Traveling to Florida with a 10 Month Old! Love Some Tips!

Updated on March 12, 2010
L.P. asks from Minneapolis, MN
10 answers

Hi Everyone!
We are going to be traveling to Florida with our 10 month old in April. I would love any advice you have from flying on a plane with her to how to survive Disney World, and everything in between.

It will be me, my husband, daughter, my parents and my 18 year old sister (who is technically along to watch my daughter, but I don't think she will want to miss anything either). We are going to be stayin in Daytona. We plan to go to Disney World (attempt the ride swap-where you all stand in line and half go on the ride while someone stays with the baby and then when they are done they take the baby and the last person can go on the ride right away. Has anyone tried this?).

I am a little concerned about if we should bring her car seat (she will be sitting on our laps on the plane) and her stroller. I know we are flying southwest down there and I'm not sure what we are taking back. Are we able to check both these big items and still have our bags?
I would also love to hear about any neat attractions/resturants in the area and if you have any tips on beach days with a baby


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answers from New York on

I went to florida with 2 infant twins and a toddler. I can't speak about southwest, but the rules are usually consistent across airlines....
You are supposed to inform the airline in advance that you are bringing a baby on your lap with you, or even an infant in a paid-separate seat. You need to call the airline and have them note your reservation. this is thet ime to ask if the plane looks full... if not, you may ask at the gate about moving to a seat that is next to an empty seat. ( but with such a large group, you probably should just stay together)
Infant carseats and strollers do not count as a carry-on and should go with you all the way to the gate. A diaper bag also does not count as your carry-on. (1 per baby) You really should take your infant carseat if you can. The rental is something like $30 a day for a rental car's carseat... and your baby still should sit reverse facing. You need to make sure the rental carseat can provide reverse-facing for your baby's size...
Request early boarding, don't wait for someone to make an announcement. (Some airlines did away with any official early boarding because it was abused, but if you ask for it , they usually wave you into the plan early without an announcement.)
You should be able to push your stroller down the ramp of the entrance and unload right at the airplane door .... this way you can get settled before everyone is piling into the plane. they need to tag your stroller and carseat for storing in the plane. This takes place right at the gate.
Note that it is sort-of rude to request early boarding for your entire party... Just you and your husband can handle the baby and get settled....

I would have a few different snack options with you for the baby, and two or three bottles of formula/breastmilk..... there is no limit to the liquid formula supplies for the baby. But it has to be prepared .. you can't take water separately. I found my babies drank more than I expected during the trip. If you have any flight delays, you'd want to have some extra to tie you over.
Also ,bring two outfits for your daughter in the carry-on....yes two... and few diapers and a whole bag of wipes... and diaper creme.
you just don't know when poop is going to leak out of a diaper amidst all the excitement. OR, some spill you never expected... or both. Also, a plastic bag or two, to hold any sudden stinky items that need to be contained.
Then try to feed the baby right around takeoff.. this helps the ears pop and maybe they fall asleep for a while from a full belly and all the humming noise while in flight.
I've had it both ways ... The screaming baby for 3 hours .. .and also the sleeps perfect riding companion. People are pretty nice about it, IF they are a parent too. good luck.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

As far as the plane ride goes.... we just got back from Florida with my 1 year old on Tuesday. We had to change planes in Atlanta, and my daughter slept on both planes! We took her umbrella stroller and were able to use that in the airport and right up until we boarded the plane. They then stow the stroller for you and you get it back as soon as you get off the plane again. So that worked out great. It was also great to have for everywhere we went while we were down there. Going through town, everywhere, and it is so small that it isn't a burden to have. To keep her busy on the plane, we brought lots of books and snacks, but she was more interested in the window and the lap tray and the sky mall magazine. Just make sure you have a bottle or pacifier for take off, and if she likes to sleep in the car, she will probably sleep on the plane too. Try to keep her up so she is ready for a nap by the time you board, and make sure she gets plenty to eat so she isn't hungry when your up in the air, because unless you by something to eat at the airport, there isn't a lot you can get through security.




answers from Minneapolis on

Oh Fun!
I have two boys and we have travelled several times to Orlando, as my parents live there. First, as mentioned, you can check your carseat and your stroller without any additional cost (they don't count as bags), but make sure you put them in the big plastic bags the airline provides for you. You can also take your stoller through security and "gate check" it if you want, or if you carry baby in a baby carrier (like a snugglie) they don't make you take it off to go through security. Second, try to pack fairly light for the plane ride, but take one extra of everything you might need (extra formula, extra outfit, diapers, etc). And take finger snacks for the baby--that helps keep them occupied!
Third, for Disney, you can rent a stroller there if you want ($15/day). Bring a packback, you can pack it with your own water and lunch if you want (that kind of stuff, esp water, is expensive in the park). Fourth, for the beach, I would recommend going to New Smyrna beach, which is 10 to 15 min south of Daytona beach--it is less crowded/less commercial. When you go to either beach, though, you can drive on those beaches ($5/day for your car) and park wherever, which is nice because you don't have to walk as far with your baby and baby gear! Oh, and remember the sunscreen, hat, blanket for the beach, etc! Have fun!



answers from Philadelphia on

How fun! Bring the car seat if you're going to be driving down there - I've heard that renting car seats can be a nightmare. I don't know the specific rules for southwest, but I'm sure it's easy to find on the website. They don't charge for gate checks, so if you lug it through the airport on the chance that there may be an extra seat on the plane and your baby can use it, then it could be checked at the gate if you can't use it on the plane.
You won't have any trouble in Disney - everything is easy and the parks staff are very friendly and helpful in every way. The swapping works great - we did that with my 18mo last year. You will want a stroller in the parks. You can rent one, but they're kind of expensive. We just gate checked a little umbrella stroller when we went and it worked fine.
Have fun!



answers from Dallas on


I think the most important tip for air travel is to request the bulk aisle. There's more room for them to move about on the floor (and nap, if necessary).

As far as the car seat goes, you will need if you travel by taxi or other means. We had no problem checking our stroller and car seat. Remember, all the things that help you at home, help you when travelling.

Hope all goes well.



answers from Minneapolis on

We flew to Disney w/ our 3 kids all under age 5 last year, our youngest was 11 months old. We did not purchase a seat for our youngest and planned to just hold him, well that was a nightmare. He was very squirmy and wanted to be moving all the time. I wish we'd have just bought him a seat and took his carseat on the plane, would have saved lots of yes bring the carseat just in case the plane's not full, you should be able to use it, and you can then use it when you're in FL.
WDW was awesome, they are so child-friendly and you won't have any issues while in the parks. Bring an umbrella stroller, that's what we did and it worked out great for the airport or quick trips around the resort. We also rented a double stroller through a stroller rental company in Orlando for our 11 month old and nearly 3 year old, that worked out great for our days in the parks.
If your'e staying on property, you're in for a treat, no one does it like Disney. We did a split stay to save money (4 nights at the Wilderness Lodge on property and 2 nights at an off-site hotel) and oh how we wished we'd have splurged for those extra nights, it just wasn't the same.
We did the ride swap for a few rides and it worked out perfect, what a great invention!:) Your baby should be able to ride a lot of rides w/ you, our 11 month old rode on our laps on most rides (Dumbo, Pirates of the Caribbean, etc.)
Good luck, and have fun!!!



answers from Minneapolis on

Concerning her car seat - you either have to bring it or have one ready for you down in FL. You can't have her in any car without one. Neither the car seat or the stroller count for bags checked on any airline, so you don't have to worry about that. You can choose to check them with your other bags or bring them all the way to the airplane and then they will stow them under there. That is what we always do because I have found that they are a little more gentle with them there, whereas if we check them, they throw them around. If you are able, I would also recommend getting a car seat traveling cover (plastic bag practically) and then you can check the car seta at the front (so you don't have to haul through the airport).

We recently did Disney with a 3 year old, and I was super happy that we had our stroller so I would strongly recommend bringing it for a 10 month old. Disney is really great about having plenty of "stroller parking" near the rides. We also did the ride-swap thing on many rides, and it worked great. It increases your total time on that ride about 15 minutes but it was definatey worth doing, and nobody feels left out.



answers from Daytona Beach on

Sounds like you are going to be in for some fun and some interesting things as well, my advice for the plane trip is bring the car seat and stroller they will check them at the gate so you can have them as soon as you get off. Just let your airline know when you check your bags that you have infant equiptment that you will be taking to your gate, they will give you different tags to fill out, if you have a lay-over you can choose to have them brought to you then as well. I flew with my son for the first time when he was four months old and the airlines are very gratious with making things easier for parents with small children. Make sure you have a bottle, passy, teether, etc. to chew on during the take-off and landing. I would try to keep her awake as much as possible before the flight and dont feed her til you take-off that will give you the best chance of her sleeping and being the most comfortable for the flight.
~As for your time in Florida, be ready for chaos at Disney it is always crowded and it is starting to get nice and hot down here. If you are staying in Daytona, well I live just outside of there and there is a lot of fun things to do around here. A few resturaunts I would recommend that would be very fun are the Ocean Deck on the beach in Daytona, Carribean Jacks on the river, and if you get an adult night out go to Stonewood. There are the boardwalk attractions right on the beach and perhaps by the time you get down the water park by the ocean will be open. There are two zoos' within an hour of where you will be. By the time you get here spring breaks will be mostly finished so the beaches wont be as packed although they stay quite busy once the weather gets nice. In Orlando there are some large water parks, and if you would like to venture to Tampa they have a large a beautiful aquarium, Busch Gardens, and one of the nicest zoo's in the country! No matter where you go there are plenty of fun things to do down here.
~Hope this can be helpful,.. enjoy your trip!!



answers from Orlando on

I just saw that one mom suggested boarding last. That may work with other airlines with assigned seating but not with Southwest. Southwest has open seating.

If the flight isn't full, you can bring your carseat on the airplane for your lap child. Which will make it easier during the flight if your child needs a nap. If the flight is full you can check the stroller & seat at the gate. They will also bring those items up when you land in Orlando (or whatever city you land in) so that you have your stroller to use when you get off of the plane. Try to print your boarding passes 24 hours prior to your flight so that you can get in the A boarding group. If for some reason you can't, then you & your husband & child can board at the beginning of the B boarding group when parents with small children can board. Unfortunately your parents & sister have to board with their original boarding group.

Hope this helps!



answers from Minneapolis on

Traveling with a baby does take some planning and patience but most of the time goes ok. Here are a couple tips I've learned.

-Think through how you'L. go through security. We often use a backpack as diaper bag so it's easier to put on your back to pack up the stroller/car seat etc. while holding the baby. There now is a "family line" that also helps ease the stress.

-Don't board when they call families traveling with children you'L. only sit on a crowded plane while everyone else boards. Board LAST so you don't have to sit as long. Also, ask for a bulk head seat or a row that isn't full. You can keep the baby in the carseat and stroller up until gate check and then check it plane side so it's ready when you land. This is a good plan if you'L. need a carseat when you get there. If not we just use an umbrella stroller.

-We feed her a bottle during take off and landing so their ears don't pop.

-Wrap some new toys in wrapping paper so its fun for your LO to unwrap and preoccupies them longer. Also, bring a ziplock for toys that fall on the ground so you know which ones are dirty.

-We carry on luggage all the time but have also checked due to too much gear. Just make sure to bring enough food/diapers to get through delays but you'L. also want your hands free.

-Use the airport play areas for them to crawl/play before the flight.

-If you wear glasses don't wear them on the plane as your LO might be grabbing them at every moment.

Also, don't forget your child's birth certificate just in case.

Good luck!!

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