Flying with 6Month Old

Updated on June 02, 2010
K.R. asks from Durant, OK
14 answers

Traveling for the first time with baby soon. She will be flying in my lap.
SHe'll be 6 months and i am not quite sure about alot of things!
we will be renting a car, and id kinda like to take my own car seat.
we will also be doing walking tours and it would be nice to have our stroller.
We have one of those stroller/carseat combos. i Love it, but it is Huge!

Can i check them? if so should i wrap them some how? Does it cost extra?
I know they have allot of extra fees now, has anyone traveled reciently?

I also thought about buying one of those small stollers that fold up to about the size of a large umbrella. and just taking the carseat.
If so, can i take it as a carry on?

Any tips on keeping her happy or things i havent thought of?
Any advice on traveling with a six month old would be Greatly Appreciated! i'm sure there are lots of things i am not even thinking of to ask!

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answers from Phoenix on

Any airline will let you gate-check your stroller and carrier-style carseat for free. That means you can take the stroller and carrier with you through security and leave it on the gangway right before you walk onto the airplane. I would recommend doing this as you won't have to pay to check it if your airline charges for bags.
You will not be able to take any kind of stoller on board as a carry-on. You would have to gate-check your stroller no matter what.
The sell bags for your stoller, but I've never used one. Never thought it was necessary and I didn't want to have to take the time to bag the stoller in the middle of the rush to get onto the plane.
Check with the airline you're flying on-Southwest lets everyone, including the child, check 2 items for free. If you're flying with Southwest, you might want to check your carseat/base together. In that case, I would buy a bag for the carseat, as it will have to ride the conveyor belt and all straps will need to be secured. I also know that on Southwest, if the flight isn't full, they will let you take a seat for free for your child to remain in the carrier. It only happened to work out for us once and the gate attendant offered it to us or we'd never have known about that.
I would definitely bring your own carseat/base and not rely on borrowing one from the rental car agency. It's always better to use what you know and what you know is safe, in my opinion.
If you're flying with your child on your lap, you will need to bring the baby's immunization record as proof of age and provide it to a representative at the ticket counter (NOT AT THE GATE) so your child can be added to your boarding pass. Those lines are usually pretty long, so leave LOTS of time in advance to get this done.
Other than the logistics, I can only recommend dressing the baby warmly, in layers, as planes tend to be cold. I'd bring a blanket, some toys, some books and a comfort object for your baby.
Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Houston on

Hi there....we have travelled with two children 18 months apart many times! I agree with you on wanting to use your own stroller and car seats. Our double stroller (one seat in front of the other) has seen many air trips. Most airlines are very friendly and helpful. You can take your stroller right up to the enterance of the plane and leave it there. It can be checked in advance so that you can do that. You take the child/children out right at the door of the plane. Take your seat with you and you have time to install it and get situated before the rest of the plane boards. There has never been a charge for the stroller. When you land at the other end, they have it there when you come off the plane so you can put your child right into it and proceed to the baggage area. It is not checked like baggage.

We have never lap seated with our children....sister in law is airline stewardess and we know the safety issues and dangers involved in lapseating.
We used the infant carrier for the baby and the older one was in his car seat which can be used in the airline seats. Yes, you are having to pay for a seat for the children, but most airlines have children's fares and it is worth the cost for safety reasons. They sat in their infant seats and car seats until they were old enough for booster seats.

As the children got older, and I mean booster seat age they then would sit in their own seat beside us and their booster seats are put into a duffle and checked for use in the rental car at the other end of our trip.

We have always felt better using our own seats and stroller and would encourage you to as well!
I once was laid over in an airport for 6 hours with both babies by myself and trust me...having the stoller and car seats were a godsend!
I always was prepared with bottles, etc. for taking off and landing for their ears and as they got older the large tootsie roll suckers where perfect. The ENT said the motion of sucking a large sucker keeps the ears open like a bottle or gum chewing for adults. I always have new books, hand toys, crayons, etc. something that is new to them to see when they are on the plane. Take hand wipes, baby wipes and diapers in your carry one...all RX's, etc. You never know when or if you could have a long lay over or delayed plane.
I know you will do great!
Have a good trip!



answers from College Station on

The one thing the airlines DO NOT charge for is strollers and carseats. They are considered assistance devices and are not allowed to charge for them. You can get bags to put them in or just stuff them in a large black lawn bag. I have travelled with mine in nothing. You can also gate check the stroller so you have it when you get off the plane. I do not recommend an umbrella stroller for a 6mo. they are just too small still.

Pack bottles (if bottle fed) and feed or nurse during take off and landing. It will help with the pressurizing of her ears.



answers from Odessa on

As a previous poster said do not travel with out your carseat. Rental car agencies are not required to have one for your reservation, it is considered and extra and if they run out you are out of luck. There is also the possibility that the car seats they have will be out of date, dirty, or even recalled.
Buy a car seat bag for your car seat. You can't believe how dirty they get traveling through the airport. I can tell you that American Airlines does not charge extra for checking the carseat. You'll have to sign a waiver though.
Take your stroller, once you get to the gate you can gate check it. This way you'll have use of it at the airport for departing/arriving. The gate attendants will tell you where to leave it as you enter the plane. It will be left for you just outside the plane.
An umbrella stroller is a great idea but only if your little one can sit up. They don't provide enough support and your little one will schlump over otherwise. Some of the higher end umbrella strollers do recline though.
I travel often with my now 3 year old. We purchased a Mcclaren stroller because I find it is lighter and easier to fit in a variety of cars.
Don't forget to bring your little ones birth certificate. I've never had them ask for it but according to the TSA they can.


answers from San Antonio on

You can "gate check" your stroller, but I don't think you can "gate check" the stroller AND the car seat. So are you planning on buying your daughter an airplane seat, or carrying her on your lap?

If you do the lap thing, then I'd gate check your stroller and actualy check your car seat as luggage. Depending on the airline, they will charge you extrea fofr the extra item. CALL THE AIRLINE and ask them. Have all your questions written down and then call and talk to an actual person. I did that when traveling with my 2 yr old and the lady I spoke with was very nice and answered all of my questions.

Here's a helpful link too, about getting through security, milk that you can bring through security, etc.

Good luck. I know someone else will post a better answer, but a lot depends on the airline and whether or not you are buying a separate airline seat for your daughter.



answers from Austin on

Definately bring your own carseat. We just learned the hard way, when we reserved a car seat at the rental place and when we showed up, no carseat!



answers from San Antonio on

They will let you check both the car seat and stroller at no charge. I saw some people throw a plastic bag over there's to keep them from getting scuffed. I took a stroller, only because since they do charge for checking your regular luggage, it adds up. It was hard to roll my luggage, his bag and the stroller too. I wish I had a direct flight, at least it would have made it easier. From now on I'm going with an airline that lets you check bags for free. Continental does not.



answers from Indianapolis on

OK, for the flight, nurse her on the way up and on the way down. It's the only way to help her ears get used to the pressure. Ask for extra cups and spoons from the drink cart for her to play with.

You can check "service items" for free at the gate. Use the stroller and car seat in the airport then check them at the gate. You can use an umbrella stroller and carry the car seat, but you'll still have to check it at the gate - it won't be a carry-on.



answers from Austin on

I have no idea, good luck though!



answers from Austin on

I personally would check the car seat (but call the airline and find out if they have the plastic bags available to cover them). I usually fly SWA or Frontier and they provide bags that are like a large, clear garbage bag, at the counter. Find out before you spend $ on a nice one of your own. If you take your stroller, you will be able to roll the baby right up to the door of the plane (but you'll leave it outside of the door) and they will store it below before take-off. When you arrive, they will have it outside of the plane waiting for you. I don't know about charges for luggage since I don't fly those airlines. I'm pretty sure they'll let you take the car seat on as a carry on (as long as there are empty seats on your flight). If there aren't empty seats, there's no place to store it. They might let you leave it where your stroller will be but I'd call ahead on that for certain. Have loads of snacks, toys and breast/bottle for ears. She's still young enough that it SHOULD be pretty easy to fly. It's the 2 and 3 year olds that are tough. :)


answers from San Antonio on

Hi Katrina,

Great advice to consider from the other moms as usual. I want to agree and underscore Sarah D's advice on nursing or giving a bottle to your little one on the ascent and descent. Remember how you instinctively yawn or force your ears to "pop" to equalize the pressure in them? Well, the little ones can become very uncomfortable from the pressure change unless they are sucking and swallowing something. It is not something every parent thinks about, but definitely something to know. The baby does not need to drink constantly, just sip once in awhile.

Lovinlife has some thoughts to consider, too. Air travel is extremely safe, but it is something to think about.

Good luck,
Parent Coach J. B



answers from Oklahoma City on

This doesn't answer your question but this is some interesting information I found! I had honestly never thought of this when I was flying with a "lap baby".
Would you ever sit your child on your lap riding on a roller coaster?
How about cruising at 75 mph down the highway?
The policy of the airlines - that any child under age of two can fly for free (in the US) if they sit on an adult's lap for the entire flight. This is not a good Idea! Some parents assume that if the arilines allow lap children, it must be okay. After all, the airlines are the experts, why would they put any of their passengers in danger? What parents don't realize is if a plane did crash it would be absolutely impossible to hang on to your child. The force of impact would propel the little 20 pound baby out of his parents' hands with the force of an 80-100 pound object. Strapping the child to you is also a very bad idea. If the plane comes to a sudden halt or crash, your body will automatically be thrown forward and forced down, on top of your baby, possibly crushing him. Even simple turbulence can be difficult with lap babies. It is often difficult to simply hang on to a baby on your lap in good conditions. Turbulence is a regular occurence and can be rough enough; it can open overhead bins and send items hurling through the plane and even throw non-belted grown adults around.



answers from Austin on

Take a copy of the baby's birth certificate for check-in (they need ID too). If you are nursing, nurse the baby on take-off and landing, it will help with the pressure change and keep your baby calmer during the ride. You can check both stroller and car seat, but I would recommend plane-side check. It is free and you will know the car seat actually made it to your destination (we had a larger convertible one lost once). Take the combo, it'll be easiest to maneuver in the airport rather than separate. Another reason to do the plane side check is that you will have the car seat with you. While I am fine with infant-lap riding and have done it myself, we have carried on the car seat in the past when a plane was not full and were allowed to have a "free" seat for the baby. I still nursed on take-off and landing but it was nice to have it to put the baby in to have free hands.

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