38 answers

Flying with 8 Month Old

My husband and I will be going to Florida at the end of the month with our 8 month old son. We are flying Southwest and have not booked a seat for our son. Any tips/suggestions for traveling. I'm looking forward to the vacation but am a bit worried about the flight.

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More Answers

Hi T.,
My husband and I flew with our then 7.5 month old daughter to San Juan...and we did not buy a seat. We still had her in the snap n go, so we strollered up to the gate, asked if there was an extra seat, no!, so we 'gate checked' the stroller bottom and car seat right there. That is nice because you can get it when you de-plane and push him through the airport. I wore my baby bijorn on the plane (safer for them)and gave her a bottle, or nursed or pacifier during the take offs and landings. She slept part of the way (facing towards me) then played the other time with some books, etc that I brought, and I faced her forward. On the way home, I was a little tired of being straped into her, so my husband took a turn, holding her....but I have to say, after all the reading I had done about how unsafe it is to not have have a seat for your baby, I felt really uncomfortable not having her 'buckled in'. After we were done...we said to eachother, next time we will not fly without a seat for her. One thing was that she fell asleep on her own by then, and so it was hard for her to do it in my lap. But with you going to florida, not a long flight in the scheme of things, and the tickets might be $$$, then you just suck it up and hope for the best. I suggest some touchy feely books (like the soft play ones with elmo and sesame street) that he has never seen and some interactive toys. I went up to Timeless Toys, on Lincoln, the other day and they had some great small things to bring with you while you travel. (We are flying again in two weeks with our now 1 year old, and I bought the gogobaby roller thing that attaches to the britax seat....highly recommended from a friend of mine who travels a lot with her baby, it stays on the carseat and you can plop it into the airline seat!).
Good Luck and remember your babies cry is WAY louder in your ears than others! C.

1 mom found this helpful

I also recently took my one year old son to Mexico....one great tip that someone gave me is don't let your son drink anything an hour or two before the flight....wait until the airplane is on the run way and taking off...have that bottle ready then....so that he can be swallowing all the way up...this will alleviate the pressure in his ears naturally...since he will be drinking his bottle. And then do the same thing when the plane is landing. This will help you tremendously...that way he won't be crying due to the pressure in his ears. Also take his favorite toys to play with, my son really likes books, so I took a bunch I could read to him. Most planes now have baby changing stations in the bathrooms, so that shouldn't be a problem either. Enjoy, I'm sure it will be great.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi T.,

I have two boys (3 and 12) and these are some tips that I can offer you for flying with babies:

Half an hour before the flight give the baby some tylenol, to avoid earaches during the flight.

give him something to suck on: a pacifier or a bottle to keep his ears from hurting.

bring with you a favorite toy or books that will keep him happy and busy.

do not board the plane right away, so that you are not stuck longer than necessary sitting with the baby on the plane.

good luck and have fun!

I have not flown personally with an infant but these are the tips I have heard from other parents:

1. give a bottle during take-off and landing to minimize ear pressure.
2. if you plan to bring a car seat, and it qualifies as a carry-on, bring it on the plane because if there happens to be an empty seat on the flight, you can use it.
3. don't pack every single thing you need for baby for the whole trip because wipes, diapers, baby sunscreen, etc. can be purchased at your destination and you will avoid lugging the extra stuff.
4. dom't forget on-board distractions (finger puppets, etc) in case he doesn't fall asleep.

hope this helps.

Are you breastfeeding? I have found that nursing during takeoff and landing really helps to alleviate any discomfort associated with pressure changes in the baby's ears, as well as calms the baby who may not respond well to the physical sensations of flight. The tray tables are a perfect height for lap babies, so bring some toys or small snacks that you can set out in front of him on the tray. Hope this helps. Best of luck on your travels!

I highly recommend purchasing a seat and taking a airplane travel seat for infants. I flew once with my son on my lap and regretted it the whole flight. Not only is it easier to have them in a secure seat for the majority of the flight but also for safety. I don't think you would throw your son on the seat in the back of your car. Just something to think about.... plus airlines sell you the seat at 50% off. Good luck.


I'm actually taking my daughter to Florida next week. This is her 6th plane ride (she's 15 mo), but the first time I'm flying one leg on my own.

Here are the things that I've learned:
1. Make sure you have a bottle or pacifier for take off and landing because they can't clear their ears and often that is what leads to the crying. (be prepared with this too because airlines won't (mostly) be able to warm bottles and if you have any delays then you may have a bottle in time for the take off - so you may need extras or a plan B).

2. My daughter has had ear infections (she's getting tubes at the end of the month) and so we've had to give her Benadryl when she flies. For some kids, it makes them hyper and for some it makes them sleepy. If the doctor suggests Benadryl for you (some recommend this for flights), then test before hand to see what the reaction will be.

3. In the future, you may want to get your son his own seat. I know it is more expensive, but when my daughter first flew - she was an angel and folks commented how great she was. Then, she started walking and being more active and didn't want to sit in our laps. With the seat, she has some space to play and she treats it the same way she does when we're on a car ride. (it's also easy for us to take the seat, since we need it anyway for the car when we get to our destination. I'm going to be trying a new stroller/seat combo specifically for this trip - which hopefully will make my travels a breeze).

4. Bring a few toys you can rotate to keep him occupied.

Have a wonderful time and let me know if you have other questions.


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