February 07, 2008,
M.S. asks from Newport Beach, CA on February 06, 2008
Air Travel with 5 Month Old Infant-first Flight!
I am going to be taking my 5 month old to Hawaii and I have no idea what I need to bring with me...I am currently nursing him, so I think I have the feeding thing taken care of. Should I travel with his car seat or should I rent one? Is it comfortable to sit with him on my lap, because we did not purchase a ticket for him?
I would appreciate any advice you mama's can offer.
So What Happened?™
We'll be going on vacation in another month, so I'll be sure to update this when I get back. THANKS for your advice, you guys rock!
G.S. answers from Los Angeles on February 07, 2008
Definitely travel with your own infant car seat. You may get lucky & find an empty next to you!
if not holding the baby on your lap is fine I have done it many times. You can check your stroller just before you get on the plane, this way they will have it waiting for you when you deplane. Also the rental car seats are disgusting.
C.B. answers from Los Angeles on February 07, 2008
I took my daughter on her first flight at 4 months and it was not a problem. You don't need to bring a car seat or purchase an airline ticketsince you will be holding him on your lap. (I held my daughter during the flights as well.) I would suggest trying to nurse him during take off and landing because it helps with their ears. If you have a sling I would bring it because it will give your arms a break during the flight. Besides that, I would just bring a few small toys and a couple of books. My daughter, who is normally a sleep fighter, slept great on the airplane. I hope that you have a great time in Hawaii!
M.R. answers from Los Angeles on February 07, 2008
Hello- First I have to say congratulations on choosing to take your little one with you for some R and R. So many people are afraid to fly with little ones, but in my opinion, the sooner you get them used to flying, the easier for you, and the more travel you will be comfortable doing! My daughter took her first flight at about 5 months as well, and now at 5, she is a seasoned traveler with 4 trips to Hawaii, 2 trips to Mexico, and a few continental flights under her belt. We always bring our car seat ( the ones that you rent tend to be older, and not as safe as the one that you would use, and much less hygenic). My suggestion is to go to Babies R Us and get the car seat bag so you can check it with baggage claim. Keeps it clean and less likely to break due to rough handling. Make sure and pump some breast milk into a bottle if your son will take the bottle- reason being is that when the plane takes off and lands, it is hard for baby's to clear their ears. If they are drinking from a bottle or even sucking on a pacifier, it helps to clear their ears. Chances are that your son will sleep most of the flight, but one suggestion that was given to me was to give a small dose of Childrens Benedryl about 20 before take off- it is totally safe and guarantees sleepiness. You will be somewhat uncomfortable with the baby in your arms for 5 straight hours, but hopefully your husband can share the duty. One thing that I have found, and is worth a call to the airline before hand, is that if there is an empty seat on the plane, the flight attendants will work to get you that seat for your baby at no charge once everyone boards. If that is the case, it is good to bring the car seat with you on board. Hope that all helps! Have a great trip!
G.C. answers from Los Angeles on February 07, 2008
when traveling with my nursing children i always broke all my own rules.
for example, nursing to nap is a no - no (that is, nursing so the child will fall asleep) but in mid air, it's a go! keep him lulled asleep and comfortable. also do not buy another seat as guaranteed you will be holding him the entire flight.
if he likes baby einstein or barney or something like that, purchase (if you do not already have) a cheap portable dvd player and charge it up! it's worth his comfort and happiness. plus the less anxiety from cranky passengers giving you glaring looks due to a crying baby ... well you get my drift.
can't remember what a 5 month old plays with anymore but make sure to have a few of his favorite things that you pull out in case of emergency for a nice surprise!
my husband always traveled with us so we brought our own car seat and he handled it. if not, you have enough to worry about. rent one and have them install it for you. have fun.
H.L. answers from Los Angeles on February 06, 2008
Hi there, I have traveled with my son to New Zealand when he was that age. I would advise to check with the airline to see if they have the basinettes for babies on the plane. these are little beds that drop down from the wall of the bulkhead of the plane. I am not sure if they only have these on international flights, but they saved me when I traveled with my son. If not, I would suggest trying to get a flight that is during one of his nap times, so that he will sleep better on your lap.If he has a pacifier, make aure that you bring that to soothe him. Also, feed him during take-off and landing to make sure his ears don't pop with the pressure. I would bring the carseat, as he will be familiar with it, and more comfortable. I would also bring a port-a-crib, unless you are co-sleeping. Plenty of diapers and a change mat on the plane, as the changing tables in the bathrooms are hard as a rock. Also, I would bring his own bedding and blankets, etc. Anything that is portable and familiar to him will make him more comfortable. I hope that helps, and have a wonderful trip!!
P.T. answers from Los Angeles on February 06, 2008
I took my son, who's now 5, to Hawaii too for his first trip, he was also 4 months. I took my own car seat( but checked it in) i dont trust the ones at rental places. He sat on my lap and was fine for the whole trip. i just made sure to be feesing him during takeoff and landing (or a pacifier will do) for the discomfort in the ears. have a great trip! AND GOOD LUCK!
I.Y. answers from Los Angeles on February 07, 2008
We recently flew with our 2 sons (2 1/2 and 7 months) and rented everything. At the time I was nursing too so which made it very nice. Depending on which island you are going to, there are companies that rent out every kind of baby item you can think of... cribs, car seats, high chairs, toys, pool and beach toys, breastpumps...you name it, they have it! They set it all up for you so it's there upon arrival. It's fantastic!! We took enough diapers to get us there and checked in and then went to the store and bought everything that we would need (food, diapers, wipes etc.). It was wonderful and much easier than loading ALL that you need for a baby!! Good luck and if you email the island you are going to, I can make suggestions on which companies to use.
J.A. answers from Los Angeles on February 07, 2008
I took my son on an airplane to Cleveland when he was 3 weeks old and again when he was 5 months. It is safe to have him on your lap. The only thing I can suggest is that you have something to hold him in while in flight. I have a Baby Bjorn carrier and I kept him in in during the flight because your arms will get tired. The only problem I seemed to have in the Baby Bjorn is he got really warm. Make sure you bring a blanket. He slept most of the way although he is a great sleeper and probably because I was holding him the whole time in the carrier. The airlines might not let you use the carrier during take off, but they will let you use it during flight. Also during take off and landing feed him, so he is able to "pop" his ears. If he does not want to feed you can try a pacifier. Consider this regarding his car seat, if you check it in and it gets damaged most airlines will not cover the damages. Best of luck to you and Have a great and safe trip.
A.H. answers from Los Angeles on February 07, 2008
I would defiantly recomend that you bring stuff that he likes to do in your cary on bag. Such as little toys that keep him occupide for awhile, and books if he likes books. They tend to get rather fussy just sitting there for hours and not getting there proper naps. When you have a baby you are aloud two baby items to check in with lugage that don't count as lugage and dont cost any extra, so I would recomend bringing his car seat and cecking it in as one of his two baby items. Also you can bring his stroller and walk it right up to the plane door and they take it from there,and have it waiting for you when you get off the plane. And the the wounderfull thing is that, it dosent count as the second baby iteam. I hope this helps. Be perpared it is going to be quite an adventure. Good luck.
E.M. answers from Los Angeles on February 07, 2008
congratulations first of all!!! I also have a 5 month old girl born on 8/10. we just came back from a trip to central america. to my suprise she handled it pretty well. shes one of these babies who most of the time prefer to be in my arms, but not only that she prefers for me to be up walking with her in my arms. so i thought i would have to be walking up and down the aisles with her through the whole flight.
i think the sound of the engines and all the people around us were a distraction and she actually fell asleep most of the way and would wake up when we would make a connecting flight. i was so grateful.when she was awake,she would get a restless but i had books for her and some toys.sometimes it helped sometimes it didnt. i also kept a pacifier and a bottle handy. fortunetly for you, your breastfeeding.
my older sister flew for the first time as well and she told me not to be shy about getting up. she has a two year old so it was a little harder for her.
make sure u find out if theres a changing table in the restrooms.if not make sure to take a blanket or something to lay her on and improvise.
as far as the carseat, i had it with me on the way over there and i got to lay the baby down bc we had a seat in the middle of my husband and me that happened to be empty.u can ask the check in desk about that. but bc sometimes she just wanted to be in my arms sometimes so i checked it in on the way back. no big deal. if u have someone to help u out its not a prob. but if your traveling just with baby, try to minimize what u take.im sure youll find what u need wherever u go.
as far as what u can get past security. just make sure u take no liquids. u can take some jarred baby food. you can but water or juice in the airport. bc i give her formula.my carryon had like 4 big cans of powdered formula and it seemed to be ok.
i hope i helped to relieve some anxiety. i know i was pretty nervous. my husband is not that great in calming her down since she is with me most of the time, so i knew it was in my hands.
good luck to you!! and have a great time.
H.W. answers from Los Angeles on February 07, 2008
I have traveled a few times with my son on a flight. First time to Colorado and second to Florida so we have done both the extremely long and the short flight. I found that purchasing a ticket for my son was the easiest way to go. I brought his car seat with me, strapped it into his plane seat and when he was tired or eating I could put him in his car seat and let him do his thing instead of holding him. Also, since the airline did mess up our tickets on our flight coming home from Florida, my son and I were stuck at the back of the plane next to a stranger and the rest of the family was in the front of the plane. I'm sure the man sitting next to me appreciated that my son had his own seat instead of sharing mine with me and was able to play in his car seat for the 5.5 hour flight. My son was 6 months old when we flew to Colorado and I just made sure to bring some quiet but stimulating toys for him, like the bar wraps that wrap over the bar of the carseat. I made sure to have his little teather biscuits and plenty of formula (but that shouldn't be problem for you since you're nursing) Make sure that you take a changing pad since it's difficult changing a diaper in a bathroom on a plane that does not have a changing table and the less stuff you bring in with you to the bathroom the better. I checked his stroller while I was bording the plane and it was waiting for me when I got off, so that I could put him in the stroller and then head to bagage claim. I made sure to have an extra pacifier or two if you use them. If you have a portable dvd player you might want to bring it with some movies that he watches. My son loves Baby Einstein so I brought those on the flight and it helped him relax when I put him in his car seat during the flight. I personally just thought that getting him his own seat would be nicer for me so I'm not constantly holding him and could try to enjoy the flight myself. Also, you might want to check the airlines websight as to what their policy is for traveling with children- some airlines do require that the child be in their own seat for landing and take off. Some airlines will not allow you to use the airplane harness that you can purchase at most baby stores that straps the child to your seat belt while they sit in your lap due to the fact that if you hit turbulance you could go forward and cause bodily harm to your child. So I would definatley check the website of the airline for their policies. Just remember to bring your babies favorite things, blanket, stuffed animal or what have you so that they have something familiar and soothing. Oh and make sure that your baby is either sucking on a pacifier or a bottle during landing and take off to avoid their ears getting plugged up. I know that I had some problems getting premade bottles on the plane due to security purposes but the flight attendandts are usually very willing to help since they probably don't want to hear a screaming baby either =) lol... Most importantly though, you have to stay calm =) I was a nervous wreck the first time I flew with my son and he could sense it so he too was a little squirmy. For me making a list in advance of what I wanted to take on the plane helped a lot so I knew I wasn't forgetting anything. Keep your childs carry on underneath your seat instead of in the over head compartment for easy access. Wow, look at me just rambling on and on here =) lol - I hope this was helpful and have a great time in Hawaii! =)
B.A. answers from Los Angeles on February 07, 2008
My daughter and I travelled several times with her 6 month old baby. During one of our flights a flight attendant gave her some advise that we had never heard of before, during take off and landing, nurse or bottle feed the baby. This forces the baby to swollow in order to keep their ear drums from becoming congested (all the things we experience during flight, and alleviate with chewing gum etc,). Some children and babies develop ear aches, etc after a flight. You don't need a baby with an ear infection while on vacation. Good Luck, hopefully the baby sleeps during the flight!!!
A.L. answers from Los Angeles on February 07, 2008
I took my three month old to Hawaii last month. We took our car seat because we've heard stories about old and dirty car seats available through the car rental companies. We also took a stroller which we latched the car seat onto. Both were checked in at the gate ... very easy ... and were delivered at the gate as well. As far as the feeding, just make sure s/he is nursing during take-off and landing to avoid any ear problems. And the sitting on the lap is really no problem because s/he isn't mobile yet. My baby slept through most of the flights, so it was very comfortable. Lastly, I don't know if you are a fan of slings, but that's what I held my baby in during the flights, and it was perfect ... very comfortable for both of us. It's also nice for traveling in general ... just a thought. Enjoy the trip ... we had a blast! Oh, one more thing, if you're heading to any beaches outside of the one next to the hotel you're staying at, it's a great idea to buy a beach umbrella, available at ABC stores for $15, to keep the little one in the shade. Again, because s/he isn't mobile yet, lounging at the beach is perfect. We checked our umbrella in thinking we'd get it broken or something, but it made it home no problem and now we have a cheap umbrella to take to the beach and not be upset if it's broken/lost.
M.V. answers from Los Angeles on February 07, 2008
We usually travel with our car seat - you can check it in with your luggage. I actually bought a travel bag to store baby seats - it is kind of a mission, but at least you know you are getting the protection you need for your little one.
When I flew with my son at about that age, I actually packed his boppy pillow at the bottom of the stroller. Just before boarding the plane, you leave the stroller at the entrance, whip out the boppy and then when I fed him or when he slept, he slept comfortably in my arms on the boppy and I had all the support I needed to be comfy. Hope this helps.
A.L. answers from Los Angeles on February 07, 2008
I have a son who is now 19 mos, and we flew to So.Dakota with him when he was 5 mos. We were just told to make sure that he was sucking (either bottle or pacifier) when we took off, and then we were decending. That should help with his ears. I don't know if you give your son a pacifier, so you may want to feed him at those times.
As for the car seat, I did bring ours, but we had a travel case for it; we purchased that at One Step Ahead. The case had wheels which helped. I've attached the url to the site below, but I'm not sure how much time you have before leaving. Good luck and have a great time!
B.K. answers from Los Angeles on February 07, 2008
Aloha! At 5 months your baby will fit nicely in your arms. Hopefully you'll have someone to share your vacation with who can also help with the airplane duties. Expect people to give you strange looks. They are on vacation to, and naturally expect the worst from the little ones. Take Off and Landing are the biggest problems for their little ears. I would time your feeding to happen at those critical times. The only time I had a problem traveling with my infants was when I took the recommendation of one of my BFF's to give Bennydryl prior to flight. It had the opposite effect on my 2-year old and we spent the better half of the flight trying to peal her off the ceiling. Literally the entire plane was tossing me candy, water, hot towels... the works. She finally crashed on the floor and the flight crew had no problem leaving her there for the entire flight. Cheers!
S.N. answers from Los Angeles on February 07, 2008
I have 2 boys that I traveled by plane with both of them.I suggest to (try to) feed while take off & landing. but as far car seat we bring our own. The porter has big bags to put it in & keep it under the plane. if you have your husband flying with you, 5 months should be cake.No need to purchase your baby a seat., when you get up to stretch take the baby along. It's only 5 hour flight.My kids both slept the whole way back from Maui last Sept.
Curren 20 M..
E.F. answers from Los Angeles on February 07, 2008
Are you traveling with another adult too? If so I'd bring the carseat and maybe a stroller too. If not, I'd rent one. I've flown to WY and OR by myself with an infant and had to change planes. That was much harder to do especially when you are holding your infant and then trying to open up your stroller, have your diaper bag on your shoulder, etc. Good Luck!
P.G. answers from Los Angeles on February 07, 2008
Hi there - I'm a mom of four and we have traveled with all of the kids. Lots of the women are right on here - bring a sling so your arms don't get exhausted, a pacifier for when he isn't nursing and a few familiar toys (ones that will light up with minimal noise to catch his eye.) No need to buy an extra seat unless you want to lay him down on his own. We did a car seat once and it was miserable! You end up holding baby almost the entire flight.
I hope you have a safe and very fun trip!
A.G. answers from Los Angeles on February 07, 2008
We travel frequently with our kids. When they were babies we went overseas and the international flights had bassinets which drop down from the bulk head wall. I don't think many people know about them. They were life savers the babies loved them. One was 4 months old and the other 8 months. They worked great. You'd have to contact the airline to find out if the particular plane you are booked on has the bassinet, if so, reserve those seats!!!
On take off and landing better be ready to nurse!!! It helps with their ears!!!
M.D. answers from Los Angeles on February 07, 2008
We took our son to England when he nine months old. The flight over was great, the flight home not so good. If you are able to, arrange flight times around nap or sleep times, that worked well for the flight over. He slept through most of it. Nursing is also great. That helped when we were going up or down. We didn't do the car seat, he wanted to be with me most of the time anyway and then it was free. BUT, call the airline when you book your seats. They may be able to give you special seating that gives you more room for having an infant. We got a special aisle with a bassinette for our son, but didn't buy a ticket for him.
Also, bring extra clothes. My son's diaper leaked...I had clothes for him, but not for me. Bring a few toys, but not too much. Your child is only 5 months old so probably not overly into toys yet anyway. You just need distractions and to keep the baby comfortable. And, go with a sense of humor!
J.D. answers from Los Angeles on February 07, 2008
I travel with my little guy every 3 months since he was 3 months old. My only recommendation is to take his car seat and stroller all the way to the gate. 1st, it doesn't count as luggage when you gate check, and 2nd, if there are empty seats, they might offer to let you use the car seat. (huge bonus!) A long flight like that will get a little uncomfortable after a while unless you have someone with you to switch laps with once in a while.
When I was nursing, I would take my 'Hooter Hider', and some easily packable toys.
If you don't want to take the car seat, you can go through the metal detectors with a Baby Bjorn if you have one. Super easy to travel with that!
A.C. answers from Los Angeles on February 07, 2008
I have traveled all over the world with my daughter since she was four months old, The fact that you are nursing will eliminate half of the battle. It really helps on the plane as well since their ears are less likely to hurt since she can nurse for take of and landings.
I noticed in the beginning I would always overpack incase of emergency of any sort. Lots of diapers and wipes, sun protection lotion, hats, and a few familiar toys so they don't feel like as if all of their surroundings have totally changed. I would not take the car seat since you already have your baby to worry about and you don't need all those extra things to lug around. I usually would take a stroller and rent a car seat with the car. It's just much easier that way.
Your baby will be on your lap the entire airplane ride. Be prepared to have a stiff arm and a sore bottom. Its really not that bad. At four months she is not too much to carry for a few hours. You'll be fine. Just have a fantastic time and enjoy these special moments as a family.
J.V. answers from Los Angeles on February 06, 2008
I noticed you said "we" in your request which I hope means you might have someone to help you. I travelled a lot with my child alone and with help while she was 4 months old on up until now. Back then, we didn't book her a seat, brought the carseat and they usually found us a seat for her so she sat in her carseat. The sling sounds good, but if you can check the carseat at the cabin entrance, then you might get lucky and get a seat for your carseat. Pack your bag for the plane AS IF you will be travelling at LEAST twice as long. Several times we have been delayed and diverted...once we had an emergency landing in another state and I was the only mom who had enough food and diapers. Most only took what they needed for a few hours.
They say the sucking motion helps with ear issues while plane takes off and lands so if you can feed him while going up and down, it might eliminate sore ears.
I haven't travelled by plane recently but be sure to find out all the new rules about baggage, carryons, allowable stuff you can take and how it must be packaged.
Oh, if you have a connection allow enough time in between so you are running through and airport...I did that alone with my baby, the carseat, the stroller etc. and no one offered assistance, ugh!
GOOD LUCK and aloha!
A.M. answers from San Diego on February 06, 2008
Infants are the best for travel!
I have carried my babies in a sling on the flight- so easy if they fall asleep, and easy to nurse. A few, new toys are helpful, too. I have rented carseats- though in my experience, they rarely carry infant seats, and won't install them for insurance reasons. You'll wind up having to put an unfamiliar seat in rear-facing by yourself. For my second child, I always carried the baby in the stroller in the carseat to the gate and checked it there.
H.J. answers from Santa Barbara on February 06, 2008
It will go better than you think! I have traveled twice to hawaii with an infant. Bring toys for distraction, blankets because it is always freezing and check your own carseat. A sling/Bjorn is great too!
T.G. answers from Los Angeles on February 06, 2008
Should be no problem. We traveled with both children before they were 4 mos and it was pretty easy. I never traveled with a carseat, because they are so easy to rent; however, it does cost a little more (usually if you are staying more than 4 or 5 days you can buy one for the price it costs through the rental car company). I figured that I was paying for the convienence of not traveling with a bulky car seat. Bring a few changes of clothes, I usually brought 3 (just in case), if you have room you may also want to bring a change of clothes for yourself (at least a shirt) just in case of a little accident (sitting on your lap you just never know . . .), bring enough diapers for the whole day plus a few more (you never know what might happen and I haven't seen a whole lot of airports let alone airplanes with diapers), be sure to try and feed during takeoff and especially during decent/landing this will help the ear pressure, bring your stroller, it is a hassle through security but it does help at the airport and it is familiar to you and your baby (you can check it at the gate and it will be waiting for you when you get off the plane). I had my first son on my lap from LA to NY when he was 6 mos old (his 2nd trip) and I was travelling by myself. It was no problem, he loved it and the lady next to me held him for a couple minutes when I had to use the bathroom. You will do fine, oh remember to bring a few toys, especially ones that he likes to chew on the ear pressure is a tough thing for the little ones. My husband is a pilot and traveling with the kids is old hat for me know so let me know if you have any questions, there maybe something I forgot . . .Have fun!!
K.K. answers from Los Angeles on February 07, 2008
Hi! We travel to Hawaii about twice a year. We have also travelled internationally with both children about once a year. We have a 4 yr old and an almost 3 year old - both girls. I would say that you will have an easier time than you are anticipating given the length of the flight and the age of your baby. And, keep in mind it is definitely easier to travel now with your baby than when he can start running around on his own!
As far as car seat is concerned - I would bring one and check it in as luggage. You will not be using it on the plane because you would actually have to purchase a seat for the baby. Now that my children are old enough that we have to purchase a ticket - my little one still prefers to sit on my lap or sleep in my arms...
Stroller is a must - like all the other responses - put the baby in the stroller up to the point that they have to stow the stroller. then be prepared to hold the baby during the entire flight - during which especially because you are breastfeeding, he will sleep most of the time!
I also just wanted to add that when you get to Hawaii - be sure to use lots of sunscreen on the baby! I never thought i would be such a nervous wreck with protecting the babies from sunburn and making sure that sand didn't get to hang out in between their butt cheeks and chafe them!
I hope you have a wonderful time - we love Maui and hope you love Hawaii as much as we do!
L.C. answers from Los Angeles on February 07, 2008
I first traveled with my son when he was about 6 months old to NY. Same travel time as Hawaii. We did not buy a seat for him for this first flight but we lucked out and were able to get 3 seats together in the middle with an empty seat between us. We did not bring a car seat and took turns holding him and let him nap in the middle seat.
If you did not buy a seat for your son there is no point taking the car seat on the plane because there is no guarantee that you'll have an empty seat to put it in. You'll have to carry him on your lap. However, when you go to the airport you should try to check to see if you can get 3 seats with an empty one in middle. Even though he is little, the 5 hour flight is a long time to have to hold him. You will need to bring your car seat or rent one for the rental car though.
After this first trip we started buying tickets for our son. Tickets are usually 1/2 price until he is 2. If you buy him a ticket, you have to sign him up for his own Frequent Flier number. We did this and my son (who is now 5) has had a few free tickets already. (And he's gotten credit card offers)
Also bring plenty of toys and books and snacks for your son. That will keep him busy if he does not nap on the plane. Also be sure to nurse him or give him a binky for take off and landing to stop his ears from popping.
When my son was about 1 or 2 we bought a portable DVD for the plane so he can watch his videos if he gets cranky.
I hope this helps. Good luck with the travels.
R.L. answers from Los Angeles on February 07, 2008
We used to travel quite a bit internationally when our kids were little. We flew with our son for the first time when he was 4 months old.
Buy a ticket and take a car seat. You wouldn't travel with your child unrestrained in the car, would you? It's the same thing in a plane, only the forces can be greater, making it much more difficult to hold onto a baby during rough turbulence, sudden drops, or G-d forbid, the rare crash landing scenario. Also, even though it's a hassle getting the car seat on the plane, most airlines will let you preboard, which helps. If you have a car seat for your child, it is also much easier to eat, sleep and use the restroom. The guidelines for front or rear-facing apply the same as in cars, BTW.
Make sure you nurse your child during as much of the ascent and descent as possible, or have a bottle or sippy cup of water (if he's taking any) ready. Baby's have very flat eustacean tubes. They are more prone to extreme discomfort from air pressure changes and it is harder for them to clear their ears. Sucking and swallowing helps to equilibrate the air pressure on both sides of the ear drum naturally and quickly (works for adults, too). I always feel so bad for screaming infants on take off and landing -- blocked ears can really hurt! In fact, if your child has a cold or is prone to allergy, administering a safe dose of dimetap or other OTC infant antihistamine can be very helpful. Not only will it help keep the ears clear, but it will make the baby a little sleepy and much more likely to snooze through a great deal of the flight.
My last bit of advice is more about courtesy to your fellow passengers -- please don't change diapers in your seat! Many lavatories now have pull down changing tables you can use. It's been a long time since I've traveled with infants, but I do a fair amount of business travel now and, as much as I can empathize with mothers of little ones, I still don't appreciate having to smell someone's dirty diaper and appreciate it even less if someone's little lovey squirts all over my papers and laptop!
D.C. answers from Los Angeles on February 07, 2008
you have had alot of responses to your questions, which is a good thing. The only thing I can add is that I did take our car seat with us. you can check it in with your bagage. WEhen we wanted to rent one from teh car rental office, they wanted $10 a day and we would be gone for 5 days. I would rather spend the $50 on something else...
Also, the stroller thing is great. I kep my son in the stroller, most of the time waiting in the airport, and you are able to walk down the ramp with the stroller and they will take it at the last moment and when you get out of teh plane it will be there waiting for you, put your baby in and off you go... however what no one told me, to help you be prepared, is when you are going through security, you have to take the baby out, take off your jacket, sweaters ect.. the babies as well, yours and babies shoes off and put the stroller through the conveyor belt/table. so please be prepared... I was a little anxious trying to go as fast as possible and not hold up the line.. Everything else has been covered by the viewers. Good luck!
C.W. answers from Los Angeles on February 07, 2008
Buy a ticket for your child! It's cheap insurance against serious injuries that could be sustained in unexpected turbulance. Always travel with your baby's carseat and use it on the airplane. You would never forgive yourself if you ran into turbulance and your child was hurt.
About me --I'm a mom to three and a grandmother to seven. My eldest daughter, although a systems analyst by trade, functions like a safety engineer and is more in tune with keeping children safe than anyone I've ever known. She's taught me a lot. She goes NO WHERE without little ones in carseats. Good luck and have fun!
C.H. answers from Los Angeles on February 07, 2008
My husband and I usually travel with our childrens' car seats. I have a 5 year old daughter and a 18 month old son. We went to Hawaii this past October and we lapped our son, so we checked his car seat at the ticket counter and my daughter sat in her car seat during the flight. It's kind of a lot to carry, but we feel more comfy taking their own car seats instead of renting one. Our first trip to HI was when our daughter was 8 months old. The chest strap buckle got lost during the flight (my husband didn't secure the straps or the buckle) and we had to rent a car seat. It was fine, but we were just uneasy because it didn't look safe (although it was) and it was kind of dingy. Bring little toys that we occupy him during the flight, if he doesn't sleep. You can check your stroller at the gate and when you land, it'll be waiting for you went you depart from the plane. I wouldn't bring a full-size stroller. An umbrella stroller or the Kolkraft light weight stroller is a good stroller to take with you. Also, I found that the airline people aren't very careful with your strollers. Our stroller had a huge grease mark on the canopy. Luckily, it's an old stroller and we were going to toss it anyway, but suppose it was a higher priced stroller?
At the hotel/timeshare, you can request a portable crib. Those work well, or we usually have our son sleep in our bed. Whichever works for you. Bring sunscreen and a hat as the hot Hawaii sun can burn your baby's delicate skin...and you, too.
My family is going to Hawaii again in March and when I called to let them know that we have a lap child for our flight, the rep told me to make sure I have his birth certificate. I wasn't aware this was necessary, since we went to Hawaii in October and wasn't told of this information, but the rep said it's always been a law. So, you may want to bring a copy of your son's birth certificate (or call your airline company to confirm - we're flying Hawaiian Air). It's at the person's discretion to ask to see the birth certificate. From my experience, I've never been asked, but will bring a copy just in case. FYI - I feel comfy lapping my child. I did it with my daughter and we're doing it with our son. Since my son is older, we use Baby B'Air. It's vest that he wears, but there's a strap that's attached to the vest that I can attach to my seat belt.
Hope you have a fantastic time in Hawaii!
J.P. answers from San Diego on February 06, 2008
My personal advice is to hold your child. Pack the carseat in the airplane cargo and have an infant sling with you. That way walking and traveling will be so much easier and the baby will be close to your chest in sometimes loud or crowded situations. Make sure you bring water for yourself (check with your airlines as to any new changes in regulations with infant travel.) Take sunscreen (if recommended for your child's needs) and protect yourself as I really burnt myself within minutes at the beach and basically ruined my trip.) Never, ever take your eye off of your child while traveling. Do not assume safety at any time.
H.J. answers from Los Angeles on February 06, 2008
I too flew with my son when he was only five months old. I Found that having a sling was really easy and convenient. I still used my stroller in the air port and then put him in the sling when we boarded that way he was snuggled close to me the whole flight and I had use of my hand just in case.
Also nurse him for landing and take off to help with his ears. Mine did great and I'm sure your s will too.
I also pushed him not to nap so that he was tired for the flight and would fall asleep while nursing, (not over tired mind you). Also put him in something super soft, I made the mistake of putting my son in over alls and we set off the metal detector and we had to strip him down, it was a huge hassle.
Best of luck,
D.K. answers from Los Angeles on February 07, 2008
After travelling extensively with two small children I suggest taking as LITTLE as possible.
Take his car seat in hopes that the plane is not full. What I always did was take the infant carrier on the plane and hope that there was space for it. If not, they will gate check it. Also, take something like th base for the infant carrier versus your expensive stroller. Gate check this as well in case your baby is sleeping.
Apart from the carseat, make sure to take only your baby's favorite things from home and try, as hard as it is, not to overpack!
Lastly, make sure to nurse on the way up and the way down and yes, it is fine to have your baby on your lap.
Most importantly have a GREAT time and try to relax as much as possible
N.M. answers from Los Angeles on February 07, 2008
Hi M. S! i've flown extensively with my son from the time he was 2 weeks old to 2 1/2 years old so i know air travel with a baby pretty well now. first of all, let me pass on to you what my older sister, and mother of 4, told me: "you will never have an easier time traveling with your child than when they are a baby!" So, take comfort in that! You will find this trip surprisingly easy!!
i invested in one of those travel strollers that converts into a car seat and it was a wonderful way to move thru the airport with ease. we often checked the stroller right at the gate and it would be there on the platform at our arrival gate! my son is almost 3 and we still use that convertible stroller every time we travel. it works great as a car seat when you have to rent a car when you land.
At your baby's young age the infant car seat is still an easy way to hand carry your baby thru the airport. Most airlines let you take the baby in the infant car seat carrier right into the plane. Then they usually have you take the baby out and put him in your lap for the flight and they'll store the car seat in the overhead compartments. Your little one will love resting on your lap and will sleep like an angel for a good portion of the flight!
I also always travel with a small bag of toys. but be careful to choose toys,rattles, soft books that wont roll down the aisle or get lost! Always fly with 2 changes of clothes or so-babies have unbelievably inconvenient timing for diaper accidents! : ) And invest in a pair of shoe-socks that really stay on their little feet-regular socks fall right off their feet too easily.
My pediatrician also gave us the advice to always make sure our baby was feeding or sucking on a pacifier for take off and landing. it helps their ears to adjust to the pressure changes in the cabin.
Have fun!! your baby will be a breeze!!!