10 answers

10 Month Old on a Plane

My husband and I are traveling to Baltimore from Madison with our 10 month old daugther. I am wondering if any of you moms have ideas to occupy her while we are flying for over three hours and any ideas on how to help her ears "pop" if she will not take a bottle. I am not sure what is allowed with carry on's anymore, so I am assuming less is better.

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I took my 6 month old on a plane to Florida. They do make ear plugs for babies who fly. That should help with the ears popping.

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We flew to Texas when my daughter was 10 months old. I made sure I made the flight arrangements around her nap time. To help her ears pop she takes a pacifier only at nap time so that was perfect and it helped! I bought a couple new toys for her to play with, something that if she threw it on the floor it wouldn't make noise or roll away. She did great though, people commented on how happy she was. Of course she didn't sleep on the way down there but slept the whole trip back. Good Luck!

We just traveled to Germany & back with our 9-month old; it went better than expected. I agree with the recommendation of taking new toys--something that will definitely keep her busy. The plane ride will go faster than you think. Hopefully she'll sleep a lot (the vibrations of take-off in particular helped my son to fall asleep). Also, if there's a row of 3 seats, pick the aisle and the window; that way hopefully no one will sit in the middle seat between you & you'll have that extra seat. And, if someone does, our experience is that they will gladly move to the aisle seat instead. Good luck & if your daughter fusses, don't worry about any wry looks from other passengers; I'm sure at some point their kids did the same thing!

Our son is the same age as your daughter and we just travelled with him a week ago from Seattle to Minneapolis. You can find the most recent liquid restrictions at http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/children/formula.shtm but, as other moms have said, as long as you have a baby they are reasonable. They will NOT make you taste breastmilk, formula, baby food, etc so no worries about that. What I did is figure what I really would need in case our luggage was lost as far as liquids...a couple of jars of baby food, a little thing of infant tylenol, diaper cream (he had raging diaper rash at the time)and instead of trying to deal with getting water on the flight I bought cans of pre-mixed similac formula and packed three of them (the flight is three hours but then add a couple for checking in and another for getting the rental car, etc). I put all of the liquids into a ziploc bag which I then put in the diaper bag...when we reached the security check point, I pulled the plastic bag out and put it in its own bin. The TSA people gave me major kudos for doing this and said that is exactly how it should be done to get through security quickly. I was amazed though how many other liquids had made their way into my diaper bag when I emptied it out...saline for his nose, lip balm (x4), etc etc...so make sure to dump everything out and repack with what you need.

As for the ear popping...I agree, anything that will get your kiddo to swallow. My trick was to try to not feed him for awhile before getting on the plane and try to plan a bottle to start a little bit into taxiing to take off. He would generally suck down the bottle and then fall asleep in my arms shortly thereafter (he loves the vibration and white noise). A few favorite toys, soft book to read, cheerios (I would hold them in my hand and give them to him a couple at a time), anything you have found that will generally keep her happy.

Over the winter break we were able to get an empty seat for our son, but we have had no luck over the summer with this. The planes have always been beyond full so just a note of warning if you try taking a car seat on with hopes of finding an empty seat. I generally ask the person at the counter to gauge how full the flight is and they are generally happy to arrange for you to get an empty seat if available. We would also get a large clear bag when we checked our bags before going through security (they do not have them at the gate generally) so if you do not have a tote bag for your car seat, definitely get one of these to keep all the straps from snagging. And don't forget to put a tag on!

Best of luck with your air travel!

I had to do a lot of flying with my 9 month old (now 2) when my sister got married in Arizona and I hosted a bridal shower for her in Miami, so I did many trips with my daughters. If you are breastfeeding that is the best thing for their ears. Don't try to bring pumped milk because they will probably make you toss it. But the best advice I recieved that really helped my infant daughter was to bring a wet washclothe with for them to suck on. I kept a few of them in a baggies and pulled them when she got really fussy. Also, stickers kept her really entertained, I think they like the feel of the stickiness. I just bought a sticker book and that really helped. I also brought her favorite foods, books, and small toys. Good Luck!

There have been several requests for this info in the last month or so. Check back on those as they have a lot of good info. Here's what I would bring:
Carseat: ask for a seat with an empty seat next to it. You can always stow it if it doesn't work.
Pacifier to pop ears if she uses one
Cup of juice/water - that way if you have to taste it it won't be nasty formula. Or bring the formula unmixed and put it in one of those seperator travel things.
Blanket and small toys
A DVD player is great if they will let you. Set it on the tray table and entertain them for hours and probably put her to sleep.
Good luck,

If you are nursing your daughter, do this during take off and landing. If your don't nurse and she won't take a bottle, try a pacifier. The sucking help with babies so they won't have as much problems with ear pain. Some babies it doesn't effect at all. Also have 1 or 2 small picture books and a few of her favorite small toys. I'm sure you all will be fine. The flight attendants are very helpful so it your having any problems they will assist you. Good luck and have a great time.

My daughter travels with me a lot on the plane. Her ears (pressure) my just regulate themselves without anything. Any type of swallowing helps so eating, sucking, yawning, etc works. Also, you can try to rub behind her ears at the level of the ear lobe. Favorite toys and books worked great when my daughter was her age. Also, organizing flying around a nap time works great. My daughter usually sleeps for 1-2 hours of most of our longer flights.

You are able to take milk, juice along with you on the flight. I find that it is just as easy to ask for it on the plane when you get on. If your daughter is doing formula, I would just ask for some bottled water when you get on the airplane (if you don't need to heat it or you can also ask them to warm it for you). Sometimes getting warm water is not too easy when getting on the plane, but with the recent changes this is definitely a better option than having your only milk supply thrown away.

C. (mother, speech-language pathologist). My daughter is a frequent flyer and is now 16 months old.

I took my 6 month old on a plane to Florida. They do make ear plugs for babies who fly. That should help with the ears popping.

We use a pacifier on the way up and down so that my daughter's ears pop. You can also let her drink water from a sippy cup often on the way up and down.


Hi A. -
I also took my 10 month old daughter on a plane (Minneapolis to Fairbanks AK - 5 hour plane ride) last month. Luckily my daughter took a bottle - but I also kept a big supply of nooks handy (not sure if your daughter takes those). You might want to bring a sippy cup just to try to get her to suck on something. The best thing that I brought on the plane with me was a bib that I could connect things to (i.e. chewy rings, nooks, etc...) so that if she dropped them I didn't have to search the floor and then worry about it getting dirty. I also bought a few new toys that I didn't give to her until we were on the plane - that also seemed to help.

I flew home the day after they put into place the new restrictions about liquids and it seemed to me that if you have a child your restrictions are not as bad. I didn't make a bottle - just had powdered formula in it (no water) and there seemed to be no problems. They also told me that I was able to bring baby food as well - as long as you have a baby with you is what they told me. I would recommend calling the airline just to double check (and you are right less is better- it really just makes it a lot easier)

I was dreading the flight (my husband didn't come with me) as I didn't want to be one of 'those' people with the unhappy baby :) but surprisingly it wasn't really that bad.

I hope that you all have safe travels and your daughter does well on the plane.

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