J.N. asks from Garden Grove, CA on February 18, 2008
Advice for Trip to Hawaii
My daughter is 3 months old and we are taking a family vacation to hawaii at the end of the week. Does anyone have any previous experience and tips for traveling through the airport with a baby? Thanks
1 mom found this helpful
So What Happened?™
Thanks so much for all this helpful advice...I playing the days events in my mind to make sure everything goes easier the day of.
W.E. answers from Los Angeles on February 18, 2008
I was a Flight Attendant for 7 years and it is very hard traveling with children but here are a few tips that I hope help you out.
Tip #1 Give the baby a bottle right before taking off and during the decent because of the pressure in the ears. The sucking and swallowing will help reduce pressure.
Tip #2 Buy a seat for the baby. You dont want him/her sitting on your lap the entire flight. The seats are way too close together and he will be more likely to fall asleep if he is in his carseat. Plus, for safety it is better to have him in his carseat if you hit unexpected turbulence.
Tip #3 Carry plenty of bottled water with you (or whatever they allow now) You dont want to drink the airplane potable water...YUK!
Tip #4 Try to gate check your stroller so you have it right when you get off the plane in Hawaii. You dont want to have to walk all the way down to baggage claim to get your stroller. If you have an umbrella stroller even better. Those fit in the overheard bins.
Tip #5 I'm sure you will wear flip flops since youre heading to Hawaii, but you definately want to wear shoes you can slip on/off easy when going through security. No belts, jewelry, things that might make the buzzer go off. You have an infant and all of their items, the last thing you need is a hold up at security.
Tip #6 Bring food and snacks with you because now alot of the airlines charge for food and snacks. Oh how the industry has changed. : )
If your baby cries during the flight, try walking around the airplane. It's a tight squeeze and you will have to dodge the dirty looks but just remember you are on your way to paradise with your beautiful baby...What could be better? HAVE FUN!!!!
2 moms found this helpful
L.N. answers from Los Angeles on February 19, 2008
We have traveled a lot with our 18 month old - including Jamaica & Hawaii. We have been very fortunate that he is a great traveler - the plane engine lulls him to sleep every time! My advice - bring the necessities all in one bag. you will have to take the baby out of the stoller and put the stroller through the xray machine. I tend to pick a security line with other children and don't worry about the business people squaking behind you! Don't feel you have to rush -each airport is different so ask TSA if you have any questions on what to do. Gate check the stroller. We have yet to buy our son a seat - he does just fine sitting on our laps. Make sure you let the gate know you are traveling with a lap child and they will do what they can to get to a row with an empty seat! Buy bottled water once through security for bottles and yourself on the plane. Feeding or binky at take-off and landing. Chaning diapers is a pain....not enough room in the stinky bathrooms and the seat changes are kind of hard on your heighbors! No easy way to do it. Stand in the back by the galley during the flight. The flight attendants are very helpful...especially if you make an effort to not be up while they are serving! Have a Mai Tai on the plane and RELAX...you're going to Hawaii with your baby! It doesn't get better than that!
I.J. answers from Los Angeles on February 19, 2008
I took my son to NY when he was 3 months. I spoke to his
Dr. first. one thing that helped, was given him a bottle when the plan took off and when it was landing. This helps ease the pressure.
K.K. answers from Los Angeles on February 18, 2008
Breastfeed (or bottle feed) on take off and landing - helps ear pressure. We took our daughter on a six hour flight when she was 10 weeks and again when 3 months. The rule of thumb is if they are sleeping on one of these -- they should be okay (no need to wake up to feed when landing.) However, we did have a bumpy flight on one of our legs and I just stuffed my boob in my daughter's mouth why she was sleeping for landing.....she instinctually started sucking and never woke up.
I would also recommend bringing your boppy for the plane - makes feeding easier and your baby can fall asleep that way after feeding.
In addition to the diaper bag, we had a bag that had a stash of must haves in case our bags didn't make it -extra diapers, a few outfits, etc.
Hand santizer. Our doc told us the biggest way germs were spread on the plane wasn't the air, but the hands! We used santizer everytime we got up to do anything and a few times throughout the flight...none of us go sick.
Diaper changes - we did this on the seat or in one of our laps to avoid the germs from the bathroom.
C.J. answers from Los Angeles on February 19, 2008
I have two girls (6 and 8 now) and have traveled with them several times - some bad, some good. Your baby is only 3 months old, so hopefully she will sleep. The only tips I have for you are:
1. Helps to have her own seat, where you can "lay her down" in her infant carrier. She's used to this and the motion of the plane will probably put her to sleep.
2. When you take off and land, be sure to have something for her to be drinking or sucking on to help her ears to stay clear. (That being said, I have had an infant sleep through take off and landing and was fine)
3. The plane is dry, so some extra fluids are a good idea.
4. If you use a infant carrier, like a Biorn or snuggly, bring it, if you want to hold her, she'll be safer in something that is attached to you or in her infant seat.
5. When you go through the airport, they will make you take her out of her car seat to go thru security (this is not fun if you have a baby you are trying to keep asleep), so be prepared.
If for some reason you have a "not so good" experience on the plane and your daughter decides to let everyone know it, be prepared, some people can be very unkind and get very frustrated with a crying baby. I had this experience with our first daughter when she was 5 months old and it was awful. Later, the only part I regret was my own frustration with my child, I let the people around me put pressure on me and I allowed it to increase my stress. I firmly believe that, even though my behavior didn't change outwardly, my daughter sensed my stress and it worsened the situation. If your daughter cries the whole flight (or what seems to be the whole flight), just remember, it will end and ignore all the looks you will get. Just calmly do what you need to do for your daughter, you can do anything for 5 hours, right? Oh, and by the way, the bathrooms are way to small for changing a baby. Ignore the looks or have your husband give a little privacy with a blanket and just change her on the seat. Remember to bring extra lrg ziplock bags for dirty diapers or spit up clothes.
Good luck and have a wonderful trip! Blessings. C.
S.K. answers from Los Angeles on February 19, 2008
I took my son to Sweden at 4 months. My best item was my peanut shell baby sling, but any type of similar carrier would do. Having my hands free was very helpful and he was able to sleep easier. I used my stroller mostly as a luggage cart. I also brought a variety of toys and board books he liked. The toys that wrap or attach to the car seat carrier were especially helpful. If you nurse or use a pacifier, those are very helpful on the way up and down.
J.S. answers from Reno on February 19, 2008
We went to Maui for the first time at 10 weeks. We've been 6 times in 2 years, plus a trip to Europe. We use the stroller carseat as a luggage carrier for our carry ons. Baby goes in the sling. We nursed for takeoff and landing. You can bring a formula bottle through security also. They don't need much entertainment at hat age. They'll make you take her out of the sling for security and probably for takeoff and landing, but it is so worth having your hands free while moving through the airport. If you didn't buy a seat ask at the gate if the flight is full and they will sometimes give you a seat for the baby. The carseat has to be installed by the window and has to have a sticker or manual that says it's certified for aircraft use. As our daughter has grown we've attained a stash of really interesting small toys... stickers, magnets, aquadoodle... Keep a bag handy with a diaper, wipes, change of clothes and bottle if you're not nursing. Have fun, we'll be there in 2 weeks also!
K.B. answers from Los Angeles on February 20, 2008
All of the advice offered here is excellent. We have travelled quite a bit with our little one. He is 9 months now and has been on at least 20+ flights already. Definitely gate-check your stroller. See about getting an umbrella stroller if you don't already have one- Maclaren has the best one-hand fold and its so lightweight! Makes going through security a breeze. I looooove my Mac Volo stroller. You want to keep things as quick and EFFICIENT as possible for your own sanity. Check out www.travelingwithkids.com for some good travel gear and ideas. I recommend the red "gate-check" bags they sell for your stroller and carseats. These keep your gear clean, and you can't miss them. Also, when packing your diaper bag- be prepared for a possible delay- especially if formula feeding. We had a six-hour flight-delay recently, and did not pack enough formula for that! It was just supposed to be a 1-hour flight. I found out the hard way that they don't sell formula in the giftshops... Anyways, have fun!