How a crying baby on a plane led to an Internet sensation

The story of a kind stranger on a plane has gone viral, prompting hundreds of other accounts of random acts of kindness.

Andy Nelson / The Christian Science Monitor / File
Unfazed by travel, 10-week-old Kiran waits for his mother and brother to finish the ticketing process, November 19, 2001.

A new mom from Michigan headed for the airport Thursday, nervous about flying alone with her 3-month-old. When her daughter started crying even before liftoff, her fears for the flight – to surprise her husband, a US Army soldier at Fort Rucker, Ala. – seemed justified.

The couple seated next to her reacted just as Rebekka Garvison had feared, looking visibly unhappy about sitting next to a fussy baby. 

Ms. Garvison moved to a new seat, hoping it would help. When baby's cries continued, the woman sitting next to her asked if she could try.

Garvison later described in a grateful Facebook post about how the woman, Nyfesha Miller, had the magic touch with her baby.

"As soon as she had her, Rylee was looking out the window and stopped crying," Garvison recalls. "When we got in the air she fell right asleep and slept in her lap the whole flight until we got to our gate."

Garvison told the Huffington Post she has been in touch with Ms. Miller almost daily since the flight.

Garvison's post has been shared more than 84,000 times, and received hundreds of warm comments. "Years ago, the same kind of thing happened to me," wrote one mother. "It was a seven-hour flight and I had my ten-month-old little boy with me. A nun was sitting beside me and she walked him up and down the aisle when he got fussy. It was such a relief for me and is something I never forgot."

Not everyone has had happy experiences with infant air travelers. One airline is considering opening a "baby class" for airplanes with flight attendant nannies, reported the Christian Science Monitor's Meredith Hamilton. 

The hang-up is safety, as Britain's Civil Aviation Authority is worried about handling panicked parents and children in an emergency. 

For now, parents can hope to be seated beside someone like Ms. Miller on their next flight. "Nyfesha Miller, you will never understand how happy this act of kindness has made my family," wrote Garvison. "God bless you!"

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