A.D. asks from New York, NY on November 11, 2009
First Time Air Travel Jitters
I will be traveling with my 14 month old next week. The flight is 11hs (departing 11 pm) and then another 30 min flight connection.
My stomach is in a knot! Needless to say this will be my first plane trip with him (my husband is also traveling with us) and I am a bit nervous. We could not afford to pay him a seat, so he will be traveling on our lap...
Any suggestions you can give me from your own experiences would be much appreciated! I am especially worried about:
- his milk and food... how do you transport their milk and or food?? Have you ever had a problem at security?\
- ways to make him comfortable during the flight
- what to bring (must haves for your carry on)
- any tips that you think might help me
Thanks in advance from a very nervous mom. I am prepared to take everything in stride, but would like to be as well prepared as possible.
2 moms found this helpful
S.M. answers from Spartanburg on November 11, 2009
Hi! I have traveled with my daughter when she was 6 months old and most recently in Sept. when she was 15 months old. I was really nervous both times. It's great that your husband is going with you. That will be a tremendous help. I traveled both times just me and my daughter, each time with her as a "lap child".
To answer your questions:
- milk and food: I transported it in a small cooler, like you'd pack a lunch in. I used 2 small ice packs to keep everything cold. Security was never a problem. Tell them you have baby items and food before sending the bags through x-ray. They'll need to test all liquids. That's a simple process; they'll have you open the containers, then they will hold a strip of paper over each container.
- ways to make baby comfortable during the flight: my baby was a lap child but I was fortunate to be on flights that weren't full. The flight attendants moved us to seats where my daughter could have her own. You might want to ask and see if either you or husband could move to an empty seat so baby can have his own seat. To help with ear pain due to the change in pressure, let him suck on a pacifier or bottle if he takes either. You can also look into this product:EarPlanes. I found them at http://www.onestepahead.com. They are soft, hypoallergenic filters that regulate changing air pressure, eliminating discomfort while reducing noise.
I ordered some but didn't get them in time to use. Because your little one suffers from chronic ear infections you may want to give him a dose of Motrin before take off. My daughter seemed to be alright with her ears but she got really tired and cranky toward the end of our flight. I gave her suckers and that worked. I normally don't give her suckers by the way. I watched her really closely with them.
- what to carry on: I would recommend getting some new toys and books for the flight. Don't bring them out until needed though. It helped my daughter to have something new and different to play with. Be sure to bring anything that normally comforts him, like a special blanket or toy.
You can check his carseat for free because it is necessary equipment. I didn't know this the first time so I was lugging a carseat, diaper bag, purse and lovely but cranky 6 month old through the airport, NOT fun.
Bring hand sanitizer wipes. Those airports and airplanes are nasty and it's hard to keep little ones from touching (sometimes even licking) everything.
Have a great flight,
1 mom found this helpful
K.B. answers from New York on November 12, 2009
I was nervous to take my son on a flight the first time becasue he is so active, and though our flights have always been much shorter than yours, they've always gone smoothly. One tip that really helped me was to bring a bunch of new 'toys' (I hit the $1 bins at target) and wrap them up in paper. We would open one up whenever he started getting restless. You could bring a 'toy' for each hour. Some of the items were old toys he forgot he had. We brought stickers, a plastic slinky, some small books with flip tabs he could open, a dry erase board, etc. Every so often we would get up and walk down the aisle to keep my sons 'crazys' at bay. He has also had ear infections multiple times that we've flown. Luckily he still uses a pacifier, so we make sure we have that available for take off and landing. You could give him a lollipop if he doesn't use a binky (we don't do lollipops, but its an option) or make sure he has a drink cup with a straw or bottle so he can suck. I've never had a problem with food at security as long as it hasn't been opened yet. They will swipe baby food jars with the wand they use for chemical detection, but I don't know about prepared food. I would call the airline to check on that. I also bring the drink boxes of milk that I can pour into a sippy cup on the plane becasue they are sealed. (Target has those Earth's Best milk drink boxes.)
1 mom found this helpful
L.N. answers from New York on November 11, 2009
Sarah covered most if not all.
add: a few outfits, bibs, diapers (plenty).
as for ear infection, make sure it's gone before you take him on that flight
the airplane earplugs, you can pick those up at any cvs. get the kid kinds.
L.D. answers from Albany on November 12, 2009
**Edited: Please do NOT give the baby Benedryl unless your doctor tells you to. There is NO reason to drug the baby especially at 14 months old. The only reason to do that is because you want to sedate your child. It will already be nighttime when you leave and you don't know how he is going to be...he may be perfectly fine with this flight. I only know of ONE person who was told to use Benedryl with their child preflight and that was because 1) the child was about 3 and completely out of control and 2) she suffered from night terrors. I guess they were afraid of that happening on the plane so they figured it was better to sedate her. PLEASE trust your husband and you and your child and do not medicate your baby for no reason. End edit and soapbox. **
Travel laws have changed since I used to fly so I am not sure about the drinks. You may want to call the airline and check with them to be sure. Over the years though, I did travel with my children as babies on up often and most times, I did it by myself with 2 or 3 children. You will be fine and here are some suggestions:
1) In the airport, let him run/move around. He is going to be expected to sit still for quite a while. Let him move while he can.
2) Have toys for the airport vs. toys for the plane...this way the ones on the plane are still new and interesting. I used to bring cars and trucks to push around at the airport and then on the plane, used books, stuffed animals, Color Wonder coloring books, etc.
3) Bring a variety of favorite snacks. This will help if he gets hungry and to make him chew/swallow during take off and landing. Remember the feeling in his ears can bother him until you get to a certain height above the Earth...it isn't actually the take off and landing but the ascent and descent that are uncomfortable. If he seems like his ears are bothering him, try snacks, drinks, and especially because he is just getting over an ear infection, wet warm compresses behind the ears. The attendents I have had were very accommodating about this the couple of times I've had to do it. (That suggestion was per my pediatrician because my one son has trouble with his ears on plane rides like I sometimes do.)
4) Take a stroller and check it at the gate. So many seem to like the back packs better. In my opinion, the stroller holds more which means less for me to carry and worry about. Most TSA employees are awesome at security and you'll have your husband to help.
5) When you get on the plane, have your husband and you take an aisle and window seat and put something on the middle seat until you see if the flight is full. If it is, you give up one of the seats and take turns holding the baby. If it isn't, you now have the middle seat that the little one can sit in from time to time or, especially while he's sleeping, you can put his head on one of your laps with a pillow perhaps while his body stretches across the middle seat. Of course remember to keep your hand on him at all times. This will also allow you to let him look out the window if he wants and for you to get out easily for the bathroom and to make changing a diaper mid-flight easy.
6) PORTABLE DVD PLAYER. Can't tell you the value of that one enough. Granted he will most likely be asleep a lot of the flight but for when he isn't, this will be a life saver. We have used it on numerous flights and long car rides. You can get light, over the ear headphones for him to listen with which may be quite the fun thing for him as it was even my little ones. Just be sure to put them on yourself to check the volume.
7) Change his diaper right before boarding. Make sure you have 2 changes of clothes "just in case", favorite blanket/pillow/snugglie, Tylenol "just in case", diaper rash cream, etc. Finding out you are without something important midflight is not going to be fun so just think about what are must haves at home and especially when he is uncomfortable or out of his element.
I hope this helps. If I think of anything else, I'll post it or if you have any questions, let me know.
Have fun and take pictures! :)
K.P. answers from New York on November 12, 2009
Couple of thoughts (we fly with our 18 month old quite a bit)...
*** Copy of his birth certificate is a must. We just got a reminder call from our airline regarding our Christmas flight**
1. Get to the airport in time, but not with an excessive wait before boarding.
2. DO NOT BOARD FIRST! The longer he can run around in the airport, the better!
3. Pack Tylenol in your carry on. You never know when a tooth is coming-in, especially with a recent ear infection.
4. Bring some new books and toys- $1 store and clearance items are great. Make sure that they are lightweight and do not make too much noise.
5. Pack liquids and foods in easy-open containers. You can bring them through security, but they have to test all items. It's a pain, but I have never had a hard time.
6. Bring his favorite "cuddly".
7. A complete "extra set" of clothing and enough diapers just in case.
*** When you check-in, ask the desk agent if it is possible to change seats so that you and your husband are in a row with an empty. If this is possible, they will change it for you! My son tends to fall asleep on the plane and when I can lay him down it's wonderful!
*** Walk around the aisles when he gets antsy
*** DON'T overpack your carryon b/c it won't fit under the seat.
L.L. answers from New York on November 12, 2009
Traveling With a baby is tough.You should invest in a flight harness for the baby.We Used it for our Daughter it work wonders. diaper bag should have travel packets of formula & water.favorite toys snacks & the usual stuff. You should give BENADRAL 1/2 HOURS B 4 TAKE OFF& give a bottle @ take off so he is swallowing Until you reach propper altatiude.THEN A BOTTLE when u start decending to clear ear pockets. the flight harness you can get on line.ITS CALLED BABY B AIR FLIGHT HARNESS ITS RED & COST AROUND $25.00. SAFE TRAVEL ALWAYS L.
K.F. answers from New York on November 12, 2009
Don't be nervous. Finding answers to your questions is key to being a confident traveling parent. I love all the recommendations. If you child is on formula, you may want to consider taking the powdered version and buying water at the airport to add to the bottles already filled with the prescribed powdered formula. Also I would strongly suggest giving your little one eith a full or a half dose of Motrin about 30 minutes prior to take off. It helps take the edge off of any possible discomfort they may feel from take off.
Also have the pacifier and bottle ready for take offs and landings, have a fully charged portable DVD player and a few DVD's some old and some new, toys that are about the size of your kid's arm from the wrist to the elbow, they are easy to store and harder to misplace. I would recommend two or three of those.
Other than that I would again suggest you relax, be prepared, and have a great trip. Let me know how it goes.
K.K. answers from New York on November 12, 2009
The airports are generally great these days about accomodating kids' foods, drinks, medicines, lotions, etc. I've flown about 8 times so far with my 21 month old, and all the airports I've been to have a separate security check line for families/people with medicines. You can bring a diaper bag (doesn't count in your baggage allowance) with milk, lotions, meds, etc. and just tell them that it has liquids in it. They usually ask that you put all liquids into one of those bins where you would put your shoes, so I keep all the liquids in a gallon ziplock bag or 2 to easily remove them from the diaper bag.
I've never taken a flight longer than 3 hours with my son yet but am preparing to take a 15 hour flight over Christmas, so I'm also nervous about the length of the flight. In my experience, my son has either risen to the occasion in the past and been an angel or screamed until he fell into a deep sleep. That may not be very encouraging, but it seems likely that he'll sleep for at least a big chunk of that time (the white noise helps my son fall right to sleep).
You can also bring a stroller to the gate and gatecheck it (not included in your baggage allowance) at most airlines. Read up on your airline's rules to make sure this is true for them.
Best of luck!