September 24, 2007,
J.M. asks from Elgin, IL on September 21, 2007
Air Travel with a 3-Month-old
I need advice on traveling by plane with a three month old. She will be in my lap. Any suggestions from experienced travelers? Anything I may not have thought of? What was the best thing you brought? What didn't you need that you thought you would? What did you wish you had with you?
L.P. answers from Chicago on September 22, 2007
We just got back from Denver - - we brought a sling, baby bjorn and an umbrella stroller with a cushion headrest for our baby who was 11 weeks when we flew. The sling helped for nursing on the flight up and down, the umbrella helped in the airport (getting from the car and to the terminal) and the bjorn for getting off the plane and getting luggage quickly and without any fussing. We also had a pacifier just in case and it was really helpful, esp. bec. he wasn't hungry on the way down. He slept on the way there. and Was really easy on the way back. We changed his diaper in the bathroom without any trouble. Good luck!
L.O. answers from Chicago on September 21, 2007
I recently just came back from a trip to New Orleans with my 3 month old daughter(from Chicago). We had to drive to Picayune, MS when my parents picked us up(1.5 hour drive).
I was also nervous about the plane ride.
I put a blanket on the ground at the airport and we played, because i didnt want her to feel confined, like she would be on the plane.
I asked for an open seat next to me so all my bag would be right next to me for anything i needed.(IF available)
I let her look around at everyone until we started to move, then i gave her a bottle. She finished it and cradled her.
She slept the entire flight! I nudged her to suck on her pacifier when we started to descend, i was worried about her ears.
She was great!! You wouldnt have known there was a baby on the plane!! I thought it was good luck, but she did the exact same thing on the plane ride home. I was also worried about checking my Maclaren, but it was right there for me as we left the plane, and in good shape!!
I found that the people around you and the airline employees tend to be really helpful when they see you traveling with an infant.
Good Luck and dont worry...its easier than you think:)
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E.F. answers from Chicago on September 24, 2007
I've traveled by air 3 times now with my 4 mo old have found the following helpful:
Take a large trash bag to put your car seat in when you check it at the gate, it helps keep it clean when it goes under (United has bags available, but American does not). MAKE SURE you get a tag from the gate attendant to put on it. If it's not tagged, it will go to baggage claim instead of at the gate.
Even if you take a stroller, definitely take a Baby Bjorn type carrier so you can have your hands free to carry or do other things. They let me walk through security with my son in the carrier. He loves looking at all of the people as we walk through out the airport.
Take enough milk/formula to get you through the entire trip. I've just mentioned what it was to the security agent and they let it go right through the x-ray. There is nothing worse then a screaming baby that's hungry, and not too much you can do about it if you're not prepared before you get to the airport(unless you're still nursing).
Once I even rode in those little golf-cart things and had them drive me to the gate.
Definitely nurse/bottle or give pacifier at take off & landing to help with ear pressure.
If you have room, take a few wipes to keep your and your child's hands clean. No telling what germs are around the airport and plane.
One last thing, I have a backpack style diaper bag that I can put on my back - that's nice b/c then it's not always falling off of my shoulder.
Hope that helps and good luck!!!
A. answers from Chicago on September 24, 2007
In addition to trying to have the baby swallow during take-off and landing (to help equalize the eustachian tubes), I also recommend the following: Have a full diaper change (diaper, wipes, etc) in a ziploc in your diaper bag. Airplane bathrooms are so small, you won't want to lug in the whole bag and the ziploc will double as the dirty bag. Change of clothing for baby and something for you in the diaper bag. Extra blanket for baby as plane temps change frequently.
K.T. answers from Chicago on September 24, 2007
I am a frequent traveler and have flown 20+ times with my 4 year old and now 13 month old son. My main piece of advice is just to remain calm during traveling--don't get upset by a fussy, crying or hysterical baby. In the midst of major meltdowns at the airport (and my boys have both had them) I tell myself over and over--"they're just babies, all babies get upset, everyone has either been a baby or had a baby and has experienced this. We'll get through this." That always seems to help me. And a calm mommy helps to keep the kids calm. My other recommendations:
Always bring a stroller. They can check it at the gate for you but it helps immensely in getting around the airport.
If your baby does better in a car seat--bring it. I always ask upon check-in if there are any empty seats on the flight. If so, they will allow you to bring the car seat along and you can strap the baby into the seat once on the plane. If it seems like alot to bring with you, rent a cart there in the airport and load up your car seat, stroller and carry-on and then stick the baby in a bjorn/sling. It is also great to have the car seat on the plane with you as it automatically saves a seat right next to you. You can put your diaper bag there and get in and out of it easily without disturbing a sleeping baby in your arms.
Bring a blanket that you don't mind getting dirty. I have had to change my baby on the floor at the front of an airplane many times. Bring plastic bags to put the dirty diaper in. Some flight attendants don't appreciate dirty diapers. :)
Sit near the front (if your flight has open seating)--that is where most parents with kids sit and they don't ever mind a crying baby since they are used to them already.
Finally, make sure you get there early enough to pre-board. Most all airlines let travelers with children under 6 board ahead of time.
Good luck and safe travels.
M.E. answers from Chicago on September 21, 2007
I completly agree with the previous post. I did the same thing with my son when he was 3 months old. I gave him sone tylenol in his bottle also and arranged the flights to somewhat around nap time (the way there there wasn't) so I kept him awake until we went on the plane...he slept the entire time and woke up just in tim e for a bottle for the descent. And on the way home he didnt get a bottle on the way down.