Seeking Advice from Mom's Who've Recently Flown W/ an Infant

Updated on September 15, 2006
N.S. asks from Frisco, TX
14 answers

I will be flying next week for the first time with my 10 month old daughter. Luckily it's a short flight - Dallas to Kansas City.

Has anyone flown since all the new restrictions with a baby? Any advice or extra things I should be aware of?

Besides that, any tips and tricks from others who've flown with a very mobile baby would be appreciated.

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D.

answers from Dallas on

I flew with my very active 1 yr. old and we brought the carseat which was a lifesaver. My one year old gets very scruchy when being held but did great when put into the carseat. My icepacks that I had packed with the bottles was not allowed so they took them away. Good luck. DVD player with Baby Einstein videos helps too.

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M.

answers from Dallas on

I would suggest a bag filled with toys she has never seen. Books, small toys, doll, etc. You don't have to spend a ton, try Big Lots or somewhere like that. Also see if you can find one of those plastic mirrors - mine can look at one for a long time. I traveled with one when he was about 10 months. My current baby flew when she was 4 months (easy) and will fly again next month at 15 months. I am starting to get stuff now to put in her backpack. It will go fast, just try to stretch her bottles so she will take one at takeoff, it will help her ears. That was hard for me - mine was starving when we got on the plane, and I kept trying to distract her until takeoff. Have fun!

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E.T.

answers from Dallas on

I only bring toys that can be linked with those linky thingies. This prevents toys from being dropped on the floor where it's impossible to pick up. Plus, you can normally find inventive places to link the toys.

If you're flying southwest, get bulkhead seating. You get more room and you don't have to worry about your child kicking the seat or endlessly playing with the tray in front of them.

Pray that you have a female sitting behind you because babies LOVE to look at other people on the plane and females are more apt to make funny faces at your child and help keep them entertained.

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P.M.

answers from Dallas on

Hi N.,

I flew (Solo-no hubby) about 3 weeks ago from CA to TX itwas about 3 hours NS. Not too bad really. I have an almost 5 year old and a 2 year old. Neither one had a car seat for in flight. The new restrictions aren't too bad either. You just have to be extra consciencious of what you are packing and make sure nothing is liquid or creamy and of course sharp. I ALWAYS buy some new toy or gadgetand snacks for my kids that they have never seen before and that keeps them pretty busy for most of the flight. I also always request to sit in the furthest row in the back so that if I have to get up to change diapers or go to the bathroom it's close by and if I ever need help I can just holler back at one of the flight attendants :o). The stroller is a breeze- bring IT and make sure that what ever you plan on taking as a carry on, you can stow in the stroller or let it hang from it while waiting for the plane to board. Make sure you have a stroller tag. They will let you take the stroller all the way until you get to the door of the plane. At this point take a breath relax and IGNORE all the people behind you that are waiting while you unload everything including the baby- YOU have to break down the stroller, they will NOT do it for you. Gather yourself and proceed. At the end of your flight they will open it up for you and have it ready (usually). OH! Check in and get your boarding passes online if possible up to 24 hours prior to your departure time. You almost always have to have someone from the airline log in your infants info- Name age etc... You can do this at the gate desk. They will have you take your shoes off even if you have flip flops on including the babys shoes and jacket/blanket. You can purchase drinks once getting passed the security but they will remind you to ditch all beverages purchased before boarding the plane. OK-- I think I have covered most of my experience. It will be fine . Have a safe trip and you have any further questions, you can e-mail me at [email protected]____.com-

Elaine

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A.

answers from Dallas on

The main restriction is on liquids. Although, they really aren't checking all that carefully. If your daughter will need formula or breastmilk during the flight, you can bring a bottle or sippy on board. They may ask you to taste it at security. If your daughter can take water or juice instead, just bring an empty sippy cup and have the flight attendant fill it prior to takeoff.

I've heard that security doesn't allow the gel packs used to store formula or breastmilk, so I'd just bring along a refrigerated bag. For such a short flight, everything should stay plenty cool even without an icepack.

I've found it's signifantly easier to travel when my daughter has her own seat. But, with a short flight, you may be fine without one. Bring plenty of books and snacks (I love the snack trap with some Cheerios or goldfish crackers). I've also brought small puppets to entertain her with, and just sing a lot of songs.

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A.

answers from Dallas on

N.,
Hello,
Just came back from a New York trip. Mostly what everyone already said except you can ask for water on the plane for the babies formula.
Where in Kansas City... that's were I am from?

Have a safe flight,
A.

S.

answers from Dallas on

NURSE your baby while take off and landing if you can and in between if you need to it helps a great deal with the air pressure on those tiny ears
I did a 16 hr flight with a 10 month old TWICE you will be fine

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K.W.

answers from Dallas on

I asked this question a couple of weeks ago and got a lot of great responses. With all the responses, I called the airline with questions and looked on TSA website. Not to be rude and scare you, but every experience is different, every airline is dirrerent, and every security officer is different. So, here is my advice...

Listen to what every one posts, but don't take it to heart because your experience will probablly be totally different. Go to TSA website and look at what they say, your airline should have a link there as well. Print out the list from their site in case a security office gives you a problem.

I had a note on a prescription pad from my pediatrician that helped us when things were in question. She said to allow expressed breast milk or ready to use formula and childrens tylenol on flight. She told me to give my 4 month old and 2 year old the tylenol 30 minutes before the flight took off, and to make sure they were drinking a bottle or sippy cup on take off and landing.

They would not allow powder formula unless you mixed it in front of security, discarded what you did not mix, and let the baby drink right there. Leaving they let me take a sippy cup for my 2 yr old if we drank it, coming home they did not. They did not allow un-opened bottles of juice or nursery water even though TSA said you could take it. That is when they told me that if I had printed out the list they could look at it and verify it.

We took both kids on our laps...BIG MISTAKE!!! My husband and I could not sit together because of how many oxygen masks there are. We put the carrier in a bag and checked it on the way, but gate checked it coming back. Thank goodness for gate checking items like that. Gate check your carrier or stroller if you are taking either...it is worth it.

Both times I talked to a flight attendant on our flight before we boarded and they were all very eager to help and accomodate the best they could. The flight attendants were the best part of flying with the kids.

I will tell you one thing, everything I thought they would allow either was thrown away or flushed down the toilet. They would not allow anything over 4oz of liquid (breast milk or formula). My 2 year old came down with strep 2 days before we left and his medicine had to be kept cold-they did allow that. His decongestant was liquid, but prescription that I carried on and they allowed it on the way, but it expired the day before we came back and the security officer made me get rid of it goign through the checks coming back because he checked the expiration date. We almost got into a fist fight!

Good luck and have fun. Please don't take what I said as harsh, I just had a horrible experience a couple of weeks ago, but the MOM'S that responded to my question then were great which prepared me for the unexpected that we encountered.

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M.

answers from Dallas on

i flew southwest with my 12 month old last weekend. they allowed two full bottles of whole milk, packaged baby food that was still sealed, and the freezer gel packs both in dallas and new mexico without any hassles. the BIG hassle was the infant pass that no one told us about. we flew on e-tickets and checked in at the machines only to be told we needed a pass. we had to leave the security line and wait in a huge line to get a sheet of paper that we just filled out ourselves. it was a big hassle and annoying that no one had previously mentioned it (we usually fly american). i got several for the return flight and future flights too.

also, southwest would not allow an infant in the bulkhead or exit row. but, you do get pre-boarding which is key for southwest!!!

have a great trip!

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C.C.

answers from Dallas on

Since you are flying to KC, I'm guessing it's on Southwest. Since they are not international, they were a breeze. Although they do have postings about fluids, gels, etc. They did not check my bags or even ask me about fluids when I travel one week after the latest scare. No sweat! I took a bottle of whole milk for my 1 yr old (that I partially froze as to keep it cold since I was concerned about the gel packs).

Also, don't forget goldfish, crackers, zwieback or your kiddos favorite munchie of choice. We started off with new toys, but as he got bored with them, we moved on to the crackers. I allowed him to eat as much as he wanted on the one-hour flight we took. Yes, it might have taken room in his tummy from nutritional foods for the afternoon, but he was happy which made me happy as well as other passengers.

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I.

answers from Dallas on

Hi N., I just came back from holiday.

You're not allowed to bring fluids of any kind. No sippy cups with water, no baby bottles with water, no juice boxes, no normal waterbottles. You're not allowed to drink from it to prove its normal water. They escort you back all the way out, they stand next to you when you drain the water in the trash can, and they escort you back and have again to go through the scanner. This time the one they put suspicious people in, the closed one whith the puffs. And the (now empty bottle) has to go trough the x-rays.

Yes, it happend to me, I forgot to empty the straw cup of one of my sons.

In the waiting room you're allowed to buy drinks, but again, you're not allowed to bring them into the plane. Only: they are not checking that.

I noticed they were much much stricter on the airport in San Francisco than here at DFW.

If you bring a empty bottle, they can fill it on the plane, and even warm it for you. So you only have to bring the formula. They also always have apple juice.

Good luck. Bring books and toys, but you will be surprised. They can "read" the safety guide for hours, and play with a simple drinking cup. So don't bring to much, chanches are you don't use it. And if your kid is crying: just have an elephant skin if someone gives you a dirty look. Most people will understand. And the noise in the plane is loud so only the people next to you will notice.

Good luck. I.

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D.W.

answers from Dallas on

For both kiddos, I would make sure that you have plenty of toys, books, and activities. Bring a few old favorites and some new ones. I also found that the Baby Einstein flash cards (they have animals, numbers, letters, etc.) were quite entertaining for a long period of time. I agree with a previous comment that a portable DVD player is quite helpful. Crayons, stickers, and paper are also a hit.

Also make sure that you have an extra change of clothes for each child plus twice as many diapers as you may think you need. I usually pack an outfit in a ziploc bag for each kid in addition to a rag to clean up messes, purell wipes, and diaper wipes (to clean hands and faces).

You asked in a subsequent email about the stroller. Definitely gate-check it. Good luck.

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H.G.

answers from Dallas on

I flew with my 2 1/2 month little boy 2 weeks ago. It was pretty easy. I checked my car seat and stroller in at the gate. It was a little tricky holding him and putting everything through security. I just took my time! No fluids or liquids for the plane except for what you will need during the flight for the baby- ie one bottle of formula. Also Andrew had to take his shoes off! I am breastfeeding but I still took 4 oz of formula in case we got stuck on the tarmac or he started screaming because of the ear pressure. I also gave him tylenol before leaving and then a pacifier when the plane took off- no complaints from him!!!
I hope this helps.
PS we also flew to KC on our first flight. I did it fine by myself.
H.

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L.

answers from Dallas on

N.,
First off, pack yourself a lot of patience, flying with an infant is not an easy task. If you have a paid seat for her it will be easier, because you keep her buckeled in. Otherwise, pack some books to read. I packed way too many board books, and while helpful, they were heavy. Instead, buy some cheap paperback pictures books, and if they get ripped up, it's no big deal.

Yes, you can take your stroller with you down to the plane, but have to leave it with a tag on it. I would suggest bringing a cheap umbrella stroller, as it does the basic duty of keeping your hands free, but if it gets damaged, it's not a big deal.

Check with your airlines website on the new restrictions. I know that you can bring infant formula or juice if you are traveling with an infant, but you may have to taste it to prove it isn't anything else. How crazy is that?

Also, if your daughter has a lovey, bring it and even a back up on the plane. I had 3 blankies on board, and we did need to use 2 of them.

Good luck! Remember, if you feel that any of the other passengers are annoyed with you or your crying baby, you will never see them again. Don't worry about it.

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