Benadryl Before Plane Ride??

Updated on August 20, 2007
C.S. asks from Richmond, TX
13 answers

I am flying with my almost 1 year old daughter for the first time tommorrow! I'm so nervous about the whole thing. She is a pretty laid back happy baby but I'm worried about the flight. My husband thinks we should give her Benadryl and I've had some other suggest this. Has anyone had good or bad luck with this? I just worry that then she'll be groggy and grumpy when we get there or worse she'll sleep too much and not sleep that night. Any other travel advice would also be great. I've of course gotten the advice about having her suck on a binky or bottle during take off and landing and plan to do that.

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So What Happened?

Thank you all for your advice- it was helpful. I didn't give my daughter any Benadryl and everything went fine. The flight on our way there was great- she is a big flirt so having all the people to smile at kept her busy until she slept. Then we had to lay over and when we got back on the plane she was not so happy to sit still but I had plenty of toys and snacks and overall things went better than I could have hope for. I will say also for anyone who travels-I bought a Chicco Capri stroller at Babies R Us for the trip because my umbrella stroller was too small and my travel system stroller was too big. It was one of the best purchases I've made. It's an umbrella stroller but it has a 5-point harness, a sun-shade, a storage basket and a deeper seat that reclines plenty for napping and best of all a storage bag so when I gate checked it , it didn't get dirty!

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answers from Dallas on

Just keep in mind kids respond differently to benedryl. It doesn't always have a drowsiness effect. It can have the opposite effect. My 6 yr bounces from room to room. I don't think this would make for a fun trip. I would take things to occupy her. I don't even know what kind of snacks they will allow you to take. Have you tried the airline website to see if they have suggestions too? Just in case they won't allow you to take certain items. Good luck!

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answers from Houston on

I used benadryl with my son when we flew, but I tried it out on him before we got a plane, What I found out was that a whole dose made him bounce off of everything in site, but if I gave him half or a quarter of a dose it worked well. Don't worry to much about not sleeping at night. You know how tired you feel after traveling all day. Your child will be very tired from all the different stimuli that he is not used to. I always try to plan my flight so my son will be sleeping on the plane, he is not so laid back though. Good luck. My only other advice is take plenty for the child to eat and be organized



answers from Houston on

Benadryl just hypes my son up unfortunately. Maybe try giving it to her first to see how she reacts? We took our son on a trip at 18 months and he did fine with just a portable DVD and some Baby Einstein DVDs.



answers from Houston on

I flew with my son when he just turned 1 last year & he did alot better than I thought he would. I too had all the fears & it sounds like you are more prepared than you thought. I don't think it is a good thing to give benadryl to a one-year old, I myself don't even like the way it makes me feel as an adult. I was lucky to still be breastfeeding & allowing him to nurse while take-off & landing did the trick. He slept most of the time, looked out the window & we listened to music on the headphones some too(they have a childrens channel)!! Good luck & ignore the ignorant glares of the childless people on the plane, they'll get theirs, *grins*!!



answers from Portland on

I heard about someone using benadryl on the plane and it worked fine--but by that time, my baby had already flown on 7 different planes, and done just fine. She was 3-4 weeks old on the first trip, when we flew to the Dominican Republic. On the second trip, we just flew within the state, and this time she was 5 months old. She did fine. Just let her suck on something if she wants to. If the plane trip happens to be during her normal nap time, let her nap (in your arms or the carseat, however you're going), and it should be fine. If she's just eaten, give her a bottle of water to suck on, or a binky, like you said. If she's generally happy, she should do fine, as long as she doesn't have a cold.

Have a great trip!



answers from Tyler on

I agree with giving your child benadryl. The first time I took my son on a rode trip, he was about 8 months. We went on a trip from Tyler to Tampa, FL and from there to SC. Needless to say...the trip was LONG!!! I left early inn the morning while he was still sleep...then I gave him a lil benadryl around the time for him to take a nap b/c he got fussy. My finally bit of advice would be that you're the parent, you know your what you think's best!



answers from Beaumont on

I did this with my daughter several times when she was very little (9 months through about 3 years old) and it works like a charm. Just give her the tiniest dose for her age and weight, and then have her suck a bottle as you take off and land as extra precaution. As she gets older, you can have her chew gum or eat something chewy like raisins during take off and landing and it does the trick. My daughter is 14 now, we have always traveled a lot to visit relatives in other states, and the worst thing on a flight is to have a crying baby (or one sitting right behind you!). Good luck!



answers from Miami on

I have flown with my daughter about 4 or 5 times now (she is 15 months old) and if you have never given her Benadryl before and don't know how she will react to it, I would recommend against it. I haven't given it to my daughter yet, but I have heard from several people that it can make some children VERY hyper which is exactly the opposite effect I assume you are looking for. My pediatrician actually told me that the Benadryl thing is a myth anyway and that it really doesn't make most kids that drowsy.

My recommendation is to have lots of different snacks (as long as they aren't liquid, I don't think there are any restrictions from the airlines). Also, I would get a couple of new books or toys that she has never seen before so that she will have something "new" to play with on the plane. She may be occupied for a longer period of time with something she has never played with before. Also, I bought a small photo album and put some pictures of our family and my daughter's friends in it. She loved that and we spent a long time looking at pictures of people she knew. This would be especially great if you're going to visit could show her who you're going to visit!

One other tip is to let her down to run around a little bit before you board the plane. I see a lot of people with small kids keeping them in the stroller until it's time to board and then the poor little ones have to sit all through the flight too. Let her burn a little energy and you should have a great flight. Good luck and enjoy your trip!



answers from Tyler on

Hi C.!

I flew with my then four-month old daugther the end of January for the first time. I had her on my lap and I had the same types of concerns you do and she is also a very laid back happy baby. We did a round-trip then and then again in March. I fed her a bottle on take-off and landing and gave her a binky like you said you planned on doing and just had a bunch of travel toys to keep her interest. She looked around at other passengers a lot and smiled at them and laughed; that kept her interest as well.

She'd been teething so I gave her a dose of Tylenol a few hours before one the flights and then another just before we left. She slept at least half the time on all flights and one of them she slept about 90% of the trip (it was an early a.m. flight, 5:30). But I didn't do that for every flight and sleeping on the plane didn't mess her sleep schedule for bedtime.

I think you'll be okay as long as you have things to keep her interest.

Oh also... there are NO restrictions from the airlines on bringing breast milk or formula on the plane when you're traveling with a child. I had a little soft cooler with 3-4 full bottles of breast milk each time I flew. As long as you tell them about it and show it when you go through security, there is NO issue. If you want to read about Traveling with children, go to and write "traveling with children" in the search box and it will bring up everything you're allowed to bring with you.



answers from Longview on

Do not do it unless you know how benadryl effects her. I did the same thing after endless suggestions by family members when my daughter was 16 months old. It had the opposite effect on her and she was wired and freaking out. I have since then talked t my pediatrician and he said this is a common side effect. If you have time before the flight to take a practice run, I would try that. But if you are that worried about giving it to her, I would skip. Everyone on that plane had small children at one time or another, and they will understand. Just look at it this way, It may not be great for the 2 or 3 hours, but it sure will be better than driving there with a 9 month old.



answers from Houston on

I never used the benadryl for plane ride. My experience with it was not sleepy but bouncing off walls, lol. When I traveledd with my oldest I just made sure that he was sucking on something during take off and landing. I also brought some of his toys to keep him occupied. Godd luck and have fun on your trip.



answers from Longview on

I don't have any first hand experience with this, but I have heard that sometimes Benadryl can have the opposite reaction and can make your child bounce off the walls, definitely not what you want on a plane ride! LOL! Here is a link to an article on baby center about traveling on a plane with a baby...

here's another good one...

I would ask your ped about the benadryl. Good luck on your flight!




answers from Houston on

My kids started traveling very early. Travel manners are important. Just like good restaurant manners. If you kid is laid back it will probably be easier for you to travel with her. Bring food and whatever she needs to drink and keep her warm on the plane. Stay seated and keep her on your lap. Set up travel rules with her and they will stay with her for the rest of her life, and you will enjoy traveling together as a family. The biggest problem is when their ears get clogged. That is the one you are going to have to work through when it happens.

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