Travel Advice

Updated on November 30, 2005
R.H. asks from Minneapolis, MN
11 answers

Any advice on airline travel with an infant?

My partner and I will be making a short flight to Cincinnati for Christmas with our daughter who will then be 3 months old. Thanks for any tips to make the journey as smooth as possible :)

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S.S.

answers from Minneapolis on

When my daughter was small we used to fly frequesntly from here to Denver. The thing that my doctor suggested and I found to have worked was to have something ready for them to suck on during departure. When the cabin pressure changes and your ears start to pop it helps to swallow. So, Im not sure if you breast feed or bottle but that is an option. Hold off to feed until departure or if your daughter will suck on a pacifier that is another option. That is mostly the worst part is when the cabin pressure changes. One time my daughter got motion sickness but she was well over a year by then. Encouraging the swallowing is what I found best.

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D.

answers from Minneapolis on

Please be sure she is either nursing or drinking from a bottle as you take off and descend. And do not offer her these things until right before take off - if the take off is delayed even a few minutes she could be done feeding before she needs the relief it brings (it squelches the pressure that builds up in the ears during take off and landing).
Good luck!

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R.

answers from Minneapolis on

Been there. I was lucky and had a good baby. If you are nursing, try to nurse as you take off and then when you are descending. The sucking action keeps their ears open so they don't hurt as much. I also give a dose of baby tylenol just before we take off. It helps them sleep and also helps with the ear thing. I can always tell on a plane when a baby's ears are hurting by the crying and my heart goes out to those poor parents. Good luck and safe travels.

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P.

answers from Minneapolis on

We travel quite a bit and at 3 months, this will one of the easiest trips. Feed on take off and landing. Try to schedule flight around naps. Check as much luggage and "stuff" as possible. As she gets old and mobile, I strongly recommend boarding last as she will not get too fussy just sitting on the plane.

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D.

answers from Minneapolis on

R.,

We traveled with our daughter overseas when she was 6 months; we gave her a bottle of water during take-off and landing; brought new toys (a plush small sun from JCP that had a rattle, squeeky, teething end and mirror) then finger puppets for the way home. She did great.

It's not a long flight; things will be fine. Good luck!

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A.

answers from Minneapolis on

Try to leave plenty of time to get through security. You'll probably be carrying on a lot of stuff with a 3-mo.-old, so it will take you a while to get through security.
Try to nurse/feed your daughter during take-off and landing. The sucking is supposed to help with their ears popping. At 3 months, hopefully she'll sleep through the flight, especially if you feed her at the beginning.
Be extra careful of germs so you don't come home with a cold. Airplanes are notorious for spreading illness, so beef up your own immune system and be sure to wash your hands often so you don't spread anything to your daughter.
Hope some of this was helpful. Have a great trip!

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A.

answers from Minneapolis on

Hi R.,
i have flown with my two kids several times and i have two tips that i hope will help. first, bring a small bottle of nasal saline along. the plane air is so dry and it can really irritate them. it seems like whenever i get ready to travel with my kids via plane, they always catch a cold a few days before and the saline really helps (even when they are not sick)
the other tip is on takeoff and landing, give her a bottle or nurse her (or a pacifier if she is into them) just to get her ears to pop so there isn't pressure.
i had the pleasure of having the "screaming baby" on my last plane trip with my son when he was 6 months old which was no picnic, but i found that most people (at least other parents) were super sypathetic and kind.
Hope you have a great trip!

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J.B.

answers from Minneapolis on

Hi there
I've been travelling with both my kids since they were very small. They are now 3.5 and 1. Have flown from the UK to Australia, New Zealand and the US with one or both children a large number of times. Just a few weeks ago i flew from london to chicago and then on to minneapolis on my own with the children and managed to arrive in one piece.
How long is the flight?
Basically my advice would be to forget about your regular feeding pattern and try and give her milk on takeoff and landing. I guess she will be too small for anything other than milk so feeding her snacks to distract her is not possible.
Take turns at taking the baby for a walk around in the plane - people will make a fuss of her and this will distract her and occupy her. Also, don't be afraid to ask the airline staff for help eg. you and your husband will probably want to have your meal at different times as you can't hold a baby and eat as it ends up in your lap.
Alot of airline have a crib that attaches to the wall. You have to have the bulk head seats for this but its great for letting the baby have a proper nap or just for somewhere to lay them down so you can have a break from holding them. Ring the airline in advance to see if this is possible on your flight.
Stollers - most airlines will let you take a folding stroller right up to the door of the plane. Some will even have it ready at the door when you land although many stow it in the hold so you have to collect it with your other luggage. Don't be afraid to ask for it to be brought to the door though. Alot of them don't do this because it would be difficult with alot of strollers but if you ask they sometimes make an exception.
my email address is [email protected]____.com if you have any questions i can help with
good luck!

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J.S.

answers from Minneapolis on

I flew the first time with my son Charlie when he was about 2 1/2 months old. It was actually much easier than I had thought it would be.. flying with him at 5 months was a bigger challenge, because he was so much more alert/active by then.

The one thing I would suggest is to try to either nurse (if you are breast feeding) or give a bottle on the way up and down. Your flight is rather short, so have a pacifier handy in case your daughter is not hungry on the way down. The sucking and swallowing will keep her little ears from plugging up with the change in cabin pressure.

Also - I used a baby sling to carry Charlie on and off the plane, and through the airport. I felt that this helped him feel secure and close to me while walking through a new and over stimulating place. Plus, the sling was great for snuggling him close while I breast fed him, and allowed me a bit of privacy as I could cover up a bit with the sling.

Happy travels!
Jess and Charlie

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M.

answers from Minneapolis on

We took our twin boys on a plan at age 3. We worried and fussed for days before the flight, and they pretty much slept through it.

They were big into pacifiers, and they had a bottle on the plane, but then they just slept.

Good Luck!

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J.

answers from Minneapolis on

See if you arrange your nursing or feeding schedule to coincide with your flight time. My son was flying when he was flying when he was two months old - to California and that helped.