Advice on Flying with an Infant????

Updated on June 29, 2009
C.J. asks from McKinney, TX
5 answers

My husband and I are flying from Dallas to Orlando and I wanted to see if anyone has any advice for traveling with a 6 month old.

This will be our first time traveling on a plane with him and all I can think about are the babies that cry the entire flight. Any advice or tips would be greatly appreciated!

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answers from Dallas on

I'm a former flight attendant, I have three boys and I have traveled with them all (all three by my self) from early on, I will first say that I agree with the poster that said as a Mom it is your job to entertain your children while traveling, save your nap or magazine for another time.

with little baby of 6 months, it is easier to travel when the flights are not crowded so that you can have an empty seat next to you for you infant carrier, which I do recommend!!!! or buy a seat for your baby. Safety is a priority for me! second have lots of food (breast milk or formula or what ever you use) you never know when you will get stuck, delayed or diverted, I use to carry the whole can of formula... ( I breast feed and supplemented with formula, but that's a whole nother issue) bring one or two toy items that might interest your child and one new one, don't bring to much or you will just have more to keep up with.

the reason it is recommended that you feed your baby on take off and landing is because the sucking is what helps babies clear their ears, landing has more of an impact on the ears than take off, always be prepared for landing.

I will share this little story with you about feeding a baby on take off, I was traveling with my three boys, they were 2 months, 4, and 5yrs at the time, my two older boys had to sit behind me and I sat with the baby with a business man in the aisle seat and the baby seat in the middle, I sat by the window. I knew I was planning on nursing my baby during take off, so I began a conversation with the business man,( he was very good looking) he was kind and a father of a young baby, his wife BF so I figured I wouldn't offend him by BFing my baby in front of him, so I get all set up to feed as we are taking off when my son pulls the blanket off and pops off the breast just as my let down started and milk went everywhere!!! even on the nice business man sitting next to me! so I'm trying to get the baby back on and get covered up, giving the nice business man something to wipe up with.... lets just say my advice is don't nurse on take off and landing, put the baby in his carrier buckle him in and give him a bottle or pacifier! yes this is a true story, but I hope it made you laugh a little, I still laugh about it!

traveling with children is easy if you are prepared, yes I did have one of my boys cry for 30 minutes during a landing once, BTW crying also helps them clear their ears so don't be afraid to let them cry if they need to, I've had ear pain before and I cried too! Traveling with the infant carrier is good because it is something they are familiar with, and they have an expectation of being in it. it is hard to "hold" them in you lap for a flight, not only will you get tired they will too! just have food and visual stimulation on hand and enjoy your trip!



answers from Dallas on

We flew with my daughter at 6 weeks to Hawaii, and 3 months to DC, and we plan on flying again to Santa Fe, NM at 4 months and back to DC at 6 months. I had the same fears, especially on the 8 hour flight to Hawaii. We tried to feed her on take off and landing. It helps with the ear popping. She was great and slept on all the flights. Also, my daughter wears a sleep sack to bed, so I put on on her during the flight to trick her into thinking it was nap time, and I had her in her pajamas. The flight to DC at 3 months I picked flight times that were at the same time as her nap time so she was tired anyway. My pediatrician said that it is okay to cluster feed on a flight to keep them calm. This may also work for you, but talk to your pediatrician, first. In all the flights I've taken in my life, I have noticed that most of the crying kids are toddlers that get impatient when they can't move around, not the babies that are used to be held and are not that mobile yet anyway.



answers from Dallas on

My daughter was 6 mo when we went from Dallas to Orlando. It really wasn't a problem. For the flight itself, you want to make sure you have enough bottles for a feeding if neccesary, and maybe a spare. The reason for a spare is for that chance your flight will get delayed or something (sat on a runway for 2 hrs once with my daughter when she was 17 months -- so glad we had extra food with us!)
If you're nursing, then you certainly have less to worry about :-)
Definitely pack any snacks that he likes, a favorite book or two, a favorite toy/blanket (any sleep aids or "props"), and get something new -- something he's never seen before will hold his attention longer than same old stuff.

A backpack style diaper bag will be best.

You'll want to make sure he's sucking or drinking something at take-off and landing to minimize ear pressure.

For the trek through the airport, wheel your stroller right through security (this could take a while, but it's worth it once you're on the other side), and "gate check" it when it's time to board your flight. You'll wheel it up to the door of the plane, lift out the baby and diaper bag, and a baggage attendant will put it on the plane when the other luggage is loaded. Strollers/wheelchairs are the last thing on and the first thing off. It will be waiting for you when you de-plane at your destination.

Good luck!



answers from Dallas on

I've flown regularly with DD since she was 3 mos old--all our family is in the NE or midwest. 6 mos old is actually no problem--like the previous poster said, older ones are harder. IMO, the most difficult age is 12-18 mos--we still did it, and survived, but that's when the kid has to stay on your lap but wants to be walking around. I flew alone to MI with DD at 6 mos, and just brought a couple of cloth books and this GREAT Noah's ark book that was attached to a glove, and each finger was a different animal puppet (you can get them at Babies-R-Us). The poor man next to us had to listen to that book, and the animals make their noises, about 900 times, but DD didn't cry! As the previous poster said, if you're BF'ing, this makes things easier. I always had a strict "mom is for food, not a pacifier" rule on the ground, but on flights, DD could nurse as often as she wanted for as long as she wanted, as long as she was happy. Book a window seat, throw a blanket over the shoulder away from the window, and let your kid feast!

You really don't need to be scared--here to Orlando isn't that long, and your baby will be fine. Just remember that your job on the flight is to entertain her--IF she naps, great, you can read a magazine, but otherwise your full-time job is entertainer! GL!



answers from Dallas on

I'm sure everyone will say the same thing. Nurse, feed, or give your baby a pacifier on takeoff and landing. Babies are easier to fly with than toddlers. If you can time it so your baby takes a nap on the plane this will help. Ask at the counter if there is an extra seat open. Usually the gate attendant will try to give you some extra space if they can.

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