March 02, 2009,
A.N. asks from Lyons, IL on February 23, 2009
Flying with 6 Month Old - Lyons,IL
My fiance and i plan on taking a trip to Boston with our 6 month old boy. We plan on flying and had Q's on how to go about this. Do we need to purchase a ticket for him? Baby seat needed? Taking powdered formula/nursery water? Please help me find some answers.
L.S. answers from Chicago on February 24, 2009
Find out how long the flight is gonna be first. If at all possible make IT so that it is around the time the baby needs to take a nap or sleep. Most babies if they are sleep when they board are sleep till the flight is over. What i have noticed is that if they are woke is it almost like a car ride so they are pretty content. You just have to worry when they are walking age.
J.F. answers from Chicago on March 02, 2009
I just flew with an 8month old over Xmas. It was fine. I held her in my lap the whole time. I brought those individual packets of formula and bought bottled water once we got through security. We had a great trip and she was a great traveler. I know people want to tell you their horror stories, but it doesn't have to go that way.
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C. answers from Chicago on February 24, 2009
I've flown with my son, now 4, a few times to Pennsylvania. While expensive to purchase another ticket, you can't put a price tag on the life and safety of your child. $300 or whatever is a small price to pay to ensure he'll be secure in turbulence, etc. I'd bring along the car seat and get him his own seat. (Bring a few binkies too, if he's into that). Have a nice trip.
B.A. answers from Chicago on February 23, 2009
Each airline is different, so you'll definitely want to check the websites and/or call the airline directly. Most domestic airlines let kids under age two sit on a parent's lap in lieu of buying another seat. But, if you book online, you do need to call the airline ahead of time and let them know you're bringing a baby, because at least one airline actually issues a boarding pass, even though there's no seat for the baby.
I've flown twice with my 5-month old so far, and he sat on my lap both times. Therefore, no special baby seat was needed. You can, of course, check whatever formula you need, but they are also supposed to also let you take as much liquid formula as you need in your carry on, as long as you have your baby with you. I did take some back-up formula in my carry-on, and they were fine with it. And both times, they let us go through a much shorter line for the security check, which was nice. You can typically check your stroller and car seat at the gate.
Have fun and have a safe trip!
J.G. answers from Chicago on February 24, 2009
It may be too late but I highly recommend flying Southwest with young children. You can delay buying a seat until up to the day before. I call the day before and find out if the flight is full or dangerously close to it. If so, I buy a seat (they also offer infant fares, although they are about the same price as the internet specials so it's rarely a discount). But if they AREN'T full, you can have your infant take the "extra" seat in your row at no cost. The car seat and the stroller (which you can check at the gate) count as one checked item, but Southwest allows each ticketed passenger 2 checked items so if you can get away with one suitcase for you, your fiance and your son, you're set!! This was much easier for me than trying the whole "lap baby" thing...my daughter has a hard time sitting through a story let alone hours on a plane. Good luck!
K.S. answers from Chicago on February 24, 2009
Hi there. You don't need to purchase tickets until they are over 2. Most airlines will let you take the seat if they have room. If you are on a large plane, at the gate ask if they can change your seat assignments. When I flew with my little one last year, they gave us a window and an aisle and the baby sat in the middle. You can take the nursery water as long as it in the bottle. I wouldn't mix the formula until needed. I would call the airline and make sure they know you have an infant because they will need to account for him on their passenger manifest. They should then be able to tell you if you need to gate check the car seat or not.
A flight attendant suggested that I not feed him until we were in flight because of the engine noise and ear popping, they may not take the pacifier (if you use one).
Hope this helps!
A.M. answers from Chicago on February 24, 2009
At 6 months, he doesn't need a seat purchased. He can be a lap baby. In fact, he is at a pretty easy age to travel with. Baby bottles are allowed. You can either use the premade ones or put the formula in the bottle and then add water. You can use nursery water if you want or bottled water. Unless he is immune compromised, most water is fine. If you do buy a seat, then you can bring the car seat on board and he can sit in it. Also even if you don't buy a seat, there is often extra seats and so you can ask whether there is an extra seat and then could bring the car seat in and pop him in it. Make sure he drinks at take off and landing or sucks a pacifier. Have fun.
L.O. answers from Chicago on February 24, 2009
Each airline is different but they mostly follow the same steps - if the child is under 2 you do not need a ticket but then you must hold the child on your lap for the flight - you can buy a ticket which will give your child a seat that you can then strap the car seat into. They will let you take the stroller all the way up to the door of the plane they then put it in the cargo hull and it will be at the door of the plane when you get off to help get through the airport. They allow a small amount of dry formula to go through screening then just ask the stewart for some water to mix it with. Always try to give the baby the bottle on take off and landing as the sucking helps with their ears during those... best bet check with the airlines you plan to fly
D.G. answers from Chicago on February 24, 2009
We flew with my daughter when she was 13 mos. old & I would suggest once you check in, ask for bulkhead seating. It is a little noisy, but well worth it for the leg room you'll have! Being that my daughter was older, we also brought a portable dvd player (we had a 4 1/2 hr. flight), and she watched Elmo dvd's. She also slept for a good portion of the flight, airplanes work as well as riding in the car for some children, to lull them to sleep. Taking a lightweight stroller is also a good idea & you can check it at the gate, its right there when you land. Have a great trip!