First Plane Ride for 6 Month Old, Advice?

Updated on February 24, 2008
J.G. asks from Sacramento, CA
49 answers

Hi, we're going on vacation next month, flying with my 6 month old daughter, and I just want to know if anyone has any advice on what to bring/not to bring, tips, etc. Like, I have a travel system, is it too bulky to bring? We'll need the car seat and stroller anyway, shouldn't I just bring it and check it (check the stroller at the gate),or do you know an easier way? Any info is appreciated!

UPDATE: I have gotten SO MUCH WONDERFUL advice from you all!! Now I just want a vote, if possible... at the end of your response, could you just give me your VOTE on the following: STROLLER -- CHECK at GATE, or CHECK at BAGGAGE? I do have a Bjorn and plan to check the car seat--OH, and I'm NOT bringing the grandson, just the 'lil girl', who will be 6 months old by then... hope to hear from you!

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So What Happened?

Thanks everyone, we did it! I checked the car seat AND stroller at the gate, only because I forgot to check the carseat, she was in it when we checked in. But it still worked out, they were waiting for me on the tarmac <sp?>, so simple to pop her in it and go. She did GREAT on the plane, both ways, no crying, took her bottle and went to sleep for most of the flight. Thanks again, you've all been GREAT!

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S.S.

answers from Sacramento on

I have traveled many times with a baby. You have already gotten great advice. The only thing I would add is if you are renting a car, see if they rent carseats. One less thing to pack. Stay light, take an umbrella stroller.

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N.M.

answers from Fresno on

Hi!
Congradulations on the birth of your little daughter and your little grandson. My youngest uncle is only 4 months older than I am. I am sure that you are overjoyed with the both of them. As for traveling with babies, I don't know exactly what a travel system is, but the plane doesn't have a lot of space, especially when you are traveling with babies. So I would suggest, to put a few small items, like toys or a book, or a teddy bear. Just things that are small and light to carry, because you can run out of space in no time. And maybe something that makes a sound or plays music, that isn't too loud.
Good luck!

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S.H.

answers from San Francisco on

we have traveled quite a bit with our baby- take the stroller to the gate for sure. the only drawback is that at security, you have to take the baby out, and put the car seat and the stroller through the machine...sounds daunting, but its not that bad. having the stroller makes it easier getting through the airport and you have something to out your carry ons in ;0! If the baby is traveling as a "lap baby" (no seat purchased), ask at the gate if the flight is full. if not, sometimes they will give you a seat for the baby, and you can use your carrier car seat for her to sit in. sure is nice if its a long flight!
Have the baby drink from a bottle or sippy or suck on pacifier on take off and landing so that her ears don't bother her. pack extra everything in your diaper bag just in case of a delay- and a blanket as planes tend to be chilly. I dress mine in a two piece outfit for easy didie changes, and socks- but no shoes- they are easy to lose and hard to find on a plane- learned the hard way on that one! I also take a toy that isn't noisy, and that doesn't have alot of pieces.
good luck!

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T.H.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi J.

When traveling, try to make sure your bags are not over 50lbs a piece or you will have to pay in addishion to the weight of the bag. Each person can bring on one carry bag. Base on the length of your trip, if you need to, purchase a travel size tooth brush set, it will include toothpaste, brush, floss, ect. No liquid what so ever is aloud on the plane. For the baby, check in the stroller, and car set. Call the airline and get details on what they require for those items. For the babies milk, carry on powder milk, they will be able to provide the hot water. I hope this has been of help to you. Be Blessed!

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W.N.

answers from San Francisco on

Yes, bring the carseat and stroller- gate check both of those items. Also, be sure to nurse/feed the baby during take off and landing- that will help with any pressure in the baby's ears...
Have fun!!!

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H.C.

answers from Sacramento on

If you're going to visit with someone you know, you may be able to borrow things while you're there. My husb and I went to see his bro and sis in law when our dtr was 6 mo old and we were able to borrow a car seat, play pen/bassinet, and stroller, thus dramatically cutting down on what we needed to pack. We ended up not even using the stroller, because everyone wanted to hold our dtr (it was the first time they had seen her). We ended up using the play pen/bassinet very seldom because she wasn't crazy about playing in it by herself and with all the new sounds and smells, she ended up needing to sleep with mom and dads familiar sounds and smells. Really the only thing we consistently used was the car seat. The other things are nice but not necessary, especially if you bring an ergo or snugli to tote her in. We held her on the plane so we didn't need to take a car seat and that also saved money on an additional seat. When I went to visit my grandmother I did need to take the carseat but I just checked it at the counter and held my dtr on the plane again. As long as you are strapped in securly, it's just as safe to hold your baby as it is to put her in the carseat and then she gets the added security of being held and comforted by mom when the engine roars and her ears start to plug up. That's another thing...try to feed her during take off and landing. That will help the pressure in her ears stabilize. Also, there is so little space on the plane you really don't need to bring a lot on board...just whatever will fit in your diaper bag (which can be a lot).Hope you have a fun and safe trip.

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C.D.

answers from Sacramento on

I've flown several times with my daughter when she was an infant. I was still nursing at the time, so I nursed her a lot during the trip. It kept her quiet and kept her mouth sucking so her ears could adjust to the altitude. If you're not nursing, I would suggest bringing a bottle and letting your baby suck, on formula, or even water... just to let them get adjusted to the altitude. I didnt bring a stroller... I carried my daughter in a sling and that worked great for me. Theres already so much to carry. If you really do need it, you can check it at the gate. It really is up to you... your preference. Do you think it will be usefull enough to deal with between checking your baggage and going to the gate? For me, it really isnt that far, and its a lot easier for me to not have to deal with it all, so I'd check it at baggage and carry the baby. But if you have a lot of stuff to carry, or whatever, it might be easier to have the stroller to put stuff and the baby on. So it depends on what you have and want.

CHECK AT BAGGAGE

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R.R.

answers from San Francisco on

I've traveled with my daughter several times and I say yes, bring your stroller/car seat and check them at the gate! It's a bit of a pain going through security because you have to take the baby out and put the items on the security belt but after that, you can put everything back on the stroller and it's smooth sailing as you walk to your gate (and in some airports, that's a long walk!) And, after you get off the plane, your stroller is right there for your walk to baggage claim. It's also helpful when you have to use the restroom (I was flying by myself) because I could push the stroller right into a handicapped stall.

Some airlines will let you take your car seat on the plane free of charge if there are empty seats so that's always nice. However, if that doesn't work out, I'm always fine with my diaper bag under the seat in front of me and I just make handy the things I know I'll need right away. The flight attendants are very willing to help with the baby if you need to use the restroom or need to get your seat belt on. I find other passengers are very helpful as well.

I make sure to have a pacifier, bottle, or breast ready for take off and landing to help avoid the pressure in the baby's ears as they suck.

Also, FYI, remember to put any liquids in a baggie as you go through security and they will let you take formula already made but I couldn't take any water through security that I planned to use for formula later. I had to get that on the plane.

Sorry, I've blabbed on. Ultimately, I can't imagine trying to carry my baby, diaper bag, boarding pass, purse, etc. all through the airport to/from my gate without the help of my stroller!

However, my stroller is a little more beat up just because it gets tossed around as it goes on and off the plane so don't expect it to stay in perfect shape. That's a sacrifice that's easy for me to make.

Have fun!

VOTE: CHECK AT GATE

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M.A.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi, I have a two year old and we´ve flown about five times together. Be sure to bring crackers, cookies or anything baby can eat and drink during flight. Also make sure you don´t forget any books or magazines. If he loves horses bring him a new magazine with horses, trains or anything that we´ll keep his attention. This usually works for a while be ready to walk up and down the isle a few times with baby so he doesn´t get to frustrated, or you either and if your lucky he´ll fall asleep for a good while. Don´t forget a pacifier or bottle that he can suck on when the plane takes off and when it lands, very important so the baby doesn´t get that annoying and painful earache. If you think the baby may get planesick or dizzy ask your doctor if you can give him some dramamine that is what my pediatrician recommened ask yours, this will definately make him drowsy. Best luck, and don´t worry usually the flight attendents are really nice to you and your baby. Hopefully you´ll be seated in front or with an extra vacant seat so baby and you can spread out. If baby cries don´t worry it´s all part of it! Again good luck and have fun!

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Y.D.

answers from San Francisco on

Some suggestions...
- Make sure she sucks on something (pacifier, bottle) as plane is lifting off to relieve any possible pressure.
- Good idea to bring antibacterial wipes to wipe around your seat/window area.
- I usually would bring our carseat and stroller too.

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K.W.

answers from San Francisco on

Well, first of all, I think 6 months is ideal for a plane ride. Once they start to walk then it is hard to keep them in the seat on the plane. I would make sure there are toys (not noisy ones) and at least a couple of outfits in case there is an accident of any kind (poop or puke), and plenty of diapers and snacks. These days you won't get much on the plane and you always run the rist of being on the plane longer than planned so bring enough snacks, bottle, etc. for him. I would do anything you can to keep her awake before the flight so that when you take off she may fall asleep. If you are nursing, then bring something to cover up and do it as much as you need to. Bring the stroller, check at the gate and board early so you can get situated without all the other people knocking you over. If you are flying with another adult, then have them come on and take care of the stroller and car seat and you get everything else situated.

I am a Flight Attendant, and the thing that just amazes me is people that don't have enough diapers when we only were 2 hours later than planned and no snacks and toys to keep the child occupied. If she likes movies then I would definately bring a portable DVD player. Let me know if you have any other questions about this. Really, this is a easy age, 1-2 years old is really hard to fly with!!

K.
Flight Attendant, wife, mom of 3 and homeschool mom!!

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K.H.

answers from Sacramento on

Hi, Make sure you take something for the baby to drink on takeoff and landing. The pressure hurts their ears. Pacifiers work ok but having something to swallow really makes a difference. Both my daughters started flying at 3 months. They are now 10 and 6. Taking a stroller and checking it at the gate is easy, as is having a car seat so you don't have to hold them the whole way. (purchasing the extra seat is sooo worth it!) Have a fun trip.

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B.K.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi,
You could take a bottle or a pacifier or something for the take offs and landing. The changes in the pressure is hard on the little ones and they don't know how to swallow to pop the ears. any sucking action will get them to swallow and they won't have problems.
Normally they allow you to take the stroller till the gate and then they check it in for you and you get it back at the destination. but call the airlines and ask if you have check in the car seat.

VOTE: STROLLER - CHECK AT GATE

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D.B.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi J.,
Be sure to bring a pacifier or something to suck on or be prepared to nurse a lot. It will save you a lot of crying. Babies ears hurt just like adults from the pressure changes and sucking helps to relieve it.
About the travel system. The car seat can go on the plane for the babies to sit in. You may have to buy them a ticket to use them. Many airlines have a cart just as you board the plane that you can leave items that you can't keep at your seat. Then you can pick them up as you deplane. If I remember correctly, if you leave them at the gate, you have to pick them up with the luggage you checked. Others who have traveled recently with babies may have more info.
Be sure to bring lots of things for the 10 month old to keep him busy. Sitting still may be hard for him.
Enjoy your vacation,
D.

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C.Y.

answers from Sacramento on

We recently traveled with our littlest guy (then 4 months old) and the best thing I did was bring my baby carrier (I have a Moby Wrap) and wrap him up during the plane ride, from coast to coast, and back -- He did great, and even slept most of the 5 hour flight. Do you have a good wrap or carrier?

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C.L.

answers from Sacramento on

check stroller at gate for sure! if you're bringing your travel system stroller, be aware that it might get a little dinged especially if it has a hood canopy. we brought our peg perego pliko travel system and forgot to take the canopy off which got a little bent.

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P.T.

answers from Redding on

I traveled with my first born when he was 9 months old. We flew from S.F. to Pittsburgh, PA. My pediatrician at the time advise not to feed him right before the flight. Give him light snacks & water or juice. Be careful with apple though, the upset to the tummy from flying can cause many symptoms not needed on a flight. Such as diarrhea or nausea. Before my flight I alerted the airline I was bringing my child. Of course they always let those with children board first and the crew members are very good at helping with the boarding of children. My best advice is to ask your doctor about traveling with little ones. If you have a back pack, it is a good idea to carry one on your back & one in the stroller.

Checking the stroller is always a pain. Will it come out of the luggage shoot or not? And if it does will it have the wheels attached or will you have to re-assemble after it appears?

If it is convenient, carry on with a few essentials as you will need for the child. Diapers, snacks & things for you. Traveling light on the plane with children is always a good bet.

The entire flight to Pittsburgh went without a hitch. My son was facinated by the ride. When we landed in Pittsburgh, just as we touched down, he threw up all over me! The plane turns off the water & stores everything securely on take off & landing. SO, I had no way to clean myself up!

What a great impression to meet my mother-in-law for the first time. In 28 degree weather, we had to make the 45 minute trip from the airport to her home with the window open. OH JOY!

Expect the worst and hope for the best! :-) Always remember, adults take a little longer for jet lague. Children are rearing to go! If it is light, they will play, if it is dark and they think it is light, they will play and generally the excitement of traveling will encourage them to play. EAT YOUR WHEATIES!

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E.L.

answers from San Francisco on

We checked out carseat and gate checked the stroller. We had a carrier too, but by 6 months, our son didn't like them so much. He wanted to crawl.

Make a list, then cut it in half! Where are you going on vacation? If you're at a hotel, find out if they have laundry services. You don't want to be bogged down by heavy luggage when you're traveling with a baby.

We had 2 backpacks with us. toys, diapers, meds (tylenol, etc.), change of clothes, sheet for pack n' play, pjs, etc. we brought a lot on with us mainly because we wanted the baby's stuff in the event our luggage got lost.

Put baby food, formula, milk, etc. into large ziplock bags. We put a lot of those things into separate ziplock bags, to prevent messes in the bag and to make it easier to get through airport security. They're okay with just about anything for a baby, just not water. If you're using formula, quickly make up a bottle before you go through security.

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J.W.

answers from Redding on

With all the security precautions if you dont check your stroller & carseat at the very beginning. You will have to actually take your baby out of it and hoist your stroller up to the belt and send it through the xray thingy(forgot what it is called, sorry LOL) then pass your baby through to other traveling companion and then you may walk through. If there is no traveling companion they will let you hold your baby while you walk throuh. It is such a hassle. I think that the best way to do it is to carry them and their diaper bag and a blanket. I just laid my children down on the blanket at the gate while waiting for boarding times if I needed the break. If your baby uses a pacifier that is the best thing for the flight. You probably know that one but it really helps their ears adjust with the sucking motion. Just thought I would throw that out their. I have now flown 6 or 7 times with my children varying between the ages of 6 weeks and 1 year. The main thing that I have learned is that less is better. Check it all for final destination. Too hard to get to it on the plane anyway. Hope I was helpful.

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R.F.

answers from San Francisco on

I vote check at the gate, so it is first out for you when you get off of the plane. So a little suggestion from me a mother of 2 boys who traveled ALOT when they were babies. I would bring bandaids (because they stick and unstick from the window easily and fun for the kids. Also something like a ball of paper (christmas,birthday) and have fun little toys (not to small for her mouth of course) under each layer it takes a while for them to unwrap and helps keep their interest. Good luck to you I hope it goes smoothly.

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D.H.

answers from Yuba City on

Well here's my little bit of advice I learned after flying with my 10 month old from England to Oregon. Make sure that at take off and landing you give her something to suck on, be it a bottle or a pacifier. It will help with her ears. As for the stroller, I'd check it at the gate as they won't usually count it towards your baggage count that way. Good luck.

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J.C.

answers from San Francisco on

She might have trouble with her ears and the pressure changes so you might try breast or bottle feeding during take-off and landing.

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L.P.

answers from Sacramento on

I would suggest on take off and when the plane starts to descend upon your arrival to use a bottle or pacifier or something that she can suck on during that time as that will help her hears from hurting with the altitude change. It definitely helped my daughter when she went on the plane at that age. Also, don't overload yourself with things. Obviously you need diapers/wipes, but bring a few toys that she likes to keep her busy during the flight, and perhaps a snack she enjoys.

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G.S.

answers from Sacramento on

Its been awhile since I traveled with an infant. but, the best thing to have is a bottle of juice or water baby's ears might start giving trouble because of air pressure bottle will help keep the ears cleared from the sucking.

I checked our carseat in when I checked in the luggage and the stroller they will let you bring it up till you get to the plane door then they will ask you to leave it. just make sure you put name tags on everything. lots of diapers and baby's favorite toy and blankie helps alot too

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D.S.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi J.,
We took our son for his first plane ride when he was the same age and we found it helpful to do just as you said- take the travel system and check the stroller and carseat at the gate. The other thing is make sure you have a change of clothes handy (in your carry-on) just in case she has an accident (which our son did!) It also helps to get a few new books and/or toys that will be new and interesting to her, as well as some favorites. Not sure if you're still nursing or not, but it helped for me to nurse my son during take off and landing. Good luck and have a great vacation!

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S.S.

answers from San Francisco on

Don't stress. Traveling with an infant is much easier than we worry it will be. Just be sure to give a bottle/breastfeed on the way up and down. If your kiddo has a few front teeth, teething biscuts are a fun new distraction. We bought a new toy to give our son on the plane. Gate check the stroller and carseat (if they won't let you bring it on). If there is an empty seat they airline will let you bring your carseat on so you don't have to have the baby on your lap the whole time. I brought a bobby the first time we flew, but not any other times. Getting through security took the longest time because you have to put everything through x-ray. With a baby you can request the bulk head seat 1 hour before the flight and get preboarding. (especially helpful if you have to install the carseat) Bring a change of clothes, enough food/bottles, diapers, a changing pad, plenty of wipes, a few cool "New" toys. There is a changing table above the toilet in the back bathrooms of the plane but I would recommend putting down your own changing pad. Good luck. It really is fun to travel with the little one. Oh and don't forget the camera to document her first plane ride. :)
One last thing. If your kid is the one that screams the whole flight, Don't fret... most people understand and if they don't screw them. ;)

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J.G.

answers from San Francisco on

I took my son on his first plane ride when he was six months old also. I borrowed a small stroller from a friend. Make sure it has a basket an can lay back. This was much better then taking my huge stroller and car seat combo. I was able to use the stroller thru the airport and then they take it when you get on the plane. He sat on my lap. I brought his car seat and they check that with our luagage. Also it you will be renting a car most of the car rental places have car seats. Check before you go and make sure it's an infant seat.
Also when on the plane it's good to have them suck on a pacifer or bottle during take off and landing. To help with the pressure in the ears. I was brest feeding at the time but found it easiest to bring a bottle. Also if you use formula it's best for the plane to bring ready to use formula and disposable bottle liners this was great for the trip because you don't always have the means to wash the bottle as good as you want. Best of luck!!
P.S. also try have your child ready to sleep when you get on the plane that helps a lot if they can sleep!!!

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N.C.

answers from San Francisco on

I've traveled by plane with both my kids starting from a very young age (as all our family is in other states). I have not used a travel system before - on the plane. My "equipment" for travel are a diaper bag with all the usual stuff (plus a little extra) books and a favorite stuffed animal/doll, etc. and if your grandson is on solids at all, maybe a little snack and a sippy I fill up once past security). Then - the number one tool I use and SWEAR BY is my baby sling. I always have it. Nursing upon take-off and landing are essential for us. Once my eldest got bigger, I brought a stroller which I use to schlep the stuff through the terminal and to wheel my 5 year old while I have the 2 year old in a sling. I've also been known to sling both when they were both little. Usually, I travel with the kids alone and the sling has been wonderful. I check our car seats. We sleep in the same bed when traveling, but sometimes a portable toddler rail is helpful. We try to set up diaper service in advance. I always take a minimum of 2 "puddle pads" in our luggage to put on the bed. the most important thing I tried to remember was that I could buy it (really) if I needed it and had forgotten it. That way I didn't pack everything in my house! WE don't have a lot f money, so I do't go about buying everything - it was jsut for my peace of mind. the most challenging part was packing for the flight and keeping them happy on the plane. I get compliments EVERY time I fly. Everyone says my girls are so great, quiet on teh plane, etc. It isn't me, it is that they could nurse, were held the whole time and were snug in their slings. Made all the difference. Good Luck!

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L.M.

answers from San Francisco on

I believe you can check the carseat and stroller at the gate and ask that they be given back to you at the gate on your arrival, unless you've purchased a seat for your baby and plan to use the carseat on the plane. I made the mistake of not bringing a change of pants and a top for myself onto the plane. My little one was on my lap and knocked over the drink on dad's tray table, onto my lap. I had a change of clothes for him, but not for myself. If your little one uses a pacifier, be sure to bring several in case they drop. Yuck at the thought of the floor on an airplane. I know other moms will freak at this, but when my little one got really fussy and I couldn't get him to calm down (he was fed, changed, didn't want his pacifier, etc.), and all those around us looked disturbed, I asked the attendant for a packet of sugar. I dipped his pacifier (just the tip) in the sugar and stuck it in his mouth. He was perfectly content for the rest of the flight. Sometimes you just have to give in a little. Good luck and happy vacation.

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J.A.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi - We took our son to New York when he was 5 months old. We did bring his car seat and stroller but checked both of them. By the way, we checked both of them at the gate...you can actually take it right to the entrance of the plane and they will store it. This way, it will be available when you land and you can put your baby in the stroller. We carried our son in baby bjorn the whole time. This was about 3 years ago but during take off and landing the flight attendant asked us to take him out of baby bjorn and just hold him because FAA hadn't approved it. It was so wierd since we thought it would be better protection during those times but anyways, it went very smoothly and he slept most of the time during the flight with the exception of feeding time. The other tip that I received from the doctor was try to have the baby suck on a bottle, breast or pacifier during take off and landing if he's awake to avoid ear popping. However, don't wake him up if he's sleeping. Hope this helps...J. A. (a mother of 3 year old boy and 19 month old twin boys)

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O.N.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi, I have flown with my son Nikolai three times already and he is only 8-months. I would suggest that you bring you stroller. I made the mistake of not bringing it on my last trip. It also gives you faster access through the TSA gates. Try to pack as lighltly as possible. I just bought a huge suitcase that fit both of our stuff and don't forget to bring toys for the flight. One more thing.. remember to feed him when the plane takes-off and lands. This will prevent ear aches. Good luck on your trip.

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M.K.

answers from San Francisco on

We flew with our baby when she was 3 1/2 months old. The simpler the better. When we flew we checked in her car seat & the when we came back we took it on the plane with us. The simpler the better! If you can afford buying a seat for your 6 month old, I say DO IT (that is what my husband & I decided for our next trip). You do know that to have your baby eat/suck during take off & landing? It is very important for their years. I recommend you check the stroller at the gate (something to put your baby in if you get tired of carrying her or want her to look around).

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B.J.

answers from San Francisco on

That's the age we started travelling with my son, and honestly, it's really easy at that age. Bring the travel system. Like you said, you'll need the car seat & stroller. Just gate-check the stroller (and it also makes lugging all of your stuff around the airport easier).

On take-off and landing, be sure our baby is nursing, so her ears don't hurt. So many moms don't know this, and their poor little babies just scream and wail in pain. If you're not nursing, make sure she has a bottle or pacifier when the plane takes off and lands.

Also, does she have a place to sleep where you're going (A crib in the hotel or at a friend's house)? If not, you may want to bring a travel bed with you as well. Other than that, just bring enough diapers for the flight (you can buy them there), her clothes, and a couple of toys to keep her occupied on the plane.

Enjoy!!

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H.D.

answers from Yuba City on

Bring a Boppy pillow or some type of support if you are on a long plane ride!!!!!!

I thought I was ridiculous to do that, but when we flew to HI from CA, it was a lifesaver on my arms and elbows!! I HIGHLY recommend bring the boppy!

Also, on our flight, they did not allow the baby to be in her Bjorn during take-off or landing, which I thought was bizarre. It was their policy and I had to honor it.

Finally, there are changing tables on planes, so be sure to ask an attendant which lavatory has one.

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A.S.

answers from Bakersfield on

When I would travel alot with my son, when I was in the Army. I would bring one of those small umbrella strollers and fold it up when we got onto the plane and the flight attandent has cabin storage for slightly larger things, you can also try to put it in an over head bin, but thats alittle more difficult. If all else fails, slide it under the seat. Umbrella strollers are light and fold into a compact size vs traditional strollers. As far as the car seat, its probably best to check that with your other luggage, but most airlines are starting to charge an extra fee for extra items.

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S.R.

answers from San Francisco on

Check first to see how much the airline is charging for extra baggage and travel as light as possible.
If you have purchased a seat for the baby, then bring the car seat to strap in on the seat. If not, the baby has to sit on your lap OUTSIDE your seat belt and the carseat (which you can also get from the rental car places) can be put in luggage.
The stroller gets checked at the gate and they bring it up when you land (First on, First off).
Bring bottles for the baby to suck fluid for take off and landing. That should take care of ears getting plugged up. The sucking reflex clears the ears. If all else fails, hot towels in plastic cups placed over the ears helps to keep them softened/open to ease the pain. If you have a very competent Engineer, the ear-popping issue is minimal.

Have a great vacation.

S.

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M.N.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi J.,

The Bach Flower Remedy, Rescue Remedy is one you might take with you in the event you gandson is restless on the plane. It can help him relax and maybe sleep and can even even out jet lag. Rescue Remedy Sleep is another gentle formula you might carry as well. They are made from flower essences and have no side-effects or interference with and other medications. The can both be useful for adults too. I recommend putting a few drops in water or just applying topically to the skin. Bach Flower remedies can be found at most natural food stores, such as Whole Foods.
M. N., CHom, Homeopathic Consultant. www.myranissen.com

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J.C.

answers from Sacramento on

One piece of advice I have for flying with a little a one...buy a travel bag for the car seat. You can buy one at Babies R Us - they are about $20-$25 but well worth it. I had my Britax car seat in this bag, and it still had room for extra diapers, blankets, stuffed animals etc. We checked the car seat with the rest of our baggage, and since the car seat bag has a strap it makes it so easy to trasport. Good luck!

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H.G.

answers from San Francisco on

If you are renting a car you can usually rent a car seat as well. Then you wouldn't have to bring one.. It's very easy to bring your stroller and check it at the gate. I've found the most luck with my bjorn or any baby carrier.. Good luck!!

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H.H.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi J.,
We took our 6 mo old to Florida over Christmas and it was a lot easier than I thought it would be! We took the stroller and carseat with us all the way to the gate and checked it there. It's much easier if you have that to stroll the baby around, especially if you have a layover and need to catch a flight in the next terminal. The airlines are pretty good about checking baby items - we had no issues with our trip at all. One other thing to make sure you do: nurse or give the baby a bottle on the take off and landing (so she can swallow and unplug her ears).
Have a great trip and good luck!

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T.H.

answers from San Francisco on

We just traveled with our 7 month old and it was way easier then I expected. I'm still breast feeding so I feed on the way up and again on the way down. (I understand it's just a matter of sucking and swallowing, could be a bottle of food or water or juice or whatever)

For fun we had toys but it turned out that the earphones from the airline were way more fun then any of the "old" toys I'd brought. Oh, and the straw was great fun too.

Change the diaper before you board and hopefully you can avoid an ariel diaper change which is pretty tricky. Have fun and good luck!

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P.B.

answers from San Francisco on

I definitely made sure the kids were able to take a bottle to help with ear pressure. The sucking helps unplug ears. Have snacks available and interact with the baby during the flight. I was very lucky that my kids tended to fall asleep but there were a few long trips to Mexico 4 hour plus flights and it seemed as long as they were paid attention to they were fine. I also had the help of traveling with family members and we all shared spending time. Hope this helps.

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A.K.

answers from Sacramento on

i took our daughter on a pretty long flight.. and i overpacked. all i used was my diaper bag and my bjorn front carrier. strollers are a pain in the airport when they are little. carseat and stroller can be checked in. diaper bag like you would be going to a friends house. change of clothes, diapers, etc. if you are nursing, try to hold out a feeding for take off. it helps their litte ears. or a bottle of water, juice or formula. she slept all the way there. the way home, we only brought what i listed up top. :) they aren't quite at finger food stage so it's hard. toys are a must.. anything for possible teething comfort. bring some tylenol in your bag too. usually staples for most of our diaper bags. it's not too hard to travel. it's when they become mobile. that's when i found it hard. :)

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S.S.

answers from Sacramento on

Gate check the stroller and the car seat. If possible, at the Gate desk, see if there is an available seat. If there is, then you can use it for your baby and use the car seat, too! I did that on the way from visiting family in Hawaii when my littlest one was 6 months. We were put in the back, but it was great since we also needed space to walk around!

I've also read that the Bjorn is not cleared for flights so if the attendants do ask you to take your child out, don't stress. It happens.

One thing I would bring is antibacterial wipes to wipe down the trays and surrounding areas. They are NOT CLEAN. After one trip with my then 18 month old, she came down with hand, foot, mouth. Her pediatrician said it was probably from the airplane.

Also if you don't have gear like a crib waiting for you, there are a few websites that can send what you need. It'll be waiting for you. One website is babiesaway.com. Prices vary according to where you are going.

Verdict: Gate check

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S.O.

answers from San Francisco on

My vote would be to check both carseat (unless you know the baby will have a seat to herself) and stroller at the gate -- both UAL and AA were accomodating for recent travel. If you haven't bought a seat for the baby, you may still be able to use the carseat on board if an extra seat is available. If you check at baggage, you won't have that option.

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A.A.

answers from Merced on

My son has been on 3 plane flights and he is just turning one. The secret to our success was taking our boppy. I would put that around my lap and my son could stretch out on it and slept most of the flight. All the flights were 3-5 hours in length. I also gave him a little tylenol just before we got on the plane. Good luck! Have fun on your vacation.

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K.R.

answers from Sacramento on

i just took my son who is 5 months on a short plane trip. It was only about two hours so it wasnt too bad. I ended up putting him in a baby carrier (baby bjorn) while walking through the airport so that i had all my hands to carry boarding pass, etc. I checked in his car seat / stroller so we wouldnt have to pay for another seat. I made sure i nursed my son, so his ears wouldnt pop. Im sure a pacifier or a bottle will work just the same. He didnt cry at all during take off or landing. Oh, and when you get to the gate, take advantage of the family boarding. I had two other adults with me, and we were all able to board at the same time ;O) Good luck -

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K.H.

answers from Fresno on

Hi J.,
I think everything has been covered. This worked for me. Travel as light as possible. Use your Bjorn. Back packs are great and can be worn at the same time as your Bjorn. This leaves your hands free too. Check your stroller and car seat at the gate!! Strollers and car seats are known to take a beating in baggage claim. They can get very dirty and can get broken. If you decide to check your stroller at baggage I would invest in a travel bag. Pack the essentials for baby and an extra outfit for yourself. Security will not allow pre made bottles thru, but once you are thru you can make a bottle. Prepare a bottle before boarding. My daughter could not handle the pressure change and the bottle was a life saver. Once thru security I bought some bottled water to make bottles with on the plane. You can't get up during takeoff and landing and if you need a bottle made your stuck. Flight attendents can be a great help and will make a bottle for you. I was not comfortable sending a stranger off with my daughters bottle though and I did not know where the water would come from. Pre-boarding can be great and not so great. If you pre-board your stuck in your seat until everyone is boarded, but it does give you a chance to settle in and request changes if necessary. I pre-boarded. My daughter got bored and I couldn't walk with her, she drank her bottle meant for take-off and pooped. I was stuck, people were trying to board and flight attendents wanted people seated. I needed to change a diaper, make a bottle, and soothe a fussy baby. On the flight home I did not pre-board. I hope this helps. :)

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K.T.

answers from San Francisco on

The best advice I can give you is to bring some proof of your daughter's identity, like a birth certificate, medical record or insurance card. I only advise this because I flew Southwest last year with my son (who was one at the time) and was not allowed to travel to San Diego because I lacked proof of identity. My husband had to fax the birth certificate to Oakland Airport. It was a nightmare! Some airlines are more relaxed about this but save yourself the headache and bring the proof. Yes, I agree...gate check your stroller and car seat. Ask if there are any empty seats on the flight, maybe you can use your car seat instead of checking it. Good luck and have a great trip!

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