Air Travel with a 8 Month Old

Updated on February 19, 2007
R.F. asks from Plano, TX
4 answers

I am traveling for the 1st time with my 8 mo daughter so she can meet her 92 yo great-grandmother in CA. I'm still nursing, so luckily I don't have to worry about bottles (but waiting for the potential dirty looks of other passengers if, g-d forbid, I have to nurse on the plane, right?!?). Aside from packing about a bizillion changes of her clothes, any tips?? I figure I can just bring a small supply of diapers and baby food, and purchase the rest there. We're renting a car, too. Do I have to bring the car seat base with me, or can the car seat itself be safely installed?

I'm from CA, so I can't wait for her to meet her family and see the ocean!! But if there's an earthquake I've had it with CA :)

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answers from Dallas on

First off, don't even think about worriying about anyone who may give dirty looks because your 8 month old needs to eat. I'm sure they all eat in public :)

If you think you may be traveling more while your child is young, I really recommend getting a Sit and Stroll. Yes, it is a bit pricey, but worth its weight in gold for not having to haul around a stroller and a car seat. Plus if your little one falls asleep, you don't have to disturb them to switch from car seat to stroller. I got one for a recent trip with my 13 month old and loved it! It does strap right onto a car without the need for a base too. Let me know if you want more details or have questions on it.

As far as the flight, you are free to take baby food on, but because the conatiners are over the 3oz limit, you do have to declare them at security. Just put them in the quart size bag and show them to the guards. I took through both Stage 2 and 3 jars with no problems.

We didn't have any issues with air pressure hurting our sons ears, but if you think you may have problems your pedi can prescribe ear drops that will stop her ears hurting in the plane. I know people who wouldn't travel without them.

Remember a couple of fun toys, and don't feel bad if you have to get up and walk up and down the aisle with her. I had to do that and the flight attendants were awesome about letting us hang out in the galley with them. They even took him and played for a few minutes. It really saved us when my son got bored!

Good luck. Have fun. I love California!



answers from San Diego on

Hi R.,

Take as little as possible with your carry-on you said, diapers and baby food, maybe one change of clothes for the "just in case". And a blanket. If you can pack your supply of diapers, go ahead. That stuff is so expensive in California. Take your base with you, I don't think your car seat will install properly, or safely out there without it. Just leave it attached to your carseat. If you are checking the seat, I suggest buying a travel bag for it. You can get them at Babies R Us for around $20 and they work great! We traveled with our daughter to Finland when she was 5 months old, to San Diego when she was 10 months old, and to Finland again when she was 11 months and 17 months old. Good luck!




answers from Dallas on

I agree with the other poster who said take as little as possible on the plane with you. I have a great backpack that I take with me on flights, it is so easy. I always try to sit in the aisle seat, that way if you have to get up a lot you will not disturb those around you. I also try to sit up front, that way you can get off the plane faster. Before you board, you could ask the attendants if it is a full flight, if not you could see if you could sit next to an empty seat, this can really help with diaper changes or just to put your bag/toys/etc.
The best advise I can give you is try to relax, if your baby has a hard time, just know the flight will end and you will never have to see the people again :).



answers from Dallas on

Hi R. --

I used to fly a lot with my first daughter and have flown a few times with both daughters so I have learned to pare down my bag to just the essentials. First, as someone else said, don't even give a second thought to nursing on the plane if your daughter needs it! Bring a paci or a bottle of water for her to suck on during takeoff and landing to equalize the pressure in her ears. You can also nurse her, but if you've bought her a seat or there's an empty one next to you, most airlines are now asking for children to be buckled in during takeoff and landing.

Your carseat (check the manufacturer's recs) should be able to be safely installed in the airplane seat and in your rental car in CA without the base. Also, if your carseat clicks into your stroller, you can use the stroller throughout the airport and gatecheck it once you get to your plane. The only hassle is that, at security, you will have to get your baby out of the carseat, fold the stroller up, and send both the carseat and the stroller through the X-ray.

Bring diapers and toys and any loveys she finds comforting. The plane is loud and some of the sounds can be scary for little ones! We always took finger puppets and entertained ourselves that way.

Other quick tips:

If you haven't bought a seat for your daughter, consider doing so or ask when you check in if the plane is empty enough to block out the seat next to you.

Ask to preboard so you can get settled.

Call ahead and request the bulkhead seat so you will have more room. The only problem is that you won't have a seat in front of you under which to stow your bag so you will need to put it in the bin above you.

Good luck to you!

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