Air Travel with a One Year Old

Updated on February 21, 2008
N.S. asks from Pickerington, OH
6 answers

Hello, my son is one year old and we are planning a trip to Germany this year. Just wanted to find out if anybody has any tips on air traveling with a one year old. I am unable to decide whether I should buy his own seat or whether I should keep him on my lap. Any tips are welcome. Thanks, N.

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So What Happened?

We have decided to buy an extra seat for him when we fly to Germany. Thank you so much for the advice. We will try to fly Lufthansa, if we can and try to get a seat next to the pull-out bed for infants even though my son will be to long for it (at least I think so), I do believe that we will need the extra space. Even though my son can sleep in my arms, I think he will sleep longer and better in his own seat. Thanks again everybody.

More Answers



answers from Columbus on

I would definitely purchase a seat for him, especially on such a long flight. We have traveled frequently since my son was 3 months old. There was one time when I didn't buy him a seat (a trip to New Orleans for a cruise) and I regretted it.

On the flights, just make sure you have plenty of water and activities. We have purchased a portable DVD player for our son and it has entertained him pretty well. Just make sure you get one with a long battery life.

We've also purchased a GoGo Kidz Travelmate from One Step Ahead. They hook on to your child's car seat and create a stoller - your child rides in his car seat and with this contraption the car seat has wheels. It is an awesome alternative to having a stroller AND carrying the car seat.

Happy travels.

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answers from Jacksonville on

When we went we took several toys and books. The only thing we used was a DVD player and a blanket. We kept our boys awake all morning so they would be tired when we got on the plane. We got to the airport extra early and let the boys run around and wear themselves out. It was only 4 hours and they slept about 2.5 of it. I would suggest buying him a seat. There were 4 of us (the baby was 1) and we got 3 seats. Iam SO glad we got that extra seat!
We also took our umbrella stroller which was GREAT because we were able to take it right up to the plane.

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answers from Dayton on

If you can fly Lufthansa, they may be able to find you a seat by the bulkhead where they have pullout/attachable infant beds. Even if your son doesn't end up sleeping there, it's very nice to have the extra space for toys and snacks (bring lots of these!). I flew Lufthansa to Kazakhstan with my daughter, then 21 mos old. She didn't sleep much at all, but the extra space was nice just for her play space. That said, I am sure buying an extra seat is safer if you can afford it. But at that age they don't really want to stay in their seats anyway, do they?

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answers from Fort Wayne on

I have flown to Germany a few times and my only advice would be, it is about a 9 hour flight (depending on where in Germany) if he can sleep on your lap then forego the seat, but I think that for the extra money, you and he will be much more comfortable and happy if he has a seat to lie down in.

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answers from Cleveland on

Yes! We traveled to Vegas when my son was 8 months old, montana at 14 months and on a cruise at 1. Hold him on your lap, he will feel safest there and the snuggle time is priceless. Take lots of snacks and activities for the magnadoodle, crayons, coloring books,cars, travel or portable dvd player and favorite movies. I planned a trip to target before leaving and bought all sorts of little travel items like ai mentioned above. I put them in a bag i decorated from catan's and wrapped some of them as well. It is now our travel only bag and my sons are both excited to play with what i s in there b/c that is all we use it for. Opening the little gifts along the way made time fly by too. Always pack tylenol and a little benadyl in case he gets hepped up, the pediatricians say its good to make them a little calm and sleepy on the plane. and, one more important thing i never will travel without, an extra pair of clothes. My son was sick, flu, each time we flew and vomited everywhere...extra clothes were so handy!! Good luck and have a wonderful trip! take lots of pictures...memories are priceless!

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answers from Cleveland on

Hi N.,
I would get him his own seat. That is a very long trip, and while I can see where it would be nice to save money, I think you'll be much happier with a seat to put him in. Especially so you both can stretch out a little and hopefully he'll sleep some for you. Plane trips are hard because you have to be mindful of other passengers, so alot of the noisy toys are no good. My kids always liked magnadoodles, magnetic puzzles, felt storyboards, lots of books. Its hard with a one year old isn't it? And I hate to admit it but-- a little Benedryl can go a long way... I hope you have a great trip.

1 mom found this helpful
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