In a recent memo sent to travel agents, Malaysian Airlines has dictated that infants are not permitted in First Class cabins of 747-400s. I, for one, applaud this decision and can only hope other carriers follow.
Before anyone starts, it's not that I have an issue with children in premium cabins. The real issue is parents who decide to ignore their kids or keep them inline. I'm not saying all of them do, but a large enough contingent of parents will put their kid down and forget about them for the next twelve hours -- this isn't right. If a child is unruly, it is just tolerated and parents manage to get away without any responsibility. With infants, it's a bit of a challenge as they are infants, so I am willing to cut some slack there.
I've seen some amazingly well behaved kids and some absolutely horribly based children. The ones that are well behaved, I have no issue with.
The real problem is toddlers. A few years ago I was on a flight from Tokyo to Newark and across the aisle from me was a mother and her toddler daughter. The entire flight, the daughter was screaming, making noise and trying to get her mother's attention. However, the mother was far more interested in her her movies and dinner and chose to ignore the child the bulk of the flight. I firmly believe that the mother should have been held responsible, all the child wanted was some attention. In that case, the mother's misdirected priorities made an entire cabin suffer. Had the same situation been an adult, the adult would have been greeted by the police and if they were enough of a problem, a diversion would have been executed.
Aside from the passengers, the ones that suffer are the airline as they are limited to what control they have in such a situation. With this recent move by Malaysia, it appears they are willing to take some steps and I hope they continue down the path.