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Who is right? Mom bouncing her baby on an airplane sparks a heated debate

Aliza Carr was shamed for soothing her infant in an extra-legroom area.
/ Source: TODAY

A mom in Australia was stunned when a video of herself bouncing her baby on airplane took off in the way that it did.

Aliza Carr, a midwife based in Sydney, recently shared on Instagram a clip of herself rocking her then-4-month-old daughter, Zadie, near an emergency exit row.

“If you’ve traveled with a little one, how did they go to sleep?” Carr asked in the caption. “I know if my child’s life depended on it, she wouldn’t sleep in the plane bassinet, or even on us — standing, bouncing and aggressively swaying is the only way.” 

Shortly after Carr shared her post, responses came flying in.

“If I was sitting at that exit row and paid for the extra leg room… I’d be so mad having this happening in front of me the whole flight!” one person wrote. 

Added another, “No. A hard No! You can bounce your sweet babe in the back of the plane. I’d be pissed as passenger that was forced to watch you bounce.” 

Several people shamed Carr for traveling with a young baby, with one woman branding the new mom as “selfish" for not staying home. Carr was also accused of “training” her daughter to need movement in order to sleep. 

On Aug. 30, Carr addressed her critics in a lengthy Instagram post.  

“This week, a reel I shared of me quietly bouncing my 4 month old baby in an empty part of a plane (where the flight attendants sit for take off and landing / where people stretch / wait for the bathroom etc.) made news headlines,” Carr began.

“The comments themselves are almost entirely from women, largely mothers, which for me is the worst part,” Carr continued. “At what point do you forget that you too birthed, bled, leaked and lost yourself in the spiral of Mamahood just trying to do your best? It’s beyond me.” 

Carr then offered some thoughts on the negative effect that trolls have on new parents.

“It amplifies the revolting notion that children should be seen and not heard. That their well-being doesn’t matter, as along as the comfort of strangers isn’t jeopardized,” Carr wrote. Secondly, she added, “It pushes the opinion that a mother responding to her new baby is being manipulated, and is spoiling that baby.”

Carr also called attention to the messages she received from parents who said the nasty comments on her post are exactly why they're afraid to travel with little ones.

“This is what makes me sad. That strangers on the internet can go on to impact someone’s choices,” Carr explained. 

Money doesn’t buy you the privilege of not caring about other people.

Catherine Newman, etiquette expert

According to Catherine Newman, an etiquette expert and author of "How to Be a Person," Carr did absolutely nothing wrong. It's the trolls who need to brush up on their manners.

“Money doesn’t buy you the privilege of not caring about other people,” Newman tells “You could have paid $1,000 for a first class upgrade and the person next to you gets sick. This is the world of fallible human bodies, and we defer to people who are in need of space and resources. It’s not that complicated.”

Newman also notes that the same people complaining about Carr comforting her baby in the extra-legroom area, are the same people who would complain if she didn’t comfort her baby.

Carr agrees. As she wrote on Instagram, "I can only imagine the comments if they saw me walking up and down the plane with my boob out breastfeeding my baby for 90% of the flight."