First Airplane Trip - San Antonio,TX

Updated on January 17, 2008
S.B. asks from San Antonio, TX
10 answers

Hi, we are going to a wedding in Oklahoma next weekend (the 26th) and we will be flying with a 4.5 month old for the first time and I am very nervous about it. A few people have given me some tips about how to lessen the popping sensation in the ears, but I would like more advice about traveling on an airplane with a baby! Thank you for the advice a head of time.

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So What Happened?

Well we had connections in Memphis and our first flight I thought was going to start off well because we were sitting on the plane before take off and she was playing, but then she started losing her patience and started CRYING!! I could barely stop her but I managed to rock her to sleep! I probably looked crazy rocking back and forth in my chair..but O well... haha. Anyway to make a LONG story short...she slept while we were in the air but as soon as we started the descent she would wake up CRYING! so we had prepared bottles ready in the seat pocket and as soon as she would make a peep we would try the pacifier and if that didn't work we would give her the bottle! It ended up working well. Many people actually came up to us and told us how wonderful she was! YEA!!! That is always something a parent wants to here! Thanks for all your wonderfull advice.

(I called TSA to make sure carrying water in her bottles would be fine and they said yes any amount would be ok, well when we went through security the first time they took us aside and checked each bottle of water for I guess chemicals...what a pain!)(but I understand it...I just wish they weren't so wishy washy...)

More Answers



answers from San Antonio on

I went to California with my then 2 month old son at Christmas, I needed to take my stroller and carseat with me. They will let you check the stroller and carseat when you board the plane,(they will consider it 1 piece of luggage tho) that way you have it while you wait in the airport. I would ask if the flight is full, if it is not they will normally let you take your carseat on the plane so you can buckle your child in. I also filled my sons bottles with water but I did put them into a plastic bag and I did not have any problems, but it probably depends who is working at security. I was really worried about my sons ears, when we left because he had an ear infection in both earsfeed during landing and takeoff but if you daughter is sleeping let her be,she will be just fine!!! GOOD LUCK to you, but I am sure everything will be great!



answers from Dallas on

I took my son on a plane when he was three months old. I made him nurse during the take-off and landing, and I was surprised that he just slept the whole rest of it. One word of advice...try and time it so he is sucking on something right when you are taking off and not while taxiing. Sometimes it takes a really long time to wait on the runway, so he might be done sucking before he really needs it. Good luck and I hope you have a great trip!



answers from St. Louis on

I took many airplane rides with my oldest (now 2) and have taken 2 with my now 5 month old. I don't think it was that bad until my oldest got pretty mobile and didn't want to be held (around 12-18 months). Some of the best things you can do are very simple and don't involve drugging your baby, which I would be very careful about. 1) it is easy to overdose 2) it actually makes some kids more active. Try to schedule your flights near times when your baby normally naps. Try to arrange your feeding schedule so that you can feed your baby around takeoff or landing. If that doesn't work and she takes a pacifier try dipping it in something sweet, table syrup or sugar water, but not honey. If you use a sling, it is a great time to take advantage of it. Depending on what airline you are using, I recommend doing your best to get a window seat. Babies don't like getting bumped by all the people when sitting in the aisle seat. Try to sit next to whoever you are traveling with, if you are traveling with someone. Take plenty of baby wipes, you'd be surprised how many you will use. Extra burp pads and cheap toys, just in case they get dropped and you can't find them again (kind of like the dryer and socks) If all else fails, it is a short period of time and she will most likely not be cranky the whole time. There will always be rude people that complain, but if you smile and apologize, most people will show sympathy for you.



answers from Austin on

Hi S.
I have traveled with my son since he was 3 months old, and most of my trips have been without my husband. Let me say that the number one thing you can do to make it a pleasant experience for your baby is to relax and enjoy the trip yourself. Your child will pick up on your tension level and will match it. If you are relaxed and happy, your baby will be too.

On takeoff and landing, I always gave my baby something to drink (discreetly nurse or give a bottle). The pacifier was an ok substitute if he was not hungry. If you use bottles, have at least 2 ready to go before you get on the plane.

I also used a baby bjorn carrier which allowed me to have both hands free. I used his stroller to hold my carry-on luggage, and always gate-checked it. Southwest no longer allows you to preboard with children, so keep that in mind. Hopefully your airline will allow you to preboard - this takes the stress out of getting yourself situated. Keep in mind that you will have to undo the carrier during flight - as they are not FAA approved. I would leave it on me, but undid the clips that held in my son.

The baby bjorn carrier will most likely need to be sent through the scanner at security. So make sure you get everything on the belt first, then hold your baby while you take off the baby bjorn (or sling). You walk through security while holding your baby - and he can't be wearing shoes, either. Then put your carrier back on, put the baby in, and get the rest of your stuff loaded back on your stroller. This is the fastest way through security - and it's still a little slow, but hopefully you won't have people trying to shove their way around you.

Bring plenty of diapers, two changes of clothes for the baby and one full change of clothes for yourself, right down to the panties, in your carry-on. Dress the baby in a couple of light layers. Sometimes the plane can be too warm, so this makes it easy to get her a little cooler.

Bring 5 or 6 familiar and fun, relatively quiet, little toys to play with on the plane or in the terminal. Make sure to bring a blanket to cover up with for nursing and to snuggle with on the plane, as they can get chilly. Bring plenty of snacks for yourself. If you are formula feeding, get those single-serving cans of premixed formala to bring along - the airport security will not hassle you about that.

See if your hotel will put a crib or pack-n-play in your room, so that you don't have to bring one along. You will need to check it and they often get damaged. Bring your own sheets, in case your daughter's skin is sensitive to laundry detergents. If you plan to bring your own, I recommend the T2 Travel Cot by Phil&Ted. I love it - it's easy to set up, it's super light, and it packs right in my suitcase.

If you will doing any travel by car, you will also need to bring your carseat. I'm assuming that your daughter is still in the baby-bucket as part of the travel system. I recommend gate-checking the stroller, baby bucket and carseat base. I also recommend getting a JJ Cole 'Bundle Me'. This way, if your baby bucket gets rained on or a little dirty during handling, it won't matter in the least. You just pack the Bundle Me it in your carry-on until you arrive at your destination. This way it stays clean and dry and your baby will have all the warmth she will need for heading north this time of year.

Enjoy the experience of traveling with your daughter. We love it and have even flown to England with our son. Because he has been flying so long, he is totally used to all the sights and sounds and often asks when he gets to go on the airplane next! If you make a point to keep a smile on your face, it will come out in everything you do while traveling and everyone will enjoy the experience.



answers from Dallas on

My son and I started traveling as soon as he was five months. His father was sent to Iraq a few months after he was born so, I had to fly by myself to visit all of the family up north. My son was on ten flights just last year and he just turned three. Our sons docter said to make sure he is taking a bottle at take off and landing. The sucking on the bottle should prevent any problems with his ears. I too was nervous the first few times flying with him alone, don't worry things will be fine.



answers from Dallas on

Hi S.,

You will be fine! Just make sure you bring a bottle like all the other Mom's said. You want to give your little one the bottle at take off and landing.

In additon, I would try to keep the baby up so he/she is sleepy on the plane.

Best of luck!

C. Roeschen
The Trinity Group
Keller Williams



answers from Corpus Christi on

Sounds like you have the ear thing pretty well covered - it is all of the other things that have not been addressed. I recommend checking your carseat unless the person picking you up has a seat already for you. When we would fly and the boys were tiny babies, we would always put them in our snuggli that goes on the front of you. It was SO much easier for me especially because I did not even have to take them out of it on the plane and they just slept the whole time. I also did not have a heavy and bulky stroller to cart around (and the fellow passengers did not have to endure that struggle either). It was great - I wore the baby and my husband had what we needed for the plane in a back pack. The only thing about wearing the carrier is when you go through security - they make you take it off - so it is always good to just carry your baby through and put it on after you go through clearance. We have family in West Texas so we would always fly with the kids beginning when they were 6 weeks old. It was not a big deal at all once I got the hang of everything.

Good luck and have a great time!



answers from Dallas on

If you are taking formula on the plane be aware that the airport security can be quite difficult about it. When I traveled with my then 6-month-old son last summer I took water in the bottles and powder formula to mix it with only to be told at security that there couldn't be any liquid in the bottle unless it was already mixed formula. This made no sense because the formula would be spoiled after an hour. I had to pour out the water and purchase water once we passed through security. You cannot take unopened bottled water through security either. I wrote a letter to the Transportation Board about how difficult they make it for people to travel with infants. I also took my sling carrier on the plane so that I could "wear" him and not have to carry him the whole time through the airport and on the plane. It also made me feel more secure and like he was seat belted to me on the plane. It seemed to calm him and he slept for the entire flight.



answers from Houston on

I've only done it once and that was quite a few years ago but my doc told me then to give my son some type of pain reliever before getting on the plane to lessen their sensitivity, rearrange their schedule (if needed)so that they are sucking on a bottle as the plane takes off/lands and carry liquid benadryl with you just in case baby starts screaming and you need to make them sleepy. Our gut instinct is to feel bad for purposefully putting our little ones to sleep with meds but the doc assured me that in this circumstance it would not harm baby at all and would probably keep us in good standing with the airline and it's passengers!! Feel free to call your pediatrician for their advice. That's what they are there for. Things may have changed since I did it...they probably have some new fangled thing out there to lull baby to sleep or something! Good luck and safe travels!



answers from Killeen on

I understand exactly where you are coming from. I had the same questions when we first ravled with our son. At the time he was only 1.5 months. I didn't give him anything for the pain but I did rearrange his schedule so that when he took off and landed he would need a bottle. He ended up not even needing it at all. He slept through the enire landing and take off. The change didn't seem to affect him in any way. We made sure he did have his binky and a few small toys to chew on when he was awake. Good luck with your travels.


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