16 answers

First Flight with Infant

Next week, my husband and I will be flying for the first time with our 6-month old son. It's a direct flight, but it's not short. Do you have any tips or recommendations for making the trip as pleasant as possible?

Also, do you have advice on how to transport the stroller, car seat, and the base for the car seat?

Any advice would be much appreciated.

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Our flights went extremely well! Thanks so much for all of the helpful advice!
We gate-checked our car seat, base, and stroller. I was amazed that it didn't count against us. The flight attendants were very helpful and our fellow passengers were very patient and friendly. Breastfeeding on the take-off and landing worked well to keep Benjamin comfortable. Although, I think I started a little too early on the first take-off (at the gate). The second time I waited until we were moving and I wasn't as stressed about Ben stopping too soon.
One of my neighbors had suggested investing in a portable dvd player and I'm glad we did because it really helped to have Benjamin's favorite baby einstein video as a back up for when he got really fussy.
On the flight back we were stuck at Seattle airport for about 5 hours! I was so glad I had packed some extra snacks and pampers.
Thanks again for all of the helpful advice and resources! I'm passing all of your advice on to another friend who will be traveling with her 5 month old daughter next month! :)

Featured Answers

Hi E. -

One of my readers recently did a guest post on traveling with baby on my blog that you might find helpful: http://www.entrepremusings.com/index.php/2008/02/10/15-ti...

Good luck!

A.

More Answers

Have fun on your trip! We took a family vacation when my daughter was 10 months in Sept. We were nervous, but it went well. The roar of the engine was wonderful in getting her to sleep most of the time. The trick for us was (and this will be pretty easy for you since your little boy is 6 months old), never let them get out of your lap. If they think that your lap is the extent of their area they are allowed to be in, they'll do just fine.

You will check the car seat and base. We taped those together. And, it's much easier to bring an umbrella stroller if your son is big enough to use one. They will have an area as you board the plane where you can stow the stroller. I'm not sure if they will for the larger strollers that the infant car seats fit into or not. You might want to check with the airline beforehand. If not, and you're more comfortable with that stroller, you can check it also.

I'd call the airline in advance to let them know you are flying with an infant. They will give you preferential treatment in boarding you at the few seats with plenty of leg room, any empty seats so it can be just you and your husband and baby on a row, and even first class. We found the airlines to be very baby friendly! Good luck!

A little about me:

I'm 33 years old, the mother of a cute spunky 17 month old girl. I do a job share and work part time.

Hi E.,
I have traveled with my kiddos - here is what I do:
Buy a seat for your kiddo and put them their car seat - you are going to need it anyway when you get to where you are going. Your baby will feel safer and more confident in his own chair.
Get a good umbrella stroller (chico) and the flight crew will take it right before you enter the plane. When you get to your destination - it will be waiting for you right outside.
When you check in at the airport - they will let you board first because you are traveling with your kiddo.
During takeoff and landing, there will be pressure on the ears - have a bottle or something ready - the sucking motion helps equalize the ears.
Thats about all Ive got -
Have a great trip!
T. S.

Thank goodness you have a direct flight! It makes it SO much easier.

You check the car seat and base at the ticket counter. It is great your husband will be with you to help you carry everything. Chances are good that your car seat and base click into your stroller at this age. The car seat and base do not count as a 'luggage' piece, so don't worry about being over the 2 bags per person limit.

They cover it with plastic and put it on the plane for you so it turns up on the carousel at your destination with everything else. Sometimes it shows up in special luggage, like where they keep skis and golf clubs.

Your stroller stays with you and you do a gate check, where you leave the stroller by the plane's door and they store it for you. You get a special tag with the agent there to put on the stroller.

I am not sure if you are nursing or using a bottle, but have plenty of formula if you are using a bottle. Make a bottle of water or formula BEFORE the plane takes off and give him a bottle OR nurse him as the plane is rising up into the air and when the plane is descending. This helps his little ears stay open.

I am not sure of where you are flying to, but be sure to keep an extra blanket with you as the plane can get really cold.

I would advise keeping a bottle of Infants Tylenol with you in case his ears act up. When my girl was little, I went ahead and gave her a dose of Infants Tylenol right before we boarded because I did not know how she would handle the flight. Maybe keep a bottle of Mylecon with you as well if he has been gassy and fussy. Make sure they are in sizes accepted for air travel!

When a baby is freaking out on a plane, you are willing to try anything to make them happy again...

Remember if you are carrying formula that you will not be able to carry water with you as well. You will have to buy it after security check. Wear slip off shoes and make sure your baby's shoes are easy on/off as well. You will have to run the stroller through security, so try to not to load it up with stuff! Try to condense most of your stuff into the diaper bag so you have less to keep track of.

Chances are great that he will sleep the entire flight. My girl always did! One time my husband brought his lap top so she could watch Baby Einstein during the flight. It is a tight fit, but worth it for long flights.

Have a safe flight!
S.

We traveled alot with our son when he was small. 5 round trips before he was a year old. We used the umbrella stroller because you can easily store it on the plane. We also took the car seat with us. If an empty seat is available you can use the car seat. It is amazing how people will give up their seat and move for you. If there are no empty seats the flight attendants stored the car seat for us. We took car seats until our children were two years old. The best trick though was the box for the travel crib we cut a hole in the box for the handle and always checked it. It was like new when we sold it. Good Luck

Hi E. -

One of my readers recently did a guest post on traveling with baby on my blog that you might find helpful: http://www.entrepremusings.com/index.php/2008/02/10/15-ti...

Good luck!

A.

If possible time his feedings with your departure time. My daughter had no problems with her ears or flying as long as she was eating. So if you're breast feeding get comfy and prepared or if he does a bottle just keep it handy. Hopefully he'll sleep for much of the flight.
As for all the gear most airlines let you check the stroller and car seat at the gate. So wheel him through the airport, down the jetway and they'll take it just before you get on the plane. Then you pick it up after the flight. I would check the base with your luggage. Good luck!

Hi:

It's good you are traveling with your husband so you can both entertain your son. Make sure you have a bottle or sippy for take offs and landings. It helps with ear popping. I would bring finger foods (dried cherries, raisins, cherrios, etc) and small books, and toys. Once we exhausted all those options, and I couldn't entertain her any longer (she's VERY rambunctious), I would actually let her watch my iPod with video...I download cartoons. It really has helped.

But the real reason I wanted to respond, is because we bought this wheeled attachment called GoGoBabyz. It is awesome!!! We use her car seat and attach the gogobabyz to the back. It allows us to wheel her through the airport and to the gate in her seat. It keeps her from running all over the place and she is comfy. Plus we have her seat for our destination. We check the seat, with gogobabyz attached, at the gate. Also the wheels pop off to get through the xray at security. Check it out. They also have one for smaller babies still in infant seats. Happymothers.com had the best price and free shipping.

http://www.gogobabyz.com/products/gogo_kids.html

good luck. Most babies do well on planes, so don't psych yourself out.

J.

We flew nonstop to CA when my now 8 year old son was 6 months. I was told to nurse (or bottle if you don't) during takeoff and landing. I had some little toys for him to hold and put in his mouth.

We ended up just buying an umbrella stroller when we got there. As far as carseat, we brought his infant carrier on board for him, and didn't bother with the base. We figured for one week we could live without it.

I don't know if you are staying with people who have hight chair, etc. we had a completely foldup booster seat that had a tray, that fit nicely in a large suitcase and straps to the chair. We normally took that with us for restaraunts, but it was nice to have for my aunt's house since all her grandkids were all grown up. We also checked a fold up pack and play, and packed his blankets in that.

Hope that helps. Good luck!

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