7 Month Old First Flight

Updated on November 03, 2006
K.B. asks from Portland, OR
46 answers

I am flying to South Carolina with my infant son in October. It will be his frist flight. I am a nervous wreck! I think the main thing I am worried about is him screaming and irritating the other passangers. I am a single mother and will be making the trip alone, so needless to say I'm sure I will have my hands full. Does anyone have any advice on how to make this trip as easy as possible. I think the flight is about 6-8 hours.

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A.V.

answers from Las Vegas on

I took my daughter on her first flight at 8 months old. It was surprisingly easy. She slept almost the entire flight. Make sure he is either drinking a bottle or sucking on a binky during takeoff and landing. Bring a few toys to entertain him. Chances are because it is a new sitution and place he will shut himself down and sleep he knows he is safe because your there. Don't worry about the other passengers. If they don't want to sit by a baby the will ask to change seats. Most likely though you will have somebody nice nearby that is willing to assist you. I did.

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K.

answers from Anchorage on

It is hard to travel with children - but easier at this age than at 2 years! When my son was small, I would take him in a front carrier (like Baby Bjorn) which leaves your hands free, and then he can sleep on your chest. Also, it helps to feed him on takeoff and landing as the sucking may reduce problems with ears (if you are breastfeeding, it is very convenient - I would wear a loose shirt and cover myself with a blanket - a friend of mine used to bring safety pins and a small blanket and pin the blanket between the seats for privacy).

Other tips:

- Consider Tylenol before take off (and landing too if a long enough flight)
- Bring a combination of new and familiar toys/books (for comfort and for novelty)
- Bring extra diapers and at least one extra outfit for the inevitable leaky diapers
- A lightweight stroller is helpful; especially when you have to change planes

Good luck! And remember that most of the other passengers will be sympathetic and understanding. You just do the best you can to take care of yourself and your son and don't worry about anyone else.

(another) K.

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K.S.

answers from Sioux Falls on

Hello,
My son is two and we've flown on 2 round trips so far. Be glad he's still at a pretty imobile easy stage. When you fly, you can take a stroller and leave it by the plane door and it's there when you get off the plane. That is so nice just in case you have to walk a ways to the next terminal. So far the airlines have been nice about the carry on. I've had my huge purse, a back pack, and a good size duffle bag. My son does not like the taste of water so I would purchase the powdered electrolite mix in the baby food isle (I can't remember the exact name of the product). It comes in single servings and you can mix it in his bottle or sippy and they love the taste. Just in case you can't bring juice or milk on. You'll want to make sure to have lots of little snacks and plenty to drink to release the pressure in his ears. Bring a couple of his favorite toys. Xander loves the little photo albums of people he knows like grandma, grandpa, dad, ect. About 30 minutes to an hour before take off I give Xander some Ibuprofin or Tylenol to 1-help him sleep through the trip and 2-help with any ear pain he may have. If your plane isn't full, ask the stewardess if you can have a row to yourself. This will give baby room to play and you don't have to hold him the whole time. Remember if baby has his own seat you need to bring a car seat. If you can, sit near other kids or adopt a grandma. And just in case he screams the whole time and is just awful - remember you cannot put him in the overhead and depart the plane. Happy flying and don't worry.

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E.E.

answers from Salt Lake City on

Hi K.. I have flown many of times with my son who is now 2yrs and once with my daughter of 6mo.. First I should ask if your son will have his own seat or sit in your lap? If he has his own seat, it is very possible that he will fall asleep like he was in a car, if he is in your lap, then you will have to try a little harder to keep him still. If the flight is during the day, then try to keep him awake before you fly so he will be tired enough to take a nap. If it is at night, treat the flight like naptime/bedtime. The big thing is to keep him awake on the trip to the airport so he is tired enough to sleep. Make sure you have enough to feed him with. I just flew last Sunday into DC and they let me have 3 bottles of water to make my daughters formula, but no juice for my son. Make sure you take some toys to keep him entertained and change his diaper right before you board because it is almost impossible in those little bathrooms. I know you have heard this alot, but try to keep your patience. If your tense, then your son will be as well. Also take some baby tylenol so that his ears wont hurt and try to get him to drink a bottle as your taking off so his ears will pop without him knowing. I know this alot of info but like I said, I have traveled many of times and had to learn all this from experience. Good luck. Feel free to ask me any questions.

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A.

answers from Omaha on

I'll keep it simple...

diaper bag with enough diapers/formula for the day
(it's next to impossible to find diapers/formula
in the airport if you runout due to delayed flights)

dress him in layers with one extra set
(the temperature varies widely on the plane)

have him drink, if awake, during takeoff and landing

favorite toy or blanket

my kids loved to stand at this age and during the flight I let them stand on my lap or in front of me. If there are extra seats and he does well in his carseat that may be better.

I've flown multiple times with my 2 and 3 year olds by myself and the airline staff and other travelers are usually very helpful.

Best of luck,
Angie

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R.W.

answers from Las Vegas on

We took my baby on her first flight at 5 months old. If you can plan your flight time toward feeding and a nap it helps. If you can feed them or at least have a binkie for take off and assending/landing it will help their ears pop. Bring what legal toys you can and sometimes you may have to walk with him down the isles. We took seats as far in the back and on the isle as possible that way we were out of the way from most people. It's changing a diaper that is tricky in the air!! Good luck!

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A.T.

answers from Reno on

Take a nursing pillow with you, and if you're a nursing mom nurse him whenever he gets cranky(in addition to the take of and land of time). I have a 16 month old son, and we flied for more than 24 hrs when he was 7 months old. The nursing pillow, by enabling the carry him on my lap throughout the flight saved our life and the sanity of other passengers:).
Besides, if he has a favorite food,-mine used to like the star shaped crackers of gerber (both to open the lid biting it and then eventually eating the crackers)- take it as well with you and spare it for difficult times

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E.S.

answers from Portland on

K..

I've been flying with my little one ever since she was one week old, so I do have a lot of experience on that. Flying with younger babies is a little bit easier, since they aren't aware of much. I recently traveled to LA with my 9 months old and when she was 7 months old we flew to NY. Don't be scared, it's easier than it sounds. Just one piece of advice: even though the airlines let babies in first, try not to be the first to enter the plane. This is because your child will get bored of sitting there and also will be scared, overwhelmed and overstimulated with so many people walking by. But also try not to be the last, as seeing a few people will help your baby to relax before the plane takes off. Another thing, PLEASE don't worry about your baby crying. There will for sure be other babies on the plane, and they might even cry and set on your baby. It's a symphony when one starts. Don't forget to bring his favorite toy or pillow; and breast or bottle feeding when the plane takes off and lands helps a bunch.
Well, good luck and have fun in your trip. I'll be going to Brazil to visit my family soon with my 10 months old daughter. A long 18 hours journey...

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D.P.

answers from Omaha on

Oh what an adorable age! Well, you probably already know to pack your diaper bag (or whatever it is they call it these days) with the basics. My personal rule was always +1 extra (diaper, change of clothes, etc) for domestic US flights, +2 for international flights. Pack basics-check in all else to keep your hands free.

Does he take to a pacifier? If he does, make sure that upon takeoff and landing, he's sucking on it. It helps distract them AND it clears their ears. (we can yawn on cue, chew gum, clear our ears-they can't yet)

If he's not a pacifier child (mine weren't), then have a bottle handy-milk, juice, whatever it is he likes to drink. Cradle him confidently (not too tightly tho), and settle in for take off or landing.

Best wishes on your trip, and take care, you two!

PS: Don't worry about the other passengers if he gets flustered or upset. Focus on Baby. On takeoff or landing, there isn't much anyone can do. If travelers haven't gotten used to a crying baby, they need more traveling time under their belt. (Or a reality check-LOL)

But that is very sweet of you to be considerate of other passengers. Bravo!

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J.

answers from Salt Lake City on

I flew from Iowa to NYC about 10 times during my son's first year of life...I was working for a NYC firm in the Midwest and refused to travel without my little guy! He did very well and never had any real problems...but I was also a nervous wreck at first and made plenty of mistakes. So here's my advice. First, don't take too much stuff or you will wear yourself out going through the airports, etc. It's amazing how many things little babies are interested in that are right on the flight, like other people, the signs on the wall, the magazines, etc. After carrying on too much several times, I started to be more strategic. Put everything in one diaper bag (including your wallet, your ticket, your necessities, etc.) That way you only have to keep track of one bag. Second, definitely take your stroller. Your baby is old enough for a sturdy umbrella stroller now, but you can gate-check a big stroller with an infant seat nowadays. Unless you purchased a seat for your infant, you will have to take your chances that there will be a seat next to you. Most gate attendants are very accommodating, and if you tell them you're traveling with an infant, they will try to seat you next to an empty seat for the car seat. Check with them right away when you get to the gate, and keep checking back. If not, just gate-check the car seat with the stroller (make sure you get claim checks) and both items will be waiting for you at your connection and again at your destination. You can hold your infant on your lap the entire flight and he will be fine. These days, there is an extra oxygen mask on one side of the plane, and they MUST seat you there if your infant does not have a purchased seat. So make sure they do that as well. I used to walk around with my baby quite a bit, and I even let him crawl up and down the aisles. That may make you nervous (it sometimes made the flight attendants nervous) but for the most part, everyone loved seeing a baby on the flight. Now, for the screaming question, make sure you have plenty of binkies, food, bottles, etc. for him to chew on during take-off and landing. But even more than chewing, I found it was most useful to make sure my baby was upright (not laying down) during take-off and landing to avoid any ear pain. If you are nursing, try to nurse during take-off and landing, but try to keep him upright (sort of a trick--hopefully you will sit next to a nice old lady and not some old curmudgeon!). Remember--if he cries, he cries, it's nothing new on airline flights, and most people will sympathize as they have kids of their own. Take a few small toys, and use things from your purse to let him play with--anything new that he has never seen before will distract him. Hopefully you have a layover somewhere so you can walk around with him, get some food, etc. If not, try to nurse/feed him close to his naptime, and the sound of the plane usually puts babies to sleep. Most of all, don't panic or worry too much as your baby will pick up on this. Treat it all as a new adventure and he will, too! Sorry this is so long, but I hope it has been helpful...good luck and enjoy it--also, get some wings from the flight attendants and take a photo for his baby book!!

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S.H.

answers from Portland on

all of my family is in pennsylvania and i have flown with my son a few times alone. best advise is don't take the car seat on the plane, check it with your luggage. it is easier to hold the baby and nice to have an extra seat to lay him down. also, invest in a front pack carrier, this will let you manuver through the airport with both hands free. make sure you have alot of extra clothes, wipes, diapers in your carry on. my son always seems to get a bout of diahrrea when we fly. when you check in at the gate ask if the flight is full. if it isn't have them check the seating, ask for a few empty seats to be around you, space is a precious thing on long flights. pack a bag with a few brand new toys that he will get excited about and lots of crackers or snacks. if anyone glares or seems annoyed, they are probably to self centered to have children of their own. good luck.

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P.

answers from Boise on

Well, it looks as if you got alot of advice already.

First, RELAX!! If you are nervous, then your baby will sense that and feed off it. Don't worry about the other passengers. You will never see them again anyway, so do your best and don't worry.

I don't recommend the Benadryl unless you have tried it before the flight. Some children have the reverse reaction and they get all wound up.

Oh, and did I mention, RELAX! You will both enjoy the trip much more if you are relaxed.

Lastly, I have found that most people are willing to help, let them.

Good luck, enjoy the trip!

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J.B.

answers from Rapid City on

K.,

Hello. :) I first took my daughter on a plane when she was about 5 months old, and we flew from Omaha to Miami, FL. The one thing that I remember someone telling me was to give her a little Benedryl (of course, ask your dr first too) and then make sure she has a bottle to suck on to help with the ears. And she was great! In fact, the motion from the take off put her to sleep before we got too far into the air. Good luck to you - single parenthood is tough but rewarding!

J.

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H.J.

answers from Pocatello on

Hi K.-
I have a few suggestions that really worked for me.
1. have a bottle ready, feed your baby during take off. The swallowing will help releive ear preasure..
2. give your baby alittle benedryl (check with DR on amount-this will help your baby sleep during the flight.
3. Bring a bag (carryon)with cherios, toys, etc.. just for your baby
4. Have another bottle ready to go for landing-feed again during landing to releive preasure again-

Good luck!

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S.D.

answers from Sioux Falls on

I flew for the first time with my little girl about a month ago. The main thing people told me is to make sure that the child has something to suck on during take off and landing. Bring toys/games so he won't get bored and cereals for snacks. That's about all I know....oh, also if you can make it so that he will be tired during the flight it might help you out a little. I know that feeling....being worried that your child is going to be the one screaming. Just be patient...they dont understand why their ears hurt...your a good mom for worrying...you'll handle everything fine

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A.E.

answers from Las Vegas on

Im not sure if this has been mentioned yet. You can take the stroller with you up to the gate. They will take it at the gate and as soon as you get off the plane they will have the stroller there waiting for you, so you wont have to carry the baby and the other carry on bags. Make sure you put a claim tag on it still JUST IN CASE! LOL. Take what ever you know makes him happy, snacks, toys ect. Try to get there a little early and ask of the seat thats in the front row with no one in front of you. You may have enough room to sit him on the floor so he can play. Good Luck! I flew with my son at 4 months and again at 6 months and it wasnt bad at all. I was alone too when he was 6 months and I just made sure he was comfortable. Have a Safe Trip~

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S.P.

answers from Great Falls on

Take with you new toys your child has never seen. Make sure he has something to drink or eat while taking off and landing. His ears will be hurting. The air flow on his face may calm him. As for the other passengers. Don't let them fret you. Babies are babies and not little adults. It won't be your fault if your child is fussy. I know the airline may have mothers with young children up towards the front of the section you are in. My son was only three months when we flew cross country and at first I was worried about the other passengers. Then I figured, it didn't matter. Babies are babies if people don't understand that it's their problem not yours. Good Luck and try to enjoy the flight.

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C.M.

answers from Cheyenne on

Hi my daughter was born in Japan so we had to fly 12 hours to show her off to the family. She was 9 weeks old the first time and I expected it to be horrible but they do really well until about 3 when they are more active. The main thing to help with screaming is to have 1 of 3 things handy during take-off and landing: a pacifier, a bottle, or nurse right after initial take-off and landing. The only reason why they fuss is because they can't pop their ears on their own. Bring a few toys for entertainment and you should have a great flight

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V.Y.

answers from Eugene on

K., here are some tips I compiled as a postpartum doula for my clients. The format is a little messed up from copying and pasting it onto this site, but you can probably figure it out.

Traveling by Air With a Baby
Compiled by Vicky York, IBCLC, CPD

∑ Check the ears a week before trip to rule out infection.
∑ Breastfeed/bottle feed during take off and landing as sucking counteract ear changes. If you canít nurse, then go back and forth between bottle and pacifier. Donít start during taxi; if you sit on the ground too long they may be done feeding before you even take off.
∑ Take a change of clothes for you and baby in case of spit-ups. Bra pads too if necessary
∑ Arrange as few hops as possible to avoid take-offs and landings. Fly to major hubs for fewer hops.
∑ Move the pacifier/bottle in and out of her mouth and she may suck harder.
∑ Illicit help getting through security. If you have twins, this is the one time to dress them alike, as then people seem more interested in helping.
∑ Allow plenty of time to get to the airport and checked in. Much more than if traveling alone.
∑ Donít fill suitcases with diapers and baby food; buy them at destination. Take a few disposable diapers. Cloth is more difficult when traveling and less absorbent. Coat babyís bottom in case of longer times between changes.
∑ Some airlines require car seat for baby. Others say under two can be a lap child.
∑ Books: Paris for Children, Italy for Children, Take your kids to Europe. The Rick Steves guide is good.
∑ Show child Le Jardin!
∑ Bring I.D. for baby, birth certificate.
∑ Wear a backpack for stuff and frontpack for baby and comfortable walking shoes for mom.
∑ Wear clothes with layers and that open in front to nurse.
∑ Donít bother with strollers in Rome, cobblestone streets.
∑ If you take a stroller you can check it with baggage or gate check it.
∑ Sit in the bulkhead seats for more space and possibly room for a portable bassinet. But in emergency you have to help others out the door near the bulkhead, so consider.
∑ If you are traveling with another adult, and not booking a seat for the baby, then be sure to request an aisle and window seat for the two of you. Most sane middle seat travelers that will end up in your middle seat will try to find another seat if there is one and the flight crew will prioritize reseating that person.
∑ If breastfeeding, donít forget to drink lots of fluids.

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A.F.

answers from Portland on

K.,
I started flying with my son when he was 8 weeks old. I had to travel for work and was able to take him with me. If he likes a pacifier, take a few with you to keep on hand. At least one or two is bound to end up on the dirty floor, so extras are great. Also take bottles full of water or light colored juices (if he does end up throwing up milk or dark colored juice would be bad). Take an extra set of clothes - but really try to pack as light as you can. It's much easier managing things if you're worrying about less items.

Don't get too worried about bothering other passengers. If you get really stressed - your baby will be stressed. Just take it in stride and you will both do really well. I've traveled many times by myself so I understand your worry. Most flight attendents are really helpful when you need an extra arm and just ask to pre-board. When they see women traveling by themselves when young children they are very good about giving you the extra time to get settled.

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T.J.

answers from Portland on

Ask your doctor if you can give him infant Benadryl. It not only helps him sleep, but I was told by our nurse that it also helps relieve the pressure on their ears caused by flying. When my son was 9 months and 12 months I flew with him, and used Benadryl both times. Worked like magic. I gave it to him about 20 minutes before take off, and he was asleep as soon as we pulled away from the gate. He woke up happy and ready to see his grandparents at the other end of the flight. Our doctor recommended giving him a "test run" prior to the flight day. Apparently some kids have the opposite reaction to it, and instead of being sleepy, they get very energetic. I initially felt a little guilty about giving him medicine to sleep, but when I realized it would help his ears feel better and he would be able to sleep and be comfortable, any guilt quickly melted away. Good luck!

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E.K.

answers from Las Vegas on

Hi there K. -
I took my daughter on her first flight at 8 months old to Pennsylvania - it was about a 4 hour flight - and I took the red eye so she would sleep during the flight. I have continued this practice till this day going home to PA every year - she will be 4 years old in December. It makes it alot nicer that they can sleep also a FAA carseat helped alot too - we still use a travel carseat/stroller for our flights home!
Hope this helps -
any questions you may have email me -
E.

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A.T.

answers from Rapid City on

I have quite a bit of experience flying with my children, and my first bit of advice would be to feed him during take-off and landing. This helps with the "ear popping". If you bottle feed, you may need to bring powdered formula and have the flight attendants warm water for you since they have the liquid restrictions now. I'd call the airline to make sure. If you nurse, bring along a sling since the seating is so uncomfortably tight, because you DO NOT want to nurse in the tiny lavatory. I've done it, and its not good. Also, keep his favorite toys from him for a couple of days before you go, and get them out on the flight. Definitely use a stroller...take it into the terminal and drop it off at the door of the plane as you board. The flight staff will check it for you. Bring two extra changes of clothes for him in your carry-on, and an extra shirt for yourself. Inevitably, one of my kids spills something on me during a flight. Bring snacks for both of you, and request an extra beverage if you need it. Make sure that you have enough diapers, food, and money in your carry-on that you'd be ok if you got stranded somewhere. One more very important thing...keep him awake through his normal naptime, and he may pass out on the plane as soon as you're airborne. Relax, because if you're upset or worried, he will be too. Its really not that bad, and if I can travel alone with 2 kids, anyone can do it! Take care!

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J.W.

answers from Portland on

Hi K.!
I've read over most of the advice given so far, and most is really great. I would add one more thing...
My daughter-in-law just flew with my 5-month-old grandson and was a bit nervous too. I'm a postpartum doula and have a good supply of Kangaroo Korner fleece slings, so she took one a few weeks before the flight and used it often to get him used to it. He loved it and slept wonderfully in it! They are so warm and soft and baby is cuddled nice and snug next to Mommy, which is a bonus on a plane, since the temperature tends to be cool. They are also hands-free, so sitting on a plane wearing one is a breeze, you can relax and sleep while he's sleeping! AND he can nurse in it! AND even though you are single and will be traveling alone with him, going to the bathroom won't be an issue for you, you can go while wearing him, so you don't have to leave him with someone else.
My little grandson did great, slept a good deal of their 11-hour flight and so did Mommy.
You can get one of these slings at www.kangarookorner.com. If you're not able to purchase one but want to use one, let me know, I'll be happy to lend you one.

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R.K.

answers from Portland on

Be sure to pack extra clothing for your son and yourself as well. My 8-month old daughter vomited on me just as we landed in Portland from MD. I guess I can say we were lucky it happened and the tail end of our trip. Thankfully a friend had made the clothing recommendation to me otherwise I would have been wearing smelly/wet clothes for several hours.

Try to have him nurse, drink from a bottle, or use a pacifier at take off and landing to help relieve the pressure in his ears.

It is exhausting to travel with a baby so a good sense of humour on your part will help too.

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C.

answers from Omaha on

My experience...when people see you alone with a baby everyone is willing to help in any way they can. Really. I doubt you are nursing considering your schedule, but that works wonders on a plane..but just make sure he is drinking something when the plane is going up and coming down to help his ears. Other than that, he will be fine..a new toy from the $ store, a novel snack..just try and relax because they know when you are freaked out....oh and leave PLENTY of extra time...have fun!

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S.T.

answers from Salt Lake City on

I flew with my son when he was 6 weeks and again when he was 6 months. Make sure he drinks something while you take off for the pressure off the ears. If he doesn't want to suck don't freak my son didn't. Remember changes of clothes for the both of you just in case. And remember if the car makes them sleepy so does the flight. I think what makes us the most nervous is the other passengers. So as long as the focus is on the babe then you won't have any probs! The passengers will get over it if the baby fusses you are doing your best. Have a good trip.

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K.O.

answers from Portland on

We recently took our son (almost 2 at the time) on a short flight. On the way there he was well rested before we left, I bought him a few new toys and he happily played with them the entire way. On the way home he was not well rested, we had to wake up very early to leave, and he was miserable. He screamed and cried the whole time waiting at the gate, and most of the time sittng in the plane before take off. Fortunately just as the plane took off he passed out. He slept most of the way home, but woke up as the plane was descending and was very fussy for the end of the flight as well. My advice.... make sure he gets a nap before you go!

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M.B.

answers from Portland on

I flew with my son numerous times before he turned a year and here is what worked well for us. If he takes a pacifier have one on hand for landing and takeoff. If not either put him on the breast or on a bottle...this will keep his ears from hurting. I just brought favorite books or toys that are quiet. If you can get an extra seat for him, depending on how full the plane is, that helps a lot so bring his carseat to the gate in case. he is probably still in his infant carrier so it shouldn't be extra stuff to carry. I also had plenty of snacks...good always seems to occupy them if he is eating the baby snacks at all.
Most airline staff are really good with infants...they will have fun with him and for the most part my son slept through most flights. The few times we had trouble I walked him to the back of the plane and just stood there with him...that calmed him down.
Oh...one more thing...get there early so you can be at the beginning of pre-boarding...the bulk head is the best place to sit if it is available.
Good luck!

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F.Y.

answers from Portland on

I have flown a lot. I have 4 they've been flying all their lives. I feel if someone including myself, don't have time on the plane to offer you comfort for you and your precious one, then we just need to sit back and shut up. You need not be concerned about us, it's the little one thats most important, their confort and you making your child feel safe.

F.

G.C.

answers from Reno on

Hay K.,
I flew with my 1st and second son when they were just baby's and did some reading up on this. It is said that the baby's ears will hurt when the cabin of the air plain compresses with the altitude. You know how we can pop our ears when they plug with a yawn. Well a baby can't do this. So when the plain is taking off make sure to give your baby something to suck on so his ears won't plug and hurt. You can use a nucky, bottle or breast feed,if able to, a nipple dipped in suger or what ever it takes, while the plain is taking off. One more thing if possible make sure you are seated closest to the front of the plain especially if it is a huge air craft because in the back the jet will hurt his ears and this might make him scream, a lot! This was what happened to my 1st son on an airplaine. I new nothing of these tack-tucks and my child screamed the whole way from Ca. to Or. while a woman held her ears and rocked back and forth. It was a night-mar. The air line attendents put me in the back where the jets drowned out his screams and all they could do was ask it I could make him stop screaming. My child was terrified, and that poor woman. I did some reading and with my second son I nursed while we took off. He did great because when we were in the air he was sitting, play, and cooing. Our seats were in the front but than I was traveling with family and not alone like with my first son. You know the funny thing about this is that my son who screamed all the way and was terrified? Well he went to sleep the entire flight back.
As a purcussion bring that bottle, nipple, loly-pop, and sugar, something just for sucking perposes, if only for this occasion, because all children react different and you want to take all purcussions as necessary and be ready for the unexpected. Have fun and good luck.
~G.

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H.G.

answers from Kansas City on

I flew with my daughter when she was about that age, it went really well. I think that 7m is a better time than when they are starting to walk b/c they never want to be held anymore then! Just relax yourself so that he doesn't feed of YOUR anxiety and take things that you know will entertain him. Take a few "favorite" toys and then stash a few new ones he hasn't seen before. Figure in that he will take a few naps and time to eat, it will go fast!

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A.P.

answers from Omaha on

SURPRISINGLY its really not that bad. i recently flew with my was 15 month old and she slept the whole way! granit it was only alittle over an hour but she still slept. we were very impressed. im about to make the trip alone in december so i hope it goes as well! good luck! and yes a bottle def helps!

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C.

answers from Las Vegas on

Hi! I traveled alone with my son several times when he was that age and most of the time I had positive experiences. Make sure you have his formula already in his bottles before going and bring bottled water so you don't have to get up and make a bottle. I also gave my son Tylenol as soon as we got to the gate so he could rest and it worked wonderful. Sometimes if he got fussy I walked him to the restroom and back to the seat. Another important tip I was given was regarding the stroller. You can push the stroller all the way to the gate and then check it in there. The airline will let you you push it to the entrance of the plane and then you fold it up and someone stores it for you. When the flight is over stay on the plane a little longer so you can get out easier with your diaper bag and the stroller will be waiting on you at the exit of the plane. Sometimes I even got lucky and sat next to an empty seat and let my son lie there when he slept. You can ask the airline when you check in if there is an empty seat any where on the plane for him and its free if no one is sitting there. Have little snacks, favorite toys, a book, etc. for him to play with. Just relax the flight attendants are there for you also. Only once did a gentlemen ask me over and over if I needed to get up and walk him around. Your stroller can hold your carry on luggage also. Make sure you bring his car seat and check it in at the curbside drop off with your luggage. When the airplane takes off offer your son his bottle, because the sucking of his bottle will keep his ears from popping as bad. Once in the air he will be fine and when landing also offer hime his bottle. Hope this helps!!

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R.B.

answers from Portland on

You've gotten great advice, I can't sit here and read all the responses, but I wanted to add...as long as you stay calm, the baby should stay calm (as long as he's not hungry/dirty/wet). They tend to know when we are uptight or nervous and then they act on those feelings.

My first flight with my daughter was about 5-6 months, I definately had something to drink for takeoff and landing so her ears could adjust. I also gave her some infant drops (tylenol), the Dr. did say it was ok, with the correct dose, b/c with it being around the teething time, it wouldn't hurt anyway. Also, with the pressurized cabin, all that white noise in the background really helps them relax and he will probably sleep alot of the way (let's hope right?)

Definately pack as light as you can, the less extra stuff you have to carry, the better! Also, they will let you gate check a stroller so it's easier to get him on the plane with all your bags!

Good luck!

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M.C.

answers from Reno on

I used to take flights with my son on my own when he was a baby all the time. First thing's first...you need to relax because all your emotions will rub off on your little one. Next thing is to be prepared!!! Make sure baby has tons of bottles, snacks, toys, etc. Don't expect to rest or sleep yourself on this flight(unless baby gets tired that is)!!! I don't know if your baby takes a pacifier but that really helps with the whole ear-popping thing. I also recommend sitting on an aisle so that once that seat belt sign goes off you can get up and walk around a bit. And I also like to sit towards the front of the airplane because if you notice, quite a few others with kids tend to sit there too and that tends to keep yours a little more occupied, plus those people tend to be a little more tolerant too. Lastly, they normally let you pre-board when travelling with little ones so the people coming on after you will already see that you have a baby with you so if they don't want to sit near you then "buh-bye". And you would be surprised at how nice some people are...playing peek-a-boo, etc. with your kids. Have a great trip!

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K.M.

answers from Boise on

I've flown with my baby a few times when she was younger. One of the things that helped her the most was drinking during take off and landing. It helps to make sure her ears pop while you are changing altitude. Plus I made sure she was really tired when we flew so she would sleep most of the way.

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K.

answers from Lincoln on

Well, I know what you mean when you say you are a nervous wreck. My daughter was 4 months old when she took her first flight. I had much of the same worries, but it was not bad at all. Here are a few pointers: Pack a thermos full of hot water, bring a thin blanket on the plane, bring a stroller (you can bring it down the walk way to the plane and leave it at the landing, they will put it under the plane during flight), whether your baby uses a pacifire or not bring one because it is good for swallowing during air pressure changes, have two bottles one with just water and one empty in case he needs milk or formula. I think that is it. I dont know how security is lately but be prepared for it to be strict, bring only what you need. My sister in law had all of her make up and other lotions and liquids thrown away becasue of security. You will be fine, hopefully you will have the same experiences that I have had.

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B.S.

answers from Reno on

My doctor told me to use saline spray in the nose about an hour before the flight. I think this helps clear everything out so they don't get an ear infection. Also..something to suck on (pacifier, bottle) so they can pop their ears. I was a wreak when I took my son on the plane at four months old, but he slept the whole time. If your baby likes and sleeps well in the car, it's really no different for them!

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L.B.

answers from Anchorage on

Hi K., what i was told by my family doctor was when taking off have child either nursing or drinking from bottle, or sippy cup. and same for landing. because the pressure builds on their ears. some children are affected and some are not. and now days other passengers are aware of other travelers that have children.and are understanding so i would not worry. and you can get up and walk with your child that will help as well. you will be just fine. good luck and enjoy your time with your family.

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K.

answers from Anchorage on

Young infants generally only scream when they are in pain on flights. Nurse or bottle or paci on take off and landing. My ped also suggested spraying with a decongestant nose spray 20 minutes before take off (and if a long flight... landing too).

I found that with the combination of the nose spray and the nursing/paci, she did wonderful and actually slept most of the time.

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S.G.

answers from Portland on

Hi K.,
I've flown with both of my children... my son when he was about a year... and recently my daughter who was only 6 wks at the time.
Give a bottle or binky during both take off and landing... as well MASSAGE his ears. Now that liquids are not allowed through security it will need to be formula or breastmilk to bring it on board. Otherwise make sure you notify the flight attendents as soon as you board and ask that they place the juice or milk in your baby's bottle.
Both of my children slept most of the way... I suggest that if he's still small enough that a baby carrier/front pack be used... it keeps him close and comfortable. Bring items to entertain favorite toy and snacks... the art of distraction is a beautiful thing!
I DO NOT suggest that you give your child Benadryl... it is totally inappropriate to administer this product to an infant without the symptoms and Dr's approval... bad things have happened to children due to accidental overdosing.
Hope this helps... Good luck on your trip have a wonderful time!

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J.L.

answers from Salinas on

I know a lot of people recommend the benadryl thing. I don't because I tried it and it actually wound up my daughter until she crashed and she didn't even sleep that long. You can have your doctor prescribe some ear drops that numb the eardrum to put in his ears before take off and landing. We use them and my daughter has never had a problem with her ears. Bring some new toys that he doesn't play with at home. He may still be too young but someone suggested wrapping up small toys (even from the dollar store) and having them open them every 30 mins or so. That way just as they get bored they have something new to look at. Don't forget snacks too so he doesn't get crabby from being hungry.

My daughter has traveled many times since her first flight at 2 weeks old. If I remember correctly she did really well at your son's age.

Good luck and just remember most people around you will either be parents of young ones themselves or older and have been there so they'll understand. If not just apologize and forget about it. They'll probably never see you again anyways =)

Jen in Hawaii

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S.W.

answers from Omaha on

Just two weeks ago, I flew with my 2 year old for the first time. I asked my doctor if I needed to do anything to prepare and he said just to make sure she has something to drink and maybe gum. I realize my daughter is older but honestly, she didn't want gum and didn't drink anything (security didn't allow us to bring on a drink) and she was still fine. I gave her things to play with, we read books, and I just tried to keep her entertained. She never once complained about her ears or any kind of pain. In fact, my ears bothered me so I was really surprised hers didn't bother her. As for the other passengers, well, the one time she did get upset for a couple of minutes, I just reminded myself that it happens on every flight and that if people don't like it, too bad. You do everything you can to prevent the crying or the whining (in my daughter's case!) and if people still give you dirty looks, that's their problem. Good luck! Please let us know how it goes!

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S.

answers from Eugene on

Hi ! I flew with my son for the 1st time when he was 5 1/2 months old and I too was a nervous wreck!! I was sooo worried about how he would do, and what I would do if he cried. He did amazing!! I think it's actually a good age to fly with them. He slept pretty much the whole time. I think the hum of the airplane was just enough noise to get him to sleep. When he did wake up, he was just looking around at all the people. When we took off or landed and he happened to be awake ( we had a stop both ways ) I would just nurse him, then he'd just fall asleep. The up and down didn't seem to affect him at all. We did bring a portable dvd player with some Baby Einstein dvds as a just in case. He watched one on the flight home at the very end, but overall we didn't even need it. I would recommend putting him in an overnite diaper before you get on the plane so that you don't have to change him as often. The bathrooms are so small and changing them can be a real ordeal. Also, getting the carseat in the seat was an issue. I'm assuming he's still in the infant car seat? We tried to buckle his seat in with the car base attached and it didn't work. We had to take the base off the carseat and stow it, then just wrap the seatbelt over the top of the seat. I'm sure you and him will do just fine!!!
hth
S.

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B.

answers from Las Vegas on

Make sure he is sucking on a pacifier, bottle or breast when taking off and during the descent for landing. This will help clear his ears which is usually what makes them cry because it hurts when you can't clear your ears of the pressure. Once you get past the ears, he may be lulled to sleep by the engine noise. Make sure he is not congested or ill with a cold when you fly as fluid can collect in his ears and the pain during take-off and landing would be excruciating and if severe enough can rupture an ear drum. You'll be fine as long as he is not ill. Keep essentials in your carry on to keep him happy, toys, snacks etc. The stewardesses are usually a huge help if they know you are traveling alone. Use them! That's what they are there for. Try not to fret too much over the other passengers if he does cry. There is little you can do and most people have been there and done that and understand. Those that don't, oh well!

Best of luck, I admire the hard work that single mother's do. I have a ton of help with my husband and it's still hard but wouldn't trade it for the world either!

B.

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