Help, Traveling with an 8 Month Old.

Updated on December 19, 2009
R.A. asks from Island Lake, IL
15 answers

I will be traveling soon with my 8mo exactly do people do this? I am pretty sure I have to check the car seat. but can you bring an unbrella stroller on a plane? Or is there a place to rent them once you get to your location? Luckily it is a short flight 2 hrs(united). And I am still breastfeeding...will a hand pump do or do i need to lug the big guns?

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answers from Chicago on

At 8 mos., it will be a LOT easier now than later on! Curb check your luggage and the car seat. Bring the stroller with you. You can hand it to security for screening and then gate-check it at the last moment. It will be waiting for you when you get off the plane, so you'll have immediate access to it.

My guys don't fight their naps, so I usually try to schedule a flight with a take-off time close to their usual nap. Take-off and landing can be rough on little ears, so I make sure to have bottles prepped - the sucking helps ease the pressure. Security usually makes a big deal about checking bottles, but TSA guidelines have an exception to the "no fluids" rule that allows you to bring a reasonable amount of breast milk or formula through security for an infant.

I've never used a hand pump, so I'll let others comment on whether to bring the big guns along.



answers from Chicago on

You can take the stroller all the way to the plane and they will check it before you get on and have it waiting when you get off so you can put the baby back in and stroll her through the airport. It is called gate check and it is for stroller and bags that are just a little to big for the over head storage. Now as far as the breast pump that is your call, think about all that you have to carry and decide from there. Hope this helps. I just traveled with my then 1 year old granddaugter and it wasn't bad. Gate checking the stroller is great.



answers from Chicago on

We flew to Florida with my son when he was 7 1/2 months. It was not hard at all. They will gate check the stroller and car seat. If you ask the flight attendant they might have an extra seat that you can put the car seat on if not they will check the car seat at the gate. We flew South west. You are allowed with them to check 2 baby items that are considered 1 checked bag.

If you have a snugly or baby borjn carrier,I would recomend bringing that in the airport. That was the easiest way to free up your hands while going through security and the airport.

Bring and extra outfit for the baby and an extra shirt for you in case your little one gets sick.

My little guy slept the entire flight down there and half the flight back. I was with my husband and we just let him play with things on our laps.

You are allowed to bring plenty of bottles with you through security. We had no problems.

Relax and have fun. It is not as hard as it seems. Feel free to email me with further questions.

Good luck



answers from Chicago on

You can bring the carseat if you want. Then if there is an extra seat, you can put the car seat there. I did this once and I think I would prefer to never do it again. It was a hassle. Much easier to just hold the baby in your lap. Also, with strollers, you can check them in at the gate. This way you have the stroller up until you are on the plane and then you get it back first thing after landing. I even brought my double stroller and they checked that.

Good luck. And remember that benedryl helps there little ears too. :)



answers from Chicago on

You don't need to bring your pump with you onto the plane but put I would take the hand pump in your luggage. Your child is with you and they will drink the milk!!

Another tip is nurse your baby during take off b/c it helps so their ears don't pop and they usually go to sleep (mine did every time!!!)

Ditto the extra clothes and a blanket but you probably have all that in the diaper bag already. I would do the stroller and gate check it (my son was too heavy for me to carry around at 8 months).



answers from Chicago on

You can gate check both your stroller and car seat. I don't suggest checking the car seat as luggage for risk of damage. Ask at the desk when you get to your gate for gate check tags and they'll give them to you. You just take the stroller and car seat to the end of the ramp and leave them by that door right before you get on the plane and the gate agents will load them on the plane and then when you land they will unload it for you.

Depending on where you are going you can rent strollers at places like zoo's, mall's etc. But if you will need it for more than that I suggest taking one with you - plus it is good for containing your little one in the airport when you need to go to the bathroom etc.

8 mos. is a really easy age to travel with. Just remember to bring xtras of everything in case you are delayed for any reason! good luck!



answers from Chicago on

hi Rachel-
I am one of those who are fortunate and travel alot for my job, and am able to take my daughter, so she has been to more places than months thing that really helped me was instead of an unbrella stroller, I bought a Go-Go-Kids Infant Cruisar (and now the Go Go Kids travelmate bc she is almost 2). It really saved me, because if I could not bring the seat on (i never bought a seat unless we were going more than 3hours) most airlines will let you bring it on...and the stroller can be checked. It is also very easy because then you are not lugging a seat and stroller (as they are one)...
As far as the pump, I brought the big gun, and was able to use my medela pump in style backpack as a diaper bag on shorter trips...
Hope this helps- have a great/safe trip



answers from Chicago on

Hi Rachel Check with the airlines about the the umbrella stroller. Some furnish them. Go online about renting stroller at your destination.



answers from Chicago on

Hi Rachel,

At 8 months, your baby can fly in your lap. You do not have to buy a seat. There is a system called CARES (you can buy at that works with the airline seat to create a 5 point harness without having to lug a car seat, but I think 8 months is too young for it. We used it for our daughter at 16 months and she seemed a little on the small side for the harness.
You can gate check your umbrella stroller. You'll have to have it xrayed at security, then when you get to the gate, just ask for a gate check tag. You just dropped the stroller, folded up, at the door to the plane. The airline will have it waiting for you when you land.



answers from Chicago on

Hi Rachel,
It's not hard to do at that age.. as a matter of fact is should be pretty easy once you get on the plane. As a travel agent, here are a few suggestions that I have give (and used myself)as I now have a WELL-traveled 21month old!

If the child has his/her own seat on the plane (they fly free as lap child up to 2 yrs old) then you will need to bring the car seat.

If you are renting a car at your destination, no need to bring the carseat as they can provide one at minimal cost.

YES bring the umbrella stroller!! It will come in handy if the flight is delayed and will provide a comfy CLEAN place for your little one to sleep! =+) The will not allow it on the plane where you are sitting, but you can leave it on the jet way (the ramp you take down to the plane) and they will do what's called a ramp check for you. When you reach your destination, it will be brought right back where you left it! MAGICAL!!!

As for nursing... it just depends on what you are comfy with and how long.. I did bring my hand pump but found that I never used it.. I always nursed.. even on the plane. I just covered myself up. It also helped that I was in the row with my hubby and son.. they let me sit by the window and placed the blanket in between the seats.

Good luck and have FUN!! We are also venturing out for the Holidays... for what may be the last hoorah with the free child! LOL!! This one is going to be a doozy because he is almost 2 and REALLY on the move now! LOL!

Never thought I'd be making travel arrangements around my child's nap/bed time! But it makes for a smoother, QUIETER flight!! LOL!!



answers from Chicago on

I ahve travelled using a baby carrier such as a maya wrap ring sling or a Mai Tai baby carrier - you can leave the baby attached to you to go through security, makes breastfeeding easy and discreet, doubles as a nursing cover or changing pad. Those on the plane will complement you on your quiet baby if you breastfeed during take off and landing!



answers from Chicago on

Hi Rachel.
We are flying to Florida tonight with our 8 month old son. It will be his 4th round trip flight! Here's what we do...
We push him in the umbrella stroller until we are ready to board. Then we put the stroller in a travel bag (just to keep it a bit cleaner) and check it right at the gate. I always call before to see if it is a full flight, and if it is not, we bring our infant seat on so that my son gets his own seat. This might just be a Southwest thing though.

As for the pump, I carry my pump n style with me and carry it on with me. Last time I even brought BM with. You have the right to carry it through and bring it on. I brought a printed copy of the TSA guidelines just in case I had someone who tried to make me dump my liquid gold:)

We love traveling and our baby does fine. It;s really not that difficult. Good luck and happy travels.



answers from Chicago on

Last month we traveled to Mexico for a week with our 4.5 month old daughter, it wasn't a bad experience. We did buy an extra plane seat for her, which I would highly recommend. But if it's too late, no worries, you can check the car seat at the gate (with the stewardess when you're boarding). We brought our Chicco stroller (the one that holds the infant seat) and gate checked it, also. We did buy, and I recommend, a travel bag for the stroller b/c it will get thrown around a bit during gate check. Any of the baby stores should have gate check bags for strollers.

Because we were gone for a week and I rely on pumping to keep my supply up I did have to bring my Medela pump-in-style bag. It annoyed me a little going through security b/c they had to open it up and check all the stuff to be sure it was a breastpump. On the way home, I stuffed it in my suitcase and checked it.

Good luck!



answers from Chicago on

Hi Rachel - I traveled with my 5 month old to Denver from Chicago and back. We paid for a seat and strapped his car seat next to us (window is only place they allow reversed infant seats). I also nursed at that time. I brought the little pump in case I needed to pump (which I did a few hours after landing). At that time you were able to still bring liquids on the plane and so I brought several bottles of breast milk with me because I was still not comfortable nursing in public. I did find a corner in the airport while we were waiting to board and nursed before boarding. Then I put him in his car seat, strapped him in, and had a pacifier ready for the air pressure change. He slept pretty much the whole way there. Used the pacifier on the way up to help with ear popping. When he did wake up to eat, I was able to get a bottle warmed up.

I was also nervous about traveling with him, but my son made it very easy and being prepared was the best move on my part. Having his own seat also helped since he didn't have to be held the whole time.

If you have an umbrella stroller, you used to be able to check them at the gate. They would take it from you just before entering the plane and put it in the belly. When you land, it should be there waiting for you.

Good luck and just "go with the flow". Everything will work out. Make sure you get to the airport with lots of spare time--you never know when you might have to change diaper before take off.




answers from Bloomington on

You are allowed to check a car seat and an umbrella stroller when flying with a small child. If you're breast feeding, I you shouldn't need to take a pump, but if you do I would recommend taking your electric pump as having to deal with a hand pump can be frustrating if you don't use one ordinarily. A 2 hour flight with a child this young should be relatively stress free. Try to make it so your baby nurses during take off and landing to help with the air pressure changes. Good luck and enjoy the trip!

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