Air Travel Tips W/ Infant

Updated on September 18, 2008
D.E. asks from Los Angeles, CA
187 answers

I need airplane travel advice…my husband will be on the plane 5 hours (not including checking in) with my 3 1/2 month baby whom I am nursing. We will be sitting in regular class and we did not purchase a ticket for our baby, since she flies for free. The airline knows that she will be on the flight. Should we ask for specific seating? Does the airline have to provide special accommodations? Where would we change her diaper -do they have a changing table in the restroom? We were thinking of just bringing our Ergo (backpack carrier) because we will have an infant car seat waiting for us when we arrive to our destination. However, this makes me think that we will have to hold her for the flight. Is this a good idea? Can we request to borrow an infant car seat from the airline? Does she have to be in her car seat (she so hates being in it in the first place). If we do bring our infant seat—where will be put her since we did not purchase a ticket for her and will not have a seat for her? Lastly, if you have ANY advice as to what we should bring to make it more comfortable for her and for us, PLEASE let me know. I am so nervous about traveling with her and worried that she will cry the entire time and that I won’t be able to comfort her. I am concerned that I will be stressed because we are visiting in-laws! Thanks for your advice.

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So What Happened?

Thank you SO MUCH to all of you who gave me helpful airline travel tips. I was so nervous prior to the trip, but felt a tremendous amount of support from all of you and it really put my fears at ease. We experienced sitting in regular row seats and bulkhead seats on the return flight. Like most of you, I really preferred the bulkhead seating. We did not take the infant car seat, since we did not purchase a ticket for our baby and the flight was full. However, since we had our Ergo carrier, holding her was a breeze---especially navigating through the airport. I nursed her during take off and landing, and she slept most of the time. In fact because our baby was so easy to care for, we think that we should travel with her more…especially after visiting our 1 1/2 year old nephew who is running around!

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L.N.

answers from Las Vegas on

I traveled with my daughter-in-law and my granddaughter to n.c. It was the first time that either was on a plane. We just held her. I don't know if they provide car seats. We took her diaper bag on the lane with us. She did really good. Maybe you can call the airlines and aks them.

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T.G.

answers from Los Angeles on

1. Do not bring the carseat on the plane. One the carseat must be FAA approved (many are not - there must be a sticker on the seat somewhere saying FAA approved or they won't let you use it) and if there isn't an extra seat you just expended a lot of energy carrying that through the security and airport for nothing. We always use Hertz car rental and they have always had clean safe carseats waiting at the car for us. So I also would not even check a carseat but that is up to you.

2. In your carryon bag be sure to bring at least 1-2 outfit changes for your baby and maybe a shirt for yourself. You never know when they are going to spit up or leak. As long as you have a change of clothes you will feel a lot more relaxed.

3. You may drink before the flight but not alcohol!! The other mom was right the sulfites may upset the baby and all it does is dehydrate you more than traveling already does. Drink water, it will hydrate you, won't upset the baby and everyone will be less stressed out!

4. Stash diapers everywhere you can. I always bring 12-15 diapers with me when we travel just in case. It is winter time planes get delayed, flights are overbooked you never know how long you may be stuck in an airport or even worse the airplane.

5. Hylands makes a teething tablet that you put into the mouth and it just disolves. I used these with both of my boys and seemed to work better than orajel (they both usually went to sleep right after I gave it to them). However, if you have been using orajel and it works don't change now!! Buy it, bring both on the plane if it works great, if not use the orajel.

6. Most planes have a changing table in restroom (usually on the wall above the toilet sometimes hard to see); however, some do not. I have had to resort to changing the baby in my seat while sitting on the floor, not fun but necessary.

7. Relax, even if you have to hold the baby the whole flight you can take turns. Also try putting one of your carryons on the floor and put your feet up on it, keep your legs together and lie the baby down on your lap (head by your knees, feet on your belly) and sway your legs back and forth (kind of like a rocking motion). My two would fall asleep really quickly like this.

8. You can ask your dr about Benadryl. I went to NY by myself with our 6 month old and the dr. told me to give him a small amount of benadryl right before we took off. He said something about helping the sinus' and ear pressure, but it also made him sleep. You must ask the dr though because my son was 3 months older and that may make a big difference.

9. Give yourself plenty of time before your flight. if you are late you will only be more stressed out and the baby will pick up on this and will get fussy and upset. This will also help with seating. When you get to the gate (early!) ask the gate agent if the flight is full, if not, and the person seems nice, ask if they would block 3 seats for your family. Doesn't always work, but it is worth it to ask. It is not worth trying to rush through check in and security with a baby. The more time you give yourself the more relaxed you will be and the more enjoyable your trip will be.

10. One last thing, be sure to bring a copy of your baby's birth certificate or immunization record. Southwest and American were the only airlines that asked me for proof of age when we had "lap babies." Although Southwest told me that it was an FAA requirement that airlines must ask for proof of childs age if they were lap children.

Let me know if you have any other questions, we fly all the time!

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S.E.

answers from San Diego on

My husband and I travelled with my daughter when she was 5 1/2 months old--two flights. We likewise did not buy her a ticket, since she travelled free. As far as I know you can't request specific seating accommodation (i.e. demand another seat), other than choose your seat location beforehand. But you can take your stroller system (car seat and stroller) to gate-check it. If it turns out that there are empty seats on your flight, you can try asking at check-in time if you can bring your car seat aboard the plane and take one of those extra seats. As far as I know, she doesn't HAVE to be in a car seat, but if you do want to use one it must meet airline compliance standards (it will have a sticker on it saying so, or it will say so in the manual, which you should bring along, so you can see how to install it in a airline seat.

But having both parents side by side, taking turns holding baby can work well. And since your daughter hates being in the seat anyway, she will probably get more comfort from being held close to you. Holding her for the whole flight is fairly challenging, but you'll take turns, so it's doable. The flight attendant likely will give you instructions on how to hold your baby during take off and landing. But once you're climbing or descending in altitude, that's the best time to nurse because swallowing will relieve the pressure in your baby's ears (just like chewing gum does for us). It's fair to expect some crying. Most babies cry on account of the change in air pressure. Nursing does a lot to prevent that. And then again the humming plane sound may make her sleep for a good stretch of time once the nursing has calmed her.

My imagined nightmare was hours of my baby crying and fussing and the other passengers glaring at us. I dreaded having to cope with my baby's discomfort AND being a social pariah, so I bought several pairs of individually-sealed ear plugs to offer if anyone looked as though they were really bothered. It helped me to know I had that in reserve just in case.

As for changing baby: It worked for me to take the window seat (a bit more room) and for my husband to go for a walk or bathroom break while I changed our daughter, on a change pad, in his seat. (The arm between seats usually flips up, for ease of movement.) I took a few empty medium-sized baggies to seal in diapers or disposable spit-up cloths for disposal at our convenience. Then we'd trade off so I could have a bathroom break. I have never seen an airplane bathroom with a baby change table.

Since you may nurse more than usual during a flight, make sure you ask the flight attendant to bring you lots of water--the worst is to get dehydrated yourself. Have a little snack or two stashed in the bag as well.

I also think it's a good idea to bring along a spare shirt (something you can just roll up and stuff at the bottom of your diaper bag) and to wear pants or a sporty skirt made of a quick-dry fabric, in case your baby spits up all over you. My baby did just that, and the smell of spit-up milk was nauseating in such close quarters. Having a lightly-scented lavender lotion on hand helped to freshen the air.

Best of luck to you! The thought of the experience can be more daunting than the experience itself. Few parents woudn't be frazzled. But the kindness of strangers is remarkable and will help to get you through. You are doing a wonderful thing, taking your baby to see your in-laws. Bon voyage!

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J.W.

answers from Los Angeles on

D.,

I have flown alot with my son who is now 3 so hopefully I can help you. I think the first time we flew with him he was 2 or 3 months. The longest I have flown with him was probably 4 hours but here is what I know from when I have traveled with him.

First, if you don't buy a seat for her you cannot bring her seat on the plane so yes, you will be having her on your lap the whole time. At that age I didn't find that a problem since they sleep and eat most of the time anyways. If you can get a window seat that would be better so that you don't get hit by people going down the isle... although for getting to the bathroom the isle is good too. On every flight I've ever taken they have a small changing table in the bathroom so you can take care of the diaper duties there. I would reccommend feeding the baby on the way up and the way down as it helps with the pressure. The airlines do not have car seats for you to borrow but you can bring the carseat and stroller up to the gate and then you just check them right before you get on the plane. The airline staff will stow them under the plane and get them off for you so they will be ready for you when you get off. I would take a blanket or a shield if you are planning on nursing and plenty of diapers, wipes, burp cloths, and a plastic bag (trust me on this one... you never know when they are going to blow out of their diaper and the last thing you want to do is stuff that in your clean diaper bag. Bring a couple of changes of clothes in case of a blow out or spitup. Other than that I think generally infants do fine, I flew with my son several times before he was even one and never really had any problems. Also, you will be able to board first since you have a small child so that is nice. I believe that they have rules about bringing water for fomula onboard so I would check with your airlines if that was something you would need to do.

One last thing... if she cries it probably won't last for long and you will just have to ignore the people that don't have any tact and make comments loudly about babies onboard. Most people are very nice and helpful but you always get a few that are intollerant. Good luck and I'm sure your flight will go just fine. As far as stress, just try to get to the airport early and then if anything comes up it won't be as stressfull as if you were running behind.

J. Walters

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B.L.

answers from Las Vegas on

You ask a lot of good questions, but my first bit of advice is to relax. This is probably going to be the easiest time to travel with your baby. My family lives over a 1,000 miles away and we have been traveling with out two sons since they were born. Believe me, the toddler stage is much more difficult.

It is natural to worry about your little baby. First, you won't need to bring a car seat on the plane. No need because you would of had to purchase a sear for her. Sometimes there will be open seats because the plane isn't full. You can ask that when you reach the gate, but these days don't plan on it. They usually overbook anymore.

You will most likely be changing her in your seat. I usually just put it in the air sick bag. Bring her favortie toys, a stroller to get to the gate, and that's about it. My doctor said to feed the little guys on take off and landing so that their could handle the pressure changes.

Relax as much as you can. Your baby can sense it if not. It will be over before you know it.

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I.M.

answers from Los Angeles on

I first traveled with my daughter when she was 3 months old to Florida and she did great! I then took her on a 12 hour flight to Europe over the summer and it was work, but she was a trooper. I have flown with her now over six times and she is 1 years old now! I have to tell you that it is much easier to fly with your 3 1/2 month old than a 1 year old! So, here are some tips that I have learned from my experience.

1) The airline will not give you an extra seat unless you purchase one or if by some chance, the plane is not full they may give you one. You cannot depend on that so know that you will have your baby in your arms. This is okay you just have to be cognizant of turbulence and hold your child well. The airlines do not provide an infant car seat.

2) Ask for a bulk-head seat. Usually, the bulk head will have an area where the airline can attach a bassinet so that you can lay your child down once she falls asleep. Call the airline and ask if they will have one available on your flight and try to pre-book your seats then. Bulk head seats also have extra legroom so you can move around with your baby.

3) The bathrooms on the planes do have a changing table. I would still bring a portable changing pad because it will pad the table as well as make it more sanitary. Bring plastic bags to put the dirty diaper in. You can then throw it out without stinking up the plane! :)

4) I used the Bjorn to carry my daughter around the airport and plane. She loved being in it and it helped free up my arms. So, yes - bring your Ergo.

5) Bring a back-pack full of diapers, wipes and change of clothes. Always a change of clothes! and few toys or stuffed animals she likes.

6) Breastfeed your baby when taking off and when landing. It will help tremendously with the air pressure on her ears and therefore, she will cry less or not at all.

7) Don't worry if your baby cries on the plane. Ignore the looks of the other passengers. It will only make you more nervous and then make your baby cry more. Be calm and it will go well. In my experience, the white-noise of the plane actually lulled my girl to sleep!

8) Wear slip on shoes and put whatever liquids, creams, etc. in little baggies so that the TSA can scan it. Organize your back pack so that you can access things easily. It's all about pre-planning and comfort. Especially comfort!

Good luck and hope this was helpful to you!

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M.C.

answers from Los Angeles on

Relax - you will be fine! I think this is actually the best age for flying, because she will sleep through most of the trip. We flew cross-country with our oldest when he was two months old, and he was a great little traveler, despite numerous delays and getting snowed in overnight in our connecting airport. He handled it all much better than his mama did! :) I even took my then- 2 1/2 month-old AND my 2 1/2 year-old on a plane trip by myself this summer, and we were fine, so the two of you can definitely do this. Here are my suggestions:

1. If your infant seat attaches to your stroller, bring both and check them at the gate. The stroller doubles as a luggage cart for your carry-ons, and you won't have to worry about possibly not having your car seat on arrival. If your stroller is easy to fold (like my Snap-N-Go), I actually think the stroller makes the security screening easier because your baby has a safe place to sit while you get your shoes on and off, etc. Get all your stuff up on the belt first, then do the stroller, and last of all take the baby out of the car seat and put it through. Then you just walk through the detector while holding your baby and reverse the process on the other side. Don't worry about being slow - people can go around you.

2. I put the baby in a sling for getting on and off the plane and used it as a kind of bed for him during the flight. You cannot "wear" the baby during takeoff and landing, so I just slipped the strap off when I was seated and let him rest on my lap, still in the sling. He slept quite comfortably that way for most of the flight, and I had at least one hand free most of the time.

3. As many others have said, nurse, nurse, nurse! I prefer a window seat for this - it makes me feel less exposed. If you've been considering investing in a "Bebe au Lait" or other nursing cover, now would be a good time.

4. I personally prefer not to sit in the bulkhead row, because you can't have your diaper bag with you during takeoff and landing. Unless you want to try the bulkhead bassinet, I would choose a different row. If you're near the galley, you may be able to walk the baby around back there.

5. Bring a complete change of clothes for the baby, and an extra shirt for you. All of the planes I've been on recently have had changing tables in the restrooms, and they work fine, but it's still a good idea to change the baby's diaper right before you get on the plane, so she starts with an empty one. I also have my babies wear those plastic diaper covers during the flight to help contain potential blowouts.

6. You don't need to bring a ton of toys, just a nice variety of things that she likes, plus a couple of new ones to add interest. Don't bring anything too noisy (rattles are okay, but skip anything that plays music, etc.) A baby-safe mirror or book of baby faces is a good choice - babies love to look at other babies!

7. Make sure to bring snacks and water for yourself - you will need them if you're nursing. You can bring an empty water bottle through security and fill it up on the other side, or ask the flight attendants for some once you're on the plane (most airlines have small water bottles available).

8. Have fun! :)

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R.G.

answers from Honolulu on

Aloha, D.. I have flown many times with my daughter starting when she was 3 months. I do have one question. Is this a daytime flight or a red-eye because it can make a difference at this age. Since you did not purchase a ticket for her, she will need to be on your lap or your husband's lap the entire time. Don't bother with the car seat and the airlines don't carry any. At three months, she will probably still be fine with being held the whole time and she will most likely take a nap during the flight. Most of the bathrooms on the planes have changing tables. They usually have a picture on the door, so you know which ones have it. The airlines do not have to do anything extra for you. My experience has been that they have been very accomadating, though. If there were empty seats, they always sat me and my husband in a row with an extra seat. If that's not a possiblity, request a window seat. It's easier to keep covered when you nurse. If your daughter takes a bottle with your breast milk, you might try to bring one. I was always given extra blankets/pillows when I asked. Make sure you have a change of clothes (at least a shirt) for you and your husband. The first time my daughter spit up/threw up was on her first flight and it was all over me. Her ears will most likely be sensitive to the take off and descent, so try to nurse her or give her a bottle at those times. If she has a pacifier, you could try that. What else... They are usually understanding if you constantly get up to move your baby around. When it's time to eat, since one of you will be holding her, ask them to hold one your meals until one of you has finished and then switch. Your first flight with a baby is an experience and I don't mean a bad one. It's just different and is more work. You will be amazed at how understanding the flight attendants and most of the passengers are. Not all airlines let you board early. I know that Hawaiian does and United does not. Some seat you around other families, which has its ups and downs. If you're flying Hawaiian, make sure you pick your seats 24 hours before the flight. Just because you may have picked seats when you purchased the tickets does not mean that you get them. The first time the three of us flew Hawaiian, when we checked in, we were not seated together and had to do some maneuvering. If you are flying United, you will have the seats that you picked when you booked the flight. I don't know about other airlines. Those are the only two I have flown. If you have a stroller, bring it and gate check it. It really helps when you are trying to carry the baby and all of your carry on items to the gate. Oh, yeah. Even if they let families board first, only one of you should board with all of you stuff and the other should hold the baby and board at the last possible moment. This gives more time for you and your daughter to move around. That's all that I can think of. I hope this helps. Have a great trip!

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E.G.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi There! If you're going to nurse your baby on the plane do it in the aisle seat so that you have plenty of roon for the baby and yourself. Also, if you haven't already done this, purchase a brestfriend, it's a special nursing pillow that clicks around the waist. I'm using it as I type. I love it! I also use a nursing apron when I nurse in public. I bought mine from the Pump station in Santa Monica- another must have.

Try not to worry about her crying, especially because she will. I know the feeling, I used to cringe when my newborn would cry in public, I felt like people would think I was a bad mom... needless to say I got over that one fast. Babies cry, bottom line :) Nurse her if she gets fussy. As far as the car seat goes, don't take one on the plane - too much hassle, and an added stress. Wear her in a sling instead, you both will be a lot happier.

I hope this helps! Have a safe and happy trip!

Best,

E.

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R.A.

answers from Los Angeles on

We have done maybe 10 round trip, bi-coastal flights with my son starting at 3 months. Here is what I learned:

*Car seat and stroller can be checked at the gate(dropped off
right outside the plane door to be picked up as soon as you
get off the plane.)Renting a car seat is risky. The rental
people are not allowed to help with instalation and
the seats condition cannot be guaranteed-dirty, hopelessly
twisted straps.
*A changing table is only sometimes in the planes lavatories.
(sometimes flight attendants don't even know they are
there--directly above the toilet hidden in the wall)
*A carrier (Ergo,sling) is vital. She will be secure as you
walk to your seat, and you will be less tired at the end of
your trip if you have something helping you hold her for so
many hours.
*Bulkhead seating (the first seats behind first class)is good
and bad. Everything will have to be in the overhead
compartment, there is no under seating storage. This means
that anything you need from the diaper bag you will have to
stand to get.
*If it is you and your husband, try to request two seats
alone. The flights we most usually get on have three seats
on one side of the aisle, and two seats on the other.
*Always bring her extra clothes, plenty of diapers, and
plastic bags. (The flight attendants are not allowed to
throw diapers away without being in bags) Our son had a blow
out every single time!
*Chances are she will sleep through most of the flight unless
something is wrong (ears, teething.) So do your best to
head problems off before they start-Motrin, Ora-gel, feeding
at take-off and landing. It would be just like a baby to
start teething the day of your trip!
*Remember that since she has no ticket, she does not
officially get a suitcase. Most airlines allow two cases 55
lbs or less per ticketed passenger. So keep that in mind as
you pack.

Good luck!

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R.S.

answers from Los Angeles on

I can totally understand being nervous to fly with a baby. We did when our son was 6 months. And it went just fine. It's great that you are nursing. That will come in handy. Make sure you nurse him taking off and landing. That's when the air pressure is toughest on their ears. And nurse whenever he gets fussy. It'll help relax him. He probably will sleep through the flight. About changing.....my husband and I did it together right there in our laps. Just apologize to the person sittin' next to you. Buy him/her a drink. ;) Take some bags to put the dirty ones in so you can just throw em in and tuck em below your seat until you can through them away. Double bagging is probably good to do. Bring a blanket for your baby. And bring stuff for yourself to relax. Sprinkle a little lavender oil on a hankerchief and take a sniff if you are feeling overwhelmed. You and your husband and your baby are a team. You can do it! Take deep breaths. I also brought my book, headphones, some snacks. Things that I wanted right there with me for the flight. Remember....nursing is your gold card. That's the miracle tonic for your baby. Good luck! Have a safe flight and a great trip! hugs....R.

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L.B.

answers from San Diego on

I flew very frequently with my little ones...from the time they were one month actually up until now, 13 years. I would make sure that you have your daughters ears checked before you fly just to make sure there is nothing brewing. Nothing worse than an ear problem on the plane! We always had seats, purchased, for our little ones. We have very good friends who are pilots,for American and United, both ofwhom have told us really sad stories about infants on mom's or dad's lap. If the plane loses altitude quickly or hits unexpected rough turbulance your child can fly out of your lap... I would encourage you to buy her a seat and strap her into her car seat and strap it to the seat belt. Obviously, you can hold, nurse and cuddle her when all is smooth. If you are set against purchasing a seat, she will indeed be in your lap for the duration, unless you luck out and the plane is not full in which case she will have a seat! If she does end up with a seat, remember to put her car seat in the window seat. They will not allow them in the middle seat or aisle. You can bring her carseat and check that along with her stroller as you board the plane. When you disembark they will return both to you at the door. I have yet to see any changing tables in the washrooms and have always had to change diapers where ever I can..often on the seat next to me..however,if you request the bulkhead you'll have some extra room on the floor in front of you. Lastly, don't stress about her fussing. If she's fussy and you can get up, walk with her but don't let people's sighs or rolling eyes get to you..it'll just get you more stressed out. So relax as much as you can and know that the flight won't be forever:) To tell you the truth, my kids often slept at that age for most of the trip..the motion just knocked them out. Good luck!

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K.L.

answers from Los Angeles on

I flew to Paris, 11 hrs non stop with my 3 1/2 mo. old. It wasn't easy, and thank god I had my husband with me to hold her half the time. Five hours shouldn't be so bad.
Here's how it goes if you didn't buy a seat for the baby--
1. You are not allowed to bring a carseat inside the cabin.
2. For international flights they have basinettes that attach to the wall in front of you, but
I don't think US flights have this.
3. Usually if you get there early enough, all flights save "bulk head" seats for families,
so you go to check in at the gate and ask for the "bulk head" seat. They will let you board first. There will be extra leg room, no one in front of you, but the catch is you have to store all your carry on luggage over head
for take off...you might be able to hide the diaper bag somewhere under your legs but
usually they make you put everything overhead. So make sure you have paci/blanket/
whatever you need for comfortable breastfeeding out of your bags, before you store
them.
4. There are changing tables that pull down in the bathroom.
5. You are supposed to breastfeed during take off and landing to help her ears....one word
of advice....don't start breastfeeding until the plane is actually taking off. I started during taxi and then there was a delay waiting for a runway and she was finished by the time we took off. Very frustrating!!
6. I brought a down pillow (easily rolled and stuffed into dad's carry on) that saved me.
If she fell asleep while nursing on it, it was more comfortable to let her sleep on your
lap on a pillow rather than in your arms the whole time. (the small pillows on the plane
are too small and you have to use 2 or 3 and they slide all over the place).
7. One more thing, if she takes a bottle...we brought some water in a bottle, since it's so
dry up there, and we brought pumped breastmilk that the flight attendants are pretty
good about helping you warm up. I had no trouble getting thru security when I said
"It's breastmilk!"..although they did inspect my pump.
Thats all I can think of!
It won't be that bad, just plan on walking up and down the aisles with her if she gets fussy. It's so loud on planes that most people can't hear her crying if she does! Have fun and don't
forget to laugh!! This is the best time to travel with her because she doesn't want to get
down and crawl or walk.

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N.G.

answers from Los Angeles on

Ok first of all, don't stress out she will feel your stress and then react. I have flown with my 10month old three times now since she was 3months old. When you check in ask if the flight is full. If it is not full they will usually let you bring your car seat on for your baby for free. If it is is full then she will be on your lap. If you bring your stroller they will let you take it all the way to the gate and then it will be waiting for you at the gate when you get off the plane. I always bring my baby bjorn (baby carrier) I put her in it while I am walking to my seat, most of the time she falls asleep in it and then my hands are free. Make sure to either feed or or have her sucking on a binky at take off and landing, this way her ears wont be affected and it makes for a smoother transition. I always bring a few little toys to keep her busy. I am not sure about the changing in a plane because we always changed her before the flight and then she would end up sleeping till we landed. But we have changed her in our laps before, just bring a changing pad with you and then you can even just stand up and do it on your seat. Just stay calm and do what you would do if you were at home to soothe her! Hope this helps! Good Luck and have fun!!

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K.E.

answers from Los Angeles on

I have been travelling with my girls since they were born. You can only take a carseat on the plane if you purchase a ticket, otherwise yes you so have to hold the baby the enitre flight.
There are some carriers that have a bassinet for babies that is attached to the bulk head, you must request this seat though. Thses are mostly international carriers and I have yet to see an american airline with one. Though it does not hurt to ask. Their should be a specific restroom that has a fold down table and it is best to feed your baby on take off.
A pacifier is great so her ears don't get blocked while flying too.

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B.L.

answers from Los Angeles on

the younger the child the easier the time I say. I have travelled twice with my now nine month son...one cross the pacific when he was 6 months then again at nine months...the key is to know your child's personality. I think that between you and your husband if you are in sets that are together holding the baby is fine....just make sure you have lots of toys and distractions. there is no changing tables in the bathrooms so a changing mat on the toilet seat is about it...some people suggest some infant tylenol to make them drowsy or feeding on landing and take off to regulate their ears....but my son is pretty easy so i chose not to do that....know your childs personality in general then times that by 5...that will give you an idea of what they will be like on the plane

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M.

answers from Reno on

Dear D.,

I am a mother of 3 all under 4 yrs old. This is how we do it. Bring the Ergo or baby Bjorn. You can put your baby in there to sleep and have your hands free to eat, read, whatever. They will not allow you to wear the Ergo during landing or takeoff, so just have it handy. Sit near the back. Everyone on the plane knows that people with kids sit near the back. This is an unwritten rule, so people in the back shouldn't complain if your baby cries. Don't worry about the crying. My oldest screamed for 45 min straight. It was one of the most traumatic times for us but we had some wonderful people come up to us afterward to say they'd been there done that and that was comforting.
THe airline will not provide you with car seats or infant seats and since you didn't purchase a seat, you have nowhere to put it. Your baby is young enough to sit on your lap and she'll prefer it. Nursing would probably be good during landing and takeoff for her ears. Have some ear drops on hand and some motrin or tylenol. Call your pediatrician about the dosage and if it's okay to have it just in case. We learned the hard way that the ear drops are good to have but don't use it unless you need to. Nursing or chewing on something should be fine for her ears.
We've done the diaper changing thing in the lavatory and in the seat and since she's so young, I recommend the seat. Some smaller planes do not have diaper changing tables and those that do have them in only one lavatory and it's super tight in there. If you decide to use the lavatory, Bring some sort of disposable changing pad so you can throw it away when it gets dirty. WE just use our laps or the seat unless it's a pretty stinky diaper but at 3 1/2 months, it shouldn't be too bad. Just lay her across both your laps or on your lap and change her there. You are traveling at a good age. They basicaly eat and sleep, so you shouldn't have too many problems.
You can board early if you like so you can settle in and get everything within hand's reach. I usually put some diaper changing stuff and toys or bottles in the pocket in front of me so i don't have to dig through the bag later. I think the most important item is the ergo or baby bjorn. It also makes it easier to go to the bathroom while the baby is sleeping. Take the stroller and gate check it. Even if you don't put her in it, you can use it to carry your carry on luggage and anything else you don't want to carry. It saves your arms and back.
Let me know if you have any more questions. Don't worry, she'll be great!

M.

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D.M.

answers from Lawrence on

hello, I am a mother of a 2 year old son and my husband is in the Air Force. Right now we live in California but before that we lived in Guam. My son was almost 9 months old when we left and it is a 17 hour flight from Guam to California. The air force purchase a ticket for my son so we just put his car seat on the regular seat and he slept for most of the time. They had a changing table in our bathrooms but our plane was pretty big. The bathroom changing tables are very small but if your plane does have changing tables you should be fine cause your child is still small. Some of the changing tables pull out over the toilet ( The one's on our plane didn't but other people told me that some of them do.) Last time my son and I were on a plane was back in June ( almost a year ago) and we fly from California to Kansas to see our family. I has a lot of the same questions that you did. The plane that we were on did not have changing tables in the bathroom, which makes it hard to change your child. My son was 15 months old when we went to Kansas but I ask them if he had to be in a car seat and if I had to buy a ticket for him, Child that are under 2 years of age do not need a ticket but they have to sit in their parents lap. when we went to kansas not all the seats were taking and they told me that my son could have his own seat. You would have to hold your child cause your child is really little but I think that your child will do fine on the plane. Your child will probably sleep most of the way. You will probably have to change her on your lap or lay her across you and your husbands lap. I think that planes need to having changing tables on all their flights, it would make it so much eaiser for parents. Since my son had his own seat I was able to lay him across his seat and change him. I hope this information helps you and good luck on your flight. Take care and God Bless you and your family! D.

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E.M.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hey D.!

I've traveled loads with my son, who is now 2. If you haven't purchased a seat for your daughter, you can't have a car seat for her, so don't even worry about it. You and your husband will have to hold her the whole time, but between eating and sleeping and diaper changing and playing on your laps, it'll go by quickly! If you haven't gotten a seat assignment yet, call or go online and see if you can get the bulk head (the seats in the first row behind the galley). You have more floor space in front of you for diaper changes or laying out you stuff after you've taken off. Some airlines actually have cribs that attach to the bulkhead wall, so she can sleep and you guys can be free! Make sure you either bring a pacifier or plan on feeding her while the plane is taking off and landing. This helps her equalize her ears through the sucking and will alleviate any pain she MIGHT have (the pressure change may not bother her at all...it doesn't bother my son).

Also, if she does cry the whole time, it's gonna make you anxious, but it usually bothers you a lot more than it bothers the other passengers. They have head phones and can tune her out more easily because she's not their baby!! Obviously you don't want to be a bother, but EVERYONE understands that there are some things you just can't help. Just remember that your never gonna see these people again, so even if they are bitchy, don't take it personally!

Have a fun trip!

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M.V.

answers from San Diego on

Hi, I've traveled quite a bit for work and would sometimes bring my daughter along, from the time she was an infant. Basically, if you did not buy a seat for your child, you will have to hold her the whole time, unless there is a free seat available.

There are no changing tables in the bathroom, what I used to do was bring a foldable changing pad with me and use the top of the sink - but it is not easy, if my husband was traveling with me, he'd stand by the door holding/handing over things as needed.

Also, request the very back seats, closer to bathroom and away from most people so you can nurse your baby. A lot of people still object to it.

Finally, please be aware that pressure changes might affect your baby quite a bit, be prepared with a bottle of water, maybe sweetened with just a bit with corn syrup, to give her as the plane ascends/descends. The object is to have her swallow to release pressure in the ear, a pacifier won't do. And don't worry, if she drinks a lot of this water, she needs more water than usual because of dehydration on flights.

Other things to bring: soft, small blankets, as the temperature can be very cold in the cabin. Baby lotion or oil (my daughter loved one with lavender scent)to massage into her skin. A couple of bright, soft toys to keep her focused on.

Remember: pack all liquids and gels you plan to bring with you in-cabin, in small bottles (4 oz), and put them in quart sized clear plastic bags for inspection.

Good luck, and have fun!

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N.B.

answers from Salt Lake City on

D.~
I have done a lot of traveling since I have been married because we have lived so far away from family. The first time I flew with my son he was about 6 months old and I was also breastfeeding. I found that the flight attendants were very accomodating and understanding. I never bought a ticket for my son until he was too old to fly for free so I just held him on my lap. I always thought that a car seat would just be one more thing that I had to carry around the airport on layovers and such so I just checked it with the other bags. I never had to change his diaper during a flight but I'm pretty sure that there aren't any changing tables in the lavatories. I would probably have just laid him on my lap while I changed him. (At 3 1/2 months your baby is probably still small enough to do that.) I usually just changed him right before and after the flight. Don't worry what the other passengers think--Chances are they have had kids too and understand that you just need to take care of your baby. Make sure she has something to suck on/drink during take off and landing. When your ears start popping hers probably need to as well and the sucking/swallowing action helps that. Whenever I fed my son on the plane I made sure to use a blanket so as not to make the other passengers uncomfortable. If you have a "non-aisle" seat that might not be as necessary. Do what YOU feel comfortable with. Other than that I would say to call the airline you are flying with and see if they have special rules about flying with babies. Good luck to you!

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S.W.

answers from San Diego on

We started traveling with our son when he was 2 months old. I was scared that he would cry the whole flight too! We just brought plenty of toys, books, soothing music, two bottles (one with water, one with formula), his woobie (blanket) and plenty of binkies. He ended up sleeping almost the entire time. The airlines, in my experience, are not very helpful but if you ask may be able to put you next to an empty seat. I still hold my son on the plane (he is 22 months old now) and we do okay. We have made several trips in the last few years and it has gotton a little more difficult has he has gotton older but we have made it through! We traveled last week to Seattle, just the two of us, and we did just fine. Try to relax and your baby will too. Good luck!

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C.M.

answers from Los Angeles on

I haven't read every single word everyone else wrote, but I think my suggestion is a new one. I recall seeing something (perhaps from Right Start?) like a snugglie that was made specifically for travelling with babies. I don't really know what's different about it, but the idea is that it made the baby safely strapped to YOU while you were seat-belted in yourself. I didn't get one myself because the first time we flew with our daughter she was past the age of having a free seat, so we weren't allowed not to travel w/o the car seat.

Also, I found that my daughter seemed to feel the pressure change before descent before we did. She'd cry out before we were aware we were descending. So really keep your ears tuned to what the captain is saying and get ready with whatever you have for your baby to suck - breast or bottle. It may be possible to have a flight attendant alert you when it's close to time. Of course, once the baby starts crying, you'll probably offer something to suck on anyway. Just thought I'd offer the heads-up!

Bon Voyage!
Colleen

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C.C.

answers from Los Angeles on

dear D.,

Don't worry so much! It's not so bad especially with an infant so young. I have two small boys and we travel back and forth to Europe every year. The best thing is that you are nursing, a major plus when flying. Usually when there are small children, they put you in the first row of a section which has a wall in front of your seats. They should give you a basinet which attaches to the wall where you can put the baby when sleeping. The airplane personel has always been very accomodating and attentive to people flying with small children. There are changing tables in the bathrooms, a tight squeeze but definitely do-able. We have always been lucky in that there have always been other travelors who have been happy to help hold the baby or help entertain them. This probably won't be necessary because your baby is so small. You could call the airlines and check that what I've said about the bassinet is true for national flights. I would just take the backpack, or if you have a stroller that folds up, I don't know how to call it but the one that folds up long and thin, not the kind that folds down flat and wide, but the kind where you pull up and the two sides come together. This kind of stroller you can bring on the plane with you so you can have it ready as soon as you get off the plane and also use it up to when you board. I suggest you call the airline and make sure that what I've said is true for them about the bassinet and the stroller. It's not that bad though, so don't stress about it. You'll probably want to nurse during take off and landing for the pressure in the ears. I hope this info helps.
Good luck,
C. C.

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N.F.

answers from Honolulu on

Some airlines have a detachable bassinett in the bulkhead seats (the first row of economy class), but you have to specifically ask for it. I think you can only put the baby in it if she is asleep and otherwise you have to hold her. I don't know about the car seat stuff. But, I do know that babies cry on planes because they are much more sensitive to the pressure changes and it really hurts their ears a lot more than it bothers adults. So, if she has something to suck on during the ascent and descent, she should be more comfortable because her ears will pop more easily. Good luck!

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M.S.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi D.,
I've traveled often w/ my kids and heres what I know:
If you didn't purchase a seat, you won't be able to bring on a Infant Carrier( car seat), unless you have a snugli, or something that stays on you.I last flew in January, and noticed the airline I used had a changing table in the bathroom. (American Airlines)You can request that your husband sit next to you ( side by side seats) if you are making the reservation soon. I recommend this, since the little one will be w/ you most of the time, so he can grab a wipe, drink of water for you, help open things,etc. Otherwise, you will be unable to comfortably do anything. The amount of elbow room you two will have is so small that just getting up to go to the bathroom is a bit of a struggle.I don't believe airlines have baby seats available to rent or borrow. I know that car rental places do. I also HIGHLY recommend that you wipe down the area you will be seated at w/ antibacterial wipes of some sort, even the changing table before you use it. I wasn't aware of how little cleaning airines do unless there is someone who gets air sick, etc. and with as many sick people who travel, it's woth it to do your own wipe down.They also will not be able permitted to seat you in an emergency exit row. Ask whoever is booking the flight to give you a flight that will accomodate the two of you sitting together. Don't stress too much,I know thats easier said than done, but really everything will be o.k. Also, see if you can bring an "umbrella" stroller. That was what I used last time my now 2 year ols son flew. ( i have 4 kids) They tagged it at check in, and the flight attendance had room in their onboard closet for me to take it. I'm pretty sure you can just bring it and they take it when you board. Returning it at landing. Unless she's not able to sit in one comfortably. And there may be times when the baby fusses,and some people are bothered by that; that's what babys do and so tuff s=it to those people. Well, good luck and have a safe flight. (Don't forget the liquids in plastic baggies rules. You can usually find the airline rules on their website .)I'ts a lot easier to check in if you have everything organized and ready for inspection. They even make you walk through security w/out shoes so they can inspect you. ( LAX )

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L.N.

answers from Los Angeles on

I'm sure you are going to get a ton of responses on this subject. I have traveled with several babies and the younger they are the better. She will do fine being held the entire flight. If you're flight is not full, you might be able to sit in a row where there is an extra seat for more room, in which case, you can lay her down to stretch out every once in a while. If you aren't taking a stroller, a bjorn or snnugglie is the way to go.

Two things to remember, going through security and take-off and landing.

1. Security-you have to take the baby out of the stroller and the stroller has to go through the x-ray machine. If it doesn't fit when folded up, they will take it and check it out somewhere else. No liquids can go through which shouldn't be a problem since you are breast feeding.

2. Be sure to have her feeding or sucking on a pacifier or asleep during take-off and landing do to the increase of pressure on the ears.

The airline does not provide car seats. There are changing tables in the restrooms. They are pretty nice sized. On some planes, not every restrooms has a changing table. Usually, there will be a sticker or something on the door telling which one has the changing table.

Relax, it will go much smoother than you think. Enjoy this age because once she can move it gets much harder to keep them busy on the plane.

I don't know if you are a demand feeder or a scheduled feeder, just remember to be flexible when traveling. If you have to feed her to get her to sleep, do it, it will make the flight go much faster:)

Enjoy!

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T.K.

answers from Honolulu on

You could request to sit in the bulky seat area. This will give you more leg room and ability to get up and down with your infant when needed. Depending on the airline, some have a bassinet that they can install for use while you are in flight. The down side to the bulky seating is that you have to request early because they are very limited also you must store all carry on's overhead because they have no storage below your feet area. They do have changing table's in the bathrooms or you could use the bassinet as well. You are only allowed to have your child in a car seat when you purcahse a ticket for them or if the flight is not full and there is an empty seat available next to you.

I have flown both in the bulky seating using the bassinet and in a regular seat using a sling for the baby to sleep in, as well as be secured in case of turbulance. I started flying regularly with my first daughter when she was 12 months and my second one when she was 12 days old. We lived in Guam at the time so we had 7 - 8 hour plane rides. They have grown up flying and have never been a problem on the planes. Just make sure that you have some way to reduce the pressure on the ears during take off and landings, ie: give pacifier or nurse during those times. Relax....because your baby will pick up on your stress. Good luck and have fun!

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H.J.

answers from San Diego on

I was nervous about traveling with my 9-month old, so I know how crazy you must be about flying with a 3.5-month old. First to answer a few of your questions...

1) If you didn't purchase a seat, there is no guarantee that they will be able to accomodate your infant car seat, so if you don't NEED it, I would forgo it.

2) If you tell them you have an infant, they can probably get you a seat in the bulkhead area of the plane - your seat may not recline, but a lot of airlines have bassinets that will fit here, so you can give yourself a break from holding her the whole time.

3) There are changing tables in the bathrooms. They fold down over the toilets in most cases, and they are small, but they do the job. I suggest bringing a few plastic bags to seal off poopie diapers since there isn't anywhere but a normal trash can for disposal.

You probably have your flight times already, but we planned our trip so that we had breakfast at the airport and our son would have a nap on the plane. I was worried about his ears popping and him screaming, so we packed a bottle with diluted apple juice so he would have something to suck during take off and landing. I don't know if your little girl takes a pacifier, but I think it would do the same thing - or try to nurse while you are taking off/landing.

Don't worry about it! We took a 6.5 hour flight and our little guy did so much better than I thought. We brought some new toys that he hadn't played with before and broke the flight into little segments of playing, reading, napping, eating, etc. We flew from San Diego to Hawaii and the ladies on Hawaiian Airlines were nice enough to arrange our seats so our little guy had his own seat and that was nice. Otherwise we passed him back and forth and did our best to keep him entertained. The hardest thing was keeping him still the whole time, so in some respects, I think she's at a good age for flying as she'll still tolerate being held for a long time. Relax and have fun - and try not to be too stressed about the visit to the in-laws!

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M.M.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi D.,
Take a breath. I flew cross-country with my first child by myself when he was three months old (nine years ago). Now I travel all the time as my family lives on the east coast, last year we were on a total of nine planes- My 9 yearold, my 1 yearold and myself.
First I say never pay for a seat for a child under 2. You can handle it. The only problem is you are worried for the reactions from the other passengers, relax it is your vacation and others will just deal.
I know you do not need a car seat, but I always say take car seat (not base)and stroller to gate (use it like a luggage cart) It will take an extra minute to get through security, but the employees have seen this a million times and often will help you pile everything properly. Make sure before you get to security everthing is in a bag, except ids and tickets, extra stuff will just cause confusion. Wear slip-on shoes as you will have to take them off, and don't over dress the baby- no shoes.
When you get to the gate ask if it is a booked flight, if it is not they will give you a row with three seats. You then take the car seat on the plane and put it in the window seat.
If there are no extra seats when you get to the door of the plane they will Gate-check your car seat and stroller and you will get it back at the door of the plane when you land. If there is a seat you will still gate check your stroller. This has been most helpful- as after a flight I am tired and can just push any carry-ons or the baby to baggage claim. If you have to hold her for the whole flight this is not a big deal, some day you won't get to hold her for 5 hours. if this is still a problem use a snugli or baby bjorn- but I say the less you carry the better your flight.
Diaper changing- I have done this in the seats, on my lap and on the floor. I always carry pillow cases for this as they cover more space then a diaper pad, and if it gets dirty, just ball it up and get another. Pillow cases can also be used for little blankets, toys, or to pillow case the airline pillows. The flight attendants will tell you where to dispose of your diaper. I always carry shopping bags for dirty disposal.
If your baby is fussy, no one will be offended if you walk around the plane. you and your little one can even hang out in the back with the flight attendants.
Ears- breast feed on take off and landing. If your child get hungry and the plane is still boarding try to hold off.
Carryons- try to fit all the neccesities in on bag so you can put it under the seat in front of you and be able to grab it all the time. Make sure you have all tickets and ids together in one spot at all times (immunization records, and as babies get older a birth certificate is good to have also). Don"t bring a whole purse. A pencil case with ID, money, phone, lipstick can be placed in the diaper bag and is all you need.
Enjoy your trip and don't worry too much there is always a store at the other end if something is forgotten. And the baby will most likly sleep for most of the trip.

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P.D.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi D.:

I can give you a few tips on travelling with an infant. We adopted our now five year old daughter at birth. We live in So. California and she was born in Arkansas. We had to fly with her when she was 3 weeks old, including changing planes. As first-time, brand new parents, it was a daunting experience! The good news is that she was fine, didn't cry during the flight and got through it like a champ!

One very important piece of advice I received from my pediatrician was to make sure that you are prepared to feed your daughter when the plane ascends and descends (especially during landing). The sucking motion protects her ears from pressure which can cause pain during the change in altitude.

Regarding your infant seat, unless you purchase a ticket for her you will not be allowed to bring the seat on board in most cases. If you do decide to bring it along, you can check it with your luggage or at the gate. If the passenger load is light, some airlines will allow you to bring the seat on board at the last minute and let you use an empty seat, so call ahead of time to get a general idea. Definitely make your seat assignments ahead of time and when you make them, leave a seat between your request and your husband's. For instance, request Row 25, Seat A for you and Seat C for him. That leaves the middle seat B open. Middle seats are always always assigned last, which gives you a better chance of having an open seat between the two of you, which helps whether you have the infant seat or not. Worst case scenario, the flight is full and the seat is assigned. Believe me, that person will be happy to switch with you or your husband at the last minute! You might also want to think about being placed on the aisle in case you need to get up to walk her around.

Last but not least, try not to worry about her crying during the flight(it was my biggest fear!) They sleep so much at that age. With our daughter, the plane's movement seemed to lull her to sleep. And, even if your little one cries, most passengers are pretty understanding. The crew and passengers on both our flights were so sweet so had a very positive experience.

So, take a deep breath, relax and enjoy. Trust me, you'll be fine. And, your bigger challenges are ahead of you, like trying to keep a toddler occupied for five or six long hours on a flight, but that's another story for another day!

Bon Voyage!

Patti

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K.

answers from Las Vegas on

D.,
I traveled with a 5 month old for the first time a few years ago and it was really scary for me as well. I did not purchase a separate ticket for her either. I held her the whole time. I was also breastfeeding which is actually great for the airplane because you will be able to help with the altitude changes by nursing her. I traveled alone with her and found that having a window seat offered me the most privacy and space. The flights always have preboarding for people with special needs such as wheel chair assistance or small children so that is your chance to get settled first before everyone else piles on. Also, try to get seats in the front of the plane when you reserve them or try to change seats at the gate if possible so you can be at the front. Some planes have that first row economy seating that has more space because there are no seats directly in front of them. Since you aren't traveling alone, you can pass her back and forth with your husband. I eventually purchased seating for my daughter, even before she hit two, because I wanted her in a restrained seat for the take off and landing. It's a tough call on the seating. I feel like they should be in a carseat/restrained seating if possible, everyone else is. But, for their comfort and assurance, it's much easier to hold them when they are so young. As far as changing her, I did it on my lap if it was pee and in the bathroom if it was poop. There is no change table in the bathroom really but if you take a blanket and lay it on your legs, you can do it. Practice at home first! Anyway, good luck and I hope some of my suggestions help. She'll probably sleep most of the way.
K.

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R.F.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi, My name is R. and I have a (now) 2 year old son. We flew on a 4 1/2 hour flight when he was a few months old. The number one help was to breast feed (if you are breastfeeding) starting right before take-off and until you are at a "cruising altitude" and then again when the "initial descent" starts, until after the plane is down. (And of course, whenever she is hungry:) ) We had no incidents of crying due to ear pressure because the sucking keeps pressure from building up. If you are not breastfeeding, don't worry...a bottle will do the same thing. We changed him on the floor in the galley area (with the permission of the flight attendants) - they were very nice about it - because we were on an older plane that did not have a baby changing station. (I think some newer planes may have them) You can also change them in the bathroom, although I never did that. You are allowed to hold her during the flight unless you feel it necessary to put her in a seat. There are car seats that are airplane compatible, but not all regular car seats are. Bring a few easy travel toys and a soft cuddly something that she is used to having at home. We had a tiny little blanket that was soft that he had with him at sleep time and that helped. She will be happy if she is with you and her daddy, so don't worry...Her needs are still the same as when she is with you at home...she just gets to have mommy and daddy hold her for a longer stretch of time...which she will enjoy. Hope this helps....all the best to you...(By the way, when we flew, we were on completely full flights both ways. We got some "Oh no...a baby.." looks on the way in. When we got off the plane, everyone smiled at us cuz they didn't hear any crying from him during the flight...)

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B.R.

answers from Los Angeles on

First of all, try to relax! I know that seems impossible given the circumstances, but trust me, your child will feed off of your stress and be more difficult. You can't use a car seat if she doesn't have a seat, so holding her is the only way to go. I took my son on a flight when he was 5 months and he slept really well in my arms. It helps to nurse or give them a bottle at take off and landing... this prevents their ears from hurting. We also took a DVD player and played Baby Mozart; that really helped! Bring a warm blanket b/c the flight is usually cold and airline blankets are germy! I've never changed a diaper on the flight, I've always changed him right before and right after, so I'm not sure about the bathrooms having changing tables (I doubt it). I brought lots of teething toys and antibacterial hand wipes. A friend of mine always buys several disposable ear plugs and hands them out to the people around her if her child starts screaming! Good luck. I'm sure you'll do fine. Most of us on the plane have been in your situation before and understand. You will always get a few nasty looks, but who cares! :) Try to take it all in stride... a little crying is expected from such a little one!

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M.C.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi D.,
My son is 5 months and we have flown with him 3 times since he was born. We used the backpack carrier to carry him threw the airport, but when we got on the plane they said he had to be unstrapped. We took turns holding him and made sure to give him a bottle or pacifier on take-off and landing to help his ears from hurting. Unless you purchase a ticket you cannot bring the infant seat on the plane, the baby has to sit in your lap. About diaper changing, that can be challenging. I have on only flown Southwest and I know they do not have a changing table in the bathroom and I am pretty sure all the airplanes are similar with the bathroom. I just did my best, taking a changing pad in the bathroom and doing it on the floor or over the toilet with the lid down, it is not easy. The other thing I did is change him in the seat when we sat in a row by ourselves. I hope this helps and is not too redundant from your other responses. Good Luck. Once you do it you will see it really isn't that hard.
M. C.

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M.L.

answers from Los Angeles on

You poor thing! This is truly your first child right? I'm smiling not to laugh at you but to remember when I too was very protective and inexperienced with my first child.
Take a load off. Babies don't need special accomodations on the airplane unless there is a physical handicap and even at 5 mos that still isn't a problem. All you need is a diaper bag with the ususal stuff (bottles, wipes, diapers and a change of clothes). You can request a window seat that way you can have some privacy to breastfeed if need be. The baby will be fine. I'm almost certain that she will sleep the entire trip. And whatever you do, DO NOT ask for a car seat unless you are willing to pay for another airfare. I'm sure your baby would much rather be in the loving arms of her mommy while she rides an airplane for the first time.
You will be fine mommy! Don't worry.
M., MSW

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L.H.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi there,
I travelled alone with my 3 mo. old son a couple years ago and the airline was very accomodating. I actually had to change his diaper during a 60-90 minute flight, because someone noticed a particular scent! (haha!) Anyway, The attendant just offered to let me do it right there in the seat next to me and she was right there to help with the "disposal" of it. Unless planes have chaned a lot since then, they have no changing facility on board, except for the seat next to you! Bring extra diapers and a change of her clothes...just in case the unfortunate mess should occur. ;)
Also if the flight is not a full one, the airline will allow you and your husband to get your own "row" with that extra seat. Don't worry about the carseat issue in the plane at this age. You may want to also request those "bulkhead" seats that are next to the partitions and face each other. There is usually extra leg room there. You'll want to nurse/feed her during take-off and landing because of the air pressure etc., it'll keep her ears from popping as she swallows. Be sure to wear something comfortable to travel in and easy to feed your daughter in too.
My son had a blast when we flew then at 3 months. He (with me) actually took four flights that month alone (it was Christmas time too!) He flew again at 9 months too and again had a blast. Each flight he was chitter-chattering to lots of people around us. He's now three and half! On our flights everyone one around us was pretty understanding of a baby on board.
Let your daughter chit chat, look around, point out things for her to look at etc., bring her little favorite toy or book too! Just be relaxed and enjoy the adventure and she will too! It will all work out fine, really!!
Oh by the way, this one should make you laugh...My son (3 mos old) and I were travelling alone, it was the day before Christmas and going through security for the flight home with little time to spare. My son was in his the Snugli backpack, the line behind me was long, and guess what...yes, I was randomly selected to go through the ENTIRE security check!!! Everyone, including the security lady/team was stunned,(as I am your white, girl-next door type!) as I had to step through the first security check and empty my child from his back pack, unload all the required clothing/shoes items on him and me, including the diaper bag, to be totally "scanned by the wand", then get dressed again in seconds. Thank goodness, my gate was ten steps from security!!! EVERYONE was so helpful and accomodating!!! Pretty funny looking back!
I hope this wasn't too much info. Good luck and have a safe trip!!
Cheers,
-L

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L.K.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi D.,

My husband and I have travelled with our baby girl three times in her first year of life. The shortest flight was a 4 1/2 hr flight and the longest about 11 hrs. The fist time she flew she was 2 1/2 months old, second time 8 months, and the third time 11 months/12 months. She really travells well! We haven't had any drama so far. It's wonderful that you are brestfeeding! It sure made things a lot easier for us and our baby. One of the reasons babies cry in airplanes is because of pressure in their ears. To avoid that, make sure that you nurse your baby just before and during take off and landing. One of the things that I carried on with me was my boppy. I know, just one more thing to take... But it was great! I held my baby the entire time, so the boppy made our trip a lot more comfortable. I used it while nursing her and while she was sleeping. It offered some extra comfort for her and for my arms! Your baby is only 3 1/2 months old... This is a great age to travell with her! She is still self contained! She will not be wanting to crawl or walk all over the plane yet! Try to relax and enjoy your flight! She may even sleep the entire time...

p.s. No changing tables in the airplanes. You may want to request the bulk head seats (the extra room made diaper changes a lot easier for us). Take a few change of clothes for your baby in your carry on. You may even want to take an extra shirt for yourself. You just never know...
I hope this helps! Take care,

L.

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J.G.

answers from San Diego on

Lots of good advice so far... I would like to add I have flown with my son, four times in four months starting at three months old... I would add wear clothes that are easy to nurse in and have handy a cover up or blanket as I had to nurse my son on the floor of the airport on a delayed layover with the world watching. Also, I have chaged my son several times on the snack tray (sounds crazy but it worked until he was too big, as the bathroom was too small and too dirty.) Bring some ziplocs to put dirty diapers in. If your child will take a pacifier or bottle bring that too. The more you can nurse her while flying the better. Expect anytime there is a pressure change, (take off, landing, etc.) there may be some crying. Don't worry most people are understanding.

My doctor said never give babies drugs or alcohol while travelling unless necessary. Finding medical care if something goes wrong is the last thing you want to do at 30,000 feet.
Remember to relax, the flight is the easy part, staying at the in-laws might not be so easy!
Good luck!

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N.H.

answers from Los Angeles on

Dear Mama ! No worries ! You'll be fine ! They have a special row...you should tell your travelagent to make shure , that this place is reserved for you... that row is usually the first row and there is a possibility to hook up a babybed... there are changing props in the bathrooms - no problem . Yes , you will and must hold baby on your laps ....
When my son was only ONE MONTH old , we flew Paris - Ibiza - that's a 3/ 4 hours flight - I was able to breastfeed - there was no problem !
Please don't worry + be happy!
oh and if Baby starts a revolution in the sky - please don't worry ! Don;t forget : EACH GROWN UP PERSON IN THAT PLANE USED TO BE A BABY ONCE ! If they get upset because baby might do a screaming round - you can remind them ...

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D.L.

answers from Los Angeles on

If she is a "lap" , she does not warrant her own seat. I have traveled with all of my four kids and especially at that age you are better holding her or putting her on your chest for her to sleep better. I would suggest you have tylenol or benedyrl with you to keep her quiet if the pressure in the cabin bothers her ears. I always gave it to my kids before we left for the airport so by the time it kicked in you were looking at 4 hours of peace. Also if you have a hooter hider to cover you for nursing that would be a good idea since it is such a small space in those rows. No place to change diapers except maybe the area on the floor were they flight attendants sit. They are usually happy to assist in anyway when you are traveling with an infant.

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L.C.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi D.,
Congratulations on the new baby! I flew with my son for the first time when he was 6 months old and we did not purchase a seat.

The best thing to do is to try to get 3 seats together and hope that the 3rd seat is empty. Try to check in with the airline early and see if they have an empty area like that. Most people don't want to sit with a baby so they may move even if they are there. We were lucky the first time we flew that we were able to get the 3 seats together. However, it is hard to hold a baby for 5 hours and after the first trip, we bought our son a ticket (1/2 price until he is 2 - then full price). If you buy a ticket for the baby, sign her up for her own frequent flier number so she can accumulate points for a free trip.

I have never travelled with an infant carrier and the airline won't provide one to you. In the future if you buy a ticket, it's up to you if you want to bring it.

The most important thing is to have the baby either nursing or drinkingn from a bottle or sucking on a pacifier for take off and landing to prevent her ears from popping. Other than that, bring a few of her favorite toys and some books to read to her. She also may sleep a good part of the trip because she is so young and because the sound of the engine puts the kids to sleep. My son always sleeps 2 - 3 hours on the 5 hour flight.

Some of the airplanes have baby changing tables in the bathrooms - they fold down over the toilet. I don't know if they all have them but I am assuming that more and more planes are putting these in. I always changed my son on the seat next to me on a changing pad.

Also, bringing the diaper bag on the plane is not considered part of your carry on luggage so you can still bring your 2 items each plus the diaper bag.

Good luck! It will be easier than you think!

L.

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J.B.

answers from Los Angeles on

I have been flying from Los Angeles to Boston 2 or 3 times a year with my two babies (they are now 2 and 10 mos)since my oldest was 10 weeks. I've done it by myself and with my husband- but, mostly by myself! If you haven't purchased a ticket for your daughter she belongs in your lap. The best thing that I have learned over the last couple years is to schedule your flight around your daughter's nap schedule. I usually fly really early in the morning so that by the time we are in the air it's time for a nap and that cuts out a lot of the flight. People fly with their babies ALL the time- so the airlines (in my experience) are very accomodating. I actually love to travel Jetblue. They will bend over backwards for you. Ok- back to flying tips; Make sure that your daughter is drinking during take off but definitely during landing- that will eliminate pressure on her ears. When my girls were younger like your daughter, they spent most of the flight sleeping. Just remember that people do this all the time. You will learn more from this flight. Be prepared for anything though- rather have extra than need something mid flight. Good Luck!

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E.M.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hey D., We just got back from Florida with our 5 month old. We even had to change planes and he was great. We didnt buy a seat either but I chose our seats in advance and book a window and aisle seat keeping the middle one open. Usually works like a charm cause most people wouldn't book that seat unless the plane is full and they have no choice. It worked for a couple of the flights. When we didnt get to keep the car seat we just layed him across our laps with pillows underneath him and as soon as we took off, he was out cold. Yeah with all the noise it lulls them to sleep and even if your baby gets fussy, people understand. Also allow yourself plenty of time to get to the airport. It'll relieve the stress of getting through security and knowing your ready to board early (as you get to do that with baby). We also didnt have to change him on the plane cause he slept but if you need to there is a good size changing table in the bathroom. Good luck, its alot easier than you think!

C.W.

answers from Los Angeles on

My husband is from Brazil, so when my son was 6 months, I flew to Brazil so that my husband's family could meet the baby. My husband couldn't come with me because of his work schedule so I went on an 11 hour international flight from Los Angeles to Sao Paulo alone. The airlines provided me with preferential seating, meaning that I sat in the first row, and they also provided me with a bassinet that attached to a folding table. My son was teathing, mind you. He behaved perfectly the whole way down there. I didn't even stress. I don't think you should either. You should call the airlines to get the answers to your questions. Bring new toys, and take them out when your baby starts fussing. The restroom has a folding table for diaper changes. Holding the baby during the flight is no big deal. You can just nurse the baby and you and your husband can take turns holding her. Make sure you nurse when you take off and when you land. I took a light weight stroller (Combi)because you need your hands when you're checking in, etc. I was able to take it to the gate and they would check it for me, and then return it to us once we landed. Bring any medications, or baby Tylenol, just in case, and plenty of diapers, my friends son once got diarrhea on flight and she ran out. You'll be fine! Have fun!

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A.I.

answers from Honolulu on

Aloha D.,
My husband and I flew with our 4 month old daughter and the things that I found most helpful where, our backpack (ergo)you only have to take the baby out when you go thru security and then back in she goes until you are comfortable in your seat. I breastfed and used the Boppy, and took it every time we traveled. It allows you to nurse with comfort - the arms of the seats make a great rest for the Boppy, and when it gives you a place to sit the baby(facing forward sitting up on the Boppy w/ her back to you. A comfy place for her to sleep, allowing for you to rest your arms some. The airline doesn't supply you with anything. Changing the diaper is a challenge and you do the best you can with the space that you have. Our daughter turned out to be a great traveler - no crying or anything of that nature.

Good luck, and just relax and have fun
A.

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H.T.

answers from Las Vegas on

If you want her in the car seat you have to purchase a seat for her. I took a 4 hour flight when my son was 3 months old and I just held him. Hubby stayed home so you can imagine my anxiety. I requested a seat in the front of the plain since the front seats have a little more leg room. The plain I was on did not have a changing table, but most plains do in my experiance. He was very small (a preemie) so I just changed him in my lap...luckily we didn't have a poopy one. If she doesn't suck a binky you might want to get one for the trip...it tends to ease the ear popping on takeoff and landing. Don't stress about it. You will be fine. If she cries nurse her or whatever you can to console her. Maybe a drop of Karo syrup on the bunky would help too. Oh, also. You can keep her in the stroller until you get on the plain. They let you take the stroller all the way down to the plain and when you get on they take it from you and put it down below, and when you get off they will get the stroller off first and it will be waiting for you when you get off. I think thats about all the tips I have. My hubby was in the military so my son and I took many plain trops home while he was small. He's flown more in his 4 years than any other kid I know.

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M.S.

answers from Los Angeles on

If you haven't bought a seat for her you will have to hold her during the entire flight. Sometimes when the flight is not sold out they will allow you to use the spare seat. I'll be traveling with my 3 little ones (ages 5, 2 and 1) this weekend too. We're going to Europe, so we definitely bought a seat for our one year old.

As for seating. Try to get a seat on the first row, that row is mostly reserved for families and you'll have a little more legroom (or diaper bag, toy, and whatever room).

You can change baby's diaper in the restroom. You can fold down the changing table. It's a tight spot though so try to go in there with nothing else than baby, diaper and powder. A portable changing pad is a good idea too.

Since your baby is only 3 1/2 month old she won't need a lot of stuff to make her comfi. For take off and landing I recommend nursing her (or if you bottle feed give her a bottle) since she doesn't know how to regulate the pressure in her ears yet and swallowing will do that for her. Other than that, bring something that reminds her of home (blanket, toy...).

Try to stay calm. If you're nervous and stressed out she'll sense it and she'll be more likely to get fussy. If she cries try the same comforting techniques you use at home. I also used to walk up and down the aisle with my babies and I'll probably be doing it again with my one year old too.

If you're lucky, your baby will sleep during the flight (i was once that lucky and my second baby slept for about 8 out of 14 hours)

Good luck. Let me know how it went.
M.

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G.T.

answers from Los Angeles on

I have taken my oldest daughter on a few plane trips. IT was really easy when she was first born. I'm sure you'll be fine, especially since you're breastfeeding. If you didn't pay for a seat for her, chances are you won't be allowed to take your carseat on. Of course, sometimes, if the plane isn't crowded, they will let you, but I found it easier to do without. I would use our Snugli front carrier to get through the airport with her, but you'll have to take her completely out of it at security. Once on the plane, I'd settle her in my lap and start nursing her just before takeoff. That's one of hte most important steps, in my mind - make sure the baby's ears pop during take off by either nursing or having them suck on a pacifier or bottle. If you're lucky, your daughter will sleep most of the trip.

When you check in, you can ask for seats without a third person in the row, so "they're not bothered" by the baby. Other than that, just know that any other parents on the plane are going to understand if your daughter gets a little cranky and the others, who aren't parents, well, don't worry about them. People with children deserve to fly too!

As for diapering, I just changed her in my lap because I didn't want to negotiate the teeny restrooms. You can always call the airline and ask what accomodations they might offer for parents flying with infants. Sometimes they can sit you just behind the bulkhead so they're no one in front of you and you have a little more leg room to play with.

I have a feeling you'll find it easier to travel with a 5 month old than you will when your daughter is 2... that's where I am now... I bought a cocktail for the guy next to me last time because my daughter kept kicking him. She was just under two at the time so she was still a lap child.
Good luck and happy flights!

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M.H.

answers from Los Angeles on

I totally understand your concern, but first you can relax because you baby will be fine. If she is still nursing it will be a good idea to nurse her during take off and landing and then I think it would be just fine to hold her the rest of the time, but if the flight isn't full you can see if you can get a safetyl seat and put it next to you. I have gone on flights with my daughter when she was that little and I was just as nervous as you are, but it turned out great and the flight attendants are really nice and helpful. Some airlines have changing table things that fold down over the toilet, but others don't so you have to be prepared to change the baby on your lap or on the seat (just stand up and do it). Everything will be just fine! Have fun!!!

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S.T.

answers from Los Angeles on

Most airlines do have changing tables in the lavatories, I know Jet Blue does. You can call the airline and request "family friendly" seating. Just explain that you do not want to inconvenience other passengers. You may even be able to get priority boarding. I highly recommend Jet Blue. They actually let you take your stroller right up to the gate where they then take it to the cargo, and when you get off the flight, it is waiting for you. We had to fly from southern California to New England two years ago and although it was a 6 hour flight, it wasn't that bad. Just be sure that the time you are flying is your baby's "happy time". For our son, that time is in the morning, so we left at 7am and he did great!! BTW he was also 3mo old at the time. Hope this helps.

Mia and Zack 22 mos

Mia

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M.C.

answers from Honolulu on

This will be Sooooooo much easier than your nightmares about it. It is such not a big deal to travel with a non-mobile infant. I would bring along the infant carrier (carseat), and ask at the gate when you arrive if they can get you an empty seat next to you, so you can install the carseat. This way, you can place her inside the seat when you have to pee or if she can use it to sleep. Another trick is to get a bulkhead seat (on a bigger airplane) so that you will have "floor space" in front of you, then you can place her on a blanket on the floor. More than likely, you will end up like everyone else shoe-horned into a full plane and you will have to hold her the whole time. This is not as bad as it sounds. She may fuss, cry or whatever, but there are two of you and you really can handle it!!! I know you can!! I am a veteran of 4 yearly trips from Maui to Boston by myself with 2 children at various ages from birth, and I can tell you that the hardest age of child to fly with is 18-30 months. The easiest age is before they can crawl and then again after they can read! I break into cold sweats before every trip and it is NEVER as bad as I think it will be (except the time I missed my connecting flight in LAX and had to fly a redeye with my two little ones after hanging out at LAX for 16 hours...but we wont go there!!)

Legally, you can hold her the whole time OR place her in an aircraft-approved carseat in the window seat of the plane. Some planes have changing tables in the bathrooms( ask the flight attendants) but I had flights where I have to change diapers while the child lays across my lap (easier with 2 people's laps) If she cries the whole time, you will just have to walk around the plane bouncing her and singing to her when you are not taking off, landing, or experiencing turbulence. I guarantee that every other parent in the plane will at least offer sympathy and at best offer you a drink!! Good luck - you will be fine...really!

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J.P.

answers from Los Angeles on

Nurse on the way up and the way down so her ears can equalize. I know on international flights, they have bassinets hanging on the wall of the bulkhead. Also, you might want to request bulkhead seating, so you can sit on the floor and face your husband, so you have more room to nurse...or request the back row, where no one wants to sit, since the seats don't recline...but then you get the entire row and you can lie her down on the seat next to you.

Oh and depending on the airline, like flying Southwest, I just put my son in the seat next to me and IF they needed the seat, then I gave it up, but if the flight wasn't so full, no one sat next to me...especially because they are terrified of a screaming baby as well!

Breathe....it'll go well. I started flying with my son - alone - at 3 months.

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C.C.

answers from Los Angeles on

The airline will only let you put your baby in a car seat if you purchase a ticket. Hold off on nursing untill take off... it might put her to sleep, and will insure her ear's won't hurt because of the suction. Have a small toy ready, and be ready to hold the baby. Perhaps if your lucky, there will be a seat free by you guys for diaper change. They do have changing tables though. I've flown with my 7 month old girl, and 1 year old boy all by myself since they've been brand new... so don't be nervous. My husband is in the military, so we fly constantly to and fro. If you check your stroller right before you board, they will have it waiting when you get off the plane. If I can do it alone with two... you and your husband can to it together with one. Also, I saw someone told you to have a drink before you get on... if your nursing a 3 month old... dont' drink any liquor! A glass of wine is exceptable... but if you've never had any wine before, don't do anything new, because the alcohol and sulfites could upset the babies stomache. If your that worried, ask your pediatrician about a dose of dimatap. ASK YOUR DOC though!

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K.M.

answers from Los Angeles on

You're lucky you have your husband with you and you only have one child to attend to. I flew alone with a 2 year old and a 6 month old. It wasn't 5 hours, but it was 2-1/2. It wasn't bad at all. I also flew alone with my 1 month old. I just made sure that she was breast feeding when we took off and especially when we started descending. Their ears don't adjust well to the elevation and they need to suck to keep their ears "popped". She was asleep when we started descending the first time and she woke up screaming. I tried my hardest to get her to start eating, but she wouldn't have it. I had to put a blanket over us so she wouldn't bother everyone else on the plane. The next time, I knew better. If you have to wake them up, do it. It's better than having them cry during the whole descent.
Depending on how full the flight is, you may get seats by yourselves because no one else wants to sit by a baby during a flight. My husband and I flew with my daughter when she was 6 month old and we took turns with her on our lap and then put her in the seat between us. She loved it. We had the whole row to ourselves. I took my "snuggly" so she could sleep in that on my chest while we flew. Take some toys to entertain, her favorite things to play with and pacifiers if you use them. All the things you would use at home to keep her busy.
The airlines always allow parents traveling with children under 2 years to board the plane first. Take advantage of it. It gives you time to settle in before everyone else. You can also take your stoller right up to the plane and they will bring it to you when you get off the plane. They do have changing tables in the restrooms. And no, they do not have to be in a car seat during the flight. Have fun!! Everything will be fine.

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J.L.

answers from Los Angeles on

hi D.-
she is the perfect age to travel with-- when i was in your shoes i tried to schedule the flight around a good amount of time for sleeping- red eye flights are the best, the baby can sleep the whole way! take the carrier with you to the airport, because if the flight is not full they will re-seat you to where there is an extra seat and that way you can either hold her or put her down. if there are not any extra seats- gate check the carrier and then you'll have to trade off holding. if you are nursing nurse on take off and landing- helps with ear pressure. if it is not a feeding time, use a binky if she takes one or have her suck on your finger- again reduces the ear pressure. airplane bathrooms do have changing tables- but i always just stood up and used the seats for pee diapers- poop ones i went to the bathroom for.....the only other advise i have is be prepared for delays (ie- clothing, bottles if you are not nursing, diapers etc) don't plan on being able to look at a magazine, if you get to great, but usually not..... let me know if you have any other questions-- i have 2 kids, 5 1/2 year old daughter and an 18month old son- i started travel with them early- they love it and they are easy- oh yes, best adise.... get to the airport in plenty of time, and remain calm!!

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S.D.

answers from Honolulu on

Aloha D.,
The thing I worried about was the ear's of my children when traveling. I went to the doctor to see what I could do. She recommended that at take off and landing to nurse my children or have them suck on something. This will help with the ear pressure. As they got older, they got to have "airplane gum, suckers or ice". As for an infant seat, I think there is only one that is FAA safe, most car/infant seat is not FAA safe. Because you didn't purchase a ticket, yes, your child will be in your lap the whole trip. Ask, to have the seats in front of the movie screen, that is wider and will give you more room. Since your baby is 3 1/2 months, bring along any toys that keeps her engaged. There is a changing table in the bathroom. bring along wipes, if she's eating any solids bring some along. During the trip you can take her to the back and let her stretch her legs too.. Good luck and have a safe trip.

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M.H.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi there! My husband and I traveled across country with our son for the first time when he was about 3 months. It was very easy. Be sure to nurse her during take off and landing (or give her a pacifier or bottle) so her ears don't bother her. I found that my son fell asleep with that feeding and slept for hours in my arms. We didn't buy a separate seat and we didn't bring a car seat and had no trouble. My husband and I both use slings and my son just slept in that the whole way. You can change her in the restrooms -- there are changing tables in the airport and on airplanes. But if it wasn't a poopy diaper we just did it quickly at our seat. Also, people are usually very nice and helpful at the airport so don't be afraid to ask for special treatment. I traveled alone a few weeks ago with my son and asked if they could put us in a row by ourselves and we were accommodated. And my #1 piece of advice: PUT BREASTMILK IN YOUR DAUGHTERS EYES AND NOSE RIGHT AFTER YOU GET ON THE PLANE. IT PROTECTS HER FROM GERMS AND FROM GETTING SICK ON THE PLANE!! Few moms know about this and it really works! Being in the recycled air for hours with all those people is a formula for catching a cold, esp. for a young child. So just bring a dropper and a little expressed breastmilk. She won't like it, but the antibodies in your breastmilk will keep her healthy. Also you can do this anytime she gets sick. Just a few drops a couple times a day...it's a great secret especially since you can't give her any medicine. Breastmilk is better anyway! Have a great trip!

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L.V.

answers from Los Angeles on

I have done a lot of traveling with small children. I have 3 and they have all been on 12 hour + flights starting as young as 3 months. since your not flying international you won't have some of the same benefits however, requesting the bulkhead seats is great so you don't have to worry about bugging people in front of you and it gives you more freedom to move around. The baby will have to be on your lap. you can't put them in a car seat unless they are strapped into their own seat. Most of the flights will have a changing table in at aleast one of the bathrooms. Don't stress too much, there is only so much you can do. I would suggest breastfeeding during take off and landing. One of mine breastfed for almost 12 hours all the way to New Zealand. Not fun for me. He seemed to enjoy it though. If your baby uses a pascifier, have extra's and get one of those clips to clip to her clothes so they don't go on the floor and get lost. Also, if you give her formula at all bring bottles with you. I would really stress for the bulkhead seats though and make sure you don't get the last row. Good luck, and remember, there is only so much you can do and as long as you are doing it don't let anyone else give you a hard time.

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J.H.

answers from Visalia on

I too traveled with my son when he was a small baby and I did learn a couple of tips. Take your infant carrier car seat and if their is room on your flight they may be able to move you to an empty seat for your baby. If not, they will take the car seat and check it in for you. You can also take your stroller all the way up to the gate (they will check in for you) and then will return it to you when flight is over. Keep your fingers crossed for a not so full flight.
As far as the crying goes...The sound of the plane seems to lull the babies. Although, the take off and landing may upset him. If you nurse, do so at those times. Always keep a paci in tow...Good luck it will be easier than traveling with a 2 year old :)

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B.F.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi, D.,

I understand your anxiety about traveling with an infant. It can be very stressful. I will attempt to answer your questions one by one. Since you did not purchase a ticket for
your baby, you will have to hold her. Personally, I would leave the car seat since there will be one available to you at your destination. Otherwise you will have to lug a baby and an infant
seat up small airplane aisles and then find a place in the overhead carrier for the infant seat.
Airlines used to make accommodations for families traveling with infants and small children by allowing you to board first and get settled before everyone else is boarded. I do not know if this is still the policy. Check with your airline. You probably want to sit as close to the front of the plane as possible so that you can be on of the first to get off the plane. That way too, anyone getting on the plane who does not desire to be near an infant can find somewhere else to sit. There usually is nowhere to change a diaper except on your lap or the airplane seat. So, bring your own changing pad and plan to have to change her in this manner. I know that most people will not do this, but just a bit of friendly "manners" advice. My aunt is a retired flight attendant and I cannot tell you how many times she has told me that she has had a parent change their chid and then hand the dirty diaper to her!! Don't hand the dirty diaper to the flight attendant. There are trash receptacles available in the lavatories. Also, you probably will want to have a plastic bag available to place the soiled diaper and wipes. That way you (or your husband) will not be walking down the airplane aisle carrying a diaper for the whole plane to enjoy! : )
As for keeping your daughter comfortable on the flight - wait to nurse her until
the plane is taking off. The changes in pressure are hard on everyone's ears, and of course for a poor little infant, even harder. Sucking and swallowing should help relieve the pressure for her. And of course, try and nurse her during landing. If she takes a pacifier, this can also help to relieve the pressure on her ears. Just remember to breathe deeply and once the plane is in the air, if possible, then you can walk up and down the aisle to keep her happy. Hopefully, she will sleep some and let you get some well deserved rest.

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J.B.

answers from Los Angeles on

Don't get all worked up about this. This is the best time to travel with a kid-they can't walk, and they don't need to eat real food yet, and since you are nursing you have it made. Just nurse the baby on takeoff and landing, since it will relieve the pressure in her ears. And one you nurse her, she will probably fall asleep, so don't stress out about that.

If you did not purchase a ticket for her, you will have to keep her in your lap. The airline will not give you a seat for a child who does not have a ticket. Don't bother to bring your own seat with you-just more stuff to carry.

They do not provide baby changing tables in airplanes. don't you remember how small those things are? Ask the FA to help you find a place to change her if you need to (it might be on a very dirty floor, so be prepared for that).

I know you are nursing, but have a glass of wine once you get on board to help you calm down!

Don't worry about it! You won't be the first to have a baby on board and you won't be the last. The cool thing is that you get priority seating! Have fun!
J.

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C.K.

answers from San Diego on

I guess I wasn't the only one worried when I flew with my son!

I never purchased a seat for my son until required to at 2 years of age. You can't bring an infant seat with you because there's no where to put it.
I purchased a Baby B'air. It's a harness that attaches to the baby and your seat belt. It's somewhat constricting, but if there's major turbulence and you aren't holding your baby tightly for the entire trip, he could slam into the ceiling.

Changing a diaper is a challenge. I recommend you go with your husband into the bathroom and do the best you can. If there is a seat between you two, I still wouldn't change the diaper there, that would be pretty offensive to other passengers.

I nursed too, so I made sure I had a large blanket to cover myself.

Concerning seating, the airline doesn't accomodate you in anyway. If you're lucky, you'll get three in a row, but you'll have to decide whether to go with the window and middle or row and middle. But be sure to let any passenger joining you, that you have an infant.

I would plan on having the baby cry for the whole flight. It's best to plan for the worst, right?! If he does cry a lot, a row seat would probably be best so you can walk around as much as possible.

I did bring dry formula and a bottle, just in case there was an emergency. The airline should provide you with water since it can't be carried on.

A couple new toys or old favorites are always good for distractions.

Good luck
ps Keep yourself hydrated so you can nurse non-stop, if necessary!!

If there are any questions I could possible answer, let me know. In 11 days, I'll be traveling by air from CA to FL(6 mos pregnant!) with my son 6 and daughter 2.5 and husband!! It's a party!

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J.D.

answers from Las Vegas on

Hi D.,

I traveled with my son when he was only 2 months and these tricks worked like a charm! He didn't make a peep!

First - Make sure that you feed or have you baby suck on something during take off and landing. Their ears will naturally pop this way otherwise they are in pain. If their ears can't pop the pressure is what makes them scream in discomfort.

Second - Call the airline before you head out and see if the flight is sold out. If it is not you can bring your baby's car seat on free of charge. If it is sold out you can gate check the car seat right as you board SO BRING THE CARSEAT THROUGH SECURITY you will want to be able to set down your baby while you are waiting for your flight.

Lastly - The best advice I got was if you are able to get a row with just your family in it take one of the airline blankets and put two pins in the aisle seat and hang up the blanket. It provides a little privacy, which is so nice, (I also breastfeed and this was perfect!) for you to change your baby right there in your row of seats. This is much easier then getting up and attemting it in those tiny bathrooms. Ask the flight attedants though if they want you to have the blanket down during take off and landing. (I did on my flight back but on the way there they didn't care)

I hope that this advice works! I was also terrified and these tricks really worked. The biggest thing is plan in advance and relax what is the worst that can happen? We have all been on planes with screaming babies! Take care and good luck!

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L.E.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi, D.,

I am the mother of two babies, one 19 months old, the other 5 months old. I have flown with the elder baby ten times, all with my elder child on my lap and all without my husband. Some of the trips involved multiple legs and some were international flights and some took place when I was pregnant with my second. Here are a few things I've learned:

1. If possible, bring an umbrella stroller, preferably one that you can open and close with just one hand (useful when you are going through x-ray machines).

2. Don't try to mix formula while a baby is on your lap. If you ever feed a baby formula, use the little Enfamil packets instead of jars or bags of formula.

3. Just a reminder, if your baby is on a changing table anywhere, but esp in the airplane lav, hold onto him! Mine almost rolled off the changing table in a lav once.

4. Try to start the trip rested. Alertness will help you (and your baby as a result) well.

5. If plane changes are required and you must move from one terminal to another, give yourself a couple of hours between purported arrival time of the first flight and departure time of the second.

6. If there is any possibility of you having to run across an airport, as I did in Miami once (in about 15 minutes without a stroller), wear comfortable shoes and a comfortable, secure infant carrier. (I like the Infantino "cradle" carrier for infants under the age of 4-5 months.)

7. Don't be shy about asking for help, but if you let someone else hold baby, continue to keep an eye on baby.

8. If you think that there may be any vacant seats on the plane, ask the flight attendant if you can sit beside an empty seat. You can use the empty seat to put down gear and thus make yourself more comfortable (not so crowded).

Best wishes,
Lynne E

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S.D.

answers from Los Angeles on

When my son was 3 1/2, we flew to see my in-laws. It was easier than I thought. He sat on our laps--we traded off. He slept a bit, looked out the window, ate--everything he normally did when we traveled by car. I recommend a pacifier, if you are using one, during take off and landing. It helps with the ear pressure. Or give a bottle during that time. Some planes have a small changing table. I have actually changed him in the back galley in mid flight on the floor--use a changing pad. A small dose of Tylenol might be good 30 minutes before take off. It will help with any ear pain during take off, and it may even put her to sleep! If you stay calm and show her all the cool things around her, she will be much easier. No guarantees that she won't cry, but she will feed off your nerves if you are anxious. Stay calm and it will be fine. The flight attendants are very helpful to families with small children. You will be OK!

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A.R.

answers from Los Angeles on

I used a baby sling to keep my baby with me on my lap did not bring a car seat on the flight--> we checked in our car seat. Babe had a ball. I changed him by putting down the toilet lid in teh bathroom if they had no changing table and sitting on the toilet and changing him on my lap. Babe has flown since he was 1 month

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V.H.

answers from Los Angeles on

I traveled alone with my daughter when she was 3 mo, from the west coast to the east coast to visit my parents, while my hubby was on an overseas business trip. it's about a 5 hr plane ride. We did not bring a car seat, as we had one waiting for us. We did hold her the entire time, but it was fine. i don't think you can request one from the airline and you really don't need it. if you bring her infant seat, you'll have to check it in since you don't have a seat for her. We lifted the armrest inbetween our seats and that gave us a bit more space. I nursed her during take off and landing, to help her ears not plug up and be uncomfortable. there is a diaper changing table in one of the bathrooms, just ask the steward when you get on board. We did try out benedryl and tylenol (gave her a dose) before our trip, since we didn't know how she'd react to it. I brought small toys and that she'd never seen before and wrapped them up like presents, so she was occupied and it often took her more time to unwrap the toy then actually play with it. Also, i brought two changes of clothes- in ziplock bags, incase she had a blow out. I also did not get on the plane until most people had gotten on. I had checked all my bags except my diaper bag which i put under the seat, and the less time on the plane the better. My kids are now 5 & 3 and we've flown back east many times to visit family. when they were babies, we would walk around a bit when they were fussy on the plane. we sang songs, looked at books, etc. We tried to time the flight with nap time to help, too. you could try to sit in economy plus, which provides more leg room. hope this helps. happy traveling!

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A.J.

answers from Los Angeles on

I would request a bulkhead window seat. And if your husband can either get the aisle or middle seat it would be best. Unless the flight is not full try to get a row in the back that is open. I wore my baby bjorn through the airport and they let me wear it through security! I also made sure I breastfed during take off and landing for the ears. A window seat helps give you some privacy. I used the seats as a changing table. I also found that she slept in my arms quite easily. The loud hum of the plane helps that. I also brought a blow up 'breastfriend' which helped my arm and the baby sleep easier. I bought it at the pump station. I also did a lot of carrying / bouncing in the back of the plane to help sooth her. Good luck! It will all work out!

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J.H.

answers from San Diego on

Hi,
We recently flew with our son at 2 months old and had the same concerns as you. We did not order a ticket in advance. We brought our infant car seat with us. On our first flight we ended up buying a last minute ticket for the baby seat which cost $100. On the other flights (we had 3). We did not purchase a seat just asked at the gate counter if there were any empty seats. 2 out of 3 flights let us have a seat for free and bring the carseat. The other flight checked the car seat at the gate and we held the him for the flight. It went pretty well. We changed him in our lap or one of us got up and we used the other's seat and a blanket to change the diaper. Our son who also doesn't like his infant car seat ended up doing fine in it for most of the trip the airplane noise seemed to soothe him. Also, I nursed him on take off and landings with a blanket over him. Good Luck and if your baby is fussy remember you will never see the people on the plane again.

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A.J.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi D.,
Traveling with an infant is a challenge. At least you have your husband with you. Since you did not buy her a ticket you HAVE to hold her unless there is an open seat next to you. Even if you have a car seat they will not let you use it. The only way she can be in her car seat or not on your laps is if you buy her another ticket. Bummer huh? However it is safe, near as I can tell.
Make sure you take her birth certificate. Even if they don't ask for it when you booked. Call the different airports and talk to them about security. They'll tell you the different policies on babies.
Make sure you are nursing when you take off and land. About 20 minutes after and before. Ask the stewardess to let you know when you start descending. Most are more than willing to do so to keep your baby from getting upset.
As far as changing goes, I have not flown on a large jet yet (until next month) and there was not a changing place. So I grabbed our changing pad and put her on the toilet. It worked ok. Don't change her in the seats. That will only upset your fellow passengers. Do your best to be kind to everyone around you. Most will understand and be kind back if she's upset. Don't be afraid of feeding her too much on the plane. Anything to keep them quiet right? :) Good luck!!
A.

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S.D.

answers from Los Angeles on

i flew with my daughter when she was 4 months old from california to montana with two legs each way. when you travel with an infant, they sit in your lap. car seats aren't allowed. i was also worried about her crying since i've heard people complain about crying babies on planes so many times over the years. but, i found that her little presence gave the adults around us a warmer, softer heart and a nice change of focus from their ordinarily stressful travel. other moms were supportive and made gentle suggestion like trying to nurse during take-off and landing to protect her ears from the altitude change - the pain naturally makes babies cry. other than that, i held throughout and she slept on and off and generally enjoyed looking around and connecting with people nearby when awake. i had to change her one time. there are no changing tables in the bathrooms so i used the seat next to me and kept the dirty diaper in my bag. it worked out fine.
the most important thing i could share would be to relax as much as you can. just sink into the moment with your precious child. enjoy the time with your husband. smile when you feel stressed - like iwhen you have to take your fricking shoes off going through security! try to createa bubble of safe, loving energy for you and you daughter. she will feel safe, you will make lots of milk, and you'll be able to soak up some of life's inevitable gifts along the way. have a great trip... and don't bring any bottles over 3 ounces in your carry on bag :O)

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S.P.

answers from San Diego on

Piece of cake!!!! I traveled with an 8month old and was 6 months pregnant...alll the way from LA-London...

Try to get the bulkhead area or seating....They have this little bed/box for her to sleep in and you strap her into it...in a shelf that pulls down in front of you...in the bulkhead...

Breastfeeding is your lifesaver!!! You have to breastfed on take-off and landing for her ears...or pacifyer..or bottle...everyone scared me about that but it was no big deal...

they just need to suck something/drink so their ears I guess pop during those times....

YOu could do a little Benedryl(on doctor's advice for amount...) although when I had my first I gave no medicines and am not big on giving medicine.....

Good luck she'll be fine...if she starts to cry...you know what to stick in her mouth!!!! Definately forgo any set scheduled feedings and breastfeed to pacify if you can....while on the plane-- for your nerves an the sake of the passengers!! People are pretty understanding though!!! Good LUck!!

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D.J.

answers from Los Angeles on

You've had lots of responses, so I'll be brief. Don't expect any special treatment from the airline. In fact, on some carriers (Southwest is one) you don't even get to preboard with children any more unless you have and A boarding pass. I recommend bringing your stroller & carseat to the gate. If there is room on the plane, they will let you bring the infant seat on. This can be a godsend, depending on how long your flight is. Also, I have travelled on numerous planes and have never come across a changing table in the restroom. Be prepared to change her on your seat (bring a waterproof changing pad & ziplock baggies). Relax - in however many hours, good or bad, it will all be over!!!

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H.B.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi,
I have traveled with both my boys quite a bit, and when they were nursing, too. It really isn't that bad. Actually, when you have a nursing baby that is the BEST time to fly. You definitely will need to be holding her the entire time. If you didn't buy a seat you won't have any where to put an infant carrier. Bring something to carry her in IN the airport (stroller, Bjorn) but remember that you have to take her out if it when going through security- so don't get her all comfy and asleep in a carrier before you go through that.. When you are on the plane, just nurse her whenever she acts fussy at all. Forget feeding schedules while on a plane. Be sure to nurse while taking off and landing due to the ear-popping thing- the sucking helps. If she gets bored, just walk up and down the aisles- people will coo at her and tell you how cute she is. Just nurse, nurse, nurse. And the white noise in the plane will definitely make her fall asleep at some point.
You will be fine- and you have your husband as help when your arms get tired. Have fun and don't worry!

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A.L.

answers from Las Vegas on

We found that when traveling with an infant on an airline, that the bulk head is the best place...there is a little more room so you can put her on the floor with a blanket. Airplanes do NOT have changing tables in the restrooms, and they are too small to take a little one in there, even to change on the floor. The first time we had to change our son's diaper on an airplane, we were told to use our seat, and some of the flight attendents will allow you to use the floor by where they get your drinks ready at.

Airlines require that if you use a car seat on a plane, the infant needs a seat. They do have infant fares (but are a little less than a normal seat you would purchase for yourself). If you are comfortable holding your little one for the flight, then that is great, if she is a little wiggle worm, then purchasing a seat (call the airline to do this), is a great idea. But airlines do not carry their own car seats, that is something you have to bring yourself. They request you put the car seat by the window so it is not a hassle to get around the small area between seats.

You can take a stroller through security, and I highly suggest this because it frees your hands to help carry luggage, and is so much easier, especially if you get tired of carrying your little one in a carrier easily.

Take lots of diapers, and about 3-4 outfits with you on the plane-you never know when you might need an extra set of clothes (plus take grocery or ziploc bags for soiled clothes,) just don't forget they are in the bags as they can get really smelly fast! (Wash them when you get to your destination-trust me they will not mind you using their washer or dryer, that also saves taking tons of extra clothes because you can wash them and be fine.

Take an extra bottle or pacifier (either works great), as you are taking off, put one in her mouth and get her to suck, this will make the pressure on her ears much less- as it will make her ears pop, do this on all take offs and landings. If she doesn't want it, that is fine, but keep it handy just in case. Put the diaper bag under the seat in front of you so you have those items accessable with out disturbing anyone sitting in the isle- If you put her on your laps, sit in the middle and isle seats as this will let you get out easier. If the seat belt sign is turned off, and she gets restless, get up and walk the isles a couple of times, even if you step into the bathroom for a minute or two with her, that is okay too. If at all possible, do not let her take a nap prior to take off- so she will sleep most if not all of the flight, that will make it a little more bearable for you and those around you- travel at night if possible.

Know how to comfort your little one- write them down if necessary so you can comfort her with her favorite blanket, toy, bottle, pacifier, etc. Then if you are stressed, look at your list and go from there. If you have any anxiety about traveling, get rid of them now....infants are supper sensitive to your feelings especially anxiety and that will carry over to the plane. Take pictures of her first flight, standing in lines at the airport, etc. so you will remember her first flight. Get your husband to help as much as possible- he can carry her after you check baggage, or hold her on the plane, don't do it all your self, that will help alot. Change her diaper before getting on the plane, and after getting off the plane -you have to wait for your baggage anyways, so why not take the chance to not only stretch your legs but change her diaper so she is clean and dry for the ride to your destination. When whomever is picking you up at the airport let them take your daughter so you can have a break and they can enjoy her too while you wait for luggage. If you are getting a rental car, either you or your hubby get the luggage, the other take the baby and go get the car, and then stay in touch with each other so you can get back together.

This is all I can think of that has helped us when we have flown with our little one (the first time he was 6 weeks old), then again at 17 months and again at 23 months). I know it is alot, but take it easy, spend two days before you leave packing your little one's things, then the next day go back through her room to make sure you have enough of her favorites, including books, blankets, toys, diapers/wipes, and clothes in her diaper bag. Take your time in packing making sure you get everything you may or may not need (tylenol, diaper rash cream, etc). If you rush you will forget something and you will have to buy it when you get there.

Relax and enjoy your trip....talk to your daughter about what is going to happen-about packing, loading everything, going to the airport, checking baggage, going through security (don't forget a COPY of her birth certificate-that is her id for the trip, and they will check it at security), waiting for the plane to arrive, let her see the airplane from the window when it does arrive, getting on the plane, take off, and don't forget to tell her about the people you are going to visiting so she "knows" them before she sees them, etc. This will help her anxiety and most likely calm most of yours.

Good luck and have a safe fun trip!

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M.P.

answers from San Diego on

If you did not pay for a ticket for the baby you are possibly going to have to have the car seat checked at last minute. I would leave it at home, unless the baby prefers to ride in the car than be in your arms. They are safer in a carseat if you hit turbulance, but sometimes very upset straped in and making everyone miserable. Most importantly I suggest making sure that on take of and descent that the baby is sucking on something to help their ears with the change of altitude. This helps alot. Nursing, A bottle of slightly sugared water, actively sucking a pacifier, or even a little BBQ sauce on Daddy's finger, it worked for us. Mine was 3 1/2 months old, ate a meal on the way up and going down he was not hungry again yet but the BBQ sauce definately entertained his mouth and no crying because his ears did not hurt. About changing diapers, practice at home changing diapers in your lap or across your laps. It is very easy, just takes a little practice. Bring a ziplock for the stinkys, a large cloth to lay down to protect your clothes, a you'll be a pro. Don't forget her favorite entertainment, if you have a portable DVD player, I would suggest Baby Einstein. All classical music and the pictures mesmorize babies. My kids love them, and I get to listen to claming adult music and if played soflty will not bug your flights passengers. Enjoy

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S.B.

answers from Los Angeles on

I have travelled a great deal with my two from 8 weeks on through to 5 years so know all about airplanes and airports. Strollers can be checked at the gate so take your stroller all the way through to the gate and then its available for you when you get off the plane at the other end. Depending on the size of the plane you can ask to sit at the bulkhead and have a crib for your baby - ultimate best for a great flight. Otherwise you do have to have your baby on your lap the whole time. Each plane is configured differently with changing tables too. Some planes have only one at the very back of the plane and I've had a friend who swears she was on a plane that didn't have one at all - has not been my experience though. You just have to look for the bathroom that has it. Best times to fly are nap times or the red eye when they're meant to be sleeping. I've never had to resort to medication and wouldn't advice it really. Don't take a car seat as you wont be able to use it unless you buy a separate seat for it. Take along your babies favorite blanket for comfort and don't stress if she cries - they can all have a cry at some point and if you remain calm and work out the issue then they tend to settle quite quickly. I breast fed during take off and landing which can be the most unsettling parts of the trip. For the most part they're so happy to be snuggled up on your lap for 5 hours they could care less where they're at. Have a great trip!!

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M.L.

answers from Los Angeles on

Get a seat as CLOSE to the FRONT of the plane as possible - to avoid Diesel engine fumes. BURP the baby as thoroughly as possible before you get on the plane - dose her with Mylicon drops, or whatever anti-gas remedy you use. Take only a very well packed diaper bag as your take on lugage, less for you to keep track of - at this time don't worry about a restraint, car seat - if you don't buy her a ticket, she doesn't get a seat, but at this time she and you will want the comfort of body closeness - try a little skin to skin contact if you can. A full belly and a sleeping baby is what you are after. A bottle of something sweet - formula with a little extra sugar, little being the key word, may help. And don't worry about other people, take care of you and yours and the rest of the world will take care of themselves.

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M.B.

answers from Los Angeles on

I just flew with my baby and on the way there, she sat on my lap (grandma was there, so she jumped from lap to lap, she napped on my shoulder), and on the way home I paid for a seat since grandma was not with me. She was in her carseat without the base. (It fits perfectly in the actual seat)
There is nothing that the airline can do for you, nor will you need an actual seat for baby. I'm a little confused, will you be on the flight as well? Or is it just your husband? If it is both of you then you have it easy. But if it is just him, then it's a little rough, but he will handle it. There are changing tables that you pull down in the bathrooms... (above the toilet, hidden)
Just have everything that could sooth her if she cries.
My flight was 5 hours as well, it really flew by fast.
Try not to stress out. Just be prepared, if you have a stroller you will have to collapes it to go through the xray machine. If you don't, whatever your carrying the baby in will have to be taken off.
I would say if she cry's just stick a boob in her mouth(or bottle)
I'm sure you have heard that the take off and landing may hurt the babies ears. It's actually more the landing that could cause problems. I would try to work it out where she is hungry at the time of landing and feed her then.
Anyway, again don't stress, people do it all of the time!
Good luck!
Oh PS, if you have not purchased a seat for her, most airlines will allow you to use a seat that is vacant for free. But, it has to be a window seat next to you.(If you bring a carseat along with you on the plane)

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B.B.

answers from Reno on

We have flown a ton with our son. We joke that if he had his own miles he would have earned his own ticket by now (16 months old). We started flying when he was 3 months old. He is an easy traveler. I always try to time the flights around his nap time/nursing time
Advise:
1. Request an aisle seat
2. Arrive early for check in. It does take longer with a baby (babies pick up on your stress so try to relax)
3. Travel with your diaper bag and make sure everything is tucked inside. No lose items (it is stressful going through security as it is, plus lost our sons FAVORITE blanket because it was not inside the bag- it made for a long flight)
4. Pack several diapers in case of delays.
5. No shoes for baby when going through security (you even have to take theirs off)
6. Pack a few toys/items that you know will comfort your child
7. Change your child right before you board and hope for the best
8. Nurse on take off

We have always been lucky and were able to bring our infant carrier on board with us. When you check in ask if it is a full flight. If you are traveling with another person who can help carry it great! If you are by yourself, check it- it is too much to handle alone. A front pack is a great idea.

As for changing some planes have changers and others don’t. So be prepared for not having one. The newer planes now have them. I always have a blanket and bags in my bag in case.

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R.R.

answers from Honolulu on

My husband and I traveled to Paris three yrs ago with a 8week old baby. The airline sat us on the bulkhead seat that had a place to install a little basket. It was wonderful, the baby was right in front of me and slept most of the trip. I could change him there and even had room to pull my food table up and eat myself. Not all airlines have them but you could probably call your carrier and find out what is available for your flight. Our carrier was Air India I think. Good luck...Oh make sure you are feeding her during take-off and landing as their ears are liable to pop then, can make them very fussy.

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K.F.

answers from Tulsa on

My husband and I just went through this on a 3 hour flight. We checked the car seat with the luggage and he stayed on me in his front carrier. That way I could get the tickets and keep my hands free. Once on the plane we sat towards the back so we could take him to the restroom if we needed to. Before take off I started to feed my son. The doctor said that the sucking would help the presure in his ears. After we laid him down across our laps for a nap. Which worked for a while, until he had a dirty diaper. My husband took him the bathroom to change him but they didn't have a changing station in the plane. My husband balanced him on the sink while changing a dirty diaper! Another couple on the flight changed their son right at their seat and had to borrow some extra wipes from us. Just make sure that you bring plenty of everything for your baby. Maybe even a couple extra pacifiers, I think the sucking on something helped a lot. I also took warmer clothes in his babybag incase he got cold. Good luck!

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J.D.

answers from Honolulu on

First, don't panic. 2 year olds are hard, but 3 1/2 month olds are easy! I was scared to bring my baby on a plane too (I live in Hawaii, and at the time had a 18 hour travel day ahead of me with a 5 month old, and i was flying alone)and it was a piece of cake. Call the airline and requet bulkhead seating if possible. If you can't get it though, don't worry. Check in a bit early for your flight and ask the check in person if you you can be seated near an empty seat if the flight is not full. They do not have to provide special accommodations, but they will really try to help you out if they can. Bring your carseat just in case you score the extra, empty seat, but you also want to bring along a garbage bag, a twist tie, and an extra luggage tag so you can gate check the carseat in the event that an extra seat is not an option (the garbage bag is to keep dirt off the carseat when it is gate checked. anything gate checked that is not wrapped up will be returned to you covered in dirt and grease! i learned that the hard way with my daughter's brand new full size stroller...) Since your daughter is not a fan of her carseat yet, bringing it along is just so you will have an extra option of somewhere to put her when she is sleeping so you can relax a bit (although keeping her shuggled in the ergo will probably work fine too!) But taking turns holding your baby is totally fine, so don't stress if you don't

As far as making your baby more comfortable... breastfeed or give her a bottle during take off and landing, as that will comfort her (and you if you are breastfeeding!) and help her ears adjut to the pressure changes (the sucking action keeps the ear cannals flexing -- acts in a similar way to all the strategies that adults emply to keep their ears from hurting). Aromatherapy helps, I liked to dab a little bit of lavender essential oil under my daughter's nose to relax her. Also massaging her arms and legs and feet with lavender scented lotion will be calming. You can essentially do all the things you do at home to comfort your baby... you and your husband can even take turns walking her up and down the aisle if the seatbelt sign is off. Baby will take her cue from you, so YOU be relaxed. If that means scheduling a massage the day before or the morning of your flight, listening to relaxing music or guided relaxation scripts on your walkman or ipod, taking some valerian herbs (this is great if you are breastfeeding as well, as the valerian will get into your breastmilk and calm the baby too! -- its a VERY safe natural remedy), or working with some positive affirmations in the days prior to your flight... whatever relaxes YOU, do it! And have fun on your trip to show off your baby to her grandparents... and figure they will probably be nicer to you than they ever have before (or ever will again)! Good luck!

P.S. All airplanes have fold down changing tables in their restrooms. Its totally manageable.

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L.H.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi D.,
The first time I traveled with my daughter she was two months old and I had many of the same concerns you have. The good news is, you are going to get through it no matter what and I bet it will be a better experience then you are expecting. Here are a few things I've learned flying with my daughter.
A friend told me to feed my daughter during the assent and desent so she is swallowing while the pressure changes and her ears can pop if they need to. This seemed to totally work! Plus, babies tend to be happy when they are eating, so that is a bonus!
We did not bring our infant car seat. We didn't buy a ticket for her, we didn't want to lug that around the airport and she wasn't much of a fan of it either. Holding our daughter wasn't a big deal. She was still so young and little. It's great that you are flying with your husband so you can take turns. We brought our ergo too and put our daughter in it and she slept for some of the flight which was a welcomed break. Plus she was used to being in it, so I think that helped. I think the loud white noise of an airplane can really help babies sleep too.
We've found that flight attendants are really into babies. They just want to see them and coo and tell you how cute they are. The sad thing is most flights don't have accommodations for parents, i.e. changing tables. We've made sure we have our changing pad with us and do it in the back of the plane either on the seats the attendants sit on or on the floor. I know, gross, but we chose to only change her if we really had to.

As far as specific seating, I would definitely make sure you and your husband are together and maybe ask if there are any open seats on the plane and if so see if they can make that seat in your row. The extra space can be a huge help and we've even done quick diaper changes in our row when we were the only ones in it.
We made sure we had enough diapers for a whole day and then some just in case we were delayed. We brought a ton of burp rags. A change or two of clothes for her. Maybe one distracting toy. Binkies. A swaddle blanket to cover up for feedings and block her from the sun. And a magazine or a book for us if we were so lucky.
I kind of threw my daughter's schedule out the window and thought that I would do what ever it takes to get through this flight so if I'm feeding her for the whole thing, who cares, at least she's not crying!
I hope this helps.
Remember, people love babies and want to help you.
Take care,
L.

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C.C.

answers from Los Angeles on

we traveled and our son sat on our lap. there are no changing tables so we got out of our seaqt and laid him on our seat, not to bad. no you cant get an infant seat then you would havr to buy her a seat to put it on. sometimes if the flight is not booked you may get lucky.

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L.H.

answers from Reno on

If you do not plan on buying your daughter a plane ticket, you will not be able to use an adjacent seat for a carseat. You can purchase a ticket and then put her in the carseat, but otherwise you will have to hold her for the flight. Her being 3 1/2 months, this should not be a terrible thing. She's still pretty much immobile and will love the extra one-on-one contact. They do have pull down changing tables in the restroom, but if you and your husband can manage (and it's just a pee diaper), I would just change her on the seat or in the other parent's lap. My recommendation is to bring a blanket to nurse her during take-off and landing or bring a pacifier for her to suck (if she takes one). This will help her ears during the take-off and landing. Are you going to need a stroller at your destination? You might want to bring one. Not only can it help you with a place to put baby while juggling security, etc., it's a place to put your things! They will check it right at the entrance to the plane. You can push it right down the ramp and everything.

Good luck! Travelling with a mobile infant is much harder than travelling with a small infant, in my opinion.

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K.J.

answers from Los Angeles on

I did the same trip with my then 4 month old (nursing baby). You can take your carseat and check it at the gate. If there is room on the flight you will be able to use it-even though you did not purchase a ticket. We have had luck with that a few times, but also had to hold in our lap. If no room...you will have to hold her. I changed diapers in my lap---it sounds harder than it really is. I was very nervous too because I had a child who cried loudly when upset. Talk to your pediatrician too---he/she might have some advice as well.

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A.A.

answers from San Diego on

Hi D.
If the flight isn't full you can bring your carseat on the plane and use the seat next to you if you need it. You won't know until the gate so if it's full they will just check your carseat and stroller there and it will be ready for you right when you walk off the plane. The 3 times I've traveled I've held my son on my lap. I would request an isle seat so you can get up and walk with the baby if you need to. I nursed my son as the plane took off, it helps their ears, and I nursed him when we were landing. I brought my carseat on one flight but never put him in it, I found that using the extra seat was better for my diaper bag and a place to change the baby. Some planes have a changing table that pulls down above the toilet, it's very small, I changed him on my lap instead. The flight attendants are pretty nice usually so don't be afraid to ask for help. And don't worry if your baby cries, that's normal and if people seem annoyed they probably don't have kids and don't understand. Good luck! Were you planning on bringing your stroller? I highly recommend it, it's hard to carry the baby and your carry on luggage at the same time.

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K.C.

answers from Los Angeles on

You have been given a lot of good advice. The best thing I can tell you is to call your airline. All carriers have different boarding rules for families. The first time we flew with my daughter a wonderful woman at SWA customer service went through everything with me on the phone. She not only discussed all their policies she also gave me advice on how to help my daughter be comfortable on the flight.

Since you will have a car seat at your destination. Don't take yours. You won't be allowed to use it on the plane unless it isn't a full flight. Your child will ride in your lap. It will just be one more thing to carry. Take a sling or a bjorn so you can wear your baby.

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K.S.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi there,

I think that you are in the best possible place for traveling with a small child. We took our oldest (Our children are now 10, 8, and 6) on his first flight and he was 2 1/2 months old. WE flew to Florida with a layover (that wasn't very smart) but it was fine. I would recommend using a sling or whatever carrier you are used to. You will not be able to use a seat (unless there is one that is not being used on a partially full flight) since you did not pay for one. If possible nurse on the take off and landing for ears or if a pacifier is used that works too. Make sure you stay hydrated. You may ask for extra liquids during flight since you are nursing and they should be helpful with that. When my kids were that small, I would just change them on my lap if necessary. Try to change right before the flight and maybe you will be lucky. I would not expect anytype of changing facility in the aiplane, but again, you could sit on the commode and lay the baby in your lap. Try this at home if you have not yet done it. Your little one should be small enough.

Good luck! I think that anywhere from a 1 to a 3 year old is the trickiest age. You will be fine.

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K.C.

answers from Los Angeles on

We've taken our 12 month old on about 10 flights so far, including to Europe so I hope I have some good advise to give. I have an Ergo to and I would strongly recommend using it because the actual single hardest part is going through security. You can use the ergo to go through the metal detectors and you don't have to take her out. This was important to me because I had quite a lot of luggage with the baby that I had to arrange to put through the X-ray machine. If you bring a stroller you can check it planeside. We used a snap and go stroller which I also recommend because it's inexpensive so I wasn't as worried about someone breaking it and very light. Our carseat rested on it so I wasn't worried about losing the carseat if we lost our lugguge because it was checked planeside. Also, in your case, you might be able to take it on the plane that way if there are empty seats.

Most airlines let parents of young children go first so you can arrange your seat without feeling too rushed.

Change the baby's diaper before the flight. During the flight most airlines have diaper changing tables in the bathrooms, which are actually a good size. Breastfeed the baby on take offs and landings because it helps with the ear pressure.

Actually, flying with a newborn wasn't too difficult for us because at that age she just slept the whole time and we just held her (no carseat on the plane.) For us, it's gotten harder with time because now our daughter is so active!

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J.M.

answers from Phoenix on

that is the best age to travel with, it's really no big deal! now i will try to answer all your question as i have had a bit of experience (my 6 month old has been on 3 round trips with layovers including a trip to europe). yes, the airline needs to know you are traveling with her on your lap but thats it. they are pretty lax about the infants in the states, they don't even have to be seatbelted to you, you just hold her in your lap. yes, there are changing tables in the restrooms, but bring some of those disposible changing pads and bags to put the dirty diapers in. you could request the "bulk head" seating (the first row) since there is a little more space in these seats, but i personally don't like it because you can't store your carry ons in front of you on the floor for take off and landing. you probably will want a front carrier for her in the airports (you should not use a backpack until they are 6 months and can truely support their own head), but on the plane you will just be holding her since you didn't buy a seat, don't take your infant seat unless you buy her a seat or are going to put it in checked luggage, there will be no place to put it on the plane. and because she doesn't have her own seat and you say there is a car seat at your destination, you can't request an infant seat or other accomodation for her (i'm not sure they provide those anyway). bring a favorite toy so that she has something familiar amongst all the caos, a pacifier (if you do that, my son doesn't use it regularly at home but likes to play and chew on it when we travel), and feed her regularly, especially right before or during take off and landing, it will sooth her, possibly to sleep and will help the ears with any air pressure changes. if she is sleeping already before take off, don't wake her to feed during the air pressure changes, she may just sleep right through it. hope that helps!

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S.B.

answers from Las Vegas on

Hi,

I moved to London when my son was 2 months old and had a 10hr flight with him! And if you can believe it he was an angel. I did purchase a bassinet seat for my son I think it was $100. They will not let you bring a car seat on unless you have purchased a seat for you baby. I used my Ergo for boarding and deplaning. I did nurse on the plan but also brought a bottle of expressed milk (it was frozen).

Hopefully you have introduced a pacifier because it helps with the air pressure on the babies ears if they can suck on it for take off and landing.

They do have changing tables in the restroom, I just used my changing pad on it.

Hope this information is helpful and have a great trip.

S.

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R.P.

answers from Los Angeles on

I just returned two days ago from a trip to Peru with my 4 1/2 month old. He did excellent on the 8 hour flight, in fact I think the vibration of the plane is what accounted for him sleeping through most of it. As I'm sure you've already been told by others, the most important part is to either have your baby nursing or feeding from a bottle on takeoff and landing to alleviate the pressure in her ears. In addition, when you check in or beforehand if the airline allows it, request the bulkhead seats. These are the first seats behind first class, they have a wall directly in front of the seats with an area to screw in a bassinet that the airline provides. The airline we flew on (LanPeru) had a 17 lb. limit on the bassinet, so that's the only caveat. However, our son slept in the bassinet, we changed his diaper in the bassinet, etc. It was a godsave. We weren't so fortunate on the return flight, the bulkhead seat was occupied already, so the airline was understanding and "blocked" out a seat in the middle aisle for us. What this meant was that even though we did not purchase a seat for him, they gave us the middle aisle with the 3 seats so that my husband and I were able to sit on either side of him and our son slept in the middle seat. The manager was able to do this for us because we had tried to reserve the bulkhead but they had too many infants on the flight already. What we did find on this trip is the people tend to be really understanding and helpful when you're traveling with an infant. We even got sent to the beginning of all customs lines (without requesting it!) due to the fact that we had an infant.

The other thing that I found is that you don't need to pack a lot of the extra stuff for the baby, as this will make traveling less stressful. For example, instead of packing his bath sling, I just piled a towel on the floor of the hotel bathtub and laid my son on that and bathed him that way. In addition, I realized that next time I travel to another country, I will not be packing his car seat, as all the cars there are much smaller and don't have rear seat belts; as such, I could've survived much easier (and had one less check-in bag) if I had left his car seat and stroller at home and just taken an umbrella stroller. We kept him in the Baby Bjorn carrier most of the time, and the only time that the stroller was even necessary was so that he had somewhere to sit at restaurants, etc.

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B.P.

answers from Reno on

Hi D.,
First of all, relax--I know it's nerve-racking, and I was nervous the first time, too, but it's not really as bad as it seems, especially with a tiny baby. Most importantly, you will need to nurse her both on the way up and the way down (when the plane is ascending and descending). Babies ears are more sensitive to the change in pressure, and if she's not actively swallowing, her ears might really hurt. If she won't nurse, try to get her to at least suck on a pacifier or a bottle. Secondly, there will be no place to put her car seat if you haven't purchased a seat for her--don't sweat it, she'll probably sleep a lot of the way and you can take turns holding her, or try this: we brought our diaper changing pad and some extra blankets and made a bed out of our tray tables. It has worked magically for both of our kids when they were babies. You have to have something to tie around her or the flight attendents won't let you do it--a soft belt or something--the fear is that if there is turbulance, the plane would lose altitude and she will hit the ceiling if she's not secured to the table. You can bring the safety straps from your changing table at home if you have them. Once your up in the air and the seatbelt light is turned off, you can stand up in the back of the plane and hold her if she's fussy and that helps. LOTS of people travel with babies, so there are no special accomodations, except pre-boarding, which you should definetly do! They will make an effort to seat you and your husband together if your seats aren't next to each other, but even if that doesn't happen, someone on the flight will most likely trade with you--people understand how parents need to be together with a baby!
As far as what to travel with, I found that a baby carrier works great--whatever you can do to bring as little as possible and be able to use your hands to pull luggage. You will have to take her out to go through security (they'll make you put the baby carrier through the xray), but other than that, you can keep her close and keep your hands free.
Changing diapers is a pain on airplanes--most don't have changing tables. At least she's still small, so definitely bring a padded changnig pad, and you can try changing her on top of the toilet lid (gross, I know), or on the floor in the back on the plane. That's about it. My sister-in-law changed her 6 month old right on the tray table, but that might really gross other people out (my brother swore he'd never eat off of a tray table again)!

Just so you know, I have 2 babies, a 2.5 yr old and a 7 month old. We went to Hawaii when my daughter was 6 weeks old, and since she has been back 3 times, and flown to Mexico twice, and visited grandparents about 6 times on 4 hour flights. My son also went to Hawaii when he was 5 months old, so we had two to deal with--everything went great. I've even traveled by myself with the two of them (hated it, but survived), so I am experienced in this air travel thing!!

I hope this has helped!! OH, and bring a baby bottle for water, just in case she needs it--if God forbids, she gets sick and throws up a lot, you need to be able to rehydrate her as much as possible--a tip from a doctor I know.

Also, it's much easier to have the window and middle seats, so you don't trap some poor stranger in his seat!

OK, hope this has helped--don't worry, you'll be fine and have a GREAT trip!!

B.

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T.M.

answers from Los Angeles on

D.

We first flew with our daughter at 2 months and she has flown so many miles, my husband calculated it was once around the world! You can ask for bulkhead seats when you check in. If it's a domestic flight, it give you more space, if it's international, there are bassinets that you can use during the flight. We never bought our daughter an extra seat, we held her, played wit her and cuddled her. She was very happy because she wasn't moving around yet and so she didn't feel constrained by the coach seating. Nursing her, especially during take-off and landing, can ease any pressure changes caused by changes in altitude. The swallowing release the tension build-up inside the ear. I also used a sling to get her on and off the plane, it kept little hands and feet tucked in. The flight attendants will probably ask you to take your daughter out of the sling during take-off and landing, it's a rule they have. I never understood this and so, I did what I felt was right depending on her needs during that particular flight. Most importantly, relax and your baby relaxes with you. If she does start to cry, don't panic. That's what babies do, they cry sometimes. Even if it's a long flight, once it's over, you'll never see those people again. And all you care about is the comfort of your baby, so relaxing will help her to relax, calm down, and enjoy the flight!

Have a safe trip!
T. (mom to Olivia - 9 mos.)

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K.R.

answers from Los Angeles on

OK, first relax. If you didn't purchase a seat, there will be nowhere to put a car seat. Taking your ergo would probably be very handy in the airport - although you'll have to scan it through security check. But you could also wear her on your front while on the plane. Change her diaper immediately before boarding (they will let you on first since you have a young child so you can get situated without other people crowding you). Nurse her while taking off and landing so that her ears don't hurt as the pressure changes, and if she cries just remind yourself that many of the people on the plane have children and understand that you can't MAKE a baby do anything they don't want to do (like stop crying). I have flown four times with my son (at 6mo, 10mo, 21mo, and 30mo) and each time was easier than I had anticipated, I stressed over things that never happened, like worrying that he would cry the whole time, or not take a nap, or I would be sitting next to a strange man while having to nurse.... So just relax and get through it :)

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C.S.

answers from San Diego on

It's better if you just hold ur 3 month bc they'll probably just sleep throught the flight. Definately take a pacifer bc their ears will need to pop bc of the altitude and since they can't chew gum like we can the sucking motion makes their ears pop for them if not they will b cryin the whole flight.

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A.C.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi D.,
This is my first time posting anything, but I saw your request for advice on the homepage - and I HAD to respond!
I have a 14 month old daughter and she has now been on 18 plane flights! She went on her first plane when she was 3 months old & we just got back from Australia (which is a 14 hour flight). Needless to say, YOU CAN TOTALLY DO IT!!! Relax and dont freak out, the more you are uptight and stressed, the baby will feed off that. If you have not already booked the flight, my first bit of advice would be to schedule the flight during her nap time. But if you already have booked the flight, dont worry - I am sure she will sleep most of the time anyways.

If you did NOT buy her a seat, then you should probably NOT bring her carseat/infant carrier on the plane. There will be no where to put it and most planes dont even have anywhere to store it, except under the plane. She will have to sit on your laps the whole time!
For sure nurse during take off & landing, to help her ears adjust to the altitude. The sucking helps pop their ears. Just like we would chew gum.
I dont think there are certain seats that are better then others (for babies)...But you can always ask if the flight is full, when checking in, and see if they can seat you guys with empty seats in your row? Can't hurt to have a little more room.
Yes, there are changing tables (small metal things that pull down over the toilet) in the bathroom. Not too comfy, but it does the job. We have changed her on our laps before!
Here are some other tips we use to help make the flight fly by...

Get a few new toys/books and dont let her see them until your on the plane.
I dont know if she's too young for Baby Einstein, but we bring our lap tops and play her movies for her...which keeps her busy for about a 1/2 hour.
Sing songs
She might also be too young for those sucky bag things, with the handle. I think both Munchkin & Sassy make them. You can put fruit in it and let them chew away.
Go to the back and bounce & walk up and down the isles to change it up.
Bring tylenol or whatever emergency care stuff you would need, on the plane with you (just incase).
Make sure you have plenty of diapers & changes of clothes (I remember my daughter soiled her clothes BEFORE we even got on the plane and thank God I had extra clothes for her in my carry on!!!)
Also, you might want to bring a stroller/snuggli/baby bjorn type thing to carry her around in the airport, since you will be holding her the whole flight.

Just relax and have your husband help taking turns with her on the flight & am sure it will be awesome. You never know, you might be one of the lucky ones, whose baby sleeps the whole time!
And remember this too - even if she randomly does freak out and cry the whole time, its only 5 hours and you will NEVER see those people again ;)
Good Luck!!!

If you have any more questions, feel free to write me back and I will try to help you out as best I can.
Mother of a world traveler,
A.
[email protected]____.com

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H.S.

answers from Los Angeles on

What I did..I flew several times with my infant son. I changed his diaper right before we got on the plane. If I had to change his diaper...I just informed the person sitting next to me that I was going to and did so on my seat. It was a little annoying but there was no other choice. Try to get a seat at the "bulkhead" because there is more room there. I nursed him on the plane (sitting by the window-more privacy) and he immediately went to sleep every time..there is something about the airplane motor that soothes the babies. You do hold your child during the flight....I would turn the air on and cover your child with a light sheet so you and your child stay cool. If you did not buy a seat for her...then you do not need a car seat. I checked my car seat and stroller at the gate. I was scared myself the first time we flew but it all worked out. I prayed about it and relaxed. The worse thing that could happen is she cries a bit. Oh yes, nurse her when the plane takes off and lands...this helps with preventing the popping of the ears. Hope this all helps.

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C.A.

answers from Los Angeles on

You won't be able to bring the infant car seat on the plane if you didn't purchase a ticket for your daughter . . .you will have to hold her the entire time. We traveled w/ our son lots when he was little. I always (Even now) make sure my kids are drinking or eating something when the plane takes off and starts coming in for a landing for their ears. I have only been in a few planes w/ changing tables in the bathroom. Change your baby right before you get on the plane. Then, I used to put the lid down on the toilet in the plane and spread toilet seat covers or paper towels over the entire area and change as fast as possible. Then I'd wash both of our hands and anything else that touched the walls really well. If the plane is not full, they may try to move whoever is sitting next to you so you have a row to yourself. Take an extra pair of clothes, a few diapers, wipes and a blanket and you should be good to go. I would always sit in the inside-most seat so when I was feeding the baby I wouldn't make anyone uncomfortable. My thought is "I can do anything for one day!" BTW, we adopted our second from China and had to sit on a plane for 10+ hours w/ a 13.5 old w/o her own seat who had been w/ us for only a few short days! Also, I once traveled by myself w/ our son when he was 18 mos old and VERY active. I got stuck on an overbooked flight in the middle seat next to two people who weren't married and didn't have kids and had to keep the 18 mo on my lap for the flight from Los Angeles to Washington DC!! See . . .you can survive anything for one day!!! Have fun!

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H.P.

answers from Los Angeles on

My advise to you is to take your carseat, and ask at the gate if the flight is full or not. If not, the airlines will let you take your carseat on board to strap your child into an empty seat at the window. We did this several times when my son was under age 2. However, we eventually found it easier, and safer to actually purchase an extra ticket for him. If the flight is full, you can get a Baby B'Air which straps into your seatbelt so that the baby is at least secure during the cruising part of the flight. The only drawback with this is that it can't be used during take off and landing which are the most dangerous parts of flight.
As far as changing a diaper, just use your diaper changing pad on your seat as this is the easiest place to change your baby. The bathrooms on a plane are simply to small to accomplish this task.
Good luck, and have a great trip.

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D.L.

answers from Reno on

All good advice from everyone. The only thing I would add is that when I traveled with my daughter, I tried to get the first seat in regular class - it has a larger floor space w/o the seat in front, which is perfect for spreading out a little and laying the baby down if you need to (i.e., for changing.) If you take a sling or front pack, make sure its easy to get her in and out of - you'll have to do so for security checks.

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S.W.

answers from Los Angeles on

Deanna,
I have traveled with both of my daughters since they were each about 3 months old...Here are my suggestions based on my experience. Yes, take the infant car seat!! When you get to the airport and are checking in simply ask the employee if there are any empty seats. They are very accomadating and will move things around so you, your husband and baby can be together. AND you will NOT have to pay for the seat, as it is so late in the game and they will just give it to you. If the flight is full, you can simply check in the car seat at the gate. Be sure to take any favorite toys and definately a binky, to help with her ears during takeoff/landing. I fed my girls during takeoff/landing so they were distracted AND their ears were not bothered. Unfortunately there is no where to change your baby except for on your lap. Be sure to change her right before you get on the plane. MOST IMPORATANTLY, be calm and relaxed...and this feeling will transfer to your baby. If she cries, just soothe her the normal way that you do and take your time...no worries about the other travelers, they will live! Also, carry on lightly as you will have enough with the baby. All the best and have a good vacation! S.
PS We were told two times that our flights were full, but somehow both times BOTH of our daughters had their own seats :)

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H.D.

answers from Los Angeles on

First of all... you'll do great, don't stress or it will be horrible. We have traveled a lot with our kids as babies (we just flew with our 2 1/2 mos old, 4 and 6 year olds)
My recommendations
1. wear your baby in a sling, it frees up your hands and helps her feel secure (don't bring a carrier, its just one more thing to carry and since you didn't buy a seat they will probably make you check it at the gate)
2.don't over pack your carry-on, just bring the essentials
3. nurse (or use a binky) during take off and landing, it will help her ears acclimate
4.buy a nursing cover (www.mom4life.com is a great place) it gives you some privacy but allows you to nurse where ever
5. do your best to nurse discretely and keep your baby from crying but when it comes down to it, meet your babies needs and don't worry about others
6. as far as special seating, have your husband get on the plan during preboard to get your things settled, you wait till its final boarding and then just slip into your seat (this is more for you than the baby) You will need to make sure you are sitting in a seat that has an extra oxygen mask in case of a change in cabin pressure (you can arrange this at the check in desk)
7. The plane will most likely have a changing table in the restroom but there is not much room, I usually do it on my husbands lap(bring a lap pad) which seems to be easiest

Most importantly, focus on your babies needs and try to keep your normal routine as much as you can. Don't stress, You'll do great!

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C.P.

answers from Los Angeles on

I have travelled many times with my kids. When my daughter was 3m, 6m and 9m. We have travelled to Canada, Cabo and Spain. I travelled with both my kids (1yr boy & 3yr girl ) to Spain this summer. Each time I purchased a seat for them and was glad I did. I used the carseat on the plane to Cabo and Canada. Like you, we had a carseat waiting for us in Spain. When i didnt have the car seat I used the area to put her blanket and some toys, she was able to sleep, too. If you do not have a seat, you will have to carry your baby. Also not all planes have changing tables, and if there is one it is usually only in one bathroom. I have had to change the kids in the back of the plane on a changing pad on the floor. I know that intl fights provide little cots for the baby to sleep but they need to be reserved in advance. I have found it less stressful when the kids have a seat. I really think it is worth it. Make sure to take a pacifier or milk en a bottle so that she takes it upon take off and landing - it helps with the ears. Good luck

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L.D.

answers from San Luis Obispo on

D.,
I traveled with my son cross-country 9 times as an infant/toddler and got lucky everytime -- so it's possible. You definitely want to plan her eating around takeoff and landing so that he'll nurse. This helps prevent his ears from hurting. The trick is to stall until you are really ready to go. We got held on the runway one time and I had to try and keep him eating until we were up. We used to bring our own seat and hope for a 3rd seat next to us. Sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn't. My son would nurse and fall asleep in his seat and then we'd get a break. Otherwise we traded off holding him the whole time. It's the beauty of a free seat... Bring as many soft/chewable books/toys that are small and colorful. Anything entertaining is good. If you are calm and ignore the fact you are on a plane... treat him like you always do... soon enough you'll land. Good luck!

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A.F.

answers from Los Angeles on

We traveled when my daughter was an infant. We had to check her carseat, because we did not buy her a ticket so she technically did not have a seat to put the carseat into. So unfortunately you will have to hold her unless you get lucky to not have someone sit in the seat next to you. When you check in, you can ask if the flight is full or not.

I always tried to get the first row of seats that had a little more leg room, and you can lay a blanket on the floor right in front of you to change her diaper. The airplane bathrooms are barely big enough for an adult to stand in, let alone have a place to change a diaper.

I kept my baby awake until we boarded the plane then I nursed her during take off to help with the pressure discomforts of takeoff. She fell asleep and slept for 2 hours, my husband and I traded off holding her. If you have a sling, those are really nice because you can hold her and still have your arms free.
Also, I had a net thing that I could put fruit or something in and she would suck on it to get the juice... I forget what they are called but I see them in all the stores now...This might be something you could bring that is new for her to taste in case she starts crying. My kids loved canelope, but I am not sure if a 3 1/2 month old should have that...My kids started sucking the juices out at about 4 months old. She may not even suck on it but just touch her tongue on something new.

hope this helps
A.

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C.L.

answers from Las Vegas on

I took my son on a flight when he was 3 weeks old. I was lucky the flight wasn't full and they gave me a seat for him, however if u do not purchase a seat and it is full, u have to hold her. my flight was only 2 hrs so I can't help u on the diaper thing sorry.

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J.A.

answers from Los Angeles on

D., calm down.... you will have an awesome flight. Your baby will not know any different, and you will get to spend 5 precious hours together. If you want to bring your stroller and car seat with you, you can. Just check it at the boarding gate when you get on the plane. They will bring it down and load it under the plane and bring it back up to the jet bridge as soon as you land. EASY. There are changing tables in the restroom. The airline does not provide infant seats, but if you bring yours and there is an open seat next to you, they may let you get your carseat before sending it under the plane. Remember, the infant seat HAS to go in a window seat. You are probably better off not using the seat because you will have more space to work in (feeding and clothing and blankie-ing. If there is no extra space and you want your baby to sleep on the floor at your feet, make sure you bring a blanket for that. The floors are dirty, so make sure it's an extra one. It is okay if your baby cries. She will not cry the entire time. You should not fly with her if she has a cold because it is bad for her ears. If she does have any congestion, you may want to give her a decongestant. She will probably cry when you decend for your landing. Her ears need to pop, so let her cry. You will be stressed because it is your in-laws. Keep your baby on her schedule, and don't worry about what anyone thinks. Have a great trip and enjoy yourself, your baby, and most of all, your husband. J. (A former flight attendant)

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T.D.

answers from Los Angeles on

I flew cross-country (alone) with my daughter when she was 4 months old. Here are some tricks I learned.

1. Nurse her during takeoff and landing to relieve any pressure in her ears.
2. Bring a pillow! Since she will be on your lap for the whole trip, this will save you! (also, since you didn't buy her seat, a car seat will do you no good unless you want to wear it on your head!)
3. Request a window seat in the emergency aisle so you can lean on the wall and have lots of extra floor space.
4. The hum of the engines will most likely lull her to sleep, but bring a baby carrier (sling, Bjorn, whatever) in case she gets fussy and you need to walk with her to calm her down.
5. Bring lots of easy, one-handed snacks and water for yourself. (granola bars, energy bars, etc.)
6. Changing diapers can be tricky because not all restrooms have changing tables. If it's just wet, you can change it on the floor in front of your seat (if you get the emergency aisle). If it's really dirty and the restroom doesn't have a changing table, you'll have to change her on the restroom floor (I know, ick!) so bring an extra baby blanket or changing pad that you can lay her down on so her clean little body doesn't get contaminated with airplane toilet germs - ew!
7. Don't worry so much! If you're stressed, your baby will pick up on that and think that there is something for her to be stressed about, too. You'll all do fine! Plus I've found that flight attendants can't seem to help you enough when they see you with a little baby. They just fall over themselves offering up extra food and drinks and offering to take the baby for you. (at least that's been my experience)

Good luck - you'll have a great flight!!

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W.A.

answers from Visalia on

Hi D.,
I flew w/ my son at that age and it really wasn't that bad. We did switch planes so that broke it up bit, but he did just fine. The one hing you should try to do is at take off and landing try to nurse to prevent the "ear popping" thing. I know there is a real name for that but it totally escapes me. If she is nursing it should hopefully prevent it which will hopefully keep her from crying. As far as the seat thing, you will have to hold her in less of course you get lucky and the flight is really empty and you can "take over an extra seat. She will probly be happier being held anyway. I enjoyed having a backpack in the airport to have my hands free, so if you have the room I would take that. Other than that good luck and try not to be too nervous, if you are she will feed off of it.
W.

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S.C.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi! Ok, I'm by no means an expert, but have travelled with my 2 1/2 year old son on 5 flights, ranging anywhere from 1/2 an hour to a 19 hr international trip. Just a few tips that we picked up:

-some flights have cramped changing tables in the bathrooms. Our horrendous 6 hr red-eye with turbulance made us change him in the back of the plane, on a blanket on the floor, which was do-able, but miserable! We also almost missed a flight once because my son had a BM right before getting on the plane! If your child doesn't have too sensitive skin, I'd change her as little as possible when on the flight.
-on some flights, bassinets are available in the bulk overhead section. You can call ahead to see if your plane has this, but there are only 2 per plane, and you have to ask for it upon check-in. This is the best if your child can sleep during the flight (we gave our son baby tylenol to help, but I understand if you don't want to do this)
-try to breastfeed/bottlefeed during takeoff and landing. They can't equalize the pressure in their ears, so they need to swallow to get their ears to pop (it's best when they're asleep, but our son always woke up when the landing gear or engines made noise
-less is more! The times we took stuff, we just ended up lugging it all around in a small confined space. Every time he got fussy, we made a trip to the bathroom or moved around a bit. I spent a lot of time swaying in the back of the plane until we had to sit down again.

Hope that helps. Good luck!

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K.L.

answers from Los Angeles on

Since you didn't purchase a ticket for her, you will have to hold her for the flight and check-in whichever carrier you bring. Nurse her on take-off and landing to help with the cabin pressure. Bring any toys/blankets she loves. Take turns walking up and down the aisle (this is for your benfefit as well!). Good luck!

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E.W.

answers from San Francisco on

My husband and I are just gearing up for our first airplane ride with our 2.5 month old who will be 3 months at the time of our trip. It can be stressful. From what I understand if you choose to use an infant carrier or a car seat it has to be in it's own seat and you will be charged for a ticket. However, if you choose to carry your child it is free. It is recommended that you nurse (or bottle feed) during take off and landing to avoid crying due to the pressure. I'm not sure about the diaper changing situation. Our strategy is to show up really early to be the first ones on so we can sit up front (where there is a bit of extra room) and if need be we can change diapers on the floor. The main thing is to not get stressed. You will get through it. All the people that roll their eyes at children on flights will just have to deal with it! Good luck and enjoy your trip!

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R.H.

answers from Los Angeles on

See if you can request the seat that is behind the wall, not behind another row of seats and then ask if there is a bassinet available. When we traveled with our son who was an infant at the time, we were able to request those two things and the flight attendants brought out a bassinet that attached to that wall and our baby could sleep in it. I would just suggest calling the airline as soon as possible and seeing if those options are even available on that flight. It may differ between airlines and even international flights, but it's sure worth the try. Otherwise, unless your carseat is airline/airplane certified (or whatever) they won't let you bring it on and use it for your baby. They would have to check it at the door where they do the strollers. Which if you haven't thought of that, I've heard you can keep your baby in the stroller up to boarding the airplane and they take the stroller at the door of the plane and you get it back as soon as you get off the plane. On take of and landing, make sure your baby is sucking on something, either bottle, pacifier, or breastfeeding. That helps ears with the pressure change.
I hope these suggestions help. Whatever happens, you guys will be fine, just be calm, your baby senses that, and you have your hubby to help and take turns holding. Have a great trip!

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J.E.

answers from San Luis Obispo on

I couldn't resist responding, which I've never done before! My friend gave me the best advice, or comment. What's the worse thing that can happen? You piss off the other people...people that are grumps in life anyway, aren't happy and make you feel responsible for their unhappiness. Most people, you will find, want to help (like me:) If nothing else, people are inclined to look at you with a smile, or say something like they love babies, and that will calm you down.

Don't spend the money on a car seat. You and your hubbie can make a lap-bed (recommended) and let her go between you. NEW toys are good, those LED keychains are great to get them to focus on a light. Don't overdose them with stupid medication just to prevent the grumps from growling at you.

BE FREE! Don't worry about it.

Oh, and there is no such luxury of changing table; wish I would have known to bring a scrap towl that I could toss (pillow case, for example). The bathrooms are NASTY to lay your kid down on the seat.

Since the planes are kind of sound proof, not everyone will even hear your baby. Baby won't scream the whole time; it's physically impossible. Hey, if the scream a lot right away, they will wear themselves out, and the last part of the trip will be smooth sailing.

Smile at people when they look at you. They were kids once with poopy diapers, too!

Jennifer Engelmeier
SLO, CA

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M.P.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi D.. Don't worry, we moms have all been there. You'll be fine. If your baby is nursing, that should calm him/her down for your flight. What my husband and I did with our babies when we flew was take a pillow from our house, pull down the tray, place the pillow on top of it and lay the baby down. There's no way you can hold the baby for the entire flight. I did that with my daughter from maui to l.a., and my arm was sore once we landed. Trust me, the pillow works great because since they're so little, they fit perfect and can relax at the same time. And if your baby starts crying, so be it. They're a baby and they do it. My son cried once from mexico city to l.a., and yes it did get loud, and I got the looks, but I didn't let it bother me. He's a baby and people unfortunately seem to forget that. Good luck!

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S.O.

answers from Los Angeles on

Your baby is at a great age to travel with. I recommend nursing on take off and landing (at least) to help with the pressure on the ears. The ERGO is a great carrier but remember that you can't use it during take off and landing because it is not regulated. She will need to sit in your lap at that time. The rest of the flight it will be fine to use. If you didn't buy her a seat, chances are you won't get one for her unless the flight isn't full. I would bring a pillow of some sort for her to rest on in your lap. I used my boppy when my son was that age. I don't know anything about borrowing a carseat, but most planes have changing tables in the bathrooms. Change your LO right before take off so you can minimize changings because they are a bit tough on a plane. You are lucky to have your husband as a second pair of hands and a lap to bounce back and forth too. I did the cross country traveling alone in the beginning, but you would be surprised how helpful and nice most people are when you are traveling with an infant. If she doesn't cry all day long, then I wouldn't worry about her crying too much on the plane either. Just wait until she is over 1! That's when the real traveling fun begins :) Oh, and you do get to board early because of her. That takes off some of the stress. Just remember to relax and take deep breaths and enjoy your trip!

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K.S.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi!
We just took our 4 month old on a 5 hour flight, and she did surprisingly well. We gave her infant Tylenol drops about 30 min. before we boarded to help with any ear discomfort she may have had. Then again 30 minutes before landing. We also gave her a bottle during take off and landing, and she took a pacifier a lot of the time which also helped. Be sure to pack a few of her comforting toys and a blanket. There was a changing table in the bathroom. We kept her in her stroller until we got to the plane, then they checked it in right there and was waiting for us right when we got off the plane- super easy. I don't think you can bring her car seat unless you buy a seat for her...or check it in with the stroller. The sound of the engines and take off actually soothed my baby. Her fussiest time was the 20 minutes of boarding time. So on the way home, my husband pre boarded with the stroller and all our carry on stuff. He got us all organized on the plane and I carried her on with me at the very end of the boarding process. This worked out very well! Just make sure you're organized, allow plenty of time and try to stay calm and relaxed so she will too. She's a baby, if she fusses, she fusses, just do your best to soothe her -sing softly in her ear, play with her, all the things you would do at home. You guys will do great! Have fun with the experience.

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C.F.

answers from Los Angeles on

You have received great advice so far, I just wanted to add somthing I didn't see. The seats right in front of the TV's (very front row behind Buisness class) have a LOT of leg room. My husband & I asked for a blanket & pillow, put it on the floor, put our blankets over it and our sone slept on that for the majority of the flight. Just make sure you are holdng/ nursing her during take-off & landing. Also, it has been our expierence that people around us have been more helpful then annoyed. Once my hubby flew to Hawaii from cali with our then 6 month old and people were even asking if they could hold him! On my flight back with him, he slept the whole way. Also (*ask your Dr. 1st*) we were told by our Dr. to give him Benedryl. I can't remember the dosage (he was a BIG baby anyway)but check into that.

One more thing. Wear flip flops so it's easier to go through security. (Since you have to take off your shoes) You can bring a pair of socks on your carry-on in case it's cold on the plane.

Good Luck! Don't stress! Have fun with this new experience!

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E.F.

answers from Las Vegas on

Hi D.-not sure what airline you are flying but they probably will not give you a free seat for the baby- (experience) You can try and ask them when you check in if they can try and get you in the front row with the extra room by your feet if thats possible - Make sure you have things for her to suck on during take off and landing so her ears dont get clogged that will make her scream - try not to nap her before the flight maybe she will sleep - Also if possible try to get "new" toys for her to swing her arms at and keep her attention,like the toys we hang from the stroller and car seat anything "new" baby hasnt seen yet! Babies favorite blanket or cuddle toy is great but for the most part if you pass her back and forth from you to your husband that works we even took both isle seats so we could pass the baby across to each other SOMETIMES if the plane is not full they will put you in that row so you can ask the counter if after everyone boards you could have that row for you and your husband with the middle seat open for your baby that has happened also made it easy to change the diapers ! If that can't happen just put the baby in your or your hubby lap and change the baby that way - Maybe a window seat would work too- that keeps the attention for a bit also - and BOOKS to play with and look at the pages or the airplane magazines are great ethy love crinkling the pages - I think thats all I have for you - I have done it with 2 babies and survived 6 hrs so good luck dont stress it willbe fine and if the baby crys - oh well THATS what baby's DO! Just remember to have baby swallow during take off and landing trying to keep the ears clear! GOOD LUCK

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D.T.

answers from San Francisco on

D.,
If you did not purchase a seat for her, you will have to hold her and not use your car seat. I recommend purchasing another seat so you can put the car seat there. Your baby will at least be able to fall asleep more easily for most of the flight that way.
Good Luck,D.

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S.O.

answers from San Diego on

I think everyone here has given you great advice.

Gate check your stroller and car seat.

Once you arrive at your destination all of your luggage will most likely have been pulled and waiting for you at the customer service office or right in front of it. We didn't know this the first time we flew with our son and wasted an hour waiting for all of the luggage to come off the baggage claim. When none of our stuff came out we figured they lost everything and kind of freaked out. Then as we were walking toward the customer service office we saw everything lined up together just waiting for us.

Try to get the bulk head seats for the extra room.

Nurse during take off and landing or give baby a pacifier.

And bring a backpack style diaper bag. That way you can wear it through the airport on your back and carry your baby and DH can carry the other carry ons, carseat, etc. Plus with the backpack on your back, it makes it easier for you to walk down the airplane aisles when boarding without hitting other passengers on your way down or up the aisle to change baby in the bathroom.

I also just changed my kid on the seat next to me or in his carseat if we needed to. Just make sure to bring some ziploc bags for stinky ones and then dispose of them in the bathroom trash or ask the attendant to dispose of it in their main trash on board.

Being that your baby is so young, I don't think you will have any issues with travelling. It's when they are mobile that airplane travelling gets "fun". Trying to keep your toddler from constantly kicking the guy in front of him, screaming for no reason, and talking all the time throughout the whole flight and wanting to touch everything and run around the plane is really fun :D!

Have a safe trip!

P.S. To save some space on packing, I usually bring just enough food/snacks/bottles/formula and diapers/wipes to get through the first day of travel. Then once we land I hit the nearest Wal Mart or Target and get enough supplies to last us the rest of our trip.

S.

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S.A.

answers from Los Angeles on

Since you did not buy your baby a ticket, she won't have her own seat, and you will have to hold her the entire trip. Since she's so little, it hopefully won't be much of a problem, but I suggest that the next time you go, just to save yourself a little stress, to buy the baby her own seat. I know they usually say try to get a bulkhead seat when you are with children because of the extra space, but again with a 3 1/2 month old, it might not be an issue. There really isn't a place to change them, so it might be good to have that space to change the baby there. Make sure when you take off and land that you are giving your baby a bottle, as it helps with the ear pressure. My last piece of advice is for you--don't stress! Yes, your baby may cry throughout the trip. It's what baby's do. Do your best, and ignore the people who might be getting angry at you. They are usually the ones who don't have children, and aren't prone to be understanding anyone. As long as you are making a good effort to comfort your child, I don't see how anyone can fault you.

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K.H.

answers from Los Angeles on

D., No worries, we have traveled with our little girl since she was about that age and we just recently had to purchase a ticket for her because she turned 2. We held her on our laps from LA to New York, LA to Vancouver, and several other places and although it's tiring for the parents, it works out fine. Unless you purchased a ticket for her, your only option is to have her on your lap.
We brought lots of things for our daughter to look at and play with and the truth is, she ate and slept almost the whole time. Yes, they cry and you should not be stressed about that - it's what babies do and if people around you get annoyed, too bad, they will get over it.
Bring a few changes of clothes just in case and layer since the planes are either hot or freezing.
On some of our flights there have been changing tables it the restrooms and on others, we have had to change her on our laps! Bring a stroller is you can - it makes the airport time so much easier. They will check it at the gate.
Good luck.

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J.M.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi D., I would have to say that if a ticket is not bought for your baby, you will have to hold her....I'm sure that if there is an empty seat next to you, you could lay her in it while she sleeps. I traveled with my daughter when she was 10months, wanting to walk, and I was preggie with my 2nd, and I didn't have to much trouble...just made sure she wore herself out thru the layover...I flew with 2 kids last summer, ages almost 3 and 18 months...they got a little restless...not to bad and then they both went to sleep...and I am flying again on March 17 with both of them...hoping for the same results. The airline doesn't require carseats because the extra seat for a baby might cause a family to drive intead of fly, and they say that flying is safer than driving. If you buy the seat for a baby, then you need a airline certified seat to put them in, but to my knowledge, the airline doesn't supply them...I could be mistaken. All in all, I don't think flying with baby will be a problem....food and mommys arms are a blessing...

One more thing...get to the airport very early, and ask for the BULKHEAD seats....those are the first row...all kinds of leg room there, and you might possibly be able to lay her on a blanket on the floor while she sleeps???? Just a thought.

Good luck, safe traveling!!! J., mommy to 2.

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K.W.

answers from Los Angeles on

We have 2 boys and started flying with both when they were 3 months - usually on flights that were 5 hours or more. I've found it EASIER when they were 3 months than when they get older! First, almost every flight will allow you to check your car seat for free before the flight - it does NOT count as a piece of luggage and then you'll have one and be familiar with how to connect it to the rental car. When you check it ask if they can bag it - this way the buckles and straps won't get caught in anything and the base stays attached. Bring your stroller - they let you gate-check it just prior to getting on the plane and this will also not count as part of your 1-2 bags. It makes going through security more difficult (breaking down the stroller to go through the machine) but really helps navigate the airport before and after the flight with all the bags, diaper bag, car seat and all. We bring our large Gracco one - seems like a pain since it's so large, but I wouldn't travel without it.

I kept the baby on my lap the entire flight but try to get a window seat for more nursing privacy. I timed it so I began nursing just at take-off to help with the pressure and their ears, and also would nurse as the plane was descending just before landing. The sound of the plane is great white noise and at this age both our kids would almost sleep through the entire flight. I've also brought a nursing pillow with me on the plane - you have to keep it in your lap but it make it more snuggly for the baby and leaves you a little more hands-free to drink/eat during the flight. Bring extra water for yourself so you don't get dehydrated. I tried to stay in my seat as much as possible and found that getting a plane with a changing table in the restroom - is a crap shoot. Don't count on it. Go with good, absorbant diapers and hope for no messy diapers or blow outs! We've also brought one of those soft mobiles that can clip onto things with a mirror and rattling dangl-y things. If the baby was awake we could entertain them with it, but mostly I would keep be ready to nurse if they needed for their ears or to comfort them. I'd either bring a small paperback book to read (the sound of magazine pages turning distracts them during nursing) or watch tv and stay in my seat as much as I could. Have your husband ready to wait on you hand and foot (and share his tray table, and good luck!

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T.P.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi D.....My name is T., and I am a mother of a four year-old little boy. We have taken various trips with our son, including a trip to Hawaii and a trip to Florida (We live in California). I was really super nervuos getting on a plane with my little one, and so to make myself feel a little more comfortable about the whole thing, I contacted my son's doctor, and asked her for a little bit of helpful advice. I made sure to have her prescribe ear drops for pain caused by changes in pressure(just in case) and she told me to carry some infant tylenol along too. I also recently read that in order to minimize any ear pain for babies, which is sometimes common, you should bottle or breast feed during take-off and landing. I don't really know how to handle things when you have not purchased a seat, but I would recommend seats in that first row in regular class, which is much more roomy. I am sure if you call ahead and inform them during check-in, they will be very accomodating to you and your family. Flying is so new and sometimes difficult for a baby, and I am positive that people around you will be super patient. Maybe ask the airline to put you in a place where there isn't a ton of people cramped in a row....hopefully close to the walkway. I think we just put our son across our seats and changed him because the bathrooms are really cramped quarters. Ask your doctor too if there is some way to maybe insure your baby will sleep throughout the flight. I remember we gave our son a tiny bit of Tylenol and he slept through most of the flight. Also, just remember what is most important is the comfort of your baby, but on our last trip my son was like 2 1/2 and he was only wanting to stay up and talk, so I bought like 6 pairs of earplugs($1.00 each at the store) and handed them out to our neighbors as a good will gesture....they saw how I was not only deeply concerned about my son's comfort but I also kept their comfort and need for peace and quiet as a priority as well. That made them all a little more patient right off the bat. Maybe I would also suggest a portable DVD player with some Baby Einstein videos to keep the baby's attention --- they have a really great lullaby version that is very calming. I really hope this helps at all. I was really nervous, and stressed out, but everything turned out well. Have a wonderful time visiting your family, and don't be too stressed. Just make sure you bring things that make her feel at home ---her favorite blanket, stuffed animal, pacifier, and toys!!!! Take care and good luck!!!!

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S.H.

answers from Honolulu on

What I suggest the first thing you do is try not to worry and be so nervous because you little girl will sense that nervousness and respond to that. Call the airline and let them know you are traveling with your infant and they will advise you. If the plane has empty seats they will allow you to put your daughter in one. They may shuffle you around once people have sat. Usually there are empty seats in the back but if they have three seats in a row they can book you and husband in them and leave third for your daughter. I have traveled with two small children a lot and some trips were better than others. Try and see she has plenty on rest and food and whatever else she enjoys. Try and relax and enjoy the journey.

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B.D.

answers from Los Angeles on

if you check in very early (like 3-4 hours early) the flight staff may accomodate you and give you an empty seat for the baby if there is one. You will need to call the airline the day before and see how booked it is. bring the carseat just in case because if the baby doesnt get a seat you can check the seat at the last minute. There will be a changing table in the lavatory. the baby will have nowhere to go except your laps. The airline will not give you special treatment because of your baby. My mom is a flight attendant and we just got back from Hawaii with our 1 year old. On the way there we got an extra seat, on the way back, no such luck and we had to hold her for 5 hours. Think of it like this you are going on public transportation. If you were taking a bus, you would have to hold your child. Thats why she is called a "lap baby"

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L.P.

answers from San Diego on

D.,
Traveling with a baby is really not all that bad, Especially with a baby so young. My son slept most of the time in my arms. You do need to inform the airline that you will have an "infant in Arms" during the flight. They will seat you in a row that has an additional oxygen mask for baby, should the cabin lose pressure. The airline will not proveide you with an infant seat during the flight. The baby does have to stay in your (or your husband's) lap the entire time. It is much easier in first class, but can definately be done in coach. If you can upgrade at the gate, I say go for it! It was so much more enjoyable. Make sure to breast feed on take off landing. My husband would just walk up and down the aisle with my son when he got fussy, which wasn't much. I wouldn't worry about a backpack carrier (is it really bulky?) but I would reccommend a baby bjorn or an umbrella stroller. Both are nice places for baby to hang out while going through the terminals. There are changing tables in most airplane lavatories. I hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions and GOOD LUCK!!

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Y.C.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi D.,

Try not to stress out too much (the baby wil sense that). First of all, we've been traveling with our daughter since she was 5 months old (she's almost 4 now) and I can only think of one time where she cried enough to embarrass us. It's good that you're nursing, because that was the best thing to do during a flight - can't cry with their mouth full! If she tends to fall asleep when nursing (like my daughter did) she'll probably end up sleeping most of the flight. We never bought a seat for her until we had to. Lap seating was fine - we would just switch off if needed. I had this little vest I put on her called the "Baby B'Air" (sp?) that had a loop that attached to my seat belt. It was reassuring to have her strapped in incase of turbulance. If you feel like you'll need extra room, ask to be seated in the bulk head area - that's the row in the front that doesn't have anyone in front of you. Depending on the type of plane, there might be a changing table in the restroom. Not all planes have this so you might want to ask. Worse comes to worse, you change them in the seat. Just make sure to bring a Ziploc to put any stinky items in. Bring change of clothes for yourselves too - you never know when baby might have a blowout on you! Finally, bring some interesting toy that she's never seen. Break it out only when necessary. This stil works for us. We have toys that she only sees when we fly and I put them away even when we get to our destination.
Think of it this way - it's easier to fly now then when they get older and mobile. Good Luck!

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B.G.

answers from Los Angeles on

I have plenty of advice for traveling with an infant. My son is 19 months and before he turned 1 yrs. old he had been to Virginia, North Carolina, Texas, Tennessee, Mississippi and Arkansas. Texas twice. We were also stranded in LAX for 11 hours. My experience have been pretty good so far. If you did not buy a seat for you baby then the airline will not guarantee you a seat for your carseat or carrier. They will be stored for you to retrive after the flight. You will most likely need to hold your baby the entire time. If your baby will take a bottle use it when the plane takes off and lands. The sucking keeps the babies ears from hurting. If you must breast feed then use the baby blanket for a cover-up. You don't want to get kicked of the plane for exposer. Ha Ha. Change the baby in the planes labortory. Sit on the toilet and place your baby on your lap and change her like that. Practice at home. Your baby will sleep good in your arms. Don't worry, Don't Stress. We Moms do what we gotta do for our Children. Enjoy your trip. You will be fine. P.S. Pack enough diapers for unexpected delays. The gift shop has diapers for sale.

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G.W.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi D.,
You'll do great. It's easier traveling when they are little and less wiggly ;) If you go online to your airline's site, there is usually a "special accommodations" link that will tell you of their infant policies. When checking in, I always ask if there are any empty seats, or three together. If there are then you can have your daughter in the middle of you, and have a place where she can sleep. If not, you can bring your car set to the gate and have them check it there, and not have to count it as one of your checked items. It will be waiting for you when you deplane (a stroller will work this way too.)
Sometimes there are changing tables in the plane's bathroom. If not, bring your changing pad and put her on the closed lid. Try nursing her when you take off and land, it will help with the cabin pressure if she's sucking (a pacifier works great too). Good luck!

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M.Z.

answers from Reno on

I've flown with my babies quite a few times. The first time my daughter flew she was 1 mo old so I understand your nervousness. You will have to contact your airlines to find out there specifics, but this is what I know. Unless you bought a seat for your baby, there would be nowhere to put her carseat. At that age she would most likely want to be held anyways. It will comfort her and she may sleep through a lot of the trip. There are no changing tables on the planes. Change her right before you get on and if she needs to be changed on the plane you'll have to get inventive with space in the bathroom, make sure you have a changing pad. Have her on a bottle or binkie at take off and landing. It will help prevent the altitude change from affecting her sensitive ears. A lot of airlines won't give you any special acomodations or seating just because you're traveling with a baby. You can call and request the front seats, they have more leg room and you can let your baby stand between your legs if she gets antsy. You aren't allowed to sit in the rows nearest to the emergency exits and you can always ask the steward's once you're on the plane, if it would be possible to have the people in the front seats if they'd switch with you to make the ride easier on the baby. Never hurts to ask and if they think it will prevent 5 hrs of screaming they may accomodate. Good luck!

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J.F.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi D.!

I traveled alone with my daughter when she was 6 months old. I was not required to purchase a ticket or seat for her, but the flight was not full, so they provided me with a seat, and I brought her infant carrier on board.

Airlines will generally give certain priorities to families being seated with young children (if the flight isn't full) and also to children flying alone, as well as disabled passengers or people with special needs.

I can't help with the diaper changing, as my daughter took care of that before I boarded! I'm glad I caught it before it was time to board or I'd have been changing poop wherever it offended the least amount of people!

It's fine to fly with her on your lap, during take off and landing I did have my daughter on my lap in order to nurse her so her ears didn't pop. On my return flight the flight was too full and she could not sit in her seat, so I had to check it at the door. She was a little squirmy but she did okay.

Just make sure you bring some quiet toys or books, a blanket etc....bottles (or nurse her).

I hope the visit with the in-laws isn't too bad. =)

J. F.

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S.M.

answers from Honolulu on

hi, i have travelled extensively with my now 19 month old it was actually easier when he was small. if you are exclusively breastfeeding then you need water for yourself.DONT START UNTIL CAPTAIN SAYS FLIGHT ATTENDANTS PREPARE FOR TAKEOFF the only way you can bring H20 would be in bottles for baby for some reason Kona airport TSA security is super strict. I flew in January via honolulu denver tampa no problems with water in baby bottles on the mainland just Kona. they made me dump it all once and then I got to keep it another time when i said it was juice. they tested it and there probably was residual juice in the bottle. that is up to you or you can buy water once you are through security. airline will have water but only by the glassful so i would have my own to be safe. you can hold the baby for take off and the entire flight if you like. the airlines do not provide carseats ask at check in if there are any openseats and smile

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B.F.

answers from San Luis Obispo on

hi, i flew with my son when he was an infant several times. i too, was nursing. the trick is to feed right at take off, so the pressure won't bother the baby. the sucking helps with their ears pressurizing.(do the same at landing)if you bring an infant seat, you will have to check it just before you enter the plane. however, if their are extra seats on the flight, you can ask to trade with someone to accomidate you, your husband and the infant seat and they will allow you to do that even though you didn't purchase a ticket. they usually board people with children first, but i found it easier to board last so you can make those changes and won't be sitting too long before take off. the sound of the plane usually puts the baby to sleep. i always chose the very back of the plane so that we wouldn't disturb anyone and you're close to the lavatory. the down side is that the very back seats don't recline. my husband and i took turns holding the baby. i don't remember if the bathroom has a changing table or not. i would assume so, but just call and ask. i just changed baby on the seat if i absolutely had to and immediately put the diaper in a bag and then used some scented antibacterial gel on my hands so i wouldn't affend anyone. traveling with an infant is more work, but don't worry too much. the baby will pick up on your stress. babies love to nurse,so you should be able to comfort her. if she does cry, it's ok. babies do that. you may be suprised at how many people are also traveling with babies! last, if you drink, have a cocktail to calm your nerves! lol have a good trip!

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E.L.

answers from San Diego on

D.,
You have nothing to worry about. I took my daughter on the plane when she was 6 weeks old and she has been traveling ever since. If you didn't buy a ticket for your daughter you can't take a car seat. It you decide to use a stroller while waiting at the airport you check at the door of the plane and then pick it up at the same place when you get off. The stroller and car seat are not considered luggage but make sure you bag your car seat b4 checking it so you can keep it as clean a possible. The key thing when flying is taking off and landing. Try to have your child suck on something when you take off and land so their ears will pop. I give my daughter her sippy cup or a snack. I would suggest a bottle, binky or breast feeding. When I fly I try to sit next to the window. Some planes have diaper changing tables and some don’t I suggest if they don't to do it on your lap or put a pad on the toilet seat. I have done it both ways and neither is fun. I am sure you will do fine. You will find that most people are very understanding. good luck with your flight and the in-laws.

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J.P.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi D.,
I too was really nervous the first time flying with my little one (now 9 months). I waited until she was about 6 months...but I actually think it would have been even easier earlier. She was fine! She fussed a little on the way home, and then quickly fell asleep for the entire flight (including loud landing, voices etc...which is so NOT like her). Once again, I stressed for nothing. I bought homeopathic ear drops at Whole Foods (that a friend recommended), which may or may not have helped. Some other advice I got....tylenol before the flight, nurse during take off and landing (or pacifier), bring a new toy that you introduce for the flight. Oh, and I usually just change her on my lap....especially with a little one...people are really understanding. When you check in for your flight at the airport, ask them to put you next to an empty seat if they have any...they are usually really great about that! Good luck with everything!

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B.S.

answers from San Diego on

I'm sorry I don't have any advice. I'm just responding because I have the same anxiety and will have to deal with a very similar issue (visiting the in laws back east) in October (at that time I will have a 14 year, 17 month old twins and a 4 month old). I know through Southwest if you give them a call they should answer all of your questions. It was my understanding if you have your baby in a carseat or carrier and they require a seat, you have to pay for that seat (infant charge...I believe their ticket cost is different). They also have you board the plane first so that you can get situated without causing problems for other passengers. Whatever makes her comfortable now is what you should have with you on the plane...if that's possible...sucking tends to help with the ear pain. Hope some of this helps!

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K.M.

answers from San Diego on

First and foremost - NURSE NURSE NURSE!!! my son spent most of our first flight nursing and sleeping! The first time I flew with my son was when he was just 4 months old and I was alone. I lucked out with an awesome flight crew and a seat empty next to me (I always choose an aisle seat in case the babe is getting restless and I need to stand without bothering anyone). When flying with infant-in-arms you will not have anyplace besides your laps for your daughter unless you luck out with an empty seat but you can only put her in it with a car seat (which the airlines do not have). I always bring my boppy nursing pillow and a blanket or nursing cover. Nurse during take off and landing due to change in cabin pressure so your babe's ears don't hurt. Most planes have a changing table (which is simply a flat surface with no straps, so bring a pad or small blanket to lay her down on) however call your airlines and make sure because I recently flew on a connecting flight that did not have one. The flight attendant let me use the floor in the service area so I had enough room... it was rather tough so it's worthwhile to ask ahead of time. In general, the other people on the plane have been understanding when they see me with a squirmy or crying little one, but of course you will worry. Keep in mind, once you are in the air the engine covers up a bit of the noises around you. Be at the airport in time to board first, and I recommend waiting til everyone else gets off the plane til you try to get off... use that time to relax and breathe before the rush to baggage and your in-laws! Good luck!

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K.B.

answers from San Diego on

Hey there - You can call the airline and ask if the plane has a changing table in the bathroom. Some do but most don't. :( If you want your baby to be in a carseat you have to purchase a ticket. She is only free because she will not be taking up a seat. When I flew with my babies they always did fine. Bring her favorite blanket and a couple toys. If you are lucky she will sleep most of the time. I do recommend bringing a binki even she she does not take one so her ears do not hurt during take off and landing.

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A.C.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi D.,

I did the same thing with my baby girl when she was 2 and 1/2 months old. As for the flight, you want her to be drinking/eating on take-off and landing b/c otherwise her ears might pop and scare her and then she'll start crying if not. Since she doesn't have a seat purchased, they will make you hold her the entire time. If there is an extra seat available, she still can't sit there w/o a car seat and they do not have to provide one. To change diapers, unfortunately, it has to be in the airline bathroom which is very small and cramped. There is no diaper changing table (at least there wasn't 5 years ago -- things may have changed by now). As for the flight itself, mine slept the entire time b/c it was like the movement of the car for her so we were lucky. Hope this helps!

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M.R.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi D.,
First and foremost to know is that the baby needs to be eating/swallowing on the ascent and descent. That helps to equalize the ears. As adults, we just swallow to work it out, but babies don't know to do that, so they get very uncomfortable and even pain in their ears, hence the reason for babies screaming on airplanes. I can't tell you how important this is! We traveled a lot with our son on long flights. I used to just plan on nursring him the entire way up and on the way down.

For the most part, I wouldn't expect too many special accommodations from the airlines. They try when they can, but they are still very limited on space and extra resources.

Typically, if there are empty seats on the plane, they can give you a row with an unoccupied seat in it, which is helpful for changing diapers.

The rules of flying are different from our strict automobile seat belt standards. You will probably just hold the baby the entire time. If you get an extra seat next to you, you can use that if the baby will stay.
As for the bulkhead seating, that would be great to ask for, but if it is an emergency exit row, they might not give it to you.

Basically, it's really a matter of just making do the best you can for the flight. It's not like a hotel where you can call housekeeping to bring you a playpen.

Bring toys hope that she sleeps.

Really, it's not so bad. It's not the most comfortable or the easiest, but you can manage. I think that if you can make sure to keep the ears pressurized properly during take off, you'll be off to a great start.

You will get to pre-board. That's a little help.
Have a great trip.
M.

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M.W.

answers from San Diego on

I have a 3 1/2 year old and almost 2 year old and we fly A LOT! I think my daughter has all ready flown 15 times! It all really depends on your airline...I usually fly Southwest and they are pretty accomodating. It depends on the plane if there is a changing table in the restroom, most (on Southwest anyways) do not have one, so I just changed them on the seat next to me. Southwest doesn't have assigned seating, but they do let people with small children board first so that helps out. I always asked the flight attendant if it is a full flight and if it wasn't I would try and discourage people from sitting next to me...that way I had an extra seat for all the stuff you have. If you bring a car seat she has to sit in it and you have to have a ticket, unless it is not a full flight and they let you bring it on. I've only brought a car seat once and honestly it was a huge hassle. Most people are willing to help you out if needed, but some people can be jerks...just ignore them! I always give my kids Tylenol/Motrin before we flew to help with any discomfort they might have due to the altitude changes. Also, make sure when you take off or land to either nurse her or have her suck a pacifier as it will help with the ear popping! My most important piece of advice is to relax...she will sense if you are anxious and that will make her anxious. Remember it is only 5 hours and you have most likely made it through worse. I always fly by myself with my kids, so if I can do it by myself you can do it too!

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M.

answers from Las Vegas on

My husband and I flew with my daughter, whom I was nursing, when she was about 3 months old. I had all the same concerns as you. I would actually highly recommend bringing your carseat/infant carrier. First of all, even though your daughter dislikes it, both you and her are used to it. I hate "getting to know" a new car seat and how it works. Also, there is always the concern how "safe" each particular seat is. Secondly, on the chance there is an open seat, it will be nice to have the option of laying her in her carseat once she falls asleep and putting it on the extra seat. On the ride to our destination we did not get so lucky and my husband & I had to hold her the whole way (I *think* it was about a 2.5hour flight) and it got a bit tiresome. On the way home we really lucked out and had an extra seat. She slept the ENTIRE flight home in her carseat in the extra seat...it was AWESOME. In fact, if I could afford it, I would consider buying a seat if I were ever in the same situation again. The other women gave good advice. The only other suggestion I would have is to bring a few blankets. Even if you are going to a warm destination, you never know how cold the plane might be. You'll also want one to cover-up while nursing. I was comfortable, under most circumstances, nursing in public without a blanket, but I did use one on the plane. It's such tight quarters, that I felt it made others around me more comfortable and therefore made me less stressed..

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J.J.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi D.,
I have traveled with an infant before and it's not so bad. She's actually a great age to travel with because she isn't mobile yet. Flights are tough on new walkers and toddlers because they want to go,go,go! So that's good news. You were smart in not getting a seat for her - don't need it as your lap is probably her favorite place.

FOR TAKEOFF AND LANDING: to help those little ears, nurse her during takeoff & landing (this is the equivalent of chewing gum) It will also settle both of you, and keep you distracted. I have nursed on planes many of times and if anyone gives you any grief, remind them that she is quiet. Don't let anyone push you around! :)
The Ergo pack is a great idea because it will make your time in the airport (security, handling bags, etc) much easier, as your hands will be free! Security may make you take her out of the pack as you go thru the metal detector but that's no big deal. I used an Ergo also and we got stuck with a flight delay. She napped so nicely in it and it was great to be able to walk around the airport and not worry.
Bring a few of her favorite toys, her fave blankie, etc. When you guys are safely in the air you can stand and rock her in the rear of the plane if you need. You can also bring some applesauce or something to dip your finger in for tasting (a great distraction!)
Changing diapers is a bit of a pain. I would suggest using both of your seats as your changing table and toss everything in the restroom. The restroom has NO room for an infant, and there's no padded anything. She will bump her little head.
Oh, and there is a product called Baby B'air that I really recommend. I found it on the One Step Ahead website. It looks like a smock, and it has a fastener that straps to your lap belt on the plane. This is safest for baby because now she is attached to you and she won't fly out of your arms if there's turbulence. It is FAA recommended, and it's about $25.00 We used ours until our baby was about 14 months old, and then she needed her own seat.

Also, if you are bringing a stroller, you can either check it with your luggage or you can check it when you board. Then it will be waiting for you when you exit the plane (same as wheelchairs)

Good luck, don't worry and have a great trip!!
-J.

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J.S.

answers from Las Vegas on

Hi D.. My husband and I have 2 young children (ages 1 & 3) and we have traveled with them on several occasions. If you want to have your infant in a car seat during the flight, you need to bring your own car seat on board. Since you didn't purchase an extra seat however, you can only use your car seat if there happen to be extra seats on your flight (and then you will most likely have to ask people to change seats to allow your family to sit together). When our oldest was under 2 (after age 2, you have to buy them a seat) my husband and I would reserve the aisle and window seats and hope that nobody booked the middle seat. That way, we could bring his car seat on board and put him between us (he actually liked being in his seat). If it turned out there were not going to be extra seats, we would have the airline check his car seat at the gate (which results in it getting tossed around less) and then we would hold him the entire flight, switching off. Holding your child is totally permitted, but interestingly, if you have the car seat on board with you, the airline wants you to use it. The flight crew may ask you to put her in it instead of holding her. Since she doesn't like her seat anyway, you may just want to plan on holding her and forget about trying to bring the seat & hoping there are extra seats. Also, you should know that not all flights will have a changing table. I've done diaper changes on my lap in the bathroom several times (this becomes more difficult as they get bigger). Remember to check the TSA restrictions regarding flying with liquids, etc. (there are limits and certain items need to be in quart size plastic bags). Don't worry about her crying the entire time. Most infants just sleep during the flight, especially if you are nursing. Provide a pacifier or nurse during take off & landing to ease ear discomfort. Good luck and enjoy your trip!

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A.B.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi- We started travelling with our 2YO som when he was about 2 1/2 mos and haven't really stopped since then... when I was nursing it was really easy because I would just nurse him to sleep right before take off (this helps prevents ear discomfort w/ any pressure changes) and he would sleep (intermittently latched on) for most of our flights- even longer ones. I had a baby sling that I would keep him in for comfort (mostly his) and privacy and it worked really well for more than the first year. It's nice to have the 'bulkhead' seats b/c they have more leg room- but beware that you don't have under the seat space in those seats. I wouldn't bring a carseat- there's no where to put it unless you have a seat and you can't use it for take off and landing anyway. we LOVE the ergo- and still use it for airports- even at 2YO. Happy travels!!

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K.S.

answers from San Diego on

Hi D.,
No you don't need to put her in a car seat on the plane ride. You should call ahead or book online your seats to be together. Know that most airlines will allow you to board first after First Class for that little extra time to get settle in. We gave our little guy the lowest dose of infant pain reliever (just in case) prior to boarding. Just make sure you have a bottle ready for her as the plane goes up or for landing b/c their ear pressure. But otherwise at that age she should be just fine with you holding her for comfort. We flew with our son at 2.5 months and he has since flown several times without any issues. If you want to breast feed her get one of those hooter hiders from Target it is more secured than throwing a blanket over your shoulders. I breast feed him when he needed it. There is no changing table so change her just prior to boarding and if she needs it do it in your laps having your hubby help. I always change him just prior to boarding and after landing. She is pretty young still so most people will not even think twice about her you know. (unless she is a baby that crys a lot anyways.) Good luck and safe travels.
kb

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M.S.

answers from Buffalo on

D....relax...you will be fine. You have the most important thing your baby needs...food with you!

We travel a lot and I have two little ones.

No you do not need a seat for the baby. But you should ask if they have any open seats because if it is not full you could probably get a whole row and just have more space. But there is really no special seating for you.

You do not need to bring the car seat on the plane. My babies like to be held better anyways.

Changing diapers...some have changing tables in the bathroom or just on your lap works too.

But just relax otherwise your baby will sense tension and react to it. You will do great!

Any other questions let me know! Good luck and Have fun!

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A.C.

answers from San Luis Obispo on

I have a two year old and a two month old. We started traveling with our daughter, now two, when she was three months old. The thing that I suggest if you don't have one already is to get one of those "travel systems" with the car seat and the stroller that go together. You can push the stroller up to the cabin door and it will be waiting for you when you get off. I always recommend getting a seat for your children for their car seats. It is easier to keep them in them when they are sleeping and for take off and landing. Since you did not purchase a ticket for her you have to be careful because everything you take on the plane is considered to be your carry on not the child's. With that being said they most likely will not let you take on more than just a diaper bag. As far as changing your baby goes they really don't have a place do do this. If your baby is small enough you can use the fold down tables in front of the seats if not you will have to do it in the bathroom which is really hard. Most flight attendants are pretty accommodating. You should always travel at a time that goes along with your child's sleeping schedule. If you have a pacifier or a bottle it is wise to put this in the baby's mouth while taking off and landing to prevent any hurtful ear popping. For a 3 month old the only thing that will comfort her is you. You can try swaddling and rocking her if she cries. Most attendants will let you stand in the back of the plane to try not to disturb other passengers. Good Luck and have a safe flight!

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K.H.

answers from Las Vegas on

I traveled with my then almost 3 month old from 'Vegas to Waterloo, IA. Although my flight wasn't quite as long as yours will be, the flight to Minneapolis was about 3 1/2hours, and the flight to Waterloo was about an hour. I took my carrier with us, as we did not have a car seat waiting. The carrier went into the "gate checked" luggage. If you have a car seat waiting for you, there is no need to bring yours. The airlines generally have car seats available if you should need one at your destination. I am not sure how that works, but the airline messed up and I ended up back in 'Vegas without my carrier and so had to "borrow" the airline's car seat to get home. A car seat on the plane would only mean that you have purchased a separate ticket for your baby, and the car seat would go in that seat. So, unless you really want to lug all that stuff around, it's best to leave it. I used my baby bjorn the whole time. If you don't have a carrier like that, a ring sling works well, too, and keeps baby much more comfortable. A big plus is that it will help relieve some discomfort from having an infant on your lap the entire time. At take-off and landing, try to nurse as that will help with the ear pressure. My baby had a really painful time on our decent, so that's the most painful part for the little ones. Try to have her suck on something if not nursing.. your finger, binky, etc.
For special accomodations.. no airline is obligated to accomodate families with babies, although flight attendants can be of great help if you are lucky. Call the airline now to see if they have bassinet service on your particular flight. (Mine did not..) Ask about both your leaving and returning flights. If they do, see if you can get those seats. (You have to be in special seats for the bassinet to be there.) Also, ask if there are changing table stations on the particular aircraft you are to be flying, and that will give you a heads up on what you might need to bring. Most planes have at least one changing table lavatory, even if it's at the back of the plane, but don't be too surprised if your particular aircraft doesn't.
Anyway, I hope this helps! Traveling with an infant is never easy, but with the two of you, you should be just fine. Have a safe flight!

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I.D.

answers from Los Angeles on

call tha airline and request the front seat. this way you will have more space for the stroller or bouncer. nevertheless the liftoff and the landing will be the hardest due to pressure variation.

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A.D.

answers from Los Angeles on

I have traveled many times with my little ones and usually goes just fine. You will have to check you carseat and just hold your baby on the plane. I tried to time take off and landing at feeding times so they would not cry so much and then usually would fall asleep during the flight. So try and keep your baby awake before hand in hopes of sleeping through the flight :).
A.
work at home mom of two girls
www.thebest4yourfam.com

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C.K.

answers from Los Angeles on

I traveled quite a bit with our infant son from the west coast to the east coast since he was about 2 months old. The airlines do not have to provide special accommodations for you, I also do not believe that the airlines have infant seats that you can borrow. Many airlines will let you place your car seat in an empty seat (if it is available, but lately the flights have been completely full) even if you did not pay for it. In my experience this has only happened 2 times in about 14 flights. Else you will have to hold her in your arms. Personally, i like to have a car seat to put my son in for 1) safety and 2) so that I can have a break. I was also lucky in that my son did not mind his carseat.

If you are lucky to be flying an international class airplane (for AA the 767 which also does international flights) ask for bulkhead seating. They should have bassinettes that attach to the wall where your baby can sleep. These are a godsend in a long flight. Bulkhead is best anyways as there is more room. Also if you sit by the window and nurse it is a bit more private. The bathrooms have changing tables although they are very small and a bit awkward. I found it easier to change my son on a changing pad on his seat. Make sure that your daughter is suckling (nursing, bottle, pacifier ect.) during take-off and landing as this will help with the ear pressure discomfort. For my son, nursing was such a comfort to him that any time he became fussy, I nursed him and then he was fine. Now that he is older, I don't have that luxury and travelling with him is a bit more of a challenge :)

Good luck!

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J.D.

answers from Los Angeles on

My husband and I are now professionals traveling with infants, toddlers and children. At 3 1/2 months you don't need to have your car seat or an extra seat just bring your Boppy if you have one. It is a lifesaver for your baby to sleep and nurse. Bring your nursing cover up so you never have to leave your seat. In the bathroom you just need your changing pad for the counter.... it will be hard but this made it so much easier for us. Good luck.

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M.V.

answers from Los Angeles on

I traveled with my 2 sons since they were 3 months old to Europe all the time to visit the in-laws. When you check in make sure they put you at front bulkhead section. I believe the new FAA law you can no longer bring a carrier or car seat on the airplane. Bring prepared milk in a bottle to let him/her drink when taking off and landing due to their ear sensitivity. This helps a lot! Maybe a pacifier if you want. You are not allowed to change at your seat but they do have changing tables in the bathrooms (small). Since there are a lot of germs in airplanes you might want to take Tylenol (ask your doctor for the correct dosage) just in case your baby gets sick during the trip. Good luck.

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K.T.

answers from Los Angeles on

I totally understand your concern, but don't worry so much. Things will be fine. I was really concerned when I flew with my 3 month old. She did great. Just make sure to nurse her or give her a pacifier to suck with landing and taking off for her ears. You can hold her with no problem. When you check in ask for the bulkhead if available, which is the very front of regular class. The seats have more room and you could stand if you had too without bothering anyone.

I changed her in our seat because no one was next to us, but she was just wet. I made sure I changed her at the airport when we had a layover. The airplane restrooms have a drop down changing table in the wall behind the toilet. I haven't used it, but I was told they all have one. I would ask when you check in to confirm this.

You'll do great. Just have a few toys with you and make sure her ears stay adjusted.

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H.A.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi there,

This will be quick because my little monster is a handful today...

We traveled from Europe to the U.S. and around the U.S. when our baby girl was just 3 months. She did wonderfully, so don't worry. I was a nervous wreck for weeks ahead of time, but it turned out just fine.

Changing tables are in the bathrooms. They are a bit small, so I put a clean diaper between my baby's head and the wall to make sure she didn't get bumped.

Don't get up with your baby to change her/him when there's turbulence, even if s/he has a leaking diaper. The only problem we had on the 6 flights we took were when there was turbulence and I was out of the seat holding the baby. That was scary, so just stay put.

Use the bathroom in the middle of the plane because if there is sudden turbulence, it's much less bumpy than in the back.

Be sure to nurse (or bottle feed) during take off and landing so his/her ears won't be bothered by the pressure change. But don't start nursing until you're actually speeding down the runway (or a little later) because if you start too early you might be done before the plane even takes off!

We actually DID bring our car seat on the plane and were glad we did. The most relaxing leg of our journey was when our baby was securely in her seat and we all got some rest. I don't know if it's approved for air travel, but no one asked. I'd bring it along if you can. Worst thing that will happen is it will get checked at the last minute.

International flights have little baby cots that you can request ahead of time. They are given out on a first come first served basis at the GATE, not at check-in (we got to the airport 3 hours early but that didn't help since the gate desk didn't open until later... live and learn).

I wouldn't risk giving my baby any medication at all. Sounds scary. If your baby cries, the worst thing that will happen is you'll get dirty looks from other passengers. But we've all been on the other end, so don't worry about it.

And yes, bring several changes of clothes for you and your baby. And diapers and wipes.

And have a good trip!!!

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A.D.

answers from San Luis Obispo on

Hi D.,
Don't worry about your trip everything will be fine. The younger the baby the easier it is to travel because they sleep most of the time. You won't need your carseat if you did not purchase an extra seat for the baby. She will be fine and at that age she will most likely sleep the whole time. I have traveled tons with all my babies. I pack a small bag of "new" toys. Toys they haven't played with for a while so they get there attention. But a 3 1/2 month old isn't really going to care about that, just pick her favorites. My son liked a bamboo spoon, a metal hook thing for a water bottle, watches and keys, so I brought those things. Then on the plane I had an empty chip bag that made a crupple sound and was shinny, also a styrofoam sandwich box that he got a kick out of for a really long time. Of course you must watch close that they don't break a piece off and chock. Anyway, I think the above is important, but the SECRET TO A SUCCESSFUL FLIGHT is keeping the baby comfortable...Adults have the ability to pop their own ears and relieve preasure as the plane takes off - Babies can't do this. And as a result have a lot of discomfort and therefore cry (their form of comunication to tell you they are uncomfortable). However, if you nurse the baby during the take off the baby will beable to pop her own ears because of the sucking and movment of the jaw. Just think how you relieve the preaure in your head...you move your jaw to open up the sinus. So...don't feed the baby right before you get on the plane, you want to make sure she will be hungry to nurse at take off. Pull out your bag of tricks and play with her and keep her occupied during the loading and taxi time (This helps tire her out). It's okay if she starts to make sounds now people are still settling in and this is part of her excersise to get tired...remind yourself that if you just stick with the plan the baby will sleep soon because she has played out her energy and next she will get comfort by nursing then fall asleep the rest of the flight and everyone will be happy. DON'T START nursing until the plane is ACTUALLY LIFTING into the air...lots of times planes get delayed on the runways even if they just announced they are taking off. WAIT UNTIL YOU ACTUALLY LIFT OFF. You will feel the same preasure as the baby so, if you are fine so is she. Then do the same for landing. WAIT until you are really close to the ground. The pilot will announce final desent and you still sometimes have 20 minutes to wait. Wait until the piolt puts down landing gear and you are really close to the ground. If the baby is still sleeping, don't wake her up just gently put her on the breast and she will quietly nurse as you land and be just fine :) For back up I always brought a bottle to put water in...so if the baby didn't nurse they could suck water or at least chew/play with the bottle nipple and relieve preasure kinda like chewing gum. GOOD LUCK! A.

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R.H.

answers from Las Vegas on

D.,
I always took my carseat/stroller combo with us when we travel. You can check them both right at the gate as you are getting on the airplane. And when you get off, they're pretty quick to give them to you. That way you don't have to worry about carrying your diaper bag, infant, and any other carry-ons. You can just pile it all on the stroller. If there are extra seats, they will let you bring your carseat on the plane with you, and if your little one is cooperative, you can put her in it and the plane may lull her to sleep. I also brought a front pack with me so my little guy could fall asleep on my chest and it would leave my arms free. You will want to wear comfy, accessible clothing so that you can breastfeed easily. We were lucky enough to have extra seats on the flights we have taken and I've just laid my baby on the extra seat to change him and brought those little plastic bags you can wrap diapers in (you can buy them at Target. They are dispensed out of a little duck). Lastly, babies can sometimes have a hard time adjusting their ears when the cabin pressurizes. It's a good idea to bring a pacifier, or to nurse her when you are taking off. I was worried also about traveling with my baby, but he really seemed to like the plane, and out of 8-10 hours of travel, he only cried for about 10-20 min on one flight. Good luck!

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L.T.

answers from Los Angeles on

Since you are nursing, try to feed her while taking off and landing. This will help so that her ears pop. flying w/ child this small is the easy part, they generally sleep. Changing the diaper will be the hardest. Change her on top of the sink or toilet seat (covered w/ blanket or towel) in your seat, your lap. If she doesn't have a poop diaper, try to hold out. She will more than likely sleep the majority of the flight. Also, sit on the aisle or 1 in so you can get up and walk w/ her. The back of the plan usually has more room near the restrooms. I wouldn't take to many toys, just 1-3. There isn't alot of room on planes. Good luck. P.S. Glare back at any one who dare gives you a hard look if your baby cries, remember everyone pays the same price. Maybe you'll get lucky and the plane want be full and you can have a section to yourself.

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E.S.

answers from Los Angeles on

what I found to be my life saver on flights was to buy a seat for our baby, no matter how young, and we bring our car seat, in your case maybe you should think about brining an infant carrier with the base so you can strap it in with the seat belt. Our family pediatrician suggested that we give our baby a little Benedryl (sp?) for allergies, it makes the babies sleep like angels on long flights and it's totally safe, it really works if you give it to them about 45 minutes before the flight takes off, then they wake up hungry and you can nurse to keep her busy. Talk to your Pediatrician before giving any medications of course. Good luck, we fly a lot and I still give my 3 year old Benedryl. Emily

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C.W.

answers from Las Vegas on

they do have changing tables in the bathrooms. She doesn't have to be in a carseat and you only get to use one on the airline if she has her own seat. things like carseats and strollers can be checked at the door of the airplane, and will be at the door of the airplane when you land. I was super nervous the 1st time i flew w/ my son, he is very hyperactive. He was 19 months I believe, i did hold him the whole time and he slept on me for the most part. we flew over 8 hours plus some flight changes. we were going from alaska to tx, we've flown twice since then. the best advice is to fly at night and bring something to help then be sleepy especially on night flights. Other wise books, toys, drawing stuff and portable dvd players are the best idea. It wont' be easy, but probably easier than you think. you and your hub should've scheduled seats together and if you dont' get them...when you get on the flight other passengers are pretty willing to usually change seats w/ you so that they dont' have to sit next to a baby. gl

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V.H.

answers from San Luis Obispo on

Traveling with a young one can be stressful, but it is not too bad. I wouldn't advise bringing the carseat. You will only be given an additional seat if there happens to be one available right before take off. You will be allowed to board the plane before most people because you have a young child. I would advise sitting in the front row where there is the most leg room if that is available. There are changing tables in the restrooms. I would be sure to bring a blanket and nurse when taking off and landing. That helps with decreasing pressure for the baby.

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J.M.

answers from Las Vegas on

Calm down first of all D.. The baby will pick up on the stress and then stress out all on her own and she's on vacation too! The easiest way to travel, is to enjoy it. No seat means that she will be traveling on one of your laps, so bring either a stroller or carrier, which ever you and your hubby are most comfortable with. If you or your husband are comfortable with the baby on your shoulder, then try to sleep with her that way, or if your husband has room in his lap to lay her there, go for it. You will be able to comfort her just as much on the plane as you would on a train and more than in the car. Take finger foods if she is old enough, toys and teathing things. If she uses a pacifier, don't forget it, and pack extra, you're bound to drop it a few times. Don't forget to pack plenty of water or juice to help with the ear popping cuz you don't want to be nursing the entire trip. Take a light cover for nursing time just as you would in any public place. Change her on your laps as most airline restrooms are barely large enough to turn around in. So long as she's clean, re adjust her diaper (if needed) when you've landed and can change her on a table in the lady's room at the airport.

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T.R.

answers from San Diego on

Well the baby will probably have to sit on your laps unless it is not a sold out trip. Make sure you are nursing her at take off and landing. That way her ears will not be affected. This may also help keep her calm during the flight. I hope that this helps. Good Luck!

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L.C.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi D.,
I just got from a 12.5 hour flight from Israel and there were several families that had little ones on board. They sat in the first row of seats in our section and they gave them room to put the little ones items, ans the airline attendants even assisted with setting up a small little play pen area for the little ones to be in. So bring carrier and I am sure they can work something out for you.

The little ones on our flights did very well and the parent walked the aisles to keep them quiet and no one on the plane had any complaints.

I hope this helps in some way.

L.

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G.G.

answers from Los Angeles on

HI, D.. I am G. and a mother to 2 girls. I took my first one on the plane when she was 6 months old. Her ticket was still free at that time, but I had to hold her. I just made a special arrangement with the attendants so we could have a seat with a bigger leg space. It's good that you will have your husband with you. When I traveled with my baby, I was all alone...imagine that!!! But I think it would be a good idea to talk with the airline and ask them what your options are. I brought a car seat with me that time, but they asked me to check it in. Good luck with your flight and your visit to your in-laws. Take care!

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S.H.

answers from Los Angeles on

first of all.. don't worry.. the younger they are the easier it is actually... my daughter's first flight was when she was 3 months .. (3 hours)... at 8 months we went on a 15 hour direct flight .. and at 15 months.. 7 hour flight..(HARDEST FLIGHT OF ALL) and honestly the younger the better... just imagine when they're toddlers and just want to run up and down the plane the whole time...

about the carseat... you can only bring the carseat if you paid to have a seat for your baby,,,, because you have to buckle up the carseat to a seat as well.. so they wont let you... dont' worry at all.. just hold your baby and comfort her... and most bathrooms have a changing table that pulls out to change her... and tak elots of blankets because it's sooo cold on planes...

when you are about to take off... and land... make SURE you are nursing or give her a bottle or pacifier or something... as long as she's sucking so that her ears wont pop... you can also give her benadryl or grypewater about half hour before you take off and land and she should asleep if not be mellow so she wont be bothered... that's what we do on all flights.. when she was younger we gave her grypewater and now benadryl... make sthe flight a lot easier...

have a good trip!

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L.R.

answers from Los Angeles on

D.:

First, have a drink before getting on the plane so you can feel more relaxed. Especially, when nursing your baby can sense and will feed off whichever it is you're feeling.
Second, don't take a car seat if you didn't purchase a ticket for the baby. Hopefully, the flight won't be full and there will be an extra seat next to you or near someone who you can ask them to switch.
Third, the most important thing to remember when traveling with an infant is to make sure you have your baby nursing at the time of take off until plane completes to ascend and then again when the plane begins to descend up until the plane has landed. If you do this your 5 hour plane flight will be a piece of cake. Otherwise your babies ears will be bothered so if the baby is nursing or is given a bottle their ears will stay clear.
Another thing, make sure your baby is well at the time of travel. An ear infection will cause your flight to be a trip from hell.
Finally, it's a good idea to give the baby a dose of Motrin before the flight and if the baby has started teething don't forget the Orajel. Relax Mom. . . As soon as you arrive at your in-laws you'll have no worries and you'll get a break! They'll be happy more than happy to see all of you and look forward to caring for your baby. So let them. And, have fun on your trip! Enjoy!

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C.G.

answers from Los Angeles on

My husband and i got an extra seat for our 2.5 month old. He sat in his car seat the entire flight to Virginia from LA, except take off and landing. At this point I would nurse or feed your infant if possible, or at least give her a pacifier. Swallowing helps an infant's ears pop. If you bring your car seat, and don't have a seat for her, you have to check the car seat.
Also, you cannot sit in an exit row, but you can sit in the first row behind first class. This offers more leg room and more room to maneuver.
The back pack carrier is perfect for in airport travel, especially if you don't have an additional seat for her.
Some airlines have a changing room in the airplane restroom, but don't worry about that either. With our son, he didn't wake up on the plane at all, all that white noise, and I wasn't going to wake him up to change him. Just change her before you board, you may not need to change her on the flight at all.
Good luck! no worries! It will be fine, the younger they are, the easier it is to fly with them.

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L.S.

answers from Los Angeles on

Pacifier or breastfeeding helps with changes in pressure (ear pressure). If you don't purchase a seat, you can't take a car seat, because as you say there is nowhere to put it. Baby has to be on your lap. Bathrooms are tiny--you have to change on the floor somewhere or wait until you're on land.

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J.H.

answers from Los Angeles on

3 1/2 months is a good age to travel since the baby isn't mobile and still sleeps a lot. If the airline has room, they will let you bring your car seat on. If not, don't worry about holding the baby during the flight. Just nurse her during take off and landing so her ears don't plug up - that's mostly why babies cry on airplanes. Also bring some of her favorite toys or a lovey, if that's what she sleeps with.

P.S. There are car seats on wheels that are super great for traveling. I think Babycenter.com carries them.

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C.M.

answers from Los Angeles on

the first time we flew with our baby she was 2 months old and it was a 4 hour flight. we carried her in a sling and she slept almost the entire time. we did not even have to change her because she was asleep the whole freakin time. the sling is a god send!

the second time we flew with her, she was a bit older (6 months) and again she was in the sling but she had more awake time. i did change her on the flight and i saw that the bathrooms do have a pull-down changing table.

most flights will give families with small children or babies, early boarding. i would choose the bulkhead seat if possible, because there's just more room up there.

good luck - and believe me you will be surprised how much your litle one sleeps. the lull of the droning noise and constant vibration seems condusive to their rest. good luck!

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E.H.

answers from Los Angeles on

It's much easier to travel with a baby that you think.
Call the airline and ask if they have a place to hang in a portable basinet (provided by the airline).
Continental has this service for international flights. Usually is in the first road in the middle.
If they don't you can bring your portable one and put in front of you on the floor if the airline allowed it.
There is a changing table in the bathroom, small space though.
Make sure to bring the pacifier or a bottle for the baby and give it to him at the time of decolage or arriving.
Good luck! The other important thing is to relax, otherwise you pass to the baby the anxiety!!

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T.G.

answers from Los Angeles on

hello there first off - you will need to bring her birth certificate even if the airline tells you that you don't have to. that happened to me and i had to buy a round trip ticket for my 11 month old on the spot. also, if your flight is empty then you will be lucky otherwise it will not be easy for the 5 + hours and may you should think about buying a seat only to make it easier on yourself and that is a LONG flight. the extra room will be helpful and you could put her infant seat on it. also, she will cry (of course) and too bad for the passengers -thats life - don't feel bad about it all of us were babies some time. you have a flight full of passengers who can read or watch a movie or whatever and they will live with the fact that you have a baby - and that is that. She is little and will sleep for a lot of the time, but ask the doctor if you can give benedryl at that young of an age. also, nurse her as you take off and land because that is when the pressure changes happen. the plane will not provide an infant carrier you would need to bring your own, but that would sit on a seat which you would need to buy, you & hubby otherwise will be stuck holding her. if the flight is full (or even if it isn't) you will have to hold her the whole time.don't take the flight if she is sick -even a little bit could damage her ears.

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J.S.

answers from Los Angeles on

take a deep breath. it will be fine. there is a changing station in each bathroom it is tight and tricky but you can do it....have your hubby come and help. you can hold her for the entire flight you do not need a seat or a carrier...all the white noise from the engine will probably help her pass out. nurse her on the way up and on the way down and when ever she wants in-between. she will do just fine. I took my 3 mo. old, colic-ie daughter on a five hour flight...and she was an angel.my arms were sore for a few day but she was great. just remember your baby can feel your stress and try to go with the flow. you guys will be just fine.

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K.T.

answers from Las Vegas on

HI, we flew with our son in Dec. He was 7 months old and did fantastic. I held him and he ended up sleeping most of the flight. The best thing to do is nurse on the take-off and landing. That way her little ears will adjust to the pressure. If she takes a pacifier bring that too or if you want to do bottles (anything for her to suck) Don't stress she'll be fine, bring her fav toys/blanket and try to stay calm. Babies are incredibly in tune to our energy levels. If you stay calm hopefully she will too. Good luck!!

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L.G.

answers from Las Vegas on

Hi D.! Abigail was 4 months old when we traveled from NV to NC to see my mom. If you don't buy a seat for her you'll have to hold her in your lap. Your arms will get a little tired but it's not really bad. Fortunately we traveled at night when she would be sleeping. No changing table in the restroom on the plane and I wouldn't want her in there anyway as it's kinda icky. The restrooms in the airport have changing tables so we changed her right before we boarded and that worked well. I think BF made it alot easier traveling because we didn't need to carry a bunch of bottles and formula etc. We took her diaper bag with her stuff in it (diapers, change of clothes etc) and a backpack with our stuff. The only time she seriously squirmed was when they started to pressurize the cabin. So I bf or gave her a pacifier during those times. They may be able to put your infant seat in the cabin (tag it in case they have to store it with the luggage) but normally they just accept it as baggage and you can pick it up at your destination. Just go to the bathroom before you board the plane! I had to go soooo bad and couldn't really get out of my seat because I was holding the baby and my husband and the guy on the isle were sleeping! Wish me luck! We're flying in June when Abbie will be 11 months old and a bunch more squirmy than the first time we flew :-) Please let me know if you have any questions. I'll be more than happy to try to answer anything. Good luck and it will be fine :-)