Need Advice on Traveling by Plane with Infant

Updated on June 04, 2008
L.W. asks from Clayton, NC
37 answers

I'm sure this subject has been posted before, but please humor me, and share any advice you have! My husband and I are traveling to upstate New York in July with our little boy. He will be 5.5 months then. I'm already a nervous wreck about it! What all will the airlines let you take on board, and how much can you check? I am breastfeeding, but my baby boy is probably the worst eater ever! I won't go into all the reasons, but it is very hard to feed him in public. I do pump and give him a couple of bottles a day, but that just takes more preparation on a flight. He is an adorable, sweet boy, but he is known for his fussiness! I'm worried that he will cry the whole flight, and people will be furious with us. Any advice you'll have on what you took with you, how you transported baby, and in general, how it went would be greatly appreciated!!

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R.L.

answers from Charlotte on

Hi L.! Relax, and look forward to the vacation the flight will take you to. I was a flight attendant for 5 years, and I think everyone has given you a lot of great advice. Definately try to get him to drink something during take-off and landing. If he doesn't want to nurse have a bottle of water or juice ready. You won't be able to bring these items through security, but can buy them in the terminal or the flight attendants could get it for you on the plane. I would take advantage of pre-boarding and ask them for the water or juice right away as they will be busy before take-off. Another trick for poping ears is to ask for a hot towel in a coffee cup. You can put the cup over his ears and the steam will make them pop. I have done this several times myself, but would ask your doc. first if this is okay for the baby. Have pleanty of toys, books, and goodies on hand. You can carry-on a 22 inch rollerboard suitcase that should fit all you need. As a side note, find out from the crew which of the lavatories has a changing table, and bring a pad or blanket to use (airplane bathrooms are not the most sanitary). Try to avoid changing your baby at your seat. If you need to due to turbulance. Put the dirty diaper in the air sick bag and throw it out in the lavatory bathroom when it is safe to get up. Flight attendants do not want to take this from you, and it is not sanitary as they are serving drinks and snacks to you and other passengers. Don't worry! If he is fussy, he won't be the first, and definately won't be the last. Most people will be empathic and those who aren't, you don't need to worry about. Good luck!! I am sure you will have a great trip!!

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B.H.

answers from Jacksonville on

I traveled by plane with my daughter when she was about 8 weeks old so I understand completely. I wanted to pack every single thing of hers but my husband would come in and bring me to my senses. You've gotten a lot of great advice already. I just wanted to say don't forget about stuff for you. Especially like an extra pair of clothes. Half way through our first flight my daughter spit up all over me so they were a life saver since we had another flight to board to get to our destination and about 3 more hours. Definitely don't worry about what other passengers think. If they didn't want the chance of listening to a baby cry then they should bring something to take of it for themselves. I've had a jerk complain about my daughter crying when she was almost 2 and it just made him look bad to me and the other passengers. Just remember to stay calm. If you're calm then your baby will be calm. I learned that on the way back to our home. Good luck!

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C.H.

answers from Raleigh on

First, don't worry about the other people on the plane-the ones that have flown with children before will be very sympathetic and helpful to you. The ones who have not are also surprisingly patient. In fact I have had two young men frantically searching for a pacifier that got flung several rows away! I flew with my son dozens of times at all ages of his first two years and I can't remember one person who gave me a hard time about it even on the red eye when the lights were out and everyone tried to sleep through his piercing screams. There must be some rude and emotionless person out there who once gave a poor mother traveling with an upset baby grief or we wouldn't spend so much time worried about it.
Next, don't worry about your son having a hard time on the flight. Nine out of ren times my son slept through most of the flight (certainly at that age). He will probably be fine. Babies are amazingly perceptive and he will pick up on it. Be positive and excited-you might just end up tricking yourself as well:)
In the event he is upset on the plane just be prepared. Nursing for take off and landing is optimum but it is almost impossible to time. If he uses a pacifier bring several and all easily reached. Also pack Tylenol and mylecon. Even if your son isn't normally gassy the air pressure can cause an upset tummy. I used to give my son one dose of each a half hour before take off and landing for a preemptive strike against ear and tummy aches. If your son likes to watch baby Einstein videos (and even if he doesn't yet it might still work) bring a new one to distract/entertain him on the plane and in the car when you arrive.
For ease in travel bring his car seat and stroller. The best is if you have the carseat that hooks on the stroller. Check the stroller at the gate and it will be waiting for you outside the plane when you land. If you check it at the ticket counter you won't have it in going to or from the plane. Ask the agent at the gate if there is an open seat for the carseat. The agent at the ticket counter always says no so don't bother until you're at the gate. If there is then you score a free seat for the baby and you will all be so much more comfortable. Truth is there has to be an oxygen mask for every passenger so if they say the flight is full ask them what would happen if the cabin lost pressure and your boy didn't have a mask-a seat will magically appear.
Be the first people on the plane and use that time to make friends with the attendants-they will be the biggest help on the flight if you need it. Also ask them which, if any, bathroom has the changing table. If there isn't one just change diapers in the seat because changing a diaper on you lap in the lavatory is the most rediculas experience of all times!
It has been a few months since I last flew and most of the airlines have changed there rules about luggage so I suggest calling to confirm the allowance. Make sure to ask if strollers and diaper backs count in the tally-sometimes they don't.
Give yourself PLENTY of time to get thrush security (they are the least compasionate/frienly part of the journey). It is also next to impossible to run to a plane with a baby.
If your son does freak out on the flight try rubbing his ears. It might not do anything but at least he'll know you know the problem. You will all be fine. Good luck and have fun.

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J.P.

answers from Owensboro on

I have five children ranging in ages 12 to 15 months and I have flown with them all as infants and while nursing. My best piece of advice is going to be expensive - buy him his own plane ticket and bring his car seat for him to sit in (some airlines sell you a discount ticket for a baby but others don't.) Your baby just might sleep the entire trip or at least for part of it :). I have endured countless dirty looks on airplanes but usually am so busy keeping everyone happy, I am able to totally ignore them. I truly feel that every baby is a person and if only others were more tolerant of babies, then there would be no problem! Be prepared though, you might run into cranky people so just make sure you have your manners in your pockets! Chances are you'll be near someone who either has children or even better, has grandchildren and they will either just ignore you or offer to help. As for nursing on the plane, when with our first (who also flew for the first time when he was 5.5 months old,) my husband angled himself next to me so I had privacy to nurse. With this last baby, he and I flew alone last year when he was 9 months old and still nursing. I was sitting next to a much younger man who was pretty hot, but I nursed the baby anyway. He was very sweet and actually talked to me while I was nursing, but he didn't try and catch a glimpse of anything (then again I've nursed for a total of over 5 years so my breasts are nothing to write home about anymore!) You can do it! Just remember, you have every right to be on the airplane with your baby - you paid for that seat just as much (or maybe more) as anyone else. Good luck!

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C.W.

answers from Chattanooga on

We took our daughter to Europe when she was 8 months old and our son to Europe when he was 1 year old, so I can speak from experience. Both of them were on bottles so that wasn't a problem, so I can't help you there - but I bought a whole bunch of new small toys each time and would bring out a new one every half hour or so. Son slept much of the trip over which was wonderful, but Daughter just took a couple of cat naps. However, she stood up in the seat and played peek-a-boo with the people behind us (who very fortunately were delighted with this) and though she had a few fussy moments, she didn't cry, and to my amazement, several people stopped us on the way out of the plane and praised us for the best behaved baby they had seen on a plane. Obviously we were very lucky because Daughter certainly had her meltdown moments, just not on the plane. But I was worn out from working so hard at keeping her happy! Also lots of snacks, which is harder for a much younger baby such as yours, but for me the key was the little toys and walking her up and down the aisles as often as I could. I do remember that I gave her so many bottles that she needed a lot of diaper changes and at least one complete change of clothing.... :o) The trip back from Europe was a couple of hours longer and during the daytime, so that was more difficult, but I had put away the toys for the time we were there, and brought them back out for the trip. I remember that the hit of the trip with Daughter was the metal measuring spoons from my kitchen, and when we arrived at my mother-in-law's house, another hit was a cardboard box big enough for daughter to lie on and kick her arms and legs (it was just about 5 inches high or so). I know that sounds funny, but there you are!
Good luck!!! (by the way, give the baby a pacifier upon takeoff and landing to help with pressure in the ears)

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T.C.

answers from Lexington on

I'm taking my 8 month old on a flight soon and I'm wondering the same things... I've heard feeding during ascent and descent helps with air pressure changes.

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R.B.

answers from Raleigh on

i have trveled n planes w/ all 3 of my kids, you need a small -umbrella like stroller, and check it at the gate, don't bother with a car seat. A pacifier/bottle to suck on during take off and decending. one favorite toy, a change of clothes for you and baby just in case and a favorite baby blanket.

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K.S.

answers from Knoxville on

Hi! My husband works for an airline, so we fly pretty regularly. I just has a beautiful baby boy in October, so we've flown with him a few times. You can take breast milk in bottles with you, if you want to pump before hand and store it, but you can't take bottles of water to mix with formula, but you could take pre-mixed formula (which it doesn't sound like you'd be doing anyway). We fly stand-by, so I have always held him in my lap (we can't get a seat for him until he's 2 with my husband's benefits). Of course, it's safer to have a seat for him and strap his car seat in, but he might do better if you're holding him anyway. We try to time the flights for as close to nap time as possible, that way he'll sleep most of the way. Also, you might want to try feeding him or giving him a pacifier during take-off and landing incase his ears pop, it eases the pressure, so he won't be so fussy. Hope this helps!

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H.H.

answers from Fayetteville on

Usually airlines have bassinets that are secured into the bolt-heads of the airplane. It drops down in front of your seat. All you have to do is ask. (I would call and see if you can reserve it before you show up that day)

This way the baby is not always in your lap and can lay down for a nap.

H.(I have traveled to Europe with small children)

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D.B.

answers from Charlotte on

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A.M.

answers from Memphis on

L., I have traveled with my daughter numerous times on the plane. It is easier on both of you if you are calm. A little Tylenol worked magic to make sure she was relaxed... Her pacifier or bottle helped to make sure that the pressure from take off and landing didn't bother her little ears.

Each airline is different, but I worked for Southwest for 4 years. You can check your stroller at the gate and take on on small bag and a personal items ( like a diaper bag, purse or etc). Any lotions, creams or etc have to be in a quart size zip lock bag and can not exceed 3 ozs ( bottles excluded).

You can find out more details on the airlines website or by contacting reservations.

Good luck!
I hope this helps!

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T.B.

answers from Nashville on

L.:

I have 3 boys and have really travelled with my youngest. We flew to Europe (9 hours) when he was 9 months and I was stressed. I couple of hints.
1. Try to pack what you need, but don't over do it. I backed tons of diapers(double what I normally use), big pack of wipes, complete change of clothes for baby and a shirt for me, a cloth diaper for spit ups etc... Don't pack too many toys since at 5.5. months they are not into too many toys.
2. Feed him and change him right before you go on the plane.
3. Feed him on landing and take off or have him suck on a paci
4. a little tylenol... I am not sure about the Benadryl - I think he is too young. Ask your doctor.
5. Give yourself a lot of time at security check point, since you will have to take everything out of the stroller including the baby and fold the stroller to pass it through the belt. Don't carry to much with you since you have to keep track of it, dont wear a belt or anything that might cause the alarm to sound and have to go back through.
6. Get a window and isle seat, you are more likely not to get someone in the middle unless the plane is full.
7. Don't worry about the people if the baby cries... first of all only the people that are really close to you can hear him. Second, you probably wont see them ever again and third, you can't do anything about it and if you get stressed you stress the baby. If someone says anything, I wouldn't even answer or pay attention.. I just got back from a trip and my baby is now 18 months and the lady in front was upset because he was laughing to much and I was playing peak a boo with him... :|

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D.D.

answers from Charlotte on

I have a 5.5 month old daughter. I have taken her to three plane trips. I was very nervous first but it was not bad at all. I bought a stroller for traveling (it's small and compact - it fits the car seat perfectly and is very light) and also a back pack that it's a baby bag. It has an insulated compartment for the bottles. Plus because it's a back pack you have your both hands free. Pack his favorite books and toys, plus of course diapers etc. He will be very interested in all that is happening. As for you, only take your license, a cell phone, credit card and some cash in the back pack. You don't need any extra bag during the flight, specially if you are taking the breast pump with you. I do travel with it and it's fine. I've use it in many airports and airplanes. Make sure you have batteries in case you cannot find a power outlet. Check all the rest with the suit case.I did book my flights in the afternoon because my daughter has two naps in the morning (she never skips them). This way she is rested.
Anyway, think of the very essential things she will need in the flight to take as carry on. Now, for the suit case, take everything else!!! First, you don't have to carry it, plus you never know if you'll end up needing it!!
Good luck!

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M.W.

answers from Huntington on

It is good he is nursing. that will help. During take off & landing, & during spots of turbulence, everyone has to be buckled into their own seatbelts, but most of the flight, he can be free to climb on your lap, the floor, his seat, still not a lot of room, but better than being confined to his seat. nursing him as much as possible during the flight will help his ears pop, relieving the ear pressure pain,but he probably will scream until they do, hopefully nursing will calm him down in short order. (remember to bring chewing gum for yourself). There are so many other things to pack along with a baby, I wouldn't bother bringing bottles along, even breastmilk in a bottle doesn't give the comfort and security he will need on the flight. If he has a few teeth, a baggie of Cheerios is good to have, and a few of his favorite toys. Don't let him nap in the car on the way to the airport, get him tired out so he can spend much of the flight sleeping. You also might try a little benedryl (with your care providers permission) this will not only help him sleep, but since it dries secretions, it will make hime thirstier so he will nurse more, helping his ears. Call the airline ahead of time to see what you're allowed to bring on board.

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B.K.

answers from Charlotte on

I traveled with my son last year but he was older than yours but I hope this helps. If I were you I would try to pump a lot before hand to have some that could be given on board if need be. Or if he'll take formula bring that or any snacks- I know you shouldn't over feed, but sometimes feeding keeps them quiet around a lot of strangers. Also, you are able to bring your car seat on board for him to sit in (if you purchased him a seat). We checked a fold up baby bed when we went. If he enjoys any cartoons or Baby Einstein DVDs and they keep him entertained, I'd invest in one of those portable DVD players to play for him. That's all I can thank of. My heart goes out to you and I hope it goes well...hopefully everyone on the plane should be understanding if you and your husband have a hard time.

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A.M.

answers from Raleigh on

I just got back from traveling with my 19-month old. I did it by myself and I am a first time Mom. I was scared to death. But, you can take as much liquids as you need (formula, etc..). Also, you can take as much baby food as you need. You just got to put it within resonable limits. At security they will check everything. They DO NOT make you drink or taste it. It is pretty easy once you get there. I packed way too much for my son. They second go around will be easier!

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E.M.

answers from Boston on

I just flew to Philly with my 2 1/2 month old. I also breastfeed, and had to take a big stash with me because we were going to leave our son overnight. You are able to take breastmilk on the plane with you, just make sure that it is labeled. Since we were taking a lot with us, I had to keep it frozen, and you can take a small cooler on the plane with up to 4lbs dry ice. Again, you have to label the cooler with "dry ice". I had no problem at all. You are also allowed to take on the diaper bag as an extra bag other than your "personal" bag. My son did really well on the plane. I fed him on the way up, and on the way down to help with his ears. On the way back, he was asleep, so I did not wake him up to feed him and he did perfectly fine. I had him on my lap the whole time. I wore a sling to carry him around the airport because I did not want to deal with the stroller and seat. Also, we had a carseat in Philly so there was no need to bring that. If you need to bring that stuff, you can check it plane side with no problem. I had my diaper bag with all the normal stuff, along with some toys to distract him if he got fussy. Bring a blanket as well since the plane can be cold. I was able to breastfeed on the plane, so I did not need to bring bottles, but since you use them, just put them in the diaper bag in a place where they are easy to grab. The main thing is, don't worry about what other people think and try to relax!!!!! I think as long as people see that you are trying to sooth your child, they will be fine.

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T.K.

answers from Fayetteville on

L.,
First - as hard as it may sound - relax - your child will do much better if you are relaxed:).
Second - I suggest to take at least 24 hours worth of stuff (food, diapers, wipes, etc) for your child while traveling - I leaned quickly (I have traveled by air with all three of my sons when they were infants) to abandon my "normal" diaper bag and use a regular carry on size bag for baby's needs. As long as the food is sealed and there is a baby present, TSA works well with people with kids.
Third - Stroller or Papoose is personal choice / baby choice - I have done both - and they both have pros and cons - but the airlines are really good about helping out with strollers and most baby equipment.
Fourth - pacifier or bottle of something for the baby to suck on during take off and landing can help with his ears - just like chewing gum or sucking on a piece of candy works for us:)
Fifth - if your baby cries and people around you get frustrated - well - you can't worry about them - it is their hang up if they are in a public place and get upset by a baby crying. It isn't like you are at a five star restaurant or a place that babies would be inappropriate:)

Have a great trip.
T.

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L.C.

answers from Raleigh on

I too flew with our son from NC to NY when he was 5 1/2 months old(in July also:)). Since it was not a long flight the plane was small so there was not much walking to do. He slept on the way there(most of the time), but on the way back was really fussy. I am sure some people were not happy, but oh well(do not worry about them), bring lots of ear plugs and give them to the ones who are not happy:)I just bounced our son on my lap on the way back and our 6 year old God daughter made funny faces and talked to him that helped too(spot a kid on your flight and ask to borrow him/her for a bit in the time of need:))Breastfeed/bottlesfeed on take of and landing.
Some type of baby carier can help too.And if you will have a ready to feed bottles, prepare to take a sip from it when getting through security.
It will be just fine , don't worry about it

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D.S.

answers from Raleigh on

HEY L.! I understand your worries, but if you prepare it will be fine. I saw that you do give him a couple of bottles during the day. You need to prepare these for the flight. He will feel less pressure during take off (pressure change) and landing if he is sucking. He will not need to finish the bottle, but it will help him so much. I would bring something to read to him to. It does not need to be child book, it could be the news paper, but read aloud to him, your voice will sooth him. Don't worry if he will bother others, just see he is taken care of. You might also ask if you can start giving him water at this age, or very watered down juice. However, this was the age I tried it w/my daughter(juice) and she had an allergic reaction while we were away. Water is a better idea. Goodluck! D.

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J.H.

answers from Wilmington on

First of all about 90% of kids are lulled to sleep by the noise the plane makes when you are in the air. So honestly you really just need to focus on take off and landing. During those times he really needs to have something to suck on, be it nursing under a blanket (which is what I always did and no one noticed b/c my husband sat on the other side of me), a bottle or a passy. When you do that it will take the pressure off his ears and he will be fine. I bet he will sleep like a champ. Maybe make sure he is up and has playes a whole lot before getting on the plane so he is good and sleepy.

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K.W.

answers from Charlotte on

Hi there,

We took both our children on their first flights at 2 months old(they are now 2 and 1/2 and 8 months). I breastfeed and that was my saving grace. I am not the type of person who is comfortable nursing in public so I brought big blankets with lots of coverage and nursed them on the flight. We fly a a lot and every time they fell alsleep nursing and slept through the whole flight. The suckling also helps with the pressure in their little ears.

As for what you can and can't take and check, check the airline and TSA websites because everyone is different it all depends on the carrier. Also you can take anything liquid through security such as milk and juice for the baby as long as it isn't over 4 oz, so if you think your little one is going to drink 12 oz break it down into 3 4 oz bottles. Don't forget things like infant tylenol, change of clothes for you and the baby, and lots of diapers and wipes. Also if your child is interested in blocks, books, or stuffed animals whatever keeps them quiet throw those in the bag. Pack all liquids in quart plastic bags that are going througfh security too.

I know it is hard to travel with children, but all in all most people are helpful and understand what a task it is....if he does cry the whole flight don't worry just comfort him and try to stay calm you paid for your ticket just like everyone else and soon enough your flight will be over. Hope you have a wonderful trip and all goes smooth.

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A.B.

answers from Charlotte on

First of all don't stress!! Traveling with little ones can be some what of a hassle, but it doesn't have to be. Take only what you absolutely need!! You can take your pump on the plane and you can take pumped milk too (chilled of course!) Double check with the airlines how much you can have pumped and in what sized containers. I have traveled with my son twice on a plane. He was not quite 5 months the first time and just turned 6 months the next time. (both grandparents passed away within months of each other). Anyway, we were on a plane from NC to NJ. Not that far of a ride, about an 1 1/2hr but it was fine. You can take a stroller with you and take it all the way to the gate and they'll put it under the plane then. I would suggest you try to nurse as the plane takes off and if you can as the plane lands, to help with the popping sensation in in ears, if not use a pacifier if he likes that to help, the sucking will help too. Not knowing how he's at eating, as you say in public, they do sell these breastfeeding cloths that you can use as a piece of clothing over you that will shield him and you from gawky onlookers. Though I don't really mind, I do try to be discreet and try to place a towel/baby cloth over his head, but my little guy doesn't like that either. Bring toys to play with or things for him to chew on. Overall the ride was fine for us, except on the way back when we were stuck on the runway for awhile. Do try to plan the time of the flight around nap times, that way you know he'll get some sleep while you're flying. When you go through security, and if you have a stroller, they'll ask you to put the stroller on the x-ray machine. So you'll have to be able to hold your son and put the stroller on the belt. Or rely of the kindness of strangers to help you. Try to get window seats, that way you have a "wall" beside you and the person next to you if you're flying solo. The only thing with that maybe where the extra oxygen masks are located through out the plane. The flight attendants will want to make sure you are sitting in one of those seats. Some perks to flying with kids you can get on the plane first and most people are willing to help you if you need any help. Oh!!! Change diapers before you get on the plane and keep your fingers crossed that he doesn't explode while you're flying! Good luck with that! I hope that helps, any other questions feel free to email me personally at [email protected]____.com

Remember if you're stressing the baby will pick up on that too!

I wanted to add one more thing...depending on where you are going, will depend on whether or not you need a car seat. You can and should have your son sit on your lap, you won't have to pay for him that way. If you need a car seat once you land, you can rent cars and ask in advance for car seats. You can take yours if you need to, just double check to make sure it can go on airplanes with the manufacturer. You can also purchase a thing that will attach to the back of the car seat and has wheels that you can pull through the airport and the child can ride in it instead of a stroller and then you can put that in the car when you get to where you are going. Check out (www.onestepahead.com) for that and others you can use. Don't worry, it won't be quite as nervewrecking as it may seem.

Good Luck!
A.

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M.P.

answers from Raleigh on

I had to fly with my little one when she was 8 mo. old. I asked the pediatrician about what I could do to make her more comfortable during the flight and they suggested I give her a dose of children's benadryl. The other suggestions about the coolers for your breast milk are good too. And if you do breast feed on the plane, you can always use a recieving blanket for a cover up. But, you may want to talk to your pediatrician first and see what he suggests to make your baby more comfortable on the plane. I hope this helps.

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R.H.

answers from Fayetteville on

We took our 4 month old to Germany. It was a blessing that I breast-fed. I did not prepare any pumped bottles. We carried on everything. We had one diaper bag, one breast pump bag and two carryon suitcases. Go to the airport early so you can take your time. My plan was to pump there and give him the bottle there, but on the plane strictly breast. The planes have seats especially for parents traveling with infants. Speak softly to him when he is a bit fussy (this is new for him too). Do not worry about what everyone else is thinking that will make you tense and he will feel it and get more fussy. Hold him close, rock him in your arms and speak to him softly, even if he is yelling, do not raise your voice. I kept on reassuring him, letting him know it was ok to cry and it was going to be OK. I kept on saying "its OK" over and over very softly until he calmed down. After the captain puts on the safe to walk around sign, if baby is not sleeping, get up and walk around so he can get some circulation. He will be fine. You just have to stay calm. He does not need any other food, so pull out the breast and get to feeding. I have fallen asleep while nursing, on a plane, and them he falls asleep and you know what happened next.... Yes the nipple falls out of his mouth and we are both asleep. I wake up and find out that I am the topless vixen on the plane. But who cares everyone else is eating why can't he. The funny thing about this is that I was not embarrassed I just thought it was so funny.
Remember what ever you forget to pack you can buy there. Don not stress. Have fun.

Good luck and God bless,

A.D.

answers from Austin on

I flew with mine when he was about that age by myself. consider yourself lucky to have your hubby with ya! I didnt buy my son a ticket but every flight there was conviently a seat available next to mine! (i think they try to help you out there) As far as feeding goes, I was formula feeding but if you need the quiet for him to eat, try to do it inbetween flights in a empty terminal. On the plane sit on the inside so you will have more privacy. Babys tend to sleep on the planes bc of the noise from the engines. If you are giving juice, you might want to bring some (those lil gerber juices) and give that to him when you take off to help with the ears. Give him tylenol and some gas drops right before you board the plane too. Make sure you bring an umbrella stoller - Life Saver. Make sure to pack extra diapers, baby food, a change of clothes, any small not a lot of noise toys, and anything else he might enjoy (excluding your whole house hehe) My traveling experience went overall pretty well. Just be sure to take a breath yourself, babies can sense the stress and in return upset them! Hope some of this helps. Enjoy your trip!

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N.C.

answers from Raleigh on

My daughter, who is now 1 1/2, has flown several times, starting when she was 8 weeks old. It is always a little nerve wracking as we can't predict how she will react on the flight just as we never know exactly what is in store for any tomorrow. But, in my experience, the most important thing to remember has been that most everyone on our flights has been in our shoes before. There is so much sympathy for parents traveling with infants. All we can do is offer our babies the best loving, comfort and entertainment we can muster and realize that today is our day and some day we will be taking compassion on some other young families traveling with their babies. Best of luck!

D.B.

answers from Memphis on

I flew once alone with 3 of my children, under 2, 3 and 5. The doctor told me to give them Dimetapp before boarding to help them avoid an ear infection (I was concerned about air pressure on their little ears). It worked and one great benefit...they slept almost the whole flight.

You might ask your doctor about it.

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N.G.

answers from Fayetteville on

L.,
I don't envy you at all. It's tough just thinking about a long trip! The best thing you can do to ensure a smooth flight is to be prepared. I flew with my 5yr old and 8mo old by myself overseas (my husband is in the Army) for a total of 13 hours. Let me tell you what worked for me.
1) Hold off feeding him until you are about to take off. This is imperative because of the shift in cabin pressure. You know that uncomfortable feeling when our ears feel like popping? Babies get that, too. The sucking action whether it be on a pacifier or nursing will relieve the pressure and keep him from screeching during the ascent.
2) Next, make sure you have a couple of new exciting soft toys for him to explore. Stay away from noise makers to be considerate to other passengers. Soft and colorful are best as they tend to be thrown and you wouldn't want anyone nearby to get hurt or annoyed. Mirrors are fun, too.
3) Make sure you have some ziplock bags or disposable diaper trash bags with you. Nothing is worse than being crammed in a tiny turbulent 'restroom' closet that reaks of dirty diaper.
4) Time his nap so that it's close to take-off. A sleeping baby makes for happy passengers, mom and dad included. Just don't keep him awake so long that he becomes irritable and goes bonkers.
5) He'll probably be in your lap for the entire flight, so make sure to take turns holding him, and if possible, take an umbrella stroller for the walk between gates.
6) You probably already carry them, but it doesn't hurt to mention sanitizing wipes. Planes are filthy. Make sure you wipe down arm rests, window panes and pull down tables while you are settling in. Mom always says an ounce of prevention...right?
7) Bring extra clothes for accidents; separates work best. I avoid onesies just because you have to undress the baby completely to change him. Try layering his clothes, and carry spare socks. Don't forget a lightweight blanket!
Remember that this is a new experience for him, so it can be confusing or even scary. Talk, play, hum as usual. Other passengers will understand and applaud your efforts. I hope this helps. No more stressing, ok? God bless and have a great flight!

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K.B.

answers from Raleigh on

I have a 5 month old son and I have flown twice with him to NY. The first time being when he was 3 1/2 months...I was a nervous wreck! I had nightmares the whole week before. We always fly jetblue and the flight is always about an hour. Here are some tips I have learned.
1. schedule your flight around your son's natural nap times.
2. bring an extra bottle, but if he will latch on you will be able to snuggle him closer...i always take the window seat and my husband takes the aisle.
3. begin feeding while still on the ground
4. you can bring your son's diaper bag as well as your own carry on.
5. you can check your stroller and car seat at the gate...just remember to get a pink claim ticket before boarding.
6. make use of pre-boarding.
7. as one kind traveller told me...they never cry as loud as you think they do!

good luck!

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L.P.

answers from Raleigh on

Hi, Im sure you've heard some of this from other responses but here is my advice. Nurse or paci for take off and landing. Book your seat numbers in advance for you and your partner. Book the aisle and the window, leaving the middle seat empty. This way it is more likely to be left alone for baby and you guys and your stuff! Take a couple new toys your son hasnt seen yet to entertain him. Book flights that are less likely to be full (time and day of week). Remember, you will probably stress out about this more than you need to. Stay calm if baby cries, and you will be able to soothe him better. Dont worry about the other passengers too much. It will stress your son. It'll be fine!

L.

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S.A.

answers from Knoxville on

L., have given this advice to someone else but I guess you never saw it. I am a 57 year old mom of 3 adult children. The last time I flew by myself about 6 months ago. There was a family flying the same flight. 3 kids under age 5 one of them was an infant. When we were just about ready to take off the infant started crying. The father took out some infant tylenol and gave the crying baby a dose. Then the mother nursed the baby(or in your case give him a bottle) I asked the father what he had given the baby because he didn't cry after that. The father was a doctor and told me he meant to give it sooner but had forgotten. The mother nursed the baby as we were landing also. Just a hint and it worked on this crying baby.

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S.G.

answers from Raleigh on

I have a 3 year old and a 1 year old and have traveled via airplane with both of them extensively. And regardless of how many times I do it, it still stresses me out! Here are a few things that I do. Prepare and take your time packing. If you can afford it, get the baby his own seat and bring the carseat on board. The lap belt will go right over it. My DR. recommended this to me and it was awesome advice. Even if your child doesn't sit in the seat, you will have the space and you will need it. And the child is used to being in the seat while you drive, so its a relatively calming place for them. Have a binky or bottle ready for them to suck at take off and landing, it will help with their ears and it is calming during these times.(although I did not have ear issues with either child at that age) I also, especially at the young age, tried to have them fed and tired when I got on the plane, so they might sleep for most of it. And yes your baby will cry...both of my have done that. And its just TO BAD for everyone else. Just do what you can to make them comfy. I've even stood in the back and rocked the baby to sleep. Also take as little as possible, 5-6 diapers, wipes and a change of clothes for him, blanket and food. Less is more when going through security. When we travel I have a small diaper bag, the car seat and stroller and baby. The stroller get checked at the gate, baby in the carseat and bag under the seat. My husband likes to bring the DVD player with baby einstein, it at least occupies them for about 30 minutes even at that age. As far as bottles, I have never had a problem bringing formula in a baby bottle or baby food.

Now take a deep breath. Take your time and good luck! Suzanne

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A.R.

answers from Knoxville on

I was also breastfeeding the first time I flew with my daughter and I was really nervous. First of all Knoxville airport has a really nice rocking chair in one of their bathrooms which I missed and instead tried to feed my baby while a perverted old man wathced me. I brought my breast pump and when I went through Detroit Metro with my pump the guy on the x-ray line freaked out and called the other guy over and said I think we have a problem here. The other guy started laughing and said it's just a mamma pump and let it go. They thought I had a bomb!! Little did they know I did because my boobs were about to exploid from not feeding my daughter at her regular time. Looking back I probably would have filled up a big bottle to bring with me. What a pain all of this is. You will make it through. I did. I think!! My daughter takes the cake for fussiness she had colic and would somtimes scream for 11 hours straight but she didn't make a peep on the plane. The noise is very soothing for them. I also recommened wine...... for you of course!! It is really hard for me to stress out after two glasses of wine at the airport Ruby Tuesdays. And yes alcohol with breastfeeding is taboo but the LeLeche league says a couple of drinks is OK.

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S.S.

answers from Lexington on

both of my kids were 2 months old when we had to travel with them. the best thing that i found was to ware my baby in a wrap, sling or secure front carrier. it leaves you with free hands and lets you make a run to the gate if you need to. i was able to nurse my son in his moby wrap in the airport and on the plane. they are really strict with the weight limit on your checked bags, but you can have two per person, so you and your husband and son can have six. if i were you i would make them six small suitcases instead of two big ones, so that they will not exceed the 50lb weight limit. good luck.

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K.M.

answers from Jacksonville on

I agree with the others. Be calm. If he's fussy, then he's fussy. Those who have kids have been in your place, those who don't will some day be in your place. So be calm, relax and enjoy the ride.

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H.M.

answers from Raleigh on

I wouldn't worry about what others will think, they all know that there is the possibility of a baby being on the plane. If they don't like noise they can bring headphones! The airlines will let you bring any food or milk for the baby, and that doesn't count toward your liquids limit on board. I would keep these items separate in a cooler or baggie or something so you can get them out if needed. We bought a seat for our little girl, but we had a five hour flight and she's also older than your son (she's a year), but I'm assuming you didn't buy a seat for him? I probably wouldn't have if she was younger (less wiggly) and it was a shorter flight. If you are holding him in your lap, I would suggest taking a stroller and checking it at the gate. Keep in mind, you'll have to take him out at security checkpoint and send it through the x-ray machine if it will fit. Depending on your situation when you get there (if you'll need a carseat) you'll probably want to check that at the gate too. Som folks check theirs with their luggage, but I'm nervous about something like that getting damaged. Some babies are interested in tv at that age, so you may want to bring a portable dvd player with a kid's dvd to calm him. Try to get to the airport with enough time to park, take the park and ride if needed, and get through security with some time still left so you won't feel rushed and you can get something to eat if needed, change a diaper, etc. And if you take Southwest, try to check in online 24 hours in advance so you can board with section A. If you don't board with section A, you can board right after section A since you have a child. I'm sure it will be fine, just start making a list of things you'll need, but don't stress out, he'll do fine!

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