Advice on Flying W/ a 3 Month Old

Updated on April 05, 2008
R.M. asks from Indianapolis, IN
127 answers

I have a 3 month old TANK (hes already 17 llbs...strictly nursed!) and will be taking a 5 hour flight next week w/ him w/out my hubby for the first time. I did not buy a seat for him. there is 1 layover... any advice? i am soooo nervous! what about his ears, and nursing on a plane.. its such a small space! uugghhh!!! HELP! do i take the stroller and car seat on the plane or check it??? The car seat itself is what holds my baby in the stoller for right now. He isnt quite old enough for an umbrella stroller. So does that all go with me to the gate? million ???"s here!

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So What Happened?

IT WENT FANTASTIC! He never cried one time then entire flight there and back! And the stewardists were extremely helpful. thanks for all your adivce!

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M.O.

answers from Seattle on

Hello R.!

First of all: Breathe! You can (and will) do it!! Yep- managing the infant-toddler set presents an addtional set of challenges in an environment already very restrictive, even for grown-ups.
Being pre-organized and thinking out a plan is key.
Here's what this 20 year flight attendant (me) recommends:

In the interest of your safety- DO purchase 2 seats: one for you- one for Tank the cutie. DO bring the car seat. DO take advantage of pre-boarding to get situated. DO get to the airport early (2 hour min for large city airports)in order to take -your- time.
The best logistics are to purchase a window seat and the seat next to it. The car seat belongs at the window. The reason for this is that aisleway access cannot be blocked by placing a car seat on an aisle or middle seat. That's a safety regulation. Secondly, their car seat is familiar and comfortable to the little guys, and most importantly; keeps them safe. And it gives your arms a rest. Every flight attendant will tell you the car seat is infinetly safer then holding on the lap. The ticket price is worth your baby's life. Of course, make sure the seat is secured down- you'd be amazed how many people show up and just plop the seat down and don't secure it!
As for ears and nursing; descent is usually harder on ears then climb out. Do consider to nurse or pacify during descent. Yes- nursing is a good thing- some people freak out about it, but that's their problem. All we ask is to please use descretion and modesty, and cover the shoulder with a recieving blanket inflight. If crying ensues, let it go. Yes- it makes some people crazy, and you may get the evil-eye from a few, but again that's not your problem. Crying does help clear the ears and baby sinuses. You're the good mom here, soothe and compfort baby for you- try not to worry about "them".
As always- organize and bring the goodies accordingly. Keep your passport/id/money/boarding passes secured, but readily accessible for when you've got an armful. (Side note: Yes, parents can get passports for babies. They're the cutest passport photos you'll see!) Consider what you go through at home in regards to food, diaper, and clothing sets in a day, and pack the diaper tote accordingly, + a couple extra. Remember to take meds, a few small toys, a small pillow (cushion your tired arms on the armrest while nursing or holding) and a back up formula as well. (Baby formulas are exempt from TSA 3 oz rules)
There are some well made bags out there that double up as both purse and baby bag perfectly. If you can keep it all in one bag, you're a big step ahead- the more bags brought on board, the more one is likely to be forgotten (that one would be your purse w/all your id/info/cash in it). Stash the bag under the seat that's in front of the car seat. You'll have access to it without having to jump up and dig in the overhead bin, and you'll have your legroom on your seat. Also leave some room in the bag, because you'll likely find some souvenoirs along the way (like that "Baby's First Flight" one-zy).
Do take the stroller- it can be gate (not at the ticket counter) checked. There's also strollers that double as a car seat, or there's a stroller frame, with a removable car seat. Some people opt for the baby back pack-usually better for older infants... Airports are big, and concourses and connections are never convenient, so do take the wheels.

Most importantly, do your homework before you go. Consider asking for help in advance. If the airline offers "meet and assist", you're welcome to ask for it. Develop "plan B" with your parties in case of a missed connection (do a little research in the connecting city- hotel back-up, people to call in case, etc.)and be ready for possible delays, mechanicals, baggage issues, etc. You'll likely find that airline staff are willing to help, but be ready for them not to be as accomidating, too. (Sorry to say- not everyone in this business is a customer all-star.)
When you go through security, there's no limit on bins. Use all the ones you need for running your shoes, purse, belt, laptop, etc. through the x-ray. Do use the "special assistance/family" line if one is offered. Make sure you're in limits where the TSA is concerned. (Check their website.)No offense, but try to stay out of way of the over-travelled business flyers. They are in a completely different mindset when they go. (let's not go there.....)

Most importantly- take care of you!! Take your time at least 2 days before departure to pack, plan, write things down, and think. You mentioned nervousness- be sure to attend to that if you have apprehension about flying in general. Take time to relax, have someone else make dinner the night before you go.... You're going through enough as a new mom.
Once you conquer this little mountain, you'll figure a system/ritual that works for you and the next one will go like clockwork.
And yes, it still can be fun!
Happy Trails! Cheers!
Mary Ann O.

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J.S.

answers from Portland on

When checking in, request the bulkhead. It is the row of seating just after first class. There is a divider, not seats, in front of you so you have room to spread out after take-off. I always gave my boys Benedryl for long flights because my doctor recommended it. This didn't work for my daughter, though! Benedryl can make some kids hyper as I found out when I was flying alone with my 4-month old last year. You can ask your doctor what they recommend. Someone posted about giving the herbal or all natural calming tablets...Hylands teething tables or calming tablets are totally safe and you can rest assured they work! You can buy them at Wild Oats or Fred Meyer or sometimes I have seen them at Walgreens. Best of luck to you!!!

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K.J.

answers from Seattle on

I recently flew with my then 5 month old. The experience was pleasantly wonderful! All employees were extremely kind and helpful. I too took the stroller as well as the car seat. However, I found it easier to carry my son in a front carrier. (At SeaTac the security checkers, TSA, made me put the car seat and stroller on the conveyor belt for checking. It just depends on type of stroller.)After reaching gate,I took the stroller and car seat up to the gate agents, telling the agents about it being my first time flying with my baby. I had one booked seat and requested for re-assignment so that I could sit with an empty seat beside me. They were so helpful and determined to make this work even for our full flight. (A kind woman switched seats to make the request work.) I gate checked the stroller and took the car seat onto flight with me. Ready to grab, I had burp cloth, diaper, wipes and Tylenol (ready just in case, as he was teething) tucked in seat pocket. He pooped just as we backed away (classic!), a quick change and feeding (but also have pacifier, too) in seat as we taxied & took off lead to problem free flight for him & a restful treat for me. He did fuss for a bit for decent, but we just sang and I kept him switching positions. Pacifier helped then. People around me were really patient. Once we landed and I collected all our things, I headed out and found the stroller set and ready for us to use. In all, just go with a positive ready-for-anything state of mind. You will do everything you can to make it enjoyable for him and that is all you can do.

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K.C.

answers from Medford on

I flew with my daughter on quite a few trips between the time she was 3 months old and 13 months old. Most of those I was alone, without my husband, and I found that people were super helpful with helping me get baggage on and off the plane, carrying stuff etc. I nursed a lot on each flight, and I put a blanket over my shoulder to cover her and me and that gave us some privacy. I like to get the window seat because then you only have to deal with someone on 1 side. Have a couple of toys at the ready, plenty of diapers and clothing changes, and leave anything nonessential at home. I'd gate check the stroller, and I didn't use a car seat, just rented or borrowed one so didn't have to deal with that. Good luck!

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E.W.

answers from Bellingham on

I flew solo with my son when he was just over a year. By then I used a pacifier for the take off and landing, but I think nursing is first choice. I took a light weight stroller that I could fold down and open with one hand. That way I could throw him in there quickly and not have to juggle baby, diaper bag and carry on. You can gate check it and it is there when you step off the plane. Another good option I would suggest is a front carrier. Good luck!

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K.S.

answers from Seattle on

I would recommend leaving the carseat and just bringing a front pack, like a Baby Bjorn. Forget the stroller. You will need all the hands you can get! Nurse as the plane takes off and lands, and you'll avoid ear troubles for the baby. Honestly, when mine was that small, it felt like I nursed the whole dang flight, but it all worked out; at least you can read!

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T.H.

answers from Seattle on

Hi R., we flew with our son probably about ten different times in the first yr. They usually just end up sleeping the whole time. Try to nurse him when you are taking off and landing, the swallowing will help with the ears. You can take the stroller all the way to the plane door and check it there, it will be there for you when you get off the plane. Check the carseat with your luggage if you plan to have him on your lap the whole time. If you paid for a seat for him then you take it on the plane. Don't worry to much it usually turns out way better than you think. Good luck

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K.S.

answers from Seattle on

Hi R.,
I flew with my son, who was almost a year then....but I do say take the car seat and stroller (if the carseat attaches to the stroller) and then when you get on the plane, they will stow it for you. I am assuming that you only bought one seat, so you will hold your baby on your lap. I don't know about the ears. My son had just had an ear infection and was on meds after having his ears tapped. My doc said since they had been tapped it was better because the pressure was relieved. Anyway, I would call the doc office on that one. Anyway, I am sure that your flight will go well.

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J.R.

answers from Seattle on

I travelled a lot (without husband) with our son. Here is what worked for us, when he was that age...I pumped and gave him bottles (but that was just because I didn't like to nurse in public)...So, I had a bottle and pacifier ready at take off, and had another reserved for landing. (Of course, feed in between if necessary). Our son always had been fine with the flights - he has nevery had meltdowns, and we fly at least 1-2 times a month.

As for the carseat...What I found to work best for us was to take the carseat and stroller with me through the airport, and to gate check both. It can get a little tricky to carry the baby and get everything on the security belt, but generally people will offer to help if you need it. I highly recommend getting the large plastic carseat bags (from the check-in desk) to keep the carseat and stroller (get two) from getting dirty when you gate check.

If you don't need the stroller/carseat through the airport, you can check it as luggage...I just liked to have something to carry my bag and or baby in as I was walking through the airport.

Best advice...stay calm!

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J.D.

answers from Seattle on

I flew with my daughter when she was 4 months old. Rather than buy an extra seat, for the baby, upgrade to first class.
The seats are roomier(for nursing during take off), and the bathroom is closer, and the service is quicker. Also I skipped the stroller, my family had one waiting for me, when I got there. You can do the same with the car seat. I used my Baby Bjorn in the airport and on the plain. You just can't wear it during take off and landings. Your baby is going to be most comfortable next to you. If you haven't already booked your flight try to plan it at a natural feeding and nap time. And just pack your wallet and a book in the diaper bag, you really won't have time for anything more.
With your baby on you and your hands free it's a lot easier to get around the airport and in and out of the airplane. Travel with the esentials. Pick up the rest when you get to your destination.

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S.B.

answers from Seattle on

I just flew with my 4 month old daughter. Security is the worst part because you have to break down your stroller, send it through x-ray, same with diaper bag, infant seat, etc. Getting on the plane isn't bad, they should let you on first (unless it's Southwest, in which case print your boarding passes online) and you can just leave your stroller and car seat in the space right before you get on the plane. Nurse him as you take off and most importantly, as you land. Window seats are better for nursing because you have more room. I bought myself a Hooter Hider so that I could nurse easier. I also brought my Boppy on the plane. Besides all the stuff you have to cart around for a baby, the flight is actually fairly easy. Ask for help with your stroller break-down if it's just you. But if you nurse on takeoff and landing your baby really shouldn't even notice. You'll be fine!

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M.C.

answers from Portland on

You will do fine on the plane. Gate check your stroller and car seat. That way, you know you'll get them at your destination. Definitely nurse on the plane. It is a small space, but I've done it many times with my daughter who is now almost 13 months. It is much easier to nurse on the plane when they're that young. It gets more challenging as they are moving around more and are taller. I just traveled at the end of January and it was a bit more crowded when trying to nurse. I traveled on a plane for the first time with her when she was 3 months. I also didn't have my husband with me that first time. Nurse during take off and landing for sure...that will keep your little one's ears from plugging which is very painful. What I found is that my daughter slept quite a bit. Make sure to take plenty of diapers, wipes, etc in case you get delayed. Buy yourself some bottled water once you get through security to keep yourself hydrated. My daughter wanted to nurse more often when we were on the plane...planes are so dehydrating. When I needed to use the restroom, I asked the flight attendant to hold my baby. They were so sweet. Also, ask the gate agent when you get to the gate if they do preboarding (most do). That way, you can get the carseat, stroller, and all of your other stuff down the jetway, get yourself settled, etc. Most of all, try not to be nervous. It'll go fine. Good luck and have a safe flight.

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S.P.

answers from Portland on

I flew with my daughter when she was 3 months old. I had my husband along so there was that advantage. I suggest you take the car seat to the gate. If your son is a "babe in arms" (no ticket) you'll have to hold him unless there's an empty seat next to you. In my experience if there's an empty seat they'll let you bring his car seat on board and he can have the empty seat. If there's no empty seat you can check the car seat at the gate. I also recommend having the stroller with you, and possibly a baby bjorn or other carrier. During your lay over, you can carry the baby on your chest, and push the stroller with the car seat in it. You can also pile your carry-on bag or diaper bag onto the stroller. It has worked great for me.

Bring a change of clothes for the baby and plenty of diapers and wipes. Change his diaper right before you get on the plane (both times). Wear something you are comfortable nursing in and bring a blanket for modesty. I have nursed several times on a plane and it can be a challenge, but it's well worth it.

Have a safe trip!

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S.D.

answers from Seattle on

I have flown with a baby several times... both with and without the carseat and all the times by myself.. let me tell you.. CHECK THE CARSEAT!! It is just a pain and you will have enough to worry about rather than trying to haul that thing around too. Definitely bring the stroller. I didn't the first time and really wish I would have. I did have a hip carrier that she was in and she slept the whole flight... She used a pacifier and that's how I handled the whole ear thing so discrete nursing would do the same thing for him.
Good luck to you!

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G.B.

answers from Portland on

Hi, I traveled with my son when he was 3 months old. I the baby Bjorn (strap on carrier)with gave me a free hand for carrying my bag and his bag. pump an extra bottle, just in case you are on an over filled plane. Make sure you bring a changing mate some of the bathrooms do not have a changing place. Car seat is a must, check it with luggage. It does not count as luggage. I don't trust the car rental car seat. (nasty and missing straps)
If you really want to bring a car seat on the plane and use a stroller, get one of those strollers you an just set the car seat on. Check out renting stuff you need at your designation (bassinet, portable crib, play pin, and so on)
I recommend not taking anything you don't want to have to keep track of.
You baby will be fine, mine slept the whole time. I even took a short plane and everyone was did not know there was a baby on board.
Relax and enjoy your trip with your baby.

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L.R.

answers from Seattle on

You'll be fine, at leat he's not old enought to gt up and move around.
Take a blanket so you can nurse him on the plane and take a bottle with some water or a teethig toy so he can suck or chew on something to keep his ears open and so you don't have to nurse him the whole time. Just keep the both of you well hydrated.
~L.

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L.S.

answers from Seattle on

Hi R.,
I'm a flight attendant so I have seen a lot of families travel with little ones!
If you are taking a carseat and stroller, definately have those gate checked, and at my airline (Alaska Air) we do not count those toward your allowed amount of baggage, although other airlines may have different policies, you might want to call ahead and ask. (Depending on the aircraft and seating availability you may be able to use your carseat in flight so you don't have to hold him the entire time.)
As far as tips for the plane ride go...your little one will probably cry on take off and decent. This is because his little ears might hurt a little from the pressure change - don't worry, this is totally normal! The best remedy for this is to him them eat a bottle or nurse on take off and landing, it helps relieve the pressure.
During the flight a lot off babies will sleep just like they are in a car, but if your baby doesn't sleep, try and have a favorite toy or something to entertain them with.
Bring Purell~ I use it all of the time after using the airplane restroom.
Ask the gate agent if you can preboard...they usually will let folks with kids, elderly people, or people with crutches, etc, board before everyone else.
The best advice I can give you, is don't worry! A lot of parents seem almost embarrassed when they come into the airplane and they have a lot of carry-ons, take a long time to get situated, or if their baby is crying during the flight.....don't worry! Anyone that has traveled with kids knows that it is no easy task and most people are very patient and understand that it is hard on you! Good luck and have a great trip!

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R.W.

answers from Anchorage on

You will be fine. I have a 21 month old that I have been travelling with since she was 2 months old. Believe me, it is easier the younger they are. Especially since you nurse. If my baby even remotely acted irritable on the plane, I would "plug her in." She would nurse and be as happy as could be. That also prevents ear pain with flying. Now, at the toddler stage, my baby is a little more difficult to travel with. Enjoy your time. Do you have the car seat that fits on a stroller? Need one. Then, check it at each gait. I also, travelled with a hands free holder of some type. ie sling or front pack or back pack. If the plane is not full the airline will let you use an extra seat for your car seat.

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C.B.

answers from Seattle on

OK, so I just flew alone from WA to AL with a 6 month old and a 3 year old. Trust me, you can do it!!! Just relax. Yes, carry the stroller all the way to the gate. They'll take it from you as you get onto the plane and will have it ready for you as you get off the plane. You can check a carseat as a piece of luggage.
I nursed my 6 month old in the seat on the plane so you shouldn't have a problem with your little one. He should sleep or nurse the entire time. I had a nursing cover with me and just kept it on the entire time whether she was sleeping or nursing. Trust me, that's easier than trying to get it off and on on the plane and draws less attention. For taking off and landing, make sure you're trying to nurse or he's using a paci (for their ears). I did not medicate my children and they both did just fine. If he cries a little, it's no big deal-he's a baby. If you can choose a seat, get one near the back so you're a little more isolated. You'll be fine! Good luck!

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B.S.

answers from Spokane on

Okay, let's see where do I start . . . check the car seat and take the stroller. Since you gate check the stroller you don't have to take it all the way on the plane. Even if you little one doesn't want to ride in the stroller all the way through the airport you can use it to stack your carry on bags while you are going to your gates. Almost every time I have gate checked a stroller it has been set up for me when I get off the plane, which is helpful for just putting baby and bags in and going! I also suggest a good front pack. This way if the baby doesn't want to be in the stroller you don't have to carry baby with one arm and push the stroller with the other one! I have gone through 4 front packs with my 4 kids and my favorite by FAR is the moby wrap. Nurse your baby whenever he gets fussy on the plane. It may seem silly but it will make you much less anxious about him disturbing other passengers. I also try to plan it so that the baby is hungry for take off and landing so I can nurse them during that time for sure. The sucking helps a ton with their ears. Practice nursing and changing diapers in the front seat of your car if you want to! It is about the same amount of space! Take lots of extra diapers and wipes, a couple extra outfits (ones that are easy to get on and are comfortable for baby), burp cloths, disposable nursing pads, and maybe an extra shirt for you (especially if you have a spitty baby). Most of all enjoy your trip!

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K.M.

answers from Seattle on

Hi
I flew to the UK on British airways on my own with a 7 month old an did fine, but I was able to use Air miles to upgrade to first class, which gave me more space and privacy to nurse and nicer flight attendants. You are not going to be able to have a choice to take his car seat and stroller on board with you. The stroller WILL be checked a and the carseat will be too unless you have purchased a seat for your son. But you could take them up to the entrance to the plane and they will check it for you. If you have purchased a extra seat on the flight then you can take the carseat on board and strap him in. I highly recommend you do this as does the FAA, a babe in arms is not safe in event of turbulence let alone a crash. it also gives you a spot to put him, to give you arms a break. I would recommend you do a direct flight if possible rather than the cheapest flight, less stress is worth the money spent. If that is not possible, call the airline and see if you can get a bulkhead seat pre-assigned for you, or arrive as early as you can to get one. They give those seats preferentially to parents with you children, but you may be on a flight with a few of them and miss out. I carried my daughter in a baby Bjorn and had a small backpack on for in flight essentials. It made going through airport security lines much easier than stroller. Think also about what you are wearing I dressed in a comfortable tracksuit and wore slides that I could step out of easily in the security line (you have to take your shoes off) no-one asked me to unstrap my daughter from the bjorn, but I put the bjorn on first then the backpack so I could dump that down for security screening. In your backpack pack one diaper for every hour of flying, sounds like overkill, but if there are delays or he got diarrhea, you do not want to be out of diapers. Also pack a big set of wipes, not a travel pack size. Wipes can be used for wiping down your seat, you hands etc. I also packed a spare set of clothes for him and a spare top for you (my daughter had reflux so that was essential). a small tube of diaper cream will also not cause the security screener any problems. Once through security, buy yourself a bottle of water, you need to stay hydrated for the flight and you now can't carry bottles through security, nor can you count on getting enough to drink on the flight to keep up with your milk supply needs The fact that you are exclusively nursing is a real advantage, less stuff to carry and not having to rely on attendants to heat (usually to scalding hot) your food or milk. You will have to brazen out your discomfort about nursing in confined space, I wore a nursing tank top by majamas to make it as quick and easy as possible, with less attention grabbing fumbling with clothes. I would tell the person you are sitting with you are going to nurse, so any uptight freaks can move away from you. I never had any issues with this, but as I said I was in first class, I could probably strip up there and they would offer to hold my clothes. In the economy cabin flight attendants are much more stressed and generally not treated well by customers, so get them on you side, by introducing yourself at the start of the flight and explain your flying on your own. Hopefully this will make them want to help you rather than see you as an annoyance. I have never had any issues with my daughter having her ears bother her, but I have always offer her my breast as we ascended and descended. If you son crys, you will just have to ride it out as best you can. As a friend of mine suggested. If people are looking (rude buggers) remind yourself you have paid for your seat and then ignore them. Most people will probably be looking in sympathy, as many of your fellow travelers are parents too. I would also look into whether or not you can purchased a day pass to the first calls lounge. If you are flying on Alaska or one of the airlines that have first class lounges (nearly all do but southwest, America west or spirit) they all have first class lounges, with couches to relax on, free food and drink and nice roomy bathrooms. most of them allow a one time fee $25 to $50 to gain entrance if you aren't a first class passenger. It is worth the money to have that space to put down your baby, not line up for a drink etc.
Good luck, and don't bother with a book to read, but remember no matter how rough it might get, eventually you will arrive!

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J.G.

answers from Spokane on

Its called Tylenol and a pacifier...works wonders

I have been flying with my son since he was 2 weeks old. I strongly recommend the car seat and stroller. Just tell the person at the gate that you want to gate check the items and then when you land they have it right there for you when you exit the plane. Reasons are: 1)when going through secrurity they can't help you so its easier if you get your stuff together and then hold the baby while they pass the stroller and car seat through the x-ray thing 2) you have a layover, you will need to use the potty at some point.

Make sure you have the baby's birth certificate. Some airlines ask you for it some don't.

You will be stressed but you will be fine.

Have fun

J.

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I.I.

answers from Seattle on

I remember how freaked I was flying with my four month old. I bought an extra seat for him (really helpful if you can do this)scheduled a flight at night so he would sleep through (Not my kid. Wouldn't recommend a red eye flight if you have a baby that's a light sleeper and easily excited by a new environment) I even took a special trip to the doctor to discuss.
Everyone (incl. doctor) told me to give him benedryl 30 minutes before takeoff. I wasn't really into that idea, but I had some with me, in case things got really bad. The things I remember being really useful were: nursing during takeoff and landing (doesn't sound like a problem for you guys!), the extra seat next to me for him and our Graco travel system. God bless that thing! It just so happened we hadn't yet picked out a stroller, but a few weeks after he was born we purchased that carseat compatible 60$ cart on wheels that you click the carseat into. I had no idea how helpful that would be when I traveled across the country. How it worked: I was able to wheel him up in the cart directly to the plane and check the cart at the plane door. Then I brought the baby on the plane in his carseat and put him in the seat next to me. When I would leave the plane(s) the cart would be waiting for me and I had a stroller for the layovers. Also, having my kid in the carseat good to go when we arrived at our destination was great. I just popped him in the back of the cab and away we went! Now, the drawback was, the airline TRASHED that cart by the time I made it home. But, while I was on the East Coast, it was a great little stroller! Moneywise, I couldn't swing that extra ticket now, but perhaps a few calls and talks with the gate attendants might yield someone changing seats, an extra seat, etc. Also, I think you can check the car seat at the plane door and just bring your baby on board to sit in your lap. Either way, have a great time! Think of it this way, even if it's a little uncomfortable at the time, it's temporary!

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K.L.

answers from Seattle on

Unless you have purchased a seat for your child, I would check the carseat. You won't be needing it until you land. I would definitely take the stroller with you. You will have to fold it up and send it through security, but they are good with helping you expecially since you are on your own. You will check the stroller at the end of the jetway just before boarding. When you land, it will be right there for you to use as you get off the plane.
I would nurse him or have him use a pacifier or suck on your finger during take off and landing. Sucking relieves pressure in the ears.
Good luck. You will do fine!

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D.F.

answers from Corvallis on

We took our son to Colorado when he was three months old. I was told to nurse during take offs and landings to help him regulate the pressure in his ears. My son didn't seem bothered with the changing pressure and slept most of the flight. We had a lay over as well and we carried him around in a front pack or pushed him in the stroller. You can always use a car seat if there are open seats on the plane, but you can check both the stroller and the car seat at the gate. That way when you get off the plane they will be right there, not at baggage claim.

Good luck!

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S.D.

answers from Eugene on

Hi R., I recently took a 3,000 mile flight with my 8 month old daughter. It actually went better than expected. I think we as parents actually fear the worst. In regards to the ears make sure you nurse during take-off and landing. I had 2, 2 1/2 layovers and enjoyed walking around and stretching my legs. I sat by the window with my daughter and watched the activity on the tarmak. A 3 month old will have different needs than an 8 month old but an hour layover will go very fast since you board the plane usually 20 or so minutes before. I did not bring a carseat since I was flying home to family that had one for me and did not bring a stroller. I would see if you could rent both at your final destination. Don't fret, you and baby will do great!

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K.F.

answers from Seattle on

Hi R.~
Iactually flew with my son when he was six weeks old! It was scarier to plan than to do. Check the car seat & stroller at the gate. You will need to hold him through security-FYI. When you check the stroller at the gate- ask if there are any empty rows- they will probably give you an entire row if the plane is not full. Do you pump? If so- bring a bottle- just in case- the 3 oz. restriction does not apply. Breastfeeding was not so bad- sit by the window if you can & bring a bed pillow from home. Nurse during take off/landing- or give him a bottle- the swallowing will clear his ears. Worst case scenario- he cries and that will clear his ears. I had no problems with this at all. Just remember to worry about your son & not everyone else on the plane. I am sure it will be fine!!

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A.K.

answers from Portland on

I flew with my son when he was 9 weeks old. It isn't the most fun experience in the world, but at that young age he will probably do great.

If your son doesn't have his own seat, check the car seat. It won't count toward your baggage limit. Bring an umbrella stroller and check it at the gate. Many airports have special rooms for nursing mothers, which is very helpful during the layover.

The best thing you can do for his ear (especially during landing) is to nurse him or give him a bottle. You may want to buy a special nursing cover if you don't already have one, because you're right, the space is very small. If you're uncomfortable with that, you may need to just give him a bottle on this occasion. At 3 months he should be good enough at nursing that a bottle won't hurt him.

Other than that, there is a very good chance that the drone of the engines will lull him to sleep for most of the flight. Good luck!

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L.P.

answers from Seattle on

Hi R.,
My grandaughter flew younger than your son. YES take your stroller on board. I'd say no to the car seat. When you get to your destination if renting a car they will provide one.
Myself, am a shopper on www.craigslist.com so with each visit as my gandaughter got older (now 10 months)I would get items, easy and cheep to get and easy to re-sell. Give this tip to the person on the other side so they can prepare. ie: playpen, walker, bumbo, infant carrier, carseat...ya I got it all and had no problem with resale..
Regarding breast feeding, if your lucky you will get a plane that isn't full and can move you seat to be alone, the flight attendents don't care and are there to help you. If you have to remain in your seat and I do suggest breast feeding upon asending and desending to keep his hears open. Breastfeeding is a normal and god given gift, with respect to the person next to you, they are mostlikley proud of you...If your uncomfortable you can always pump and freeze, my daughter did that too. Hope this was helpful
L.

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M.W.

answers from Seattle on

Hi Rene,

You have a huge advantage going for you and that is that you are nursing. Nursing helps poop there tiny ears and that is a good feeling. I traveled to California from Washington whith my daughter when my husband was deployed and I was a new mom too. On the way there everything went well because she was so little I nursed her everytime she got cranky and a lot of people did not even notice I had a baby with me. Wear a long poncho for privacy so you can nurse. Nurse when you need to, don't worry what other people might say and keep an eye out for the perverts. Because the cold season is not yet over make sure you have all the medicine you might need and cotton swabs to clean your baby's ears. I traveled during the cold season and my family who I went to see got my daughter sick and she ended up running non stop fevers and got an ear infection so also make sure you have your insurance cards incase you need medical help. About the stroller and car seat definatly take you car seat so you have a place to set your baby down now when I traveled I was aloud to bring a stroller but I don't know if they have changed that rule since I have not traveled since 9-11. Also make sure you have a thick blanket because while I was waiting to board I had to change my daughters diaper and there was no changing table so I had to change her on the bathroom floor with a tiny blanket and a diaper underneath her head. Hope this helps and have a safe trip.

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J.M.

answers from Portland on

I flew a lot when both my children were very young and it's usually not as bad as when they're toddlers. I would check the car seat unless your buying him a seat on the plane. bring the stroller to the gate, you'll need it for the layover etc. they'll take it from you and give it back to you at the gate. As far as nursing goes, I did it on the plane, discreetly with a blanket and no one batted an eye and I am shy about that stuff. Both of my kids were fine with their ears on the plane and my second one ended up having tubes put in for ear infections and has never had a problem with flying as an infant or child.

relax and breathe, it'll be easier than you think.
J.

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C.W.

answers from Yakima on

Hi R.,

I don't have any personal experience yet, but a friend swears by a cheap umbrella stroller for the airport - easier to manipulate and much lighter. You can check it at the gate. I've seen people check the car seats with their other check-in luggage. My friend has travelled several times with her now 4-year old (all through his life) and she's a single mom, so it will be a challenge, but should be manageable with your hubby along to help.

Good luck,
C.

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J.G.

answers from Portland on

I would check the car seat at the curb(unless you bought baby a ticket/seat as he is too little to sit on his own) but take the stroller and check it at the gate- that way you have it to get baby and all the stuff to the door of the plane and they bring it back to the door of the plane at your stop to get to the next gate or baggage pick up. As for nursing they say it is best to nurse at take off and landing for the ears- although I struggled with nursing I was able to do this on a plane and it did seem to soothe baby. Keep your carryon as light as possible strictly what baby needs for the flight and your wallet etc- you don't want to have to hand carry anything you don't need! Also some airlines have bassinets that you can have to give baby a place to relax so they are not in your lap the whole time. Good Luck!

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A.T.

answers from Portland on

This is something I've got experience with. I have travelled alone with 1 and 2 kids and I'm going to travel alone with all 3 this month. Ears have never been a problem for my kids - i suspect it has to do with their ear shape, as it is never a problem for me. If you are concerned give a little tylenol before take off.

I nursed my kids on the plane. It's great to do for take off and landing if you are concerned about ears. It's tight though, so hopefully you don't have a queasy business man next to you! :) I always figure it's a natural thing to do, and try to be as discreet as possible.

Travelling with younger kids is so much easier than when they get older. I took my daughter at 8 weeks, and it was way easier than 8 months when she wanted to crawl around and did NOT want to sit in my lap.

If you are not buying him his own seat, you will not need a car seat on the plane. I find them hard to install in the airplane, and awkward to carry when you already have a bag or two and a baby. Personally, I would put the baby in a baby carrier (Ergo, sling, etc) and fit everything into a backpack and forgoe both the stroller and the carseat. You can check them. You don't have to worry about numbers of bags, as baby stuff doesn't count against your two checked bags.

If you want teh stroller in the airport then you can check the stroller when you get to the gate. :)

Hope that helps!

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M.T.

answers from Seattle on

I have a 5 year old and a 9 month old and I have been flying with them both on my own and with my husband since my older one was 2 months old. Take anything you need to make you comfortable. Airines are very lenient about stuff for babies - the regular carry on rules don't apply. Definitely take the stroller with you, they will check it at the gate right when you get on the plane and have it waiig when you get off. If you bought a seat for your baby or if the flight isn't too full I would take the car seat on the plane and strap it into the seat next to you so your baby can nap in it and your arms can get a break. Oh, and if you car seat is like mine and the airplane seatbelt buckle lands in exactly the wrong place, tie the seatbelt in a know to shorten it. Otherwise,if you are not going to have a seat for the baby, you will want to check the car seat. I have never had any trouble nursing on the plane but if you are uncomfortable with that idea you can take bottles of breastmilk. The restrictions on carrying on liquids don't apply to breastmilk and formula. As for entertaining him for 5 hours (which hopefully you won't have to because he will sleep through a good part of it) one good idea is a puppet. Gymbo the clown bought me about 20 minutes on one of our recent trips :-) I think that's all my best advice. Good luck and safe travels!

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J.K.

answers from Portland on

I would take both the stroller and carseat with you to the gate (if they work together so you're only pushing one thing). Ask for early boarding so you don't have to worry about bopping people on the head. I'm guessing you are taking him as a "lap baby"... but ask if there are any extra seats. The car seat is the safest place for the baby during flight... turbulence can send a kiddo out of your arms. (The car seat must be labeled that it is approved for planes... look for the sticker on the side or bottom). The stroller (and car seat if there are no empty seats) can be checked right as you step onto the plane, and will be there waiting for you when you step off.

For his ears... nurse him (or give a bottle if that's more comfortable for you) during take off and landing, or have him suck on a pacifier. The sucking equalizes the pressure in the ears.

Be sure to pack extras for the diaper bag: more diapers than you think you'll need, change of clothes for him, extra top for you, snacks for you, and plenty of water (planes can cause you to become dehydrated because of all the dry air). Also a new book or rattle, to keep him interested. If he likes music, you may even want to bring your i-pod or cd player with head phones (the "head band" type) so he can listen and be soothed.

During your layover, let him play on a blanket so he can wiggle around. And don't forget to eat a snack and drink plenty of water!

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A.B.

answers from Portland on

I've flown with my daughter at least a dozen times since she was 10 weeks old- it's not easy, but it's doable (it gets harder, but then I think you hit the difficulty plateau and then it gets easier- for her the worst trip was at 18 mos)

Anyway- nursing was what really got me and her through it- definitely nurse him on the way up and down on each flight to help with ears. And whenever she got fussy at all I just gave her the boob too. I didn;t really care if anyone else cared about me nursing, i figured they'd rather not have an upset baby in the plane (but I never really cared about public nursing anyway) If you feel uncomfortable, just throw a blanket or shawl over you.

When my daughter was that age I found it easiest to check the carseat and stroller and just have her on my lap (saves money too) and in the airport I would put her in the front pack and carry the diaper bag.

Make friends with a nice flight attendant- that way they will be sympathetic if you need help or if your baby cries. When I had to go to the bathroom, the flight attendant held her for me. (not as scary as it sounds, I mean where can she go?)

For entertainment, I brought small board books and small toys at that age. And don;t forget the extra clothes and diapers! :)

But yeah, I'd say just rely on nursing to get you through! Good luck!

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R.E.

answers from Seattle on

i flew with my son last summer. I totally understand the nervousness about this subject.
I took a stroller. When you get to the door of the plan you leave the stroller there and then when you get off. Even at your layover the stroller will be there when you get off the plane. That was great for me. I had a layover as well and it was so nice to have the stroller to walk aroung with. I had all the baby food, med. ect. in a seperate zip lock bag so when i went through security they could pull it right out. Oh yeah , at security you will need to put the stroller through the x-ray machine and your child's shoes have to come off as well. I found that my son fell right to sleep when taking off. It was really nice. So hope this helps you some. And enjoy your trip.

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P.R.

answers from Seattle on

No problem! You can stroll him all the way to the gate and check the stroller as you board the plane, or carry him in carseat/carrier if thats what you have. Both the car seat and stroller can go with you all the way to the gate or be checked like a regular luggage. Its kind of bulky to tote both so go with whichever is easier for you to tote your son in. Just be sure to put name tags on both items no matter where you check them! As for nursing on the plane, usually, if there is an empty seat in the back, and you let the stewardess know ahead of time that you will need to nurse they are usually pretty great about letting you change your seat to something with a little more privacy. They wont let you nurse on take-off, or landing, but you can nurse once the seatbelt sign goes off and this should alliviate any ear pains he might be having. Take the lay-over time to a change diaper (or two!) Remember, the the diaper bag counts as an additional free carry-on bag, but to ease things along for your sake I would try to put your essentials in the diaper bag so you have everything you need for your flight in just the one bag. You'll do great, dont worry!

PS way to go on the nursing mama!

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A.C.

answers from Portland on

Oh, boy. It is a challenging one! We just flew in January with a 2 year old and 4 month old. Don't worry. It'll be fine. Expect to nurse more if his ears get plugged or he's just insecure. If he likes any toys, bring those. I would expect he might sleep. Bring a book to read if he falls asleep. My four month old was very interested and happy when we flew. Sometimes he wanted to nurse alot or sometimes he was so distracted he wouldn't nurse. He loved to smile at my seat mate! Plan for more changes than you could imagine. That's safe. Anyway, I don't envy you! At least that age is not too active. ;P Good luck! Let us know how it goes!

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R.O.

answers from Eugene on

Hi R., When my daughter was 5 mo. old (man was that a long time ago!!) we had to fly from Oregon to Ohio, with a layover in Chicago, we made it fine. First you should ask them at the gate if they load women with small children first, usually they do, then let the flight attendant know that you nurse, and ask if you could be seated as to not disturb any other passengers (your really asking for privacy but she/he doesn't have to know that!!) If they can't accommodate you that way, see if there is a place you can go to on the plane if you need to nurse. BRING A PACIFIER! Even if you don't use one normally, give it to your baby during take off and landing, it will help the ears to pop if they need to without causing pain. At your layover, find your connecting flight first, then sit and wait, strollers are a hinderence so you are better off without one but don't be afraid to ask for help from the airlines, they are supposed to help, they just don't tell you that!!! Have a great trip, you'll be fine! R.

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E.H.

answers from Eugene on

I took my 6 month old on a flight, I planned the flight around her nap time. I took my stroller and car seat all the way up to the gate, you can check it in there and then get it back either at the layover site or at the end of your flight. It makes it so much easier to manuever and move quickly about the airport. Mine was on the bottle at the time, so I gave her the paci before descending or assending. I was lucky cause my baby slept the whole time, no even knew there was a baby behind them. Good luck.
E.

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C.B.

answers from Anchorage on

R., i'm a mom of 4 and a flight attendant :) my advice is to nurse on take off and on landing, it helps keep the pressure from building in their ears. Also if he cries don't get stressed, its their way of clearing their ears too. It is a small space to nurse, but you can do it!!! As for your stroller and carseat, if you have a seat bought for him take the carseat, it's safer otherwise you can gate-check both and then you'll have them on your l/o...most of the time if you just ask the ticket agents or the flight attendants they are really helpful. Don't be nervous...you'll both do great!

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A.B.

answers from Portland on

Take the car seat and stroller with you they will check it right before you get on and give it to you when you get off. I made sure my son was really tired. I would also give him those herbal calms to dissolve under his tongue. I didn't breast feed So I can't help there. Usually I gave mine a bottle as we were going up and then when we came down. The sucking helps their ears adjust. Will he take a binky?

I was pretty lucky my baby always just slept the whole time.

Ariannne

Good luck!

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J.K.

answers from Seattle on

We flew with our son across thd country when he was exactly the same age. Our only big issue...3 big blowouts out of the disposable diapers we used! I recommend carrying at least 3-4 extra changes of outfits for baby and using a brand of diapers you know and trust. An extra change of clothes for yourself isn't a bad idea, either.

We used a Baby Bjorn carrier and checked his carseat. (he flew free in lap) Be ready to wrap your carseat heavily in plastic bags, otherwise it'll be heavily soiled or possibly even have fabric torn by baggage handlers. Most airlines do not count a carseat as one of your allowed pieces of checked luggage. Just call and ask ahead of time to be sure. If you think you'll need a stroller where you're visiting, you can keep your baby in the stroller right up until you get to the gate, then check it there. A word of caution, though: we did this once and one of our wheels was permanently bent. Another woman on the same flight actually LOST wheels from her stroller.

As far as ear pressure, I nursed my son at takeoff and landing and he did just fine. I used a receiving blanket during nursing for modesty, but wish I'd had a Bebe au Lait ("Hooter Hider") nursing cover. I didn't know about them at the time, but it would have been perfect in that situation. I now even sell them online at the following site: http://www.simplecloth.com/Simple_Cloth_Breastfeeding.html

Oh, and they DO have small changing tables on airplanes that fold down from above the toilet. It's a tight space, but at least it's a private place to change baby. Also, search out "FAMILY RESTROOMS" at the airports. They feature a changing table and toilet in a large, private room. That way your husband can come along with you and help you change the baby, etc.

Hope this has been helpful. Enjoy your trip!

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S.M.

answers from Seattle on

My son is also a breast baby and when we flew with him I took a evening flight where he just nursed for a few minutes and was out llke a light. As far as seat/stroller. . especially by yourself I would want them. They take the stroller @ the gate. but if you take the seat you wil lhave to pay for a ticket for him as well. Some airlines offer special fares so be sure to ask if you do. And if youo buy him a ticket when you nurse you have that buffer between you and whomever, unless you're really lucky and get a 2 across row and noone is next to you. We flew from WA to New York, and on the trip back we flew in the morning and everytime I got him to sleep the stewardesses (sp) woke him. So night was definitely better. Good Luck!
S.

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S.A.

answers from Portland on

I just traveled with my now 4 month old, she was 3 months old at the time. We nursed on take off and landings, which made her not feel her ears pop. If your son won't nurse, you can use a binky or just have him suck on your finger. She was sleeping for one of the landings and it did not phase her. I used my hooter hider to nurse and we were always sitting next to a stranger, they were always very nice and it didn't seem to phase them. As far as equipment it depends on where you are going. For the plane we needed no equipment(other then the usual diaper bag items). We went to Mexico and we took the car seat but just checked as we entered the flight, which you can do with a stroller too. I recommend taking your stroller if you are by yourself. Or you can use a front carrier for the lay overs which would be easier to take with you on the plane. Your trip will be easier then you think, I had travelers anxiety but after our first flight I felt much better. People will gooo and gaaa over your baby, they won't be bothered. Have a fabulous trip!
S.

R.S.

answers from Medford on

Hi,don't be nervous, I fly with my 5 month old daughter all the time, she is strickly breast fed also, It's easy! I have one of those sturdy hiking type backpacks for her and I use that for the long walks in the airport terminals. You can check it at the gate and it doesn't count as suitcase. Trust me, you are going to want both of your hands. Don't carry a purse! Move all your stuff into a oversize diaper bag. If you need a car seat where ever you are going you might want to take the stroller and carseat and check it at the gate. Keep in mind that you are going to have to take your baby in and out all through security, give yourself some time for that. You can email with anyhting else!! Really!
[email protected]____.com

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D.J.

answers from Spokane on

Some airlines allow you to carry on the stroller but must do not. You can check it but yoy will have to pay for it if over the allowed baggage. The car seat is only allowed in the plane if you purchased an extra ticket for your son.(if u can afford to do this you should!)It will be more comfy on the plane plus you will no longer have to worry about the seat/stroller issue. Nursing when you are going up/down will help hot wash rags held on ears will to.Just ask the stewards for their advise. Also if you are overally nervous your son WILL FEEL IT. My daughter and I have flown many times and its almost always enjoyable. Good Luck. D.

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D.G.

answers from Seattle on

If you can nurse in cramped spaces I would nurse on the plane as you take off. If you son takes a binky or you can give him a supplemental bottle that is the next best. Check the car seat and carry on the stroller. It is so much easier in the airport with the stroller and the car seat is a nightmare to carry around. Have a great trip and if your son cries don't worry about the other people your son is the most important person on the plane. :)

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N.L.

answers from Portland on

Hi R.,

well, I have flew 3 times with my oldest child (my second is 4 months and no flights yet). The first time was with my 6 month old and we took the car seat and the stroller. We didn't by a seat for him but got lucky and there was a row with an empty seat that we were able to install his carseat into that really helped, and made the ride safer for him. We also took a red eye and he slept most of the way to our destination. It was kinda a pain getting the stroller and carseat through security but made the rest of the walk through the airport so much easier. I say take the carseat and stroller with you on the plane. Just give the stroller to the check in flight attendant and they will store it away for you until the flight is over and then give it back to you when you land. Good Luck. Also, I don't know if you breast or bottlefeed but I found that if I fed him on take off and landing that he didn't get as fussy with the ear popping that might happen. I really enjoyed that flight, it was so easy. When I flew with him at about 16 months, thats when things got a little challenging. Have fun!

N. L.

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E.A.

answers from Portland on

Wear an extra easy nursing shirt and nurse him at take off, or let him suck on your finger ect. You can check the stroller just as you get on the plane, this is great. My boys both pooped every time we flew with them, be prepared there are seldom good places to change them so be careful how he is dressed.
Flying with him now is so much easier than when he is mobile, enjoy.

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G.G.

answers from Portland on

I fly with my baby fairly often (4 trips and he is 7 months old) and in my experience, people are so so so nice to mom/baby combos. When it is just the two of us, we are always (provided there is room) given at least one seat to spread into. I'm sure you've heard that breastfeeding on takeoff and landing is a wonderful way to equalize your baby's ears. If you have some sort of carrier or sling be sure to keep that with you, it really helps to do some laps up and down the aisle. As for your stroller and car seat, you can easily gate check both of them. The crew will tell you if you have room to install your car seat, so you may not even need to gate check that. As a bonus, the gate check ticket is often bright and very entertaining when hung from the handle of the seat.

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K.B.

answers from Seattle on

I have flown several times with each of our 4 kids and while I shared your anxiety with such a tiny baby the first time (and no hubby along), I have found this is the easiest age as they can usually sleep most of the time.

You can enjoy your carseat/carrier and stroller through the airport to transport your baby and then check them at the gate. If there is room on the flight you can take the carrier on with you and let your baby take a nap in the carrier during part of the flight. If not, you can gate check both and they will be there when you get off the plane (or a few minutes after) and very handy to help haul your things to your connecting flight.

Nurse on the way up and on the way down so your baby is sucking as the pressure changes and can avoid ear issues. Make sure you have plenty of diapers and wipes and extra clothes and are not lodged between 2 business travelers. (If you are seated in the middle, talk to the flight attend. about moving to an aisle or window. Get there early so you can make sure you have a good spot.

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G.C.

answers from Richland on

Here's what I have done..... Strollers...I have taken a stroller, and then just 'checked it in' as I am getting on the plane (they give you a 'hot pink'(?) tag and put the other half of the tag on the stroller. I've also just used a snugly/moby wrap type... something to 'wear your baby' (depends on what kind of shape you are in.... lots of walking in airports, and with 17 pounds strapped to the front of you... that can be quite the work-out). Car seat... I usually try to have the person that I am traveling to go and see, bring an extra one (less for me to pack and keep track of). Ears Popping... I MAKE SURE to either nurse my baby or have a bottle or a pacifier for them to suck on DURING take offs AND landings(sucking helps the ears to 'pop'). (If you have a big scarf or 'not-too-thick' of a blanket, tie two 'touching' ends together and then put that over your head... so it now looks like you are wearing a big bib... then your baby can't pull it off while you are nursing on the plane.) Comfort item... does your baby have a 'favorite' toy or blankie or...? that would be good to take. Things to pack/take.... I try and take as little as possible. Think of things that will be at the place where I will be visiting... how many clothes do I really need... will I be able to wash clothes while I am there... can I get diapers when I am there, or is it better to pack all that I need for the whole trip? Sickness... not so much now, but I used to get sick (a cold)almost every time I went on a trip (staying up late visiting, eating sweets, not drinking enough water...) you may want to take some pack some 'cold medicine' for you and the baby. I'm 'drawing a blank' for any more ideas right now. My number 5 child is 8 moths old now and I've lost count on how many times I have taken a trip (plane or car) with kids (babies) and without my hubby. Give yourself plenty of time to pack and get to where you need to be and HAVE FUN! -G. C.

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B.M.

answers from Seattle on

Hi R.~

I took my son on his first plane trip (cross country----and without hubby) when he was 3 months old, and I was really worried too. But it turned out fine. In my case I took a red-eye flight so it matched with his sleep schedule. We flew non-stop from Seattle to Philadelphia (about five hours.) The passengers voted him the best behaved baby they'd ever seen. LOL

I don't think the ears are so much of a problem at this young age. But the best thing to do is to allow them to suck during take-off and landing (pacifier, breastfeed, bottle, whatever.) It helps their ears. Also, a nursing drape or cover helps with privacy during breastfeeding. I found mine at Babies-R-Us.

My son has made four round trip cross-country flights, and I really didn't start experiencing any problems until our last trip. He screams when we drop altitude, it seems. It feels like it lasts forever, but I'm sure it was only 10 minutes maximum. Also, they start getting more antsy about sitting for long periods of time once they can walk, you know?

Make sure you have a pillow for your lap (nursing pillow or other) because even at 3 months old, they get difficult to hold for so long. I also used one of those "papooses" (mine is a Baby Bjorn) and it allowed me to cradle him/hold him the entire time without taxing my arms. I could even sleep a little myself. Express your concerns to the flight attendants, too---- they usually go out of their way to help you (like give you a seat with an empty seat next to you, etc.)

Just try to go into it as relaxed as you can. Remember most people have had children and understand. And the ones who haven't--- oh, well. :-) He will probably do fine for at least most of the trip.

And check your stroller and car seat (or, better yet, have someone at your destination have one for you---- my sister bought a used one to keep in her car since she was picking us up.) :-) Hope this helped!

Oh, and, no matter what anyone else tells you, DON'T DRUG YOUR KID. First of all, Benadryl, etc. can have a reverse effect on some kids (making them hyper rather than sedated.) Also, your child needs to get used to this kind of stress and different environment. My 21 month old is now a seasoned pro at traveling, sleeping in travel cribs, in hotel rooms, and other people's guest rooms, because I let him have the experience. You know? It's a learning curve for everyone! Now that he's pushing 2, I have found my secret weapon is the portable dvd player. Even though I don't allow a bunch of tv and such at home, it's sometimes necessary on an airplane. :-)

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Y.G.

answers from Richland on

R. Don't worry the attendents are very helpful, just ask for their help. Yes take your stroller It will help your trip easier walking around the airport carrying a baby is hard. Just stay calm and don't worry all will go well.
If he sucks on a binky, let him do that on the plane. It will get his ear passages open. Just put it all in Gods hands, He tells us in his word he'll never leave us or forsake us, or give us more than we can handle. You'll do fine! Have a great trip.

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C.P.

answers from Bellingham on

The stroller is a MUST :) They'll let you bring it through! And it will help keep your hands free when you need them. I had to smile about his weight because my 3 month old is barely over 11 pounds!

I would ask the person at the counter if you can have a window seat and peferably by a woman, if they don't mind figuring that out for you. I'm just speaking for me, but usually women don't think anything of nursing (it makes some men uncomfortable, even if they totally approve, KWIM?), so that might work out better for you... if you're by the window, you'll have even more "privacy". Get a hooter-hider :)

Also, the more nursing you can do on the flight, the better for the ears... if he'll take a pacifier, that will help too.

Have fun!

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J.G.

answers from Bellingham on

You may be nervous about flying with your son but I used to do it with my babies frequently. I was always afraid they would be the crying baby everyone complains about but I actually was complemented on how good they were. Luckkily you baby is still young enough that you can schedule him so that he will be very tired on the plane. It may take small adjustments to his schedule starting the day before. Also make sure to have some thing to suck on for take off and landing. This helps to prevent the discomfort of their ears popping. I would also check to see how full your flight is. When you get to the airport make sure to ask if the agent can put an infant hold on the seat next to you. This will hold an extra seat unless the flight is booked. I used to work for airlines and know they can do this. If you are lucky to get an extra seat you can bring your infant seat. Look on the side to make sure it is faa approved. You can use a stroller and check it at the gate or may find a front pack to be alot easier. Talk to your boarding agent and ask to board early to get situated. As far as breastfeeding, ultimaltely you will find you will do whatever it takes to keep your baby happy. bring a blanket and don't worry about the other people. In the unlikely event you get that occasional person who is offended, tell them politely that you can put up wiithit or listen to a screaming baby for the remainder of the flight.
Good luck

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C.J.

answers from Seattle on

Traveling with an infant can be difficult. I have 3 kiddos and they all flew on planes when they were infants. So I'll just start at the beginning. As far as poping his ears, nurse him during take off. Start nursing right as the plane is pushing off. The loud noise of the plane might scare him, but try to encourage him to keep nursing. Once he is alseep adjust him to where you are comfortable (i.e. have him lay down on your chest, have him lying on your lap, etc.). If you decide to have him lay on your lap, ask one of the flight attendants for a pillow. Even if you don't end up doing that, you might need it anyways. It provides extra cushioning between baby and the sides of the seats. Also bring a blanket (and if he has a favorite stuffed animal) so he'll be more comfortable sleeping.

On to the second question, if you have a separate seat for your son then bring the carseat onto the plane. He can't sit on the seat alone. If not, check it. Secondly, it will save you from having to carry all the extra carryons plus baby if you have the stroller. When you arrive at the gate to get on the plane, before they start bording speak with one of the attendants at the gate to receive a gate check tag. Wheel the stroller down to the door of the plane, collapse it down, and board the plane. It will be waiting for you when you get off the plane again.

Lastly, I would say to pack a few toys and maybe some teething biscuits for your lay over. He could also sleep right through it you never know. Oh and try to nurse when the plane is descending too. I almost forgot about that! If you have other questions about flying with a baby just ask. I hope all goes well! =)

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S.P.

answers from Seattle on

There's so much great advice here. I think the only things that I would add are:

1. Bring an extra change of clothes for your baby and for you, just in case. Something lightweight, as not to add too much bulk to your carryon bag.

2. If someone is taking you to the airport, have him or her go with you to check in. Tell the person who is checking you in that this is your first time flying with your child and you'd like to have a gate pass for the person with you to help out at the gate. A gate pass looks like a ticket & allows the person with you to get through security. You might not get one, but it never hurts to ask & if you do get one, the extra help & company at the gate is great to have.

Good luck!!

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R.L.

answers from Seattle on

I flew with our infant, and he was strictly breastfed. (17 pounds! Isn't it amazing what you can do?) My son never took a bottle and I was glad to not have the hassle of carrying and juggling more stuff. He used his pacifier during take off and landing. If your baby is in your arms he can nurse, but if he's in his car seat, they'll probably require him to be in it when the seat belt sign is on.

Check the stroller at the gate, it will be good for carrying baby and stuff. Having a baby carrier that leaves your hands free is also helpful. If your son has his own seat, definitely take your carseat, he can sleep in it and you won't have to hold him the whole flight. I recommend taking your own carseat even if you don't use it on the plane. We borrowed one on our first trip and it was hideous. Hard to use and uncomfortable for him. It's a lot easier to use one you already know. If you have one you use with your stroller then it's not really anymore to push through the airport. And don't wait to ask for help if you need it!

Give yourself plenty of time and don't forget snacks (and water, once you're past security) for yourself. I really liked having a layover. A chance to walk around and use a regular size bathroom. If you're not familiar with the airports where you'll be, some online research could help out.

Hope some of these tips are helpful! Good luck.

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K.S.

answers from Portland on

Hi, R.,

My husband and I were terrified to take our son on an airplane flight the first time, but I got some helpful hints that really worked. Be sure to nurse him during the assent and descent as this will ensure his ears don't become uncomfortable. Start as soon as the plane becomes pressurized. You might want to invest in a "Hooter Hider" apron; they are very discreet even in the tightest of quarters. If you bring him on and sit with him, he will fly free since he is under two. If you do invest in an extra seat, you might consider bringing on the car seat so he has a familiar place to sit. Bring the stroller so you can comfortably move through the airport. The flight attendants will check it as you are boarding the plane and have it ready for you when you exit.

Also, my husband and I chose to fly first class. If you are able to upgrade with a little one it is definitely worth it. You get a lot more space and the flight attendants are great.

We had a great experience flying with our very spirited son, and no doubt, you will too.

Good Luck.
K.

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N.C.

answers from Spokane on

Hi R.,
I flew with our 5 month old and it went very smoothly. She is a big baby too and I was worried about nursing her during take off and landing. If you don't have a Hooter Hider, I highly suggest you purchase one--you can get one from Target online. It was very easy to have some privacy and she was perfectly content. I also just checked her stroller and car seat right at the gate. The flight attendents are awesome, they will help with anything. I also gave her a little Tylenol before we left the terminal, just to relax her a little bit...happy travels!

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L.A.

answers from Spokane on

Go to Target they have a nursing cover up that ties at your neck and allows you to peak and play with baby. The baby's feet will hang out of the hamock and so there will be no mishaps :) When you get to the counter ask if there is an empty seat available in a pair so that yoiu can have more privacy. My docter suggested that I split up the 0.25 dose in half of Tylenol before the flight fo rmy daughters ears. I also traveled when she was three months old. If you go to the website of the airline carrier your flying on thier are sooo many tips. I hope that all goes well!! If you have any questions email me.

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T.B.

answers from Spokane on

First of all, congrats on a healthy, happy breastfed baby! I know air travel can be daunting with an infant, especially when you won't have another adult to help, but you CAN do it.

When I traveled with my infants, I would nurse during the times that their ears might need popping or as soon as possible after take-off and landing. Any form of swallowing will help his little ears equalize. Definitely bring any favorite toys that he just can't calm down or go anywhere without, but also pack a few things he's never seen before...little toys that will grab his attention and fascination and distract him suddenly when he gets irritable and upset.

If you will be purchasing a seat for his carseat, I recommend boarding early when they offer parents traveling with children that opportunity. Lugging that carseat awkwardly through the aisle will be much easier when you're not accidentally whacking people along the way! If you will be holding him throughout the flight, I recommend waiting until the last possible minute to board...he's going to be held for the next 5+ hours, so give him those few extra minutes of stretching out on the floor (on his blanket) in the terminal before he's cooped up for that long.

YES take your stroller along and just leave it at the bottom of the walkway right before you enter the plane. It will be waiting for you there when you step out of the plane at your destination. This will make it easier on both of you, rather than lugging your carry-on, plus a diaper bag, plus a carseat (if you're taking it onboard), and baby.

If possible, take yourself to the bathroom right before you board and change his diaper, as well. If you have to go again before you deplane, usually the steward/esses are more than happy to hold him for you outside the door to the bathroom while you go. Airplane bathrooms are not very conducive to changing diapers---just not enough room to maneuver. You have options; if you've done it before and feel confident and have enough elbow room, you can change him on your lap and put the soiled diaper in a ziploc bag to be thrown in the trash (it's a good idea to have a few disposable changing pads for this purpose...easier to deal with than trying to wipe off a plastic one that got messy during a change). Sometimes, if you can time it right, you can just get down on the floor in the back of the plane with your disp changing pad to do a 30-second quick diaper change...might give both of you a chance to stretch anyway.

You CAN do this! Prepare yourself, prepare your diaper bag, and just enjoy!

Best of luck,
T.
http://www.bornagainresale.net

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R.W.

answers from Portland on

Relax. Most people feel sorry for crying babies and their parents--not angry. Gate check the stroller and the car seat. Preboard, and put your stuff in the seat next to you to discourage anyone from sitting there, and cross your fingers that the plane isn't full. Nurse your baby as you would at home, and if he seems fussy you can try nursing him on the way up and down. Some babies don't mind takeoff and landing. I gave my daughter tylenol before takeoff (check with your doctor first) to head off problems. Bring some disposable changing pads in case of blow outs--much easier to deal with. Bring zip lock baggies, too. Ask the flight attendants for help and advice on the plane, too. Most of them are really helpful and patient. And remember--no matter what happens, you won't see any of those people again. Relax, smile at your son, smile at the people around you, and you'll feel more at ease.

If you want to take the car seat on the plane, make sure the plane isn't sold out before you board. If your son doesn't mind sitting in it, it could give you a welcome break.

Good luck! I was terrified the first time I flew with my daughter, and I still get nervous when I take on the plane alone (and she is 3 1/2).

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J.C.

answers from Seattle on

Hi... I used to be a travel agent and have taken my small children on an airplane. Get in contact with the airline and request the front row. These seats have no seats in front of them, lots more room and you'll have more privacy nursing. I would nurse on take off...that usually helps with the ears popping. If she is a lap child you should check her car seat since she wont be able to use it. If you need the stroller for your layover, you should be able to check it out the counter as you get on the plane and they will have it waiting for you as you get off the plane on your layover. It is a hassle if you have a short layover because sometimes it takes a little extra time to get your stroller. ( I almost missed a flight once waiting for my stroller) Check with your airline ahead of time and they will answer all your questions for you. Good luck with your trip! J.

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N.C.

answers from Portland on

I flew with my son at 3 and 6 months. Twenty four hours before each flight, I called the airline to request my seat assignment, told them I was traveling with an infant and asked for bulkhead seating. The airline staff was very accommodating and I cannot tell you how valuable the extra legroom was! It enabled me to change his (cloth) diapers on my lap without having to navigate those tiny aisles holding a baby- a daunting task. The only thing I did for his ears was nurse him and he was fine. He slept most of the time.

If your airline is serving a meal on this flight, see if you can find out what it is in advance so you can determine if it is something that you can eat with one hand. You'll definitely need the other to hold your baby if you do not have an extra seat.

Oh, also, airplane air is soooo stale and dry and so many people get sick after a flight. I kept my son's nasal passages moist by dipping my finger in water. We flew about this time last year and he didn't get sick!

Good luck and don't worry! Rest assured there will be many hands available to help you. When I travel with my son, we always seem to wind up getting "adopted" by a grandmother who makes sure we have all the help that we need. It's so sweet.

:)

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T.J.

answers from Portland on

When I traveled with my son at that age, I got a nursing shirt which has opening that are covered with ruffles or something. Then I placed a a blanket over us. it was a bit uncomfortable, but your baby is hungry so you have to do something.
If you use a bottle or a pacifier, use that during take off and landing to help with the ears. Or nurse. You can also ask your peditrician for advice.
I checked the car seat with the other luggage, and checked the stroller at the gate so it was waiting as I deplaned. GOOD LUCK!

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K.M.

answers from Seattle on

you can check the stroller and carseat at the boarding gate and my daughter ate and sucked a pacifier during the flight and it did not seem to bother her.

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D.B.

answers from Seattle on

I flew from WI to Germany with two children and a 3mo old and found that a pacifier and nursing helped with the ears (at least we assumed it did, hard to tell with infants, LOL). Our difficulty lay in the location they put us on the plane. We were put near the engines and he couldn't sleep which made him grumpy. Also, I had asked for the bassenett they offer; it wasn't worth it. It so small and there is a bar that crosses under it for support but is felt through the bottom of the bassenett. Not to mention, that if you opt for the bassenett it limits the location for you to sit, which was why we ended up near the engines. I think that if we had not opted for the bassenett and sat someplace closer to the front we'd have been fine.

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B.M.

answers from Seattle on

You are already lucky because you are nursing. I took my daughter on a plane when she was just about 5 months. I held off feeding her until we were about to take off, then I let her nurse during the flight. She fell asleep and slept the whole way. Because babies can't swallow or yawn on command like adults (to pop the ears) sucking on something will really help. If you are worried about privacy, you can bring a blanket. Most airlines let mothers with babies board first so you will have plenty of time to situate yourself before other passengers sit next to you.

As far as checking things, I have found checking the car seat is the easiest. Just make sure all the attachments if you have any (like cupholders) are taken off because they might get lost. I have travelled by plane quite a few times with both my kids. Having the least amount of stuff on the plane is ideal. If you need to take the stroller, the flight attendants will let you leave it with them, kind of a checked luggage on the plane. They do it for wheelchairs too.

During the flight if he is awake, just make sure you have toys or books to keep him entertained. At 3 months that shouldn't be too hard, he won't want to run around like a toddler might.

Hope that helps.

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M.R.

answers from Portland on

I flew with my daughter often. She is now 5. Take your stroller and carseat. Just before boarding they give you a check-in ticket that you place on the stroller and car seat. One thing to do is ask at the desk if there will be any open seats for a carseat.(Ask very nicely because it would be a free airline seat for baby). Before you enter the plane drop off the stroller and/or car seat to the right. An attendent will take these to stow under the plane. When you get off the plane the stroller and seat will be there for you. Sometimes you may need to wait for them. Just step to side and wait.

I was very nervous my first time, but it gets easier.(Most of the time). Prepare a damp wash cloth in a zip lock bag for your baby to chew during take off and landing. It helps the ears from the elevation problems. I always took a bottle of formula or breast milk just in case. You can breastfeed if your baby is a lap baby. A pacifier and an empty bottle for water. I bought a small bottle of water after security screening at one one of airport stores. Some airplanes have changing tables in the restrooms. Pack a small bag for baby. Diapers, wipes, a few toys and books. Pack yourself a bag(could be your purse) with a few snacks. The lighter the load the better. Backpacks are great to pack everything in because you sling it on your back and you're handsfree. Backpacks can be placed over the handles on strollers. Enjoy your trip and let us know how it went.

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M.D.

answers from Seattle on

Check the carseat. Gate-check the stroller. Nursing, even with a large child (I have 2 of them and have so been there) is easy. I found that not being in the middle was easier. Nursing is great for his ears!!! Try to time a feeding during take-off and landing. These are the hardest times for their little ears. You'll do fine!

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R.H.

answers from Portland on

First of don't stress! :) I have flown several times, children in tow, without my husband. Most recently included a cross country jaunt from Portland to New York with my 3 year old and 18 month old. The less you stress the less they stress.
When my daughter was an only and 3 months old I flew with her on a direct flight from NY to Arizona. She was breast fed and that was a bonus on the flight. We sat near the wing so we could get the most engine noise as that helped lul her to sleep. We nursed and slept the entire flight. No problems with ears. If your son comfort nurses, let him latch on as soon as you taxi to take off. Then he will likely continue to nurse through the take off and altitude changes.
If you are concerned about nursing him in public, ie the small space of a plane, the only thing I can suggest is throw a blanket over you and get a window seat so you can kind of turn your back to everyone. I was nervous at first...when I flew from NY to Barcelona, Spain with my 7 month old wiggly nurser, i was sitting next to a business traveler. He was very uncomfortable at first but I acted like it was no big thing and he eventually relaxed.

As far as your layover...take that time to use the restroom, change the baby, and find your connection. Really it will only be about 40 minutes because they start boarding at least 20 minutes before take off.

If you bought a seat for your baby, you could but the carseat on the plane if your son sleeps well in it. Or just leave the seat open to lay him down when he falls asleep. But, then you have to carry the seat through the airport to your connection which is not worth it in my opinion. I never took a stroller when they were that young. I used my sling or Bjorn as then I had my hands free.

Good luck and have fun!! :)

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B.P.

answers from Seattle on

I know how you feel, I'm about to board a plane with my 5 year-old. I'm nervous about the whole thing, but reading these posts (even if it's for a younger age group) has been helpful. Let us know how it goes for you!!

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B.P.

answers from Portland on

When I traveled I used a bjorn. That was really helpful. So check the carseat. Do you really need the stroller where you are going? You may just be able to use the bjorn. Does your child use a pacifier. If so that will help with the popping of the ears. Nurse during take off and landing.

N.S.

answers from Portland on

R.,

When my daughter was five months I took a flight alone with her. It was hard, but we got through it. I would suggest that if you don't have a seat for just him to have the car seat taken on the plane, a la cart. That means they hold it on the plane for you, you don't have to check it and if luggage gets lost you at least have the car seat. They give it back to you as you get off the plane so it is kind of difficult to lug around. But at least you have it and maybe some kind person will help you carry your stuff. You could see if you could do the stroller that way too. I don't know how much they let you do a la cart, but if they let you you could use the stroller to put your baby in or your carry-on and carseat. As for his ears, you could give him infant tylenol so he would sleep maybe, I don't generaly agree with that, but as your going to be by yourself it may help matters. And make sure you pack enogh diapers and wipes. Hope the best for you and your trip! Have a great time!

N.

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D.S.

answers from Seattle on

Take the stroller. They will check it at the gate and it will leave your hands free during your layover. If you can take the car seat, do that too. You will both be more comfortable. As far as ear trouble. Try to nurse during take off and landing. The sucking helps the ears. If a pacifier is used that helps at those times also. My Husband works for an airline and we have flown many times with our children at just about every age and stage.

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J.N.

answers from Anchorage on

You have lots of great advice to shift through, but here's a few thoughts as we just returned from yet another trip w/ my 16 mo old and 5 yr old, they have 20,000 miles under their belts this year:

1 - check with the airline @ checked baggage -- some are NOT allowing free carseats to be checked and even charging for baggage beyond one checked bag per paid seat. If you do check a carseat, invest in a bag that it can be put in.
2 - for your carry-on, see if you can put it in a backpack. It will allow your hands to be free when you are going through the airport, or even down the aisle to find your seat. Be sure to bring extra diapers and clothes for both you and baby. Most airports do NOT sell diapers or formula.
3 - don't give your child any 'drugs', esp. benadryl, unless you know the reaction. I usually give the recommended dose of tylenol, but I know how it works for my kids.
4 - I would bring your stroller and gate check it. this does not count as a bag, and will free up your hands when going from counter to gate and gate to gate.

Good luck! You will have a great time, and everyone is always so helpful.

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K.L.

answers from Portland on

Hello, I have done what you are going to do and don't worry, it really isn't that hard. First, take the whole car seat and stroller with you. You leave it at the gate when you get on the plane and they take it straight down and put it and the plane, then when you get off they will have it waiting at the gate for you. It's really easy. The only part that gets hard is going through the whole security part, but you are a mom, so you will manage. As far as the nursing and the pressure in the ears thing. You just nurse at take off and landing. It keeps there ears from getting pressure in them. My daughter always fell asleep right after take off, which is what I think a lot of other babies do also because of the niose and vibration of the plane. If he does end up getting fussy because of pressure in his ears, just rub behinde his ears and it relieves all the pressure. I hope this helps and have a wonderful trip.

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D.B.

answers from Richland on

You can usually check your stroller right at the gate when you get on, and then when you get off it is right there waiting for you! makes it very easy for transitions!

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L.W.

answers from Salt Lake City on

We flew with our 4 month old last summer. While I had my husband's extra hands to help...here's what worked for us.

1. We asked the airline if there was an extra seat. We were lucky and all of our flights had an extra seat so Meghan was able to sleep laying down between us. The first leg they tried to make us use her car seat, but it didn't fit.

2. We took her car seat and stroller to the gate with us. My hubby ended up packing the car seat base, but I would have much rather had to do that then check it at the ticket counter and have it get lost. Every connection it was there waiting for us when we got off.

3. I also took her front pack carrier. We found that we used the stroller to push the car seat, and our carry-on's and I carried her in the front pack.

4. A week before we left we went to the doctor's for a regular appointment. I asked him for his advise on how to relieve the pressure on her little ears. He told us that nursing and pacifiers would work, but that since the tubes in their ears are still so short we ran the risk of her getting an ear infection. He highly recommended a combination of Benadryl and Sudafed, he prescribed Cedrac Syrup for her which is just that. We gave it to her....and no problems. But you have to decide what you feel is best for your child.

5. Stay calm and go with the flow....

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S.P.

answers from Medford on

Hi:

Check the car seat is the stroller one of those small umbrella types? If so take it on the plane with you you fold it up at the 'last minute' and hand it to the flight attendant then they 'stow' it out of the way for you. But you get it back right as you get off the plane to place the baby in while you go pick up your 'baggage and the car seat' If the stroller is not the umbrella type then you would probably want to 'check it too'. About the babys ears shouldn't be a problem, may cry a bit but just long enough to 'pop' the ears with the pressure change usually will not last long. If it coinsides with 'feeding' time that could be a longer crying session but usually they do very well.

Hope you have a good trip and all goes well.

S.

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C.W.

answers from Seattle on

I remember feeling nervous the first time, but we flew alot my first daughter's first year and my non sleepy baby always nursed and always fell right asleep with the plane noise. Ask for a window seat for the nursing. Close the blind if it's too bright and just relax. Nursing really helps with the ears and everything.

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F.H.

answers from Eugene on

If you feel uncomfortable with anything, you really should discuss it with your doctor. I did when I flew with my son. The doctor told me to make sure that they suck on something during take off and landing, it will help with the popping of their ears. I would check the carseat and stroller and buy one of those things that holds the baby in like a backpack thing, but one that you can put on the front of you.

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M.B.

answers from Seattle on

I can only share our experience. Three months was the easiest age to travel with especially if you are nursing. We checked our carseat and stroller and used the Baby Bjorn for the airport and on the plane. Even if he is fussy try to hold off the last feeding until you are actually taking off - not just on the jetway, that can take awhile. I kept the Baby Bjorn on for the whole flight and reclined the seat so I could sleep. Scope out if the plane has a changing table in the bathroom, if not, you can change him on your two seats. For landing if he is sleeping I won't wake him, if awake you can nurse. I understand the landing isn't as bad as takeoff.

Good luck and don't fret!!

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A.D.

answers from Portland on

R.,
Whenever I fly with my boys, I always purchase a seat for them. That way, I can strap them into their car seats and I feel that they are safe. It is expensive but you don't have to hold them on your lap the entire time. Also, if there is turbulence, your child won't get jolted out of your arms. (I have even run into flights being overbooked and flight attendants trying to take my child's seat for another passenger. I showed them that I paid for the seat, and they shut up and gave me extra attention the entire flight.) As for his ears, some people give their children cold medicines so that the child sleeps and some mom's nurse during this time. Both methods work. My girlfriend does the cold medicine trick when her and her daughter fly to Japan. I never had to do either because my children would suck on candy or chew gum. They were pretty easy.
When we first began flying, I purchased a flight bag from Segal's children's store for our stroller and checked it as baggage. Later, we bought umbrella strollers and when we got to the plane door, the airline would have us leave them at the door and they put them in a cupboard after everyone was onboard. When we de-planed, the strollers were right at the door waiting for us.
If you don't purchase a seat for your child and need to bring a carseat, you can purchase a travel bag just for the carseat and check it with your baggage, along with the regular stroller.
We have traveled a lot with our two boys and have had really great experiences.
We flew from PDX to Nashville, TN. Our trip was during our youngest son's first birthday. We made sure that we brought plenty of good food to eat since he was eating solid foods and brought plenty of toys, games and books to have on board. During the flight all of the little ones on board made laps up and down the aisle. They were all very good and at the end of the grueling flight, the attendents announced a congrats to all the little ones for being so great and everyone clapped.
It is difficult to travel with little ones, but you will be just fine.
Good luck
-A.

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G.R.

answers from Seattle on

I flew with my son when he was 8 mo old. I held him instead of getting him his own seat. I would totally do that with a 3 mo old. So I would check the car seat. If you don't think you want to carry him during the layover, I would get one of those small umbrella strollers. The attendants can store it where they store the suits and other tall items. Nursing should help his ears, as does a binky if he uses that. Maybe ask for an aisle seat so that you have a little more space for nursing? Luckily most airplanes have changing tables in the bathrooms now. Good luck!
G. R

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Y.L.

answers from Seattle on

Hi R.,

I have two boys and we've traveled quite a bit. Once to Europe with my then 8 month old and numerous times to California. They are now almost 3 years and 15 months old and we just got back from a trip to Cali last week.

3 months is actually a great time to travel as he will most likely sleep a lot. If he doesn't take a binky just try to nurse him at take off and landing-- that should help with the ears. Is he still in his infant carrier? If so, you might want to bring it on and store it in the overhead bin if you don't have a seat for him. That way, if the seat next to you happens to be empty you can potentially put him in it otherwise you have to hold him the entire time (which isn't a bad scenario, I've done it and barring a semi-tired arm, it wasn't too bad). Both my boys were / are big too so I totally understand! We normally gate check our stroller as it's nice to have ready when you get off the plane.

As far as the small space goes and nursing, it somehow just works (at least it did for me). We traveled with both boys when our youngest was 4 months and I had a nursing apron that was a Godsend. I could just drape it and nurse him whenever he wanted and I didn't feel like my boob was hanging out for all to see.

I must say, people are normally really nice when you travel and you will most likely have people offering to help you. The first time we traveled with my older son he was pretty crazy during one of the legs of the trip (he was 4 months at the time). I had people offering to bounce him or relieve me, I was overwhelmed by how kind everyone was.
Good luck, you will do great and feel free to e-mail me if you have any questions.
I hope this helps at least a little.
All the best,
Y.
[email protected]____.com

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C.B.

answers from Portland on

R., I work for an airline.. customer service. Let me give you a few things of advice. Call the 800 number and ask them what the bag restrictions are and tell them you are traveling with an infant, sometimes they will let you travel with an extra bag for the infant no charge. If they tell you this on the ph, make sure they put it in yourrecord to avoid no extra charges at the airport. Also show up at least an hour and a half before your flight. I know this seems way early, but if there is air traffic control, long lines, security issues, ect... then you will be prepared. I might recommend if you are able to purchase the bulk of your diapers and wipes at your destination this will save on weight in your suitcases. When packing it is easier to think what goes together by layers within the same color groups. A simple sink washing works wonders,and if you are staying in a hotel some of them have free washing machines or charge a small price. Also most hotels offer cribs, if you are worried about sanitation, take along a small pkg of sanitation wipes. It will put you at ease. If it is a family member you will be staying at a lot, go to a 2nd hand store and purchase a pack-n-play. The less you cart thru the airport the happier you will be. On to the carseat and stroller. If the airline is not booked full they might let you take the carseat onto the plane, just in case do not give them a fit if they want to tag it at the door ahead of time to take it when boarding. Remember if the plane does not leave on time you are not the only one who might miss her connection. Then no one is happy. The stroller is a given to get a gate tag. Normally the gate agent is at the gate one hour before boarding, and these are the things they like to do ahead of time,NOT DURRING BOARDING!!! Make sure you have a name tag on everything, traveling by yourself with a little one can be a little scarry for the 1st time, check in, get through security, check in with your gate agent, and then have a seat and relax. You will be boarding before you know it.** A few more pointers: Liquid through security: 3oz or under in a qt zip lock bag. You are allowed two for you and the baby. Any prescribed meds they need lables on. Going through security they must be pulled out of the carried on bags and put into the trays for the x-rays. If you are using hard ice packs they must fit in a bag also. Sometimes with a baby they might let an additional bag slide. If you have any concerns with the baby talk to your babys DR.1st they understand. I was where you were, but I had to go away to training for 4 weeks with a colic baby who was alergic to formulia. My hotel and I got to be great friends after that:)The flight attendands are usually great onboard and will give you some help if you aks for it. Let them know you are flying for the first time by yourself and I don't think it will be an issue for you to use the restroom. One last thing... It is usually best for the baby to eat or suck going up and down, this helps the pressure in their tiny ears. Thers is an item out called "Earplanes" for children, but I don't think they are small enough for infants.
Good Luck! C. B.

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A.R.

answers from Portland on

I did it too! Same age same weight! He was great. I nursed him during take off no problem and played with him a bit after he got used to his surroundings and then he slept. Almost the same on the flight home. This is the best time to travel. Good Luck!

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K.D.

answers from Portland on

Sounds like my boys, we grow them big as well!!

I took my 2 boys (at the time they were 5 months and 3) on a flight from Portland, OR to Alabama by myself and like the previous gal stated...it's as bad you might think. I was strictly nursing as well, so I just made sure to nurse while taking off and landing and he was totally fine. He mainly just slept the whole time.

I took an umbrella stroller along to tote him around the airports. I just checked the car seat, I felt it was easier to just hold him during the flight. The stewardesses (sp??) will take the umbrella stroller for you and either store it in the first class closet or maybe take it down the stairs and put it under the plane, but it will be there for you as soon as you get out the door at your stop.

Good luck and have fun!!

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K.S.

answers from Portland on

My baby girl was almost 3 months when we took the international flight to Europe (without my hubby), I remember I was very nervous. She was also nursed. I requested a basinet and my seat was in the 1st row, and she slept almost through the whole 10 hour flight. But I know it works differently on domestic flights. I never had a car seat on board on domestic flight, so I'm not sure how that works. Untill she was 2 years old and we had to purchase a seat for her, I always held my baby in my lap, which was convenient when she wanted to nurse which was sometimes often, because I didn't want her to cry forever and upset other pasangers around me. So, I just nursed and nursed untill she usually went to sleep. Her ears were fine, but again, I made sure I was nursing her during take off and landing.So, just remember, nursing, nursing, nursing is very helpful, I think it's soothing for the baby. Also, make sure you bring the stroller with you to the boarding gate so that they give it to you right away when you exit the plane because you have a layover and you must walk through the airport. Good luck !

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B.P.

answers from Spokane on

I have never flown with my kids, but my parents flew with my little sister when she was just little too. (my parents had a mid life suprise who is 7 now, just 2 years older than my oldest). When they went their Dr. told them to have her suck on something when they were landing and taking off. So it could be a binky (if he'll take one) or even nursing or feeding them a warm water bottle. But just something they can get a good pull in the back of the mouth and I guess then the ears will pop themselves.
Hope that helps, have a good trip.
B. Jo

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D.N.

answers from Portland on

We took our almost 2 year old daughter on a plane for the first time, and I was concerned about her ears, she was still on the bottle due to being underweight, but tall for her age. She sucked on the bottle while the plane was on a take off, did fine, and landing. (this was suggested by our pediactric doctor) Also, bring few toys for him. They allowed you to bring stroller and carseat so can be put on the plane seat if they have room, you can use car seat. They put the stroller at the gate shut, all you have to do is bring it up to the door of the plane and they will take the stroller from you and board it on their storage area. Then when you get off the plane they have it right there at the door when you exit the plane. They really were very helpful to us. Good luck.

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H.A.

answers from Portland on

I used my baby bjorn for my daughter and it seemed to work well by myself (if he isn't too heavy for you to carry that way), plus my hands were free for anything I needed to do. The one draw back is that you have to take your child out of it to go through security. As far as the car seat and stroller, I just took a trip with my daughter a couple weeks ago by myself (she is 11 months), so I took my stroller and it was so hard by myself. You have to fold it down and put it through ex-ray while holding your child. If he is sitting in your seat with you, I would recommend just checking them, but I do think they count as a checked bag item on most airlines. Also, make sure to check if they do pre-boarding because southwest no longer does. They let all the A group go then families can board (I won't be flying them again). As far as breast feeding, what I used to do was get a window seat and take my cover up. For his ears, either use a pacifier and have him suck on it during take off and landing or feed him. They say that the sucking helps keep their ears from plugging. I have found that their are some very helpful people out there that have helped me when I am flying by myself. If you need help just ask!! Good Luck:)

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L.R.

answers from Portland on

I didn't read all the other responses, so forgive me if I'm being redundant.

I flew with my son for the first time when he was 3 mos old, and it was a breeze! The hardest part was carrying all the stuff to the gate. If you want to take his carseat on, you'll either have to buy him a ticket or hope that it's not a very full flight. Ask at baggage check how full the flight is, and if it's not full and you can manage it, take the carseat onboard with you. They can always check it at the gate if there's not room on the plane. Do a gate check with the stroller too.

When flying, just make sure to nurse him on takeoff and landing. The swallowing will help his ears adjust to the pressure changes. You might want to let the person you're sharing a row with know that you'll need to nurse your baby during the flight, and tell them you'll ask to switch seats if it will make them uncomfortable.

Good luck...I hope you'll find it as easy as I did.

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K.C.

answers from Seattle on

My advice may contradict some of the rest, but I would be sure to bring your stroller and infant seat to the gate. Check at the gate to see if there may be extra seats on the flight and they will try to give you an extra seat for your infant if one is available. If you can do this, you can bring the carseat on the plane and fasten into the airline seat. Your baby will be comfortable in this familiar seat and may sleep better and you will be less exhausted from holding him. Carseats must go in the window seat, which puts you in the middle or aisle (if it's a 2-seater) but gives you extra room to turn and nurse more privately.

If you can't bring your carseat on board, you can still check it at the gate with your stroller.

Most of all - RELAX! It will be easier than you think - in fact, looking back, it was easier to travel with an infant than with toddlers! And if you are relaxed, your baby will sense this and be more relaxed and easy-going too!

Good luck!

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M.D.

answers from Seattle on

Does he have his own seat or will he be in yoru lap? If he has his own seat then u nead the car seat. Air Line polisy states he must be in his seat to take off and land. Most do not push this with mother nursing there babys, but some do. If he is in your lap none of that is a prob.

Just bring some cool toys and a book for u. Oh and somthing he can chew on like a teathing ring. I know my little one slept most of the way. The bathrooms suck for diapers. Some plains have a changing table by the kitchen net. Ask when u get on the plain. It will make that alot easer.

Every one makes a big deal about babys on plains, but I have flown a few times with my kids as babys adn they all did very well.

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S.B.

answers from Anchorage on

I totally understand your anxiety! I had to fly by myself with my oldest son when he was almost 5 months old, though he wasnt a tank like my youngest. My oldest flew two connecting flights at 6 days old and slept through both take offs and landings. And then 3 connecting flights at almost 5 months. Both of these times he seemed unbothered regarding his ears. If you baby does seem bothered try nursing or even easier a pacifier or your finger even. Fortunatly my son wasnt hungry on most of my flights only the longest- 6 hours from chicago to anchorage. If you don't mind giving bottles of pumped milk you can always try that. For my 6 hour flight that is what I did. At my layover went straight to my next gate and went to the nearest family restroom to it. It had a nursing room in it! If for some reason your plane is late and you don't have a very long layover tide baby over with pacifier until you board the plane (usually board first if you have young children) Then especially if no one has to climb over to get to their seat just start nursing then and during take off to keep baby calm. since your stroller is large you probably will have to put it with your luggage, i didnt take one so I am uncertain. if he has his own seat definantly take the car seat with you otherwise just carry baby and diaper bag which can double as purse to lighten the load. Only difficulty with not having car seat with you is if you have to use the restroom there is noplace to put baby, wear none buttoning or nonzipping pants!! Hope this helps, try using a backpack diaper bag too, I about killed myself carrying two diaper bags (over packed) and car seat with my son. Probably repeating alot of advice you already have but I hope this helps!

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C.M.

answers from Seattle on

I have flown often and usually look for other moms with little ones so I can help out as mine are now older. Some babies sleep through much of the flight, and some are constantly restless. Some tips - try to get the baby on a sleep schedule now that lines up with expected flight times. Rest up yourself so you'll have energy to stand and hold him awhile in-flight (save it for 2nd half for a change of pace). Get a small 4-6oz bottle and experiment with different nipples to find one he will accept with warm water (can slightly flavor with juice) that you can use during landing, preferrably with smaller holes to work his jaw more. Have a couple rattles/keys and one soft toy, plus a couple small books. (It's the cadence of reading they love, not necessarily the words. Duh du, duh du, even works as well if said like a nursery rhyme.) Bring extra diapers and wipes and 1 or 2 changes of clothes, and a very light receiving blanket for privacy while nursing in-flight. Hold off on feeding before you board, taking that time to exercise/move as much as possible in the waiting room, in preparation for "quiet time" ahead. Also, he will be so interested in food by the time he's fed, other minor discomforts won't be such an issue for him. Pack everything you don't absolutely need for the flight, into checked luggage. This will help layover be smoother. May want an umbrella stroller if he's too heavy to carry around much between flights. Bring baby's stuff in a backpack if easier to carry than a diaper bag. The "clicker bug" (clicking fingernails against the top or back of his head) is good for at least 15 minutes of in-flight entertainment, and so it goes. Catnap during the flight as much as you can and figure out when feedings should be so you're not constantly checking the time to see if it's time to feed him yet, then have fun! Others will entertain him some, you'll have books and toys and a well-stocked backpack, Enjoy!! It's also best if you're relaxed so he can enjoy the trip instead of feeling your anxiety. So have a great time!

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T.T.

answers from Yakima on

I had my 1 year old daughter with me for about the same time as you last year. She would not sit still for the life of me on my lap. I would suggest taking a stroller especially if you have to truck through a large airport. I had to carry my daughter already 25 lb. through Seattle's Seatack airport. Not fun! So, please do whatever you can to make your flight as stress free as possible. Maybe one of those backpack carriers you can put in the front of you so your arms are free. And breast feeding. Pump your milk in a to go bottle and keep it chilled in a thermal container. I really wish I was able to enjoy my first flight ever if I knew what the outcome was going to be. I hope I was helpful.

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B.G.

answers from Portland on

Recently we went on several airplane rides, and there was one gal who had a really awesome car seat carrier. It was really cool. I don't remember the brand, but I bet if you went online you could find it. It was a metal carrier that had wheels and a platform to put the car seat, and a pretty substantial handle. It was great. If that isn't an option, I'd check the car seat and take the stroller on the plane. You can always get it up to the plane, and then they can store it on the plane. That way you'd have it up until into your seat, and then you can have it as soon as you get off. You might have a little bottle of warm water if it isn't eatin' time during take off and touch down, or simply have him suck on your finger or a pacifier. Good luck!

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A.G.

answers from Seattle on

I flew with my daughter alone when she was between 4 and 5 months old. I nursed her during take-off and landing, so she didn't seem to have ear problems. If you didn't purchase a ticket for him, ask if the flight is full before you check your bags. They have let me take a car seat on the plane before when the flight wasn't full so I was able to put my baby in it when she fell asleep. If this isn't an option, I would suggest gate-checking the car seat or stroller. That way the car seat or stroller will be waiting for you just outside the plane when you get off.

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A.E.

answers from Seattle on

It's never as bad as we dream it up to be!
I flew alone with my son when he was three months old. His ears were fine. I just made sure that he had a bottle during take off and landing and he did great. In your case, you would make sure your son is nursing during those times.
Definitely take your stroller. My son was also a BIG boy and it would have been really difficult to carry him and the diaper bag (it's always packed with extra stuff for the journey) through the airport. We had a car seat that attached to our stroller and that's what we used when he was little, so I brought both. If your's doesn't do that, check his car seat when you get there.
Getting through security is kind of a pain. I've always had to break down the stroller and have it go through on the belt, while I walk through with my kids. But the stroller is worth it, trust me!
When you get to the gate, they will give you a tag for your stroller. Right before you get on the plane, break it down . . . again. . . and leave it right outside the plane. (There will probably be other strollers or wheel chairs there also.)
When you get off the plane, it will be waiting for you. (You may want to ask a flight attendant if you want it for your layover)
Something I found out from flying with little ones is that your son is also allowed two bags to check in along with the two your allowed to check in even if he's sitting on your lap and doesn't have his own seat. Strollers and car seats do not count as his two "bags" either. (the website for the airline you're using will tell you that for sure)
Remember to just ask a flight attendant or someone at the airport if you have ANY questions.
Good luck and don't worry. Your son will do great!

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S.P.

answers from Seattle on

I nursed my 3 month old sitting in the middle seat between a businessman and an army soldier. You do what you have to do. I would reccommend a "nursing shirt" - you can buy them at motherhood maternity or on line- motherwear.com is good or e-bay even. That way you are not dealing with an akward blanket. The shirt is still on the awkward side but keeps you mostly covered and is less obvious when you nurse (I thought). If the plane is not full they will let you bring your carseat on. The stroller is handy for carrying all of your stuff but getting through security is very difficult as far as holding a baby and doing everything else. They will actually let you go to the front of the security line- so don't get in line.On my layover they actually drove us in one of their carts to the next gate. Very helpful! Don't be afraid to ask for help. good luck. And it won't be so bad in the end. S.

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H.C.

answers from Portland on

while the plane is taking off, nursing will help his ears to pop like ours do when we chew gum. i have taken my daughter many times on a plane since she has been born (turning 2 on monday). they allow you to take carseat with you on plane and you need to check the stroller as you get on the plane. dont be afraid to ask a flight attendant for help. let me know if that helps any.

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T.Z.

answers from Spokane on

Hi R., I have a now 21 month old who started flying when he was 7 weeks old across country. I was with my husband at the time and he only had one melt down on a lay over (I got a lot of sympathetic looks from mothers especially). Otherwise he slept the whole way. He was nursed exclusively for the first 5 months of his life (and still nurses now). Then I took him, on my own, from Boston to Spain to see my family when he was 4 months old. Not only did he sleep most of the time but I can't tell you how many people at airports and in the plane offered to help us. We were even given our own row on the plane eventhough we had not paid a ticket for him. I have found TAKING A BOPPY and laying him on it a very good idea and to NURSE DURING TAKE OFFS AND LANDINGS - he has never had any ear problems on flights. I like to take a stroller to use at airports which you need to get a tag for at the gate counter and then drop off at the entrance to the plane. He continues to be a great traveler even as a toddler and I think it's because he got used to it at an early age. Remember that you are never alone, it's easier when you nurse because you don't have to worry about passing bottles through security, people tend to love babies and are generally forgiving when they cry and most people are really cool about nursing on planes (I usually have worn a wrap over us). Good luck and I hope this was not too much information!!

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M.S.

answers from Portland on

I have done this more than once...my hubby doesn't fly. My baby boy was the same weight! Anyway.... Yes, definately bring the stroller!!! Check it at the gate right before you get on the plane. They will give it back to you for the layover. Unless you bought your baby his own seat or are hoping to get him one last minute, I'd check the carseat with your luggage. It is free and is not counted against your limit of how many bags you can check. Your stroller is not counted against you either. Those traveling with a baby are allowed to bring a diaper bag as well as the normal number of carry-ons, so don't feel like you can't bring your own stuff. Bring a good large changing pad and an extra set of clothes for you both just in case. The flight attendants usually let you use the little room at the back of the plane for changing a baby. If you are a shy nurser, the bathroom is planty big enough to get the job done. If not, just bring a blanket so your seatmate doesn't have a breast in his face, and nurse during take off and landing...that will take care of his ears. Check ahead of time and be sure you have all the necessary paperwork to get baby on the plane (shot records, whatever). Don't bring diaper creams and stuff on the plane unless you have to... it is such a pain in the butt when they unload your diaper bag and start taking things away from you when you are already stressed. Try to relax, because he will definately pick up on your feelings and react accordingly. You being stressed will tell him something is wrong and he should stress out too. Most people on the plane are friendly and helpful when it comes to babies crying and stuff, so don't worry about that (unless you are flying through the night). If you have any other questions I might be able to help you with, feel free to email me.

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M.H.

answers from Eugene on

I flew with my daughter twice..once with my husband at 3 months and with two lay overs and once by myself at 9 months with a direct flight....here are some must!
Nurse during take off and landing it will help with the pressure or if you use a pasifeier (sp) I have been told it works some times but it is the swallowing that keeps the ears clear.

If you still use the car seat in the stroller keep them together and wheel your son in it through the airport, it is also great to haul your other carry ons! Do know that you will have to take your son out to go through sequrity. When you get to your gate they can give you a bag for your car seat and you actually can wheel the whole thing right up to the door of the plane! When you land they will bring it right to the door again! It is an lifesaver when flying alone especially with a big baby. They even have this service for the tiny planes that only fit 25 so do not worry about it! Happy Travels!

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C.H.

answers from Portland on

I've done it. Check everything but the necessities! You can check the stroller planeside if you want it in the airport. As far as their ears, mine never seemed bothered, but I always made sure to be nursing him during take off and landing. if they were asleep, I didn't bother and they didn't seem to mind. Get a window seat, bring a thin blanket to cover up with, and wear a good nursing shirt that has quick and easy, but not too revealing access. If you have a sling or bjorn or something to wear your baby with, you should bring this, as this is the safest way for them to travel, as long as they're happy. I actually prefer flights with layovers now that I have kids. It gives every one a chance to decompress and stretch their legs. good luck.

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M.F.

answers from Portland on

After reading all the responses, and all you rockstar mom's amaze me! I had to travel with my daughter when she was young too and all the suggestions you received are excellent and would have benefitted me during my travel time! The only thing that I will add is to take advantage of the pre boarding benefit with kids! They will announce boarding for people with extra needs, don't feel bad about boarding at this time! You have a need and that is getting yourself settled with your babe while there is not an influx of people fighting over the space and overhead compartments:)You will do great, don't be scared and once you do it the first time, the next will be a piece of cake! Good luck!

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K.H.

answers from Seattle on

Congratulations on breastfeeding! My son is two and a half years old and has been on three plane trips. The first one was when he was 9 months old. We also had a layover. If you know that the plane is not fully booked, I would strongly suggest bringing his car seat on board! It is difficult to hold an infant for hours on end, in a small space. I was fortunate to be able to use an empty seat next to me for this reason (one of the ways.) It made it a lot nicer for both of us to have this space. As for breastfeeding on board... I did it every time. My son nursed until he turned 2 and then weaned himself (which was harder on me than him!) but it made flying more bearable for sure. Not just for the ears, but for his comfort- being in a new, different, crowded space with not much to do or see. You will definitely want (and need!) your stroller during the layover, and especially if you are able to bring his carseat to use on the plane... it will be impossible to lug that, and your baby, and carry-on items, through the airport if it's just the two of you. I always checked my stroller at the gate (it will be waiting for you right there as you exit the plane) and brought the carseat on board, when allowed (space-wise.) Good luck to you... I hope you have a safe trip, and just nurse, nurse, nurse. Try not to worry about other people on the plane too much. I am sure they would rather turn away for a few minutes if they find breastfeeding in public offensive-- than to listen to a SCREAMING baby for a few hours long flight!! The last time on a plane for my son was just a few months after he turned two. Not only do I have to buy him his own seat now, I brought his carseat on board and am SOOOO glad! I put it in the reclining position, got him all situated, he used his pacifier for most of the flight (but is now done with that, so not sure how the next trip will go!) and he did lots of roaming the aisle, watched a dvd which was a huge treat because he doesn't view much television, and slept some, if not most, of the flight. I think it was actually easier when he was an infant! He gets restless now, all pent up with nowhere to go. But for sure, checking a stroller at the gate is the way to go. You will want it between flights, as well as when you arrive at the final destination. There is so much walking through airports involved. Before children I guess you never really think about it, but there's alot to it once you have them.

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J.B.

answers from Portland on

I have flown twice with my 4 month old now. But lucky for me my hubby has been along.
I would recommend
1) taking twice as many diapers as you will think you need
2) taking twice as many outfits as you will think you need (really... I had an extra delay at my layover and went through all my outfits and diapers)
3) bring a nursing cover and a pacifier, if he takes one
4) you can check the car seat and stroller right at the gate.
5) if he pays attention to toys yet, I would bring a couple. They are good distractions and may calm him.

Good luck!

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M.H.

answers from Seattle on

I'm sure you've already got your tickets, but some airlines offer half-price fares for infants. I've found that it's a bit easier if your child has his own seat (most car seats work on airplane seats) but don't worry, it's certainly doable to have him on your lap. The flight attendants might let you bring a car seat on board and use the seat next to you if the flight's not full, but every time I've flown recently the flight has been sold out, so you can't count on that. As others have said, if you bring your stroller and car seat with you (which is a very good idea) get a tag for them at the gate and leave them on the jetway just before you board the plane. I'm not sure that you get to bring extra baggage as someone else stated unless the child has his own ticket. Check with the airline. You might also want to bring along some Infant Tylenol just in case. I'm not one to medicate my children unnecessarily, but if he's fussy you might be glad to have it. Also, he's a little young, but for future reference a lot of airports have play areas for kids -- they're priceless when you have a layover! Good luck!

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J.M.

answers from Anchorage on

I have flown alone with my children quite a bit, several over seas, 10 hour flight trips. A BabyBjorn, or something like it has been a must for me. My youngest little guy was also a "tank" but the BabyBjorn was great for in flight when he would fall asleep and for keeping my hands free during boarding and flight changes. I would check the car seat all the way thru, but gate check the stroller so that you can put him right in when you get off the plane for your layover and ariival. For landing/take off you won't be able to keep him in the BabyBjorn, but it's better to nurse him during those times so that he is swallowing. Swallowing will help his ears pop with the pressure change. Also, when you check in ALWAYS ask if there is a seat with an empty seat next to it available. You may have to change your assigned seating, but it is totally worth having a spot to lay him if he really conks out for a long nap. When everyone if finally seated is another prime time to ask for a spot with an "empty" next to it. I have found that people are usually very helpful and willing to move (if only to get away from a potentially fussy baby). Good luck...
Julie

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K.L.

answers from Portland on

I flew with my daughter when she was that age. It went much better than I expected. If your airline will put a baby hold on the middle seat, ask them to do it and bring the car seat with you. If you want to tool around with her in the stroller, they can give you a "gate check" ticket at the gate for the stroller, but also the car seat if the plane is full. It wasn't optimal traveling with her on my lap for one of my flight legs at that age, but it wasn't the worst either. People are really nice to women flying without a partner on hand, so don't be afraid of whatever offers are given to you, "Would you like me to hold baby while you use the bathroom? I can't really go anywhere..."

Finally, if you pump, don't hesitate to bring bottles of it on the plane. They will let you.

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B.S.

answers from Eugene on

Dear R.,
You sound just like me two months ago. So, I'll tell you what I did. First of all, you can check both his carseat and his stroller at the gate and they won't count against your limit on baggage. (TAKE YOUR STROLLER!! I WISH I HAD KNOWN THAT I COULD!) :o)
When you first get on the plane, give him some baby tylenol, this will help with the pain in his ears and help him nap better during the flight.
I made myself a blanket with a strap that fit around my neck that I could nurse my baby under without making other passengers or myself feel a little selfconscious about my breastfeeding. If he'll take a pacifier, then try to get him to suck on it during the takeoff and landing. My son wouldn't take a pacifier until he was 4 months old so I had to try and get him to nurse during the take off and landing... thankfully, those were the only times he cried, and thanks to the tylenol he slept most of the time in the air except for eating.
Make sure you have GOOD diapers that fit well because trying to change your baby's diaper and outfit in the airplane bathrooms is not very fun. (FYI I use huggies now, and they work great for me on trips).
I don't know if you pump, but I was able to pump a bottle before my return trip home and that made things a little easier for me. My son will only take the bottle designed by the First Years called Breastflow, you can find them at Babies R Us or Target... they mimic the natural breast so I've never had a problem switching back and forth from the breast to the bottle when necessary.
Bring an empty water bottle with you through the security then fill it up with water on the other side... This was my lifesaver because I am constantly thirsty when I nurse.
Put all of your babies creams/lotions and medicines in a clear plastic baggy that is easy to pull out of his diaper bag for the security, nothing over 1 oz. More than 1 oz. of Breastmilk in a bottle is allowed as long as you tell the security officers that that's what it is, and they can scan it.
Pack anything in your checked baggage that isn't absolutely necessary because it's difficult to keep track of everything when you're traveling with your baby by yourself. I didn't take my purse, instead I put my ticket, ID and cellphone in the diaper bag so I had less to carry.
Good Luck! If you have any further questions...feel free to send me a message.
:o)
B.

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A.F.

answers from Portland on

I took my daughter on a flight when she was this age. I understand your stress but trust me, you can do it! Don't take your car seat. Take your stroller. They will let you board early and they'll take it at the gate. Then they'll have it ready for you when you get off. That way you dont have to tote your tank and you can hang any carry on items on it. Not sure which airline you are using or what their seating policy is but I flew Southwest and it had open seating. I told whoever sat by me that I would be nursing and that the baby might cry in case they'd like to find another seat. Even if there is assigned seating I'm sure if someone wanted to move the attendant could move them. That way you know you have a sympathetic person sitting by you.

I also nursed on takeoff and landing which kept her ears from plugging. I changed number one diapers in my lap and number two in the bathroom. Not easy, but doable!

Last but not least, perfect the look that says, "sorry, but its an adorable baby. I'm trying..." And use it on everyone. lol!!! Good luck to you. Try not to stress. You can do it!

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A.E.

answers from Seattle on

HI R.! I am a former flight attendant, and a mother of a 12 month old. I strongly suggest you bring your carseat and stroller with you. If there is not enough seats for you to have an extra one for your son, then they can just check your carseat at the gate. It is so much better to try and get an extra seat for your son, he will be much more comfortable sitting in his car seat, plus it gives your arms a break. If the flight has open seats they will give you one for free. Just ask when you check in. Holding a baby for that long is exhausting! We have travelled with our son a few times and each time he had his own seat and was very cozy in his car seat, just like in the car. Make sure you nurse him on the way up and the way down, this will help to equalize the pressure in his ears. If he is sleeping, it is important to wake him up and nurse him. If you dont wake him the pressure will build in his ears and he will wake up on the ground screaming because of the pain. Just ask the flight attendants to give you a heads up as to when the plane is going to start decending. Also if he gets fussy, dont feel bad about doing laps up and down the aisle. Most people have their own kids and understand while you are walking!!! Dont stress, the two of you will be fine!! Just befriend the flight attendants, and they will help you out!! If I can help you anymore, please let me know!

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G.V.

answers from Spokane on

Dear R.,

First thing is, don't panice. The airlines have special assistance for mother's with infants. You are boarded first and the attendants will help you with all the gear. Call the airline and find out what their requirements are for carry ons for the baby re: equipment. Once you know, you can pack accordingly Do you have a seat purchsed just for him? If not, find out if it is a full flight and ask to be seated next to an open seat. There is a space just after boarding called the "bulkhead" that has more room. Most airlines save this space for people traveling with little ones. When the cabin pressurizes, (which happens twice) it would be good if you could nurse your little tank. He may feel it anyhow and fuss a bit, but that's OK. Everyone realizes babies and little ones fuss when their little ears are adjusting. It only lasts a little while. I wish you the very best on this first adventure with just the two of you. Remember, you can do it! Your precious one can feel your tension, so stay as calm as possible, bring a large enough blanket to cover him and yourself, and nurse him as often as he AND you need to. God bless you and keep you both safe.

G.

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D.R.

answers from Corvallis on

R.,

Take one of the pillows from your bed for him to sleep on while in your lap. It is much more comfortable for you and for the baby than just holding him/her. This works on the plane as well as during layovers.

Bon voyage!

D.

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J.S.

answers from Seattle on

Flying with a little one can be challenging! However, the littlest ones seem to do better. I made sure that my daughter sucked on her binky on takeoff and landing. But you can also try a bottle if you don't feel comfortable nursing on the plane. I have done both! She also slept really well for me too. Take the stroller with you to the gate. They will gate check it so that it will be there waiting for you at the gate upon arrival. I always check my carseat. Sometimes they even have bags that go over the seat. But I have also had my carseat caught in the rain with the rest of the luggage. They may let you take your car seat on with you if the plane is not full, if so then they will gate check your carseat. However, you would have to check if you carseat is ok'd for airplane travel. Anyway, I hope that this helps and have a great trip!

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V.M.

answers from Seattle on

Oh my gosh, I used to fly with my son all the time because we lived in California and my parents were up here in Seattle. I think he was six weeks old the first time we flew, although our flight was only about two hours with no layovers. But I flew with him many times when he was a tiny little guy.

First of all, you should definitely bring his carseat along. Did you get a seat for him on the plane? I never got a seat for my son, but I was always lucky enough to have an empty seat next to me so I could just put him in his carrier during the flight. Once you get to the gate, make sure to ask the attendants if there will be any extra seats on the plane, and if there are they can usually change your seat to make sure you have one next to you.

I remember that I was breastfeeding too. I brought along my Boppy pillow and just waited for the plane to start taking off before I would feed him. This way his ears would be less likely to hurt during take-off. But I think when the plane lands is when their ears could hurt the most, so if he's awake you should definitely feed him then too. If he's asleep, don't wake him up to feed him! Also, the motion of the airplane during take-off and landing usually made my son fall asleep, so I always just prayed for that to happen.

I would bring his stroller if I were you. I always did because you never know how far you're going to have to walk to get to your gate or once you get off the plane. I had one where his carseat clicked right in to the stroller. Then when you are about to board the plane, you just fold your stroller down and leave it right there and the attendents will take care of that for you and have it ready for you once you get off. Also, just FYI, since you have a baby you should be allowed to board the plane before anybody else. So make sure you ask about that when you get to the gate too because it would be super hard to get yourself all set up when everybody else is trying to board the plane too...

Make sure to bring along plenty of toys, books, etc. too to entertain your son in case he is awake during the flight!

Good luck!!

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T.V.

answers from Seattle on

Hi R.-
You will be just fine...don't worry! I traveled several times on my own starting when my daughter was 3 months and now I do it with my son who is 18 months! The nursing on the plane can be a bit tricky, the hardest part being the latching part. For me, once I got them latched on, it was easy to hide. Wear a shirt that will make it easy to hide as well. With any luck, you'll get seated next to an understanding person (most usually are). The best time to nurse is during take off and landing, that helps with their ears. So far, neither of my kids have had a problem with their ears. You didn't mention if you have a seat for him or if he is a lap child. If he's a lap child, don't take the car seat on the plane, check it. You can gate check your stroller...they'll give you a tag for your stroller at the gate then just leave it at the end of the jet way. They will then have it there when you land. If you want it for your layover, make sure you tell them at the gate so they can arrange for that. Usually the flight attendants are helpful as well. Most every time I've flown, I've met other moms with kids and grandmas too...all willing to help out! I'm not sure how strict you are with a nursing schedule, but I would throw the schedule out the window while you are on the plane...meaning you might be nursing quite a bit just to soothe him. Let me know if you have any other questions, I'd be happy to share what I've done in the past! I hope you have a great time and a smooth flight!

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