just having fun with her screaming.

    Then don’t fly please.

  5. FeedMeChips says:

    I’ve flown all over the world with my kid, starting at about 3 months old, and would have never thought to hand out apology gifts to others on the plane. Kids cry, it’s a part of life.

    • [insert_catchy_name] says:

      Yeah I would never do this, people just need to learn to deal. (disclaimer: I have no kids and have gotten annoyed by kids making noise all flight).

      If there was an easy way to make babies stop crying, everyone would do it! :-p

  6. AnneL says:

    I flew on planes quite a bit with my kids when they were babies and toddlers. Crying little ones don’t really bother me. I feel for the parents. The only thing that annoys me is when the children are crying or misbehaving and the parents aren’t doing anything to make them stop or soothe them. One toddler screamed and whined for an entire flight and they didn’t seem to have any weapons in their arsenal to calm him down. I know sometimes there’s nothing to be done, but they should at least make a concerted effort. Especially on a long flight.

    • ama1977 says:

      This. I have big kids, but we flew with them when they were little and you manage as best you can. The optimal phrase is “as best you can.” We were on a 4 hour late-night return flight from our summer vacation and there was a toddler in the adjacent row who was screeching at top volume the entire time, and neither mom nor grandma did a thing to mitigate it. I was not sympathetic (and my 11 year-old was even less so, lol!)

      Once when my son was a baby we drove 4 hours to visit my husband’s mother in the summer and the AC went out in the car, so kiddo and I flew back while my husband drove the car back overnight (we live in Texas and it’s 100+ during the day.) When I got on the plane with him, I could feel everyone staring at me and it was a little panic-inducing. Fortunately he was in a good mood and the bottle/binkie took care of him on takeoff and landing, but it can be stressful!

  7. Maple Plains says:

    A crying baby might be a bit irritating to listen to, but as a parent, I empathize and understand. People who let their older children misbehave without correction or who watch something on their phones without headphones/earbuds are another story. Can’t we all be courteous?

    • Decowell says:

      Agreed. Young children who are fussy and/or can’t get comfortable may be uncomfortable to be around but I understand and am sympathetic to them and their parents. Misbehaving older children who aren’t being corrected are a whole other issue.