First Time Flying

Updated on June 05, 2008
S.P. asks from Arroyo Grande, CA
9 answers

I have 2 children a 5 Year old girl and a 17 month year old boy we are flyong for the first time(flight time 3 hours). Does anyone have any suggestions on how to make the flight more peaceful or any experiences they would like to share?? Can I take my car seat on the flight for the 17 month old??? Thanks

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So What Happened?

Thanks for all the suggestions

We survived the trip my 16 month old did great it was the anxiety of the 5 year old that took me by surprise, but once we were in the air she calmed down and the flight home was fabulous. So I conquered another First Time with my kids. Our flight home got cancelled so I was glad we traveled with our Car seats. Thanks for all the help

S. P


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answers from Los Angeles on

My mom and I flew to Texas when my daughter was about 16mos. She's a wiggle worm, so I took her car seat and was glad I did in spite of it's monsterous size (bless her heart- my mom hauled that thing through LAX). A few weeks before the trip I had my daughter pick out some new toys and books at the store, giftwrapped them, and hid them until we were up in the air. Actually, as soon as we were airborn she went right to sleep. My brother-in-law, an airline pilot, explained that because there is a little less oxygen at take off, little ones tend to conk out pretty soon. I know that sounds creepy, but it was amazing how quickly was she out- it was fabulous! If at all possible, try to request seats behind the bulkhead. There's a lot more room.

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answers from San Diego on

You will have to check with the airlines about the car seat, but I remember flying with my son for the first time and he was thoroughly entertained with some stick and peel pictures that he could put on the window and then peel off and put up there again. He kept him entertained from San Diego to Kentucky and he was about 20 months. He was very pleasant. I also took quiet books and a sippy cup which he loved. The staff on the plane were also a tremendous source of entertaining him too!

Best of luck,




answers from Reno on

Make sure you have plenty of things for them to do. Coloring and such. Also, did you pay for a seat for your 17 month old? If you paid for a seat then yes you can take the car seat on the flight with you. If you did not pay for a separate seat then he is required to sit on your lap. I hope some of this helps you and that you have a great flight and a great trip.



answers from San Diego on

Hello! I most recently flew with my two kids a week and a half ago when we relocated to SD. I have also flown with my daughter several times between Dallas and Finland since she was 4 months old.

I personally think a carseat is A MUST! If the flight is full and your 17 mo old doesnt have a paid seat, check it at the gate. If he protests, he´s just going to protest the normal seat too! And he´ll slink under the seatbelt to get out of the chair. My daughter just did this on our last flight. Plus, I think they like being a little higher to see out the window better.

Take a portable DVD player...soooo important!

Snacks, maybe new snacks they havent tried before, too.

Sticker books, a new toy or two they havent seen yet. Books.

Pack your diaper bag lightly. And don`t go through security with a sippy cup full of liquids, they´ll make you dump it.

Good luck!!




answers from Los Angeles on

I took my 7 1/2 month old daughter on her first flight over Memorial Weekend. We took a short flight from Long Beach to Phoenix to see how she'd do. I paid for a seat for her, so I did bring her car seat on the plane. It's a tight squeeze on those commuter flights, but it did fit. The flight attendants questioned me several times about whether or not I had purchased a seat for her, and I replied that I had. One questioned whether or not I could bring her car seat on the plane. The car seat I have has a sticker on the side that says it's an FAA certified flight seat. Then once I placed her in, she questioned whether she should be rear-facing! I explained that yes, they are supposed to be rear-facing until they are one year old. If you think your son will stay in the seat most of the time, then it would be worth it. If not, don't bother buying the ticket; you can gate check the car seat right before you get on the plane.

I'd definitely recommend a portable DVD player and bringing some of their favorite movies, snacks, and toys. I bought a new book and teething ring for my daughter, and neither one really distracted her for long, but at least it was a short flight.



answers from Los Angeles on

Damn, I lost my first response so I'm going to make this short and sweet.

1. Get both kids their own seat and leave the car seat at home or check it. Trust me, the car seat is more hassle than its worth and a 17 month old is not going to want to stay in it.

2. Stuffy heads can really hurt, talk to you Ped, but give the kids a decongestant an hour before take-off. Don't forget to bring gum.

3. A big hit with my daughter at around 16 months was travel size Connect Four. She loved putting the little pieces into the slots.

4. If you are thinking about giving Benedryl to your kids, try it at home first. Benedryl makes my kids HYPER.

5. Enjoy your trip!




answers from Los Angeles on

Hi S., We have traveled wih our now almost 2 yr old boy twice, once to Vancouver for a cruise to Alaska and another time to Cancun for a roadtrip thru the Yucatan. Both times it was exciting, rewarding and tiring. What we did however for the flight, was buy him about 8-10 new toys and musical books to occupy him on the flight(novelty is a babies best friend). Tons of snacks help, but not too much sugar. I also gave him a decongestant as to to protect his ears from air pressure and gave him a bottle to suck on. Good Luck!



answers from Los Angeles on

Hello I am a mother of 3 did the first time flight last summer when my youngest was 12 months. It was an 8 hr flight from hell expecially the way back. That was a long time so 3 hrs won't be bad. We are doing a 2 hr direct this summer forget the stop won't do that again! Suggestions "ear plugs" to help ears from hurting Walmart even sells them now. Toys or books they have never seen before so it will be new and fun. If you have a portable lil TV/DVD player for the 17 month old bring along Fav videos. Snacks "unopened" or you won't be able to bring them on ggrrr. With all that the 3 hrs should be just fine. Save a little for the way home as a "surprise" again. You can do this for your daughter to. Have her bring game boy, PSP, or DS's if she has them those are life savers!!! Oh if you bring a car seat you need to pay for an extra seat. Not really worth it cuz chances are he's not going to want to sit in that seat for long and that's pricy. We didn't bring one and aren't this summer either. We made it a point to travel before she turns 2 due to that cost and really I know she won't sit. So we sent it on the plane in a travel bag instead. Good luck it will be great!!



answers from San Diego on

I would take a car seat for your 17th month old. My friend took a trip recently where lots of flights were cancelled and they were not able to get a flight out. They had to get to a hotel, but the rental car place didn't have any more car seats (they checked their car seats in at the airport). So she ended up having her sister take the car, drive to Target, and pick up car seats. I would also bring something that the kids can chew on or have to suck on. This will help them with air pressure in their ears.

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