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Traveling with Babies (0-12 months)
I'm a huge traveler, or I was, before we had our daughter. I'm thinking of going to the Dominican Republic and my daughter will be 11 months when we would go. My husband has made it clear that he's okay with me either leaving her behind for a maximum of 9 days or just taking her along for however long I want. I can't imagine leaving her behind.
I have a friend we'd stay with who lives there, and I have another friend who is currently trying to have a child who wants to join. And to make it even more perfect, the three of us traveled together when we finished college for about a month. We were a great traveling group (10+ years ago). My questions are as follows:
1- each direction is basically two 4 hours flights with a layover in between. Should I only do one leg per day so that we're not stepping off of one flight and onto another four hour one? or should we just do it and get it over with?
2- what kind of gear would you bring? I'm thinking pack n play, stroller and car seat besides the normal stuff. I'll have her start sleeping in the pack n play weeks before we leave so that it'll be something she's used to. Anything else? or other tips?
3- does anybody in this community have any comments/suggestions regarding traveling with a baby/child in that country/culture? We'll also probably do a weekend at one of the all inclusive resorts.
I'll mostly be in one place, but I'm sure we'll rent a car or something for some of the time (thus car seat). -need to travel
1- Flights. I recommend just getting the flights over with, but also recommend buying a seat for your daughter. Flights are so much more comfortable when your child is not constantly on your lap.
2- Gear. Go light. Car seat - Yes. PackNPlay - No. It seems excessive. Hotels often have PackNPlays available. Maybe there's a place to rent one for the time you're staying at your friend's place (bring your own sheets). Or rather than pay the extra baggage fees to bring a PackNPlay with you, you might be able to pick one up in the D.R. for the same cost as baggage fees. MacLaren's collapsible stroller was very sturdy for travels. (We also had a car seat that converted into a stroller, but the stroller part wasn't good on all terrains.) One of our best investments was in the Bugaboo Frog stroller w/ carrying case (our ultimate ATV for snow, sand, and cobblestone streets) but it's much easier to gate check a collapsible MacLaren. Especially if you're traveling without another adult to help.
3- I haven't been to the D.R., but have found that just about every culture outside the USA loves babies and is much more accommodating than the US culture. The difference in people's helpfulness was striking.
4- I recommend packing at least 2-days worth of food your daughter is accustomed to eating so you don't have to run to the grocery store immediately upon your arrival. Also, in your carry-on bag, make sure you pack a couple of extra diapers more than you would normally use in the same amount of time as the flights, plastic bags to dispose them in, a change of clothes for you, and a couple of changes of clothes for your daughter. Also, a lightweight blanket or shawl that can also act as a blanket was always in my carry-on bag. (Those pashmina-type shawls were great multi-purpose accessories.)
I'd love if anyone has tips for best enduring a 10 hour flight with a baby of 4 months. I've reserved a bassinet, and my husband and I will be seated with it. Your ideas and/or experiences would be greatly appreciated! annette
At that age, our son was given a little bassinet to put into the well in front of us, which also meant we had the first row we more leg room. He slept 6 out of the 11 hours in it..so we ate comfortably and enjoyed a movie (that a was a huge treat then!. When he was awake he was happy and people love babies.
I worried so much beforehand at the time and wish i hadn't. I can tell you it get significantly more difficult as they become toddler and preschoolers. at age 3.5 he started to say he wanted to get off 5 hours into the flight. He wanted to move all the time and was getting restless. So please enjoy it now...it will be fun.
On the practical side our pediatrician recommended we do not push him around in a stroller in the airport. He said airports are full of sick people and that he would be (at that age) much safer in the baby bjorn. It also made it really easy for us to navigate around. so i recommend that.
have a good trip magaliusa
We're about to take our first big trip with our baby girl (4 mos. old) to Germany and we'd appreciate any advice on traveling with an infant on an airplane. Specifically, is there anything we can do in the next couple of weeks to prepare her (and us) for this journey? Also, are there any good tricks for keeping her calm and relaxed during the 11 hour flight? Any insights are greatly appreciated! Aaron
Let's see. Random things from our experience: 1) The bassinets on United are terrible. They're like gym bags that you put on the floor at your feet. But our kid still slept in them! And she wasn't a particularly good sleeper at that point. 2) Take advantage of the kindness of strangers and flight attendants if they want to hold your baby! 3) Once we arrived in Paris the jet lag kicked in and that was bad bad bad. Several hours of middle-of-the-night crying/screaming where I just had to rock and walk. I don't know what could have helped that - maybe trying to change the sleep schedule (if you have one) in the few weeks before the trip to more closely mimic German time? 4) We forgot our stroller and it was absolutely fine. Just used the Bjorn the whole time. 5) Nurse, nurse, nurse. That's the only thing I can think of that calmed ours down on the flight. Do anything you can to get through it! Have fun, and good luck! Alexandra
My husband & I are going to Kauai with our 10 month old daughter. She will be on our lap during the flight. This is our first time flying with a baby. We don't want to be those parents whose baby is crying or screaming on the plane. Any advice for flying? Traveling Parents
Anyway! Flying requires prep work. I would always bring some favorite toys & books on the plane, things I new he loved to play with and read. And I always brought along a few new books & small toys to ''reveal'' at staged intervals. Also yummy snacks to bring out. LOTS of food. I breastfed until very recently (til he was 2 & 1/2) so there was always HOURS of nursing involved in any flight.
At Target they have several Kumon type books that are ''color in the ____ shape with a _____ crayon'' and that kind of thing. Or ''paint'' booklet with water filled ''brushes''. Not sure if your tot is too little for those yet. Your best bet though is little toys/books/diversions that you can bring out a bit at a time. We walked with him all over the plane for some of the time--your little one will be so curious to see all the things going on and that can fill up lots of time. If you're flying at night, the flight attendants will dim the cabin etc automatically so it will be a sleep-inducive atmosphere for your little one. Take Motrin/Tylenol/Hyland's Teething Tabs etc on the plane. Just in case, even if your totling isn't teething/feverish etc. Better to have 'em than not.
Good luck, you guys will be fine! and have a good time. julie
Also, even though we brought a stroller, we ended up more often using an Ergo- carrier going through the airports and getting on/off the plane, and this was incredibly useful--much easier to manage luggage if you have your hands free (duffles and soft bags went in the stroller instead). I was very worried about her ears clearing on landing so we made sure to have her drink during the descent (so time things that your child might be ready for a drink near descent) and never needed to use the baby tylenol.
On the whole I think things went great on all our flights. You won't get much sleep probably, but who knows. We did get a seat each time for our daughter, and I think that really helped us, but I think that's more and more important when they are walking, because at that point it might be harder to get them to stay still in their seat if it isn't the car seat they're familiar with, but if you trade off with your partner and the baby sleeps, things could go well just the same.
I hope that helps some. Feel free to email if you have other questions. steph
I would bring your car seat (you're probably going to bring it anyway) and ask when you check in if there are any empty seats. If there are, they will often let you use it for your carseat. Then your baby should be comfortable and sleep well and you'll have more space. If not, you just check it. You can also check your stroller at the gate.
the other tricks are to bring a new toy you can introduce to the baby on the plane, and whatever food you want. Flight attendants can offer hot water if you have formula, or want a water bath for milk.
Most bathrooms have a diaper changing table, which should actually fit a 10 month old. Bring everything you need including bags for dirty diapers and wipes. Bryan
I just read all of the initial posts in response to your question
- and I note that mostly folks have given you input on what to do once you're actually on the flight (to entertain the child). I just traveled to San Diego (on Southwest) and to Costa Rica (on American) with my infant - he was 4 and 5 mo.s during those trips. I'd love to tell you more details about my experience, so please feel free to contact me. In any case, please take time to learn about the following:
- your carrier's preboard policy (on Southwest, families no longer board first, they board after group A and before group B, which means you can be stuck in a middle seat... not what you want to do...)
- the amount your carrier will CHARGE for the child. When I flew to Costa Rica on American, I was charged over 50% of my adult ticket just to have my 5 month old baby sit on my LAP. Unbelievable ripoff, for a baby that weighed less than some people's backpacks. I understand that foreign carriers can be much more economical.
- one of the hassles is packing the liquid items so that you can access them during the flight, and also so that you can have them handy during the security check. something to keep in mind.
- during the security check, you will have to take your child out of the car seat or stroller, so don't think you'll just let them stay asleep in there until you have to board the flight. They make you take them out.
- speaking of security, the fluids you need for your baby (ie formula, if you are bringing it, or baby food) are exempt from the 4.3 fluid ounce limit imposed on other toiletries - you are supposed to be allowed to bring whatever you require for your baby.
- also speaking of security, you are supposed to be allowed to go through the first class lane for the security check. Do it.
- and re security, you will be asked to take off your shoes even if you are traveling alone with your baby (so ridiculous) so consider asking them to wand you instead. They did this for me when I requested it, and it made things much simpler.
- remember to bring extra changes of clothes in your carry-on
a couple more things: - the FAA has a safety rule that says that your baby cannot be physically attached to you during takeoff and landing. This means that the baby has to be extracted from the Bjorn, for example, and simply held in your lap at these times. This also means no breastfeeding during these times. Not every flight attendant is going to check to make sure that you are following this rule, but this rule is apparently to prevent physical injury to you and/or the child. Due to this rule, I chose to give my baby a bottle during takeoff, and for me it worked wonders. Even if the baby was crying a little bit while we were sitting on the tarmac, I withheld the bottle until we were actually on takeoff, to make sure that his ear pressure was okay during that time.
- when you check in at the ticket counter, try to ask them if the flight is full, and then segue into the fact that you are traveling with the infant and would it be possible to get a seat with an open seat next to you. Each time I did this, they accommodated me, and that was great. You want that open seat next to you.
- Remember to drink lots of fluid yourself, so that you won't get dehydrated.
- the layover is actually a good thing - I found that it was a great break from being cooped up on the flight, and it gave us a chance to walk around (baby in the Bjorn) and look at things, stretch legs, etc. My baby loved looking at himself in the mirror in the airport bathroom.
- some airports have an indoor playground - a good place to hang out if you are traveling with a little one and you have a layover. You can do what you want and not feel like folks are staring at you for traveling with a small child.
- my travel experiences were NOT stress-free, but in the end I was glad that I had done both trips with the baby. It was worth it having him meet friends and family in both places I traveled to. GOOD LUCK!!! PS if your child uses a binky, don't forget the binky leash! Mari
I will be flying for the first time with my baby on her 6 month
birthday. I've gotten advice about certain aspects of flying
but here are some questions as of now (I'm sure I'll have more
closer to the day). Any and all tips greatly appreciated
1-How/where can you change a diaper on a plane?
2-How can you go to the bathroom yourself with a baby - possible to do wearing baby in a Bjorn?!
3-Does airline let you bring on a bottle of drinking water if unopened, as nursing moms more than anyone need lots to drink, especially on a cross country flight. If water not allowed on, I will just be asking flight attendants for water all the time! ''flying mommy''
1- there is a changing table in the bathroom above the toilet (small, but functional)
2- I would never leave the baby alone or with others, so use a snuggly (Baby Bjorn)
3- You are not allowed to have a bottle for yourself. But you can buy (expensive!) water before boarding. I asked the flight attendant for water and explained why. I got a whole bottle in the plane! I wish you a very good trip! daniela
- 95% of planes have changing tables right above toilet in the bathrooms. Small but plenty big for a 6-mo old. Any plane used for a cross-country flight will have changing tables.
- Yes, you can pee w/ the Bjorn. Try it before you go. You have to hold the kid's legs up and my daughter used to be startled by the sound, but no big deal. I also somehow end up next to great family-friendly people who miss their own kids/grandkids who have offered to take her if I need a break. I've never taken them up on it, but if it would make your less worried about peeing w/ Bjorn, go for it.
- Of course you can bring your own bottle of water on the plane. You just have to buy it after you get through security.
- Get an aisle seat. If there's not turbulance, they are perfectly happy to let you walk back and forth as much as you want. Only downside is if you do get little one to sleep and the person next to you wants to get up, you need to move out of the way carefully. Worthy trade-off.
- pick up a few new tiny toys for entertainment. Frequent Flier
You can bring bottled water on the plane, but you have to buy it in the terminal after you go thru security (and it's not cheap!). I would buy one bottle and get more (free) from the flight attendant. They will give you as much as you want. When they offer you a bottle, just ask for three. They'll give it to you.
For your own bathroom needs, use the facilities in the terminal right before boarding. Use the big handicapped stall and you can wheel your stroller in. (Check your stroller at the gate)
Wear a skirt or pants with an elastic waistband, and you will be able to use the toilet while holding your baby --even without a Baby Bjorn! Try it at home if you don't believe me!
Please don't change your baby's diaper at your seat. This is unsanitary and not fair to the other passengers. You can change the diaper in the airplane bathroom, either on the changing table if there is one (if you're on JetBlue, you're cool, and probably Southwest too), or the toilet lid, or even while holding the baby. Again, you can practice at home.
Put the baby into an "overnight" diaper and you won't need to change it at all on the plane unless it's poopy. Those things can hold 6-8 hours of pee, easy.
Last tip: if you're flying Southwest, you'll get to pre-board and pick your seat. Look for a family with two parents and kids a little older than yours. Sit near them so your baby can see the kids. Even a 6 mo. old enjoys watching other kids, you won't feel so self-conscious if you are seated near a family, and the parents will be able to help you if you need it. Don't worry - it will be fine!
1 -- at least some of the bathrooms on a plane have baby changing stations -- a hard flat board that can be unfolded to a horizontal position above the toilet seat, providing a sufficiently large surface area for a diaper change.
2 -- I used to go to the bathroom on a plane with my baby in the Ergo carrier, without even waking him up. I do not see a reason why Bjorn would not work.
3 -- you can buy a bottle of water past the security checkpoint and bring it with you on a plane. Later on you can ask a flight attendant to refill it. Rasa
-Some airlines have changing tables in the bathroom but most don't. You'll have to use your seat so ask for an aisle seat and hope that your neighbor is understanding.
-Definitely use your Bjorn for trips to the bathroom. Also, you can walk through the metal detector wearing it so you don't have to worry about taking you baby out of it at security.
-Don't bring a stroller as carry-on and pack your carry-on as lightly as possible, leaving yourself with one hand free.
-For water, I always bring an empty bottle of water through security and fill it at a water fountain in the terminal. You could also buy water in the terminal now and bring it on the plane.
-Wear pull-on pants and slip-on shoes. Makes bathroom trips and security lines easier.
I was terribly anxious about my first trip but it ended up being just fine. What I found is that most other people traveling have kids and grandkids and are very understanding and willing to offer a helping hand if needed. Best of luck and have a great trip! Melissa
The Bjorn bathroom trick can work. I've done it myself. So that's one option.
I assume your baby is flying as a lap infant without his or her own seat. If you are bringing a car seat for your trip on the other end, the airline has to let you use it if the flight isn't full. You can gate-check it if the flight does fill, so it's worth a try (if the baby's in the Bjorn, you can put the seat in an umbrella stroller, which you can also gate-check). If it does work out, you can ask someone to keep an eye on your baby (who will probably nap) while you pee. Someone could also hold your baby, of course, but with your baby at that age where atranger anxiety often shows up, I can understand why you'd want to avoid that.
Finally, you can purchase bottled water within the paid area and bring it on. This was a reform to the initial policy.
Not on your list, but if at all possible, have your partner or parent or whoever is dropping you off at the airport park and come in with you to see you through the bag-check phase. When flying alone with my baby, I have found the airport part of the trip to be way more stressful than the plane ride itself. anon
2) you ask the flight attendant to hold your baby while you go to the bathroom. You could try the Bjorn but it is pretty small in those bathrooms.
3)You can purchase a bottle of water in the gate area and bring it on the plane. You cannot bring a bottle of water through the security area so you have to buy it after you pass security. and make sure you gate check your stroller if you are bringing one. You can also gate check your car seat - then if there is an extra seat on the plane the airline will let you use your car seat for your baby in the extra seat. This way you can put your baby in the seat while they sleep and you don't have to be holding them the whole time. Also you should know that most airlines sell 1/2 price tickets for children under 2 years old. If you would like to have a seat for your child, you could purchase one for 1/2 price. For longer flights this is really nice.
And make very sure you have a copy of their birth certificate or immunization record as proof of age, some airlines can be really picky about this and force you to buy a seat for your child if you cannot prove their age (even if they are clearly under two). Good luck and believe me it won't be as bad as you think and no matter what you will survive the flight. flown alot
1. The bathrooms have a little changing table over the toilet. It may not be very sanitary, but none of my kids ever caught anything from them either, so just use it and don't worry about it. It's really a tight squeeze, so you might be happier just bringing in what you need-a diaper, wipes, etc. than the whole diaper bag.
2. Yes, you can pee with the Bjorn on, but if you wear elastic waist pants, it might be easier. It's opening and closing the fly on your pants that's hard. The baby is not in the way of anything unsanitary.
3. We bring empty water bottles through security then fill them up at a drinking fountain on the gate side before getting on the plane. You can have as big of one as you want. bon voyage
1. Larger planes will have a toilet with a changing table - big enough for a six-month old though we found it quite challenging when she was two! Ask the flight attendant when you board - there will be a sign on the door that has the table. If not, I have changed her on the floor in the back of the plane (on top of a blanket and a pad). I also have laid her out across two or three seats and changed her there, but I don't think fellow passengers would appreciate you doing this if she's poopy.
2. Bjorn is a good idea for this - I used a sling, same thing. It's easier when she can stand by herself, although you need to be a contortionist to fit in sometimes, even with a baby.
3. You cannot take bottles of water through security (even unopened), but there are almost always places to buy water once you are at the gates. Don't depend upon getting it once you are on the plane. During a flight to Australia the attandant would not give me a full bottle of water for mixing baby formula since there ''wouldn't be enough for everyone''. Having said that, that was the only flight where getting water was an issue, but you never know. Just buy a few bottles before you get on. Since you're nursing you won't have to worry about her, just having enough for yourself. Enjoy your flight! Been there and still there
1) some airplane bathrooms (very few) have diaper changing stations in them. If they don't, I have changed diapers in the flight attendant galley and, for one memorable poop explosion during the mandatory seatbelt time for take-off, I changed the diaper on the seat next to me. The flight attendant was kind enough to bring me a bunch of plastic bags that I used to cover the seat.
2)Going to the bathroom yourself: I make it a point to ONLY wear elastic waisted pants or skirts on planes. That way, I can hold the baby with one hand and still get my pants down/up with the other. A bjorn or sling would work too, but might be a pain to get them in/out if they were already sleeping on your lap.
3)Water: I always bring an empty drink bottle (a large one) on the plane and ask the flight attendants to fill it with water first thing. I've never had them tell me no - they are happy to do it since you will be sparing them a lot of hassle later on. Sometimes they will just give me a huge stack of little water bottles instead, but that's ok too. Been There...
NOTE FROM MODERATOR: They let liquids on board now, just not through security.
Here are my answers to your specific questions: 1) where to change the baby? wherever it works for you. Often there is at least one bathroom that has a fold-down change table, but a change pad on the floor or your lap can work just as well. Don't hand a soiled diaper to the flight attendants...they cannot and don't want to take it (they handle food, among other things). Bring a bunch of plastic bags, or stick it in the airsick bag in the pocket of the seatback in front of you. You can dispose of the diaper in the wastebin in the bathroom (if wrapped in plastic, the stinky ones won't offend the rest of the passengers). 2) going to the bathroom? yes, the bjorn or a sling works great. 3) bringing water? I would contact the airlines and find out their specific water policy. And if you are not allowed, do not be intimidated...ask the attendants as often as you want. You could even tell them that you don't want to be a bother and could you please have a whole bottle to last you the flight, thank you very much. Be nice to the attendants, act very capable and earnest yet slightly overwhelmed ...make them your allies! Same with the passengers around you. I have always connected with at least one person, and it really helps.
And if your baby cries...don't worry...you just do what you can and that is sometimes how it goes. Remember, you will never deal with the people who are bothered by it again. Best wishes, and have fun! Been There x3
I have gone to the bathroom with the baby in a bjorn before; not on a plane but in confined quarters. It's not ideal ,but it works.
We have found most flight attendants to be very helpful w/ infantts and kids. If you can wait to go to the bathroom until there is a downtime in flight service, I would bet you could ask an attendant to hold our daughter for a minute while you peed, if you are comfortable doing so.
Not sure about the water, but again, the attendants are usually very accommodating. Also, perhaps you could bring on an empty container? Not sure what the rules are about that, but you could just fill it up in the bathroom. Good luck anon
1) You can change diapers in the bathrooms, they are equiped with changing tables. Depending on the type of plane you'll be flying on, the bulkhead seats have a spot where they can attach a bassinet. So you can also change there. Or raise the armrest between seats and use the plane seat.
2) I have gone to bathrooms at malls etc with my baby in the baby bjorn. If you are traveling alone that may be the best way. If you feel comfortable the flight attendants will be able to assist by holding your baby while you go.
3) The airline will allow you to bring food and water aboard. It's the security check point at the airport that will not allow water to go through the check point. Once you've gone through security, you can buy water in the shops and take those aboard.
We took our then 16 months old to Singapore, Malaysia, India, and Hong Kong, flying mostly Singapore airlines. Due to the long flights, we asked for bulkhead seats and requested a bassinet for her. We also requested post nursing meal for her as well. The airline also provided us with some diapers. So call up your airline and see what they have to offer. Domestic flights may have more limited offerings than international flights. And services vary between airlines as well.
I began nursing my daughter based on approximate time to landing rather than waiting for the pilot's announcement. She had no problem with the pressure change once she began nursing. Her fussed during her first landing, but from then on she latched on when I offered for all the following take-offs and landings. Good luck. Crystal
Changing diapers on plane: Some planes have changing tables in the bathroom (pull down from wall above the toilet), and others don't. I think Boeing planes don't and Airbus planes do, but am not sure. Southwest Airlines planes have no changing tables. I would just ask a flight attendant where the best place to change your baby is. It might be your seat! If your flight isn't too long, maybe you can wait until you're off the plane. As for you, you can hold a baby and go to the bathroom at the same time. Just don't wear anything complicated and its not too tricky. A Bjorn or carrier might help, I guess.
Liquids on plane: You can bring some liquids for the baby, but water isn't one of them. You can bring milk or juice for a baby, but nothing for you. I've even been told that ''cottage cheese is a liquid'' and have not been able to bring that on board. What they will actually allow you to bring on a plane seems somewhat inconsistent from airport to airport. Why not just bring an empty container and fill it up after you clear security?
I've found its easiest to let your baby nurse as much as he or she wants to on the plane. Try to get a window seat and you'll have more privacy.
Bring an extra set of clothes for baby, and some for yourself also, especially if your trip is long or you'll have a connection. There is nothing like a plane trip for unexpected messy accidents of all types. Planes are loud. Especially if you sit in the rear or over the wing. If you're worried about your baby screaming, maybe sit in one of these spots.
Try to relax, and not worry too much about your baby disturbing others. Six months is such an unpredictable age. Your baby might sleep the whole time, or could get really upset. Of course you will comfort him or her when upset, but there is only so much you can do. Most people have been there, and will have some sympathy. Those that don't-- well you'll probably never see them again, and the flight will eventually end! Good luck with your trip! Joanna Joanna
2-How can you go to the bathroom yourself with a baby. Ask the cabin attendant to hold your baby. possible to do wearing baby in a Bjorn?! Yes, but ask the cabin attendant to hold your baby, instead.
3-Does airline let you bring on a bottle of drinking water if unopened?
The airline might let you bring an empty bottle which the cabin attendant can fill for you on the flight. Or you can buy a bottle of water once you are through security. Otherwise, GO AHEAD AND ASK THE CABIN ATTENDANTS FOR WHAT YOU NEED! They like to help you, especially if you remember to say thank you. Sometimes other passengers are nice, too... and its not like they can abduct your baby while in the air... Been there many times.
1-How/where can you change a diaper on a plane? in the bathroom there is a little tray that comes down over the toilet for changing babies. The flight attendants can show you how to work it, it is easy, but a bit precarious.
2-How can you go to the bathroom yourself with a baby - possible to do wearing baby in a Bjorn?! Can't go to the bathroom solo unless you buy your baby their own seat and they are sleeping... a sling or Bjorn should work just fine.
3-Does airline let you bring on a bottle of drinking water if ... You can not bring water through security... however you can buy some once you are cleared on the other side... you can bring pumped milk, regular cow milk or already mixed formula.
I hope this helps.
I have been flying with my baby since he was 4 months old. He is now 18 months old and such a trooper! If you have to bring your babies car seat and it is not an infant carrier, I recommend buying the GoGoKidz adapter... easy and uncumbersome!
Happy Flying! Keri
Hopefully the following will help you plan for your trip:
*Once you have cleared security you can purchase as many bottles of water as you like and take them on board.
*Some planes have a changing table in the bathroom, otherwise you will have to use your seat and just stand over the baby
*If you need the bathroom, some flight attendants are more than happy to hold the baby or otherwise keep the baby in the bjorn; it is possible!
*Make sure you feed during take off and landing or give a pacifier to prevent sore ears - landing seems to be more of an issue than taking off.
Feel free to email me if you have more questions. Have fun! Kim
1-How/where can you change a diaper on a plane? If you are flying JetBlue, there is a changing table in each bathroom. Other airlines...well, put the lid down on the potty or figure out how to change a diaper while you hold them hanging. Don't change them in the seat (ick). Pampers has a line of diapers that are pull-on types that your child may be heavy enough for. If you have a poopy diaper, ask the flight attendant what they want done with it -- trash in the bathroom or elsewhere.
2-How can you go to the bathroom yourself with a baby - possible to do wearing baby in a Bjorn?!: There are a couple of possibilities here...I always wear nice looking pull on pants (velvet yoga pants, etc) That way I could hold the baby in one hand and pull my pants on and off without problem. IF a nice person in the boarding area offers to help at some point, then you are golden. Give the old 'you know, if you would hold her while I use the bathroom during the flight, that would be great!' You can tell from their reaction whether you want to follow up on that one. Also, sometimes a flight attendant will offer to hold your child. I never have asked, though some have offered.
3-Does airline let you bring on a bottle of drinking water if unopened, as nursing moms more than anyone need lots to drink, especially on a cross country flight. If water not allowed on, I will just be asking flight attendants for water all the time! ''flying mommy'': You can bring it on, but you can't take it through security. You can buy plenty on the other side of security to bring on to the plane. If you don't want to lug a bunch onto the plane, then buy a big bottle. When you board the flight, find a friendly, older female flight attendant and explain your situation. If you are flying JetBlue, then they have an 'open snackbar' policy...after they serve the first round, you are welcome to come up and get whatever you want.
Other unsolicited: try to schedule your flight during a nap for the baby...check a book out of the library from the 'large type' collection. I always find those easier to read when I have a sleeping or playing child in mhy lap or next to me. Or pick up US or People (bad I know, but, you don't have to worry if you are interrupted every three minutes). Toys...I brought along a toybar that I clipped to a stroller. Unopened bags of chips are wonderful. textured things... Write to me if you have questions... jan m
As for changing her, the bathrooms have a changing table, which works really well because the baby was distracted by all the new things to look at. When I finished changing her, I usually asked the flight attendant to hold her for me so that I could use the bathroom. (By the way, bring several changes of clothes, for some reason my kid pooped a lot more than she usually does). Finally, flying wasn't so bad because my daughter slept through most of the flight -- somehow the sound of the engines put her to sleep. A
2. Yes! It is possible to go to the bathroom wearing your baby in a Bjorn. Practice at home. Of course, if there is a nice person sitting next to you, like another mom or a grandma, you could ask them to hold the baby, or even a flight attendant, but I always took the baby with me.
3. The last couple times I flew, they let us buy water inside the airport (after you go through security), and let us take that on board. Don't worry, and ask for help if you need it. heidilee
1. You can change a diaper in one of the bathrooms on the plane. Not every bathroom has a flip-down diaper changing table, but they've got one somewhere.
2. Going to the bathroom yourself -- it's tough, but you can figure it out. If you're going to try the Bjorn, be sure to wear easy-off and on pants for yourself! (Like pants that don't need a belt...)
3. Water is a tricky issue. In one direction, we could bring as much water as we wanted, and in the other direction, all water was forbidden. Be prepared for this question: ''Is this water for you or the baby?'' Or ''Is this for you or for the baby formula?'' Your answer needs to be ''For the baby,'' or ''For the baby formula.'' ''It's for me,'' doesn't cut it, nor does, ''Well, it's for me, but only because nursing mothers require more water than normal.'' Just say it's for the baby. (And even then they might not allow it.) Bring money to buy water on the other side of security just in case.
When one flight attendant saw my wife breastfeeding, she gave us a full 1.5 liter bottle without our even asking. But I'm sure they'll hook you up if you ask. And, btw, if you have any choice, I would take a night flight -- worked great for us. kevin
1. There is a drop down shelf in some of the bathrooms on the plane where you can do diaper changes. On one recent flight (on Southwest) they didn't have that shelf so I justed changed on the floor (at the very front of the plane).
2. For bathroom breaks I either held the baby or asked a flight attendant to watch my baby for minute - they are happy to do so for the most part.
3. Once you get through security you can buy water to take on the plane.
I would suggest a bjorn (or some kind of carrier) on the plane. On several flights, I would go in the back of the plane and bounce/rock my baby to sleep, which was a good rest for me (despite her being on me the whole flight).
Happy Travels! Moma with baby flying experience
1-The airplane bathroom has a pull-down changing table over the toilet where you can change diapers.
2-You can go to the bathroom yourself while wearing baby in the Bjorn. Not comfortable, but do-able.
3-No, you can't bring your own bottled water through security (they will confiscate it, although formula/breastmilk in bottle is OK) but you CAN buy bottled water at the airport stores near the gates.
Other tips - if you are travelling on your own (and it sounds like you are) and will be bfing on flight, consider buying a very good nursing apron (you can get a stylish one from www.gracemama.com) which will give good coverage and won't slip, but allow you to see baby while nursing. I ended up sitting next to businessmen on both sides and the nursing apron allowed me to bf modestly and comfortably without worrying about exposure. If you can afford it, buy a seat for the baby to give you more room. Don't forget to bring an extra set of clothes for you and baby just in case there. Have a great trip! Flying mama
2-Bathroom with a baby in a Bjorn?! Depends on the size of your baby... have vague recollections of managing somehow when out alone with baby in Bjorn. And he was a big baby!
3-You can't bring water through security, BUT you can buy it on the other side and bring bottles on the plane. In addition, I that Jet Blue passes out bottles of water for longer flights. Ask your airline. Mom of Two
2. No, I believe that being a nursing mom doesn't exempt you from the liquid limits at security. However, you can definitely bring an empty bottle through security and fill it at a drinking fountain (or ask the flight attendant to fill it on board). I do that all the time, and I'm not lactating!
3. One more tip - check the archives. There is loads of info. R.K.
2. Haven't you ever had to go to the bathroom at home or in a public restroom holding the baby? You can practice with the Bjorn or sling, which work perfectly well, but she's pretty little, so you could also just hold her.
3. The only liquids you can carry through security are those intended for the baby (in a bottle, sippy cup, etc.). If you want, you can buy a bottle of water at a restaurant or shop once you've passed through security. Myself, I always fly with an empty Nalgene bottle to fill up at the drinking fountain once I pass security. When I finish drinking it mid-flight, I ask the flight attendants to fill the bottle with water for me. Flying Isn't That Bad
Regarding water, you can bring your own bottled water but you can't purchase it until after security, so go early enough so you have enough time to do so.
Bathroom: I ended up asking one of the flight attendents to hold him when I went.
Changing baby: Jet Blue planes had a changing table in the bathroom which worked pretty well. But, many planes have nothing. We changed him on the floor a couple of times when the flight was too crowded. I also changed him on my seat. I stood up and laid him down and the neighbors had to just deal with poopy smells. flying high
As for the water question, I don't think they let anyone bring water through security anymore. My solution is to bring a Nalgene bottle and fill it from the water fountain near the gate, or to buy one or two big bottles of water once I'm through security. Again, it's a complete drag, but you MUST stay hydrated.
While I'm thinking of it, don't forget to bring food for yourself, too, especially given all the nightmare stories lately about being stuck for hours on the tarmac... traveling mama
-- Changing tables are available fleetwide on some airlines, only on some aircraft on others, and not at all on certain airlines (terrible, but true!). As a general rule of thumb, if there are 3 or more lavatories on an aircraft, at least one will have a changing table. Seatguru.com may have information for the plane you'll be on.
-- If you're flying a U.S.-based airline, don't be surprised if the flight attendants act crotchety if/when they see you using a Bjorn or other carrier on your way to the lav-there is an FAA regulation against wearing babies in carriers in your seat while flying, but there actually isn't a regulation against wearing your child while pacing the aircraft or sitting on the toilet. ;-)
-- Also, liquids are allowed onboard for children in certain situations. I just covered that in a recent blog post if you still need info: http://travelswithbaby.blogspot.com/2007/09/travels-with-baby- tip-4-bring-boxed.html
And if you'll forgive the brazen self-promotion, I'm actually doing a free workshop on flying with babies and toddlers on Sunday, November 11th, at Waddle and Swaddle (on Shattuck), 11:15 a.m. to 12: 30-if you still have concerns. I can send you more info if you're interested, or call the store: (510) 540 - 7210 (Though you may still be trying to read through all of your responses at that time!) Good luck and safe journey. shelly
It's called ''Travels with Baby'' by Shelly Rivoli, a local mom of two little ones, author and frequent traveler. It focuses on infant through preschool-age traveling companions and likely has the answers to all your questions and can help quell any anxiety about how to get your crew there and back in one piece, what to expect on your journey and how to keep your sanity in the process! It would be an ideal resource for your upcoming trip and future travels. Good luck! mcalavita
We will be traveling for the first time with our then 5 month
old son to Florida in a few weeks. As we're preparing, I'm
having trouble envisioning how this is going to go. We have so
much ''gear'' that he uses day to day that I can't imagine what
we'll do. We didn't purchase a ticket for him so he'll be on
our laps during the long flight. I realize that having his own
seat would be better but that isn't economically feasible for
this trip. How is this typically done? Any products/tips that
worked well for anyone? How does the carseat situation work?
We'll be staying with family. I'm getting increasingly nervous
as the date approaches, I want this to go as smoothly as
possible for my little guy! Thanks so much for advice!
Leaving on a jetplane
Our daughter is now 2 and just took her 6th and final (free) cross
country flight last month. Each time we did not buy her a seat. You may
get lucky and get an empty seat for your son, you may not. Check with
the gate when you check in and ask.
If there's a seat open, they may let you carry the car seat onto the
plane for him. I was able to do that twice. If not, just check the car
seat and stroller/snap n go at the gate right before you board the
plane. It will then be there for you when you get off the plane. With
two of you, this should be very manageable. I did it twice without my
husband. In our case, it was our daughter's dream to just sit in our
laps all day. Not sure about the temperment of your child, but I'm sure
it will be fine. However, if you are totally stressed about it, he will
probably pick up on that and think there's something to be stressed
about. So relax and know that it will be fine. People do it all the
time. In terms of products, I did find that a cloth book with lots of
things to play with worked well for her at that age. I had one where
each page had something to pull on or zip up or ''beep'' - something
that was interactive but that would stay in one peice so I didn't have
to worry about any little things falling on the floor. My daughter was
also a pacifier user and I kept that strapped to her as well. At that
age, I would also nurse her more than usual during the flight..anything
to keep her happy...but it was not bad at all. Hope this helps...Good
Hi, we did a lot of this with our boys. They were great travelers! Bring a variety of different drinks and snacks, and a variety of small toys. Let him stand up in your lap and look around, dont force him to sit. Be sure to have a bottle or breast for him to suck during take off and landing; the pressure changes cause intense ear paiin if they are not swallowing during this time. Good luck! anon
Ditch the gear, dear. In Florida, your child will need a car seat and a stroller. Use an umbrella stroller to get your child to the plane. Put the car seat in a car seat bag with wheels (can get at babies r us and other places for about $30). Hook the bag over the umbrellas stroller and walk. Check both at the gate to the plane, unless there is a seat for your little one (which there probably will be). Book a window and middle for your two paid tickets. Put the baby seat in the window seat (required by law), take the middle seat and then send your husband out in search of another free seat. Trade off baby responsibility during the flight.
You can check the Pack and Play in with your luggage if you really want to carry it. I am usually traveling alone during my trips, so I usually ask a friend/family member at my destination to rustle one up for me to borrow or go buy one at Walmart for $40 (they do have a basic model for that). Ask the same family member to track you down an exersaucer (the only other piece of gear that comes to mind that would be very helpful with a 5-month-old).
If you want more specifics, drop me a line. Certainly, don't stress about this! jan m
I actually think the extra seat isn't that important because what 5 month old or 15 month old is going to sit still for that long. It does help to have the extra room though, so ask the airline to leave an empty seat next to you if possible (if the flight is not completely full). If someone is sitting in the seat next to you, they may choose to move to an empty seat if there is another one available on the plane. I have often gotten extra seats without having to buy one.
In terms of ''gear'', take only the ''necessary'' items on your trip. More luggage just makes things more difficult and you will be surprised at how well you can get by without all the ''stuff''. Check your carseat at the checkin counter so that you will have it at your destination. There is no need to take it to the gate or on the plane. You might not have a seat to put it in anyway and it will just be more to carry. Take only a small carryon and your diaper bag on the plane. If you are travelling with a stroller, gate check it at the plane and you will get it back at arrival gate when you land.
During the flight, be ready to get up and walk up and down the aisle if needed. Try to get an aisle seat and not be too far from a bathroom with a changing table. Keep your baby happy however you do at home. At 5 months, they are generally happy to be held a lot, which they are guaranteed in this situation.
Have a great trip. chris
Carseat: Once I brought mine and just checked it. This is easy - they'll put it in a bag for you. With a Graco you don't need to bring your base. I've also rented one at a rental car place - about $5-9/day. Those seats were a bit big, but no safety issues.
Gear: I actually thought this is an easy time to travel with her because she doesn't need that much: clothes; when I was staying for more than 4 days, I bought diapers when I got there (my relatives were happy to do this ahead of time when I asked!); a few small favorite toys; her swaddling blankets; I'm the milk supply so I purchased a small Avent hand pump. If you use formula, buy it there. Stroller: she was small enough that I was happy with her in the Bjorn during all of the trips. If you absolutely must bring a stroller, you can check it in the airport - but you'll be happiest with just a lightweight umbrella stroller. A new place will be more entertaining so likely just rolling on the floor and crafty toy ideas (e.g., pots, pans, and paper) will be plenty during the trip Frequent Flier
Check any bags you don't need in flight AND the car seat. If you did not buy a seat you will most likely not get a seat. If you have a snap-n-go or travel system, you can keep the car seat up to the gate and gate check it with the stroller. In any case, take your stroller up to the gate and check it there. (Or, if you use a bjorn or sling, that is probably even better).
Take on the plane diapers, wipes, a spare outfit for everyone, water for you if nursing or formula if not.
Nurse or give a bottle during take off and landing and whenever else. Between that and the movement of the plane, baby might sleep a lot.
If your baby is fussy, don't worry. It is pretty loud on a plane anyway and not as many people can hear you as you think.
As for day to day gear, be minimal. I am of the opinion that no one should actually have to pack their pack-n-play as there are people around the world with one you can borrow. Ask your family if they know anyone with a baby who can lend you what you need. They will probably have a bouncy seat, a swing, whatever...but if not, your baby does not really need all that stuff.
It will be fine. We have traveled at 6 months, 1 year, and 1.5 and our child always seems to enjoy it since it means constant mommy and daddy time for the whole voyage anon
You only need to take a stroller and car seat. I've had my family go to resale shops before we visit and buy a pack-n-play, swing, high chair or booster - whatever. I reimburse them if they let me. My mom typically doesn't. Then have them keep what you'll need for the next visit or resell it to the resale shop. It's way cheaper than buying new and they'll get some of their $$ back.
Check the car-seat. Gate check the stroller. Done -Have a great trip!
You DEFINITELY do NOT need a separate seat for your little one at this point. If you are breast feeding, it is ideal, because you can feed on the way up and on the way down - keeping the little one hydrated and his/her ears clear from the pressure of altitude change.
Don't worry about taking too much gear. Your baby will be so glad to have you and Daddy for the entire flight. Take a couple of good books or toys and you can always walk around and show your baby people and intersting things on the flight.
Since your little one is so young, I assume he/she will sleep for part of the flight too - so you can relax a bit and read or zone out or watch the in-flight movie.
Enjoy yourself and try not to worry so much about the upcoming flight. Just make sure baby gets enough liquids going up and especially on the way down to keep ears clear Have a great flight!
If you're not going to rent a car, I would suggest going on Craig's List for the area you'll be going and see if you can find some one selling an appropriate car-seat used. Then, have a relative go pick it up for you. You can find them pretty cheap and will certainly cost less than renting a car for the duration of the trip. This is what we are doing for our trip to Michigan this Christmas holiday.
I did not bring a stroller, and I didn't miss it much, but you could do the same thing, and buy a cheap umbrella stroller once you're there.
Your options, if you buy these things, are to ship them back home and sell them once you return, or try to sell them while you're still there, or leave them with the relatives for future visits (or for them to sell)!
What I ended up bringing with me on the plane was a carry-on with food (for both of us), toys, an extra blanket and water, diapers and a change of clothes (for the baby). For my check-in luggage, I packed only one bag (we stayed about 10 days) and really limited myself. I just washed clothes as needed.
Finally, we took later evening flights, and the baby slept almost the entire time.
Good luck on your trip, and don't stress, this is the EASIEST age to travel, before they become MOBILE! Alesia
If your relatives are the helpful type, give them a list ahead of time of what you'll need--brand and size of diapers, wipes, baby food, extra bottles, a bottle brush, etc. If you have a pack-n-play crib, you can bring it, or if you'll be staying with these relatives often, have them buy one and keep it there.
You'll need a carseat if you'll be in cars--we always brought ours--it's free, and the baby's used to it. Otherwise you may be able to rent one, or buy one when you get there. Durable, fabric carseat bags are very helpful for travel--Rockridge Kids has them. You can just check the seat through with your luggage.
If your relatives are NOT so helpful, take what you'll need for 24 hours (a dozen or so diapers (with plastic grocery bags for the plane), changes of clothes for the baby, extra wipes), and go shopping when you get there. As far a stroller, you can take one, with baby in it, right up to the door of the plane. You'll be given a Stroller Tag at the gate desk, and then after your flight(s) they'll bring the stroller back to the door of the plane, so you'll have it at all times in the airports. Best of luck, and have fun! heidilee
Okay, some tips:
you might know about nursing or giving a bottle/pacifier at take off and landing. don't panic if you are unable to latch on or unable to do so because the baby is asleep. if the pain wakes him/her up, latch him/her on at that time. my daughter was unaffected by air pressure.
request bulk head seats. the extra space is great for all that gear. i put down one of those airline blankets and my daughter loved being on her belly for a while. they say those are first come first served. we got to the airport hours early just for this. it worked.
if you are able, bring the car seat on just incase there is an empty seat next to you (a lone passenger might be more than happy to move and avoid any screaming)
bring a carrier backpack. my husband and i must have walked 4 hours each to keep our daughter quiet. now that i think about it, a backpack would have been so great. just in case you don't already have enough gear. i brought a baby bjorn which is so hard on the back, but ended up being invaluable when we all took a nap. she was on our lap and the baby bjorn kept me from dropping her while i snoozed.
a little back pack of new toys. this was invaluable. i can't tell you how tired of all her old toys she was at that point. each new toy bought about 5 minutes.
teething biscuits. more quiet time. a little early, but the fascination will get you some quiet time.
i nursed at anytime she wanted - even if it meant a short nap. she ended up sleeping quite a bit.
looking back i should have been less nervous about the other passengers being pissed off at me. i think some of this stress was passed on to my daughter who cried inconsolably for what seemed like an hour. (btw, i went into a bathroom and stayed there for a while. it kept me from being overly worried about waking everyone on the plane) so relax. babies need to travel and part of living in society is dealing with things like this. the baby will be fine.
good luck........ it will be over very quickly and you will laugh about your anxiety when you look back. a parent who can relate
If the flight is not very busy and your baby still uses an infant carseat, you will want to take it with you into the plane, and you may be able to use an extra sit for your baby, plus that'll be one less thing to have to deal with at the other end.
Bring some favorite and some new toys, and an extra t-shirt for you... and the baby!
If possible have your baby nurse or use the pacifier during take off and landing. EP
I am planning on traveling out to Ohio in early December when my son will be three months old. It will be just the two of us, and am truthfully quite daunted by schlepping him and all his baby gear solo. (As he is only one month old right now, I can't even imagine taking him to the grocery store, but that's another post altogether.)
Can anyone offer tips for how to fly alone--on a four hour flight-- with an infant? I searched the archives, and most of the advice there was for toddlers. Specifically: What gear should I bring, which should I leave? How can I keep him happy on such a long flight? I saw some posts about people getting grief for breastfeeding--not like it would stop me, but has anyone else experienced this? lisa
Sit in the aisle - you can hang out into the aisle when necessary. Watch out for the carts, though. Let it all hang out - i breastfed frequently throughout the flights. At some point (10 minutes into the flight), i gave up on modesty - not enough space to move. But mr. baby covered up most everything. Wear a front zip sweatshirt over your nursing bra or a nursing tank top. Works great! Good luck! baby traveler
Specific advice - you'll have to go through security with him, so make sure to dress both of you in clothes that won't set off the alarm and easy to slip off shoes. Sometimes I traveled with a stroller, but often just used a sling. A stroller may make it easier for you, because then you can put the diaper bag and your purse in the basket, and you just have a carseat to lug. If your carseat doesn't have a carrying bag with a comfortable strap, you may want to get one, because carseats are the bulkiest, most problematic part of traveling with a little one. Or, you could check it as luggage and take your chances (if the baby is going to be on your lap). I wouldn't bring much else with you - he doesn't need a whole lot of toys yet, and anything else can go in your checked luggage. Just pack your diaper bag like you would for any other day-long outing. (If you use cloth diapers, I suggest going with disposable just for travel - it makes it easier).
I never got any grief for breastfeeding on planes. If anyone gives you grief, you could ask if they would rather the baby cried the whole time. jen
I always scheduled my flights for wee hours of the morning or night, so we would be tired and could sleep on the plane.
Also, it is soooo essential to nurse during take-off AND landing--I would give light feedings before traveling if my daughter was really hungry, but I really tried to wait to nurse until the plane was taking off. The sucking helps equalize ear pressure, and my daughter never (ever!) screamed during travel. Bring a sheet-like blanket so if you get too hot, you both can have the sheet over you while you blast the little Air conditioner toward yourselves but don't have to deal with the air-blowy feeling it gives you. We used one to cover us for comfort (not for privacy, but hey-maybe it made those with outdated nursing-in-public ''issues'' more comfortable too).
Be sure you have a complete change of clothes for your baby with you, and clothing for yourself, too, in case you have a spit-up or poop accident on the plane and need to change. Extra baby wipes. Huge bottle of water for you to drink so you don't get dehydrated, and some non-dehydrating (i.e., low sodium) snacks for yourself.
People will avoid you when they see that you have an infant with you, because they assume your child will cry the whole time. With the nursing thing going though, we always got comments from those around us about how happy and quiet my baby was.
My daughter now loves to travel on planes, and almost always sleeps (she is almost 7 now)! Maybe the take-off and landing nursings have good subconscious memories for her. Best of luck. -mom of a happy traveler
We have a 9 month old we will be travelling to Boston and NYC with. We will be checking his carseat, and have a car to use in Boston, but in NYC no car. We will mostly be doing subway and walking in NYC, but for getting to/from airport, we were going to do a cab, but don't know -- can you put a carseat into the cab? Anyone done that? Better alternative? Any other travel tips would be appreciated as well -- esp re: (1) should we bring pak-n-play? (2) if we get an xtra seat on the flight, should we try to bring the carseat ON the plane? (3) we're bringing bjorn, which he likes, but should we also bring a stroller? (4) should we pack babyfood, or just buy while we're there (he eats mostly jars)? Thanks! Jamie
If you BOOK a seat for your child, bring the car seat on the plane. If you DON'T book a seat, check your carseat as you would a bag - if you wind up trying to bring it on the plane ''in case'' there is an empty seat and there isn't, they'll need to gate check your carseat - uncovered - and it will get manhandled. To check it as luggage, we bought one of those embarassing but lifesaving ''backpack cases'' that you can place a carseat in and then wear it on your back. Goofy looking, yes. But have you ever tried to lug around a carseat? Plus, you can jam clothes into it.
If we take a cab to the airport here in Oakland, we attach the carseat in the cab, un-attach at the airport, put carseat in bag, shove clothes in (already in plastic shopping bags for easy shoving), check it with luggage. Reverse on the other end, attach carseat in cab/my mom's car/friend's car in NY.
Do you know anyone who can lend you a pack-n-play (or are you staying in a hotel who should have a crib for your room?)? If so, borrow that instead of lugging around carseat AND PnP AND luggage AND baby. Blech. That said, if I couldn't borrow one in NY, I'd (reluctantly) bring one along.
Bring the stroller - you can check it at the gate (wheeling it to door of plane, doesn't count as luggage), and rolling baby around while carrying bags is infinitely easier than carrying baby while carrying bags.
As for food - BRING SOME. Bring extra. Bring something like a cookie that you'd ordinarily not let him/her eat. I make sure I have more than enough food in case of delays, etc.
And some unsolicited advice: I often offer to buy my immediate seatmates (front/back/next) a glass of wine as soon as we're all seated - I pre-apologize about their sitting next to a baby and offer the glass of wine. It's a great ice-breaker and disarms most of the people we've flown with.
Good luck! CK
As for the carseat on the plane, I'd bring it. We had a seat for our son and he was able to nap in the carseat. Set it in the plane seat facing you if you can--that way your son can't kick the seat in front of him :)
All the hotels we've stayed in (four) had some sort of pack'n'play/crib that was fine. But bring a familiar light blanket or sheet. And none of the hotel cribs have bumpers so if you're worried about your son seeing you in the room and getting distracted and not sleeping, bring a bumper or something to secure a hotel towel or similar to the crib.
And do bring a stroller, a light one if you have it. Even if you're Bjorning the baby, a stroller is good for loading up with a bag or two in airports! Some strollers also carry some carseats (w/o baby), which makes getting around a bit easier.
Have a great trip! Anon traveler
Editor Note: also see additional advice about Car Seats and Cabs in NYC
I'd like advice on air travel with my five month old. It's our first plane ride 8 hours with a lay-over. That means up and down twice. . . I'm concerned about equilibrium/ear pressure issues and his fussy times. I'll be sure to nurse upon take off and landing, but is there anything else I can do to make the flight any easier. Thank you! jean
I'm kidding of course, but I think you'll survive. I found that other passengers are much more understanding than I gave them credit for.
I recommend trying to pack smart and as lightly as possible. Be prepared to have to change a poopy diaper on the floor of the flight attendent cubby. If you're traveling alone, be prepared to ask others for help because you pretty much can't get out of a seat without having someone hold your baby.
It'll be fine. anon
I haven't had any problems yet. Otherwise, have everything you will need in the seat pocket in front of you. Be prepared to change a diaper on a bathroom floor (unless you are flying jetblue which has changing tables in every bathroom). Bring one or two toys (though in a pinch, a bag of chips at altitude can hold their attention for most of the flight). If you are flying with someone, designate one leg as theirs and one leg as yours to be responsible for the baby. Grab a few pillows (though keep in mind that many air lines have elminated them though jetblue and I believe southwest still have them) or blankets to help the baby sleep more comfortably in your lap if you are not purchasing a seat (bring the car seat anyway, because you may get lucky and get a seat for free for the baby). You will be fine. I usually travel alone (and to make matters worse, it is usually standby, so I am the last person on the plane) People on the plane are going to help you out. When flying without my husband, there is always some nice woman who will identify herself to me as willing to watch my girls if I need to go to the bathroom (oh, wear pants with an elastic waist band on the plane if travelling alone) or just need a break. There is always someone who offers to wait with me until everyone else has unloaded to help me schlep my stuff.
Pilots set up my stroller and help me to my next connection. Someone may be a jerk if your baby cries the whole time, but don't worry. You will never see that person again. jan
My husband and I are traveling by plane with our 8 month old for the first time. I have read past postings about this topic, but was wondering if anyone else had any tips. I am very anxious about it. We have purchased a seat for her, but I have some questions. What is the best way to change a dirty diaper on the plane? Is it better to sit in the front or rear of the plane? We also have a layover at one airport before we reach our destination. Does anyone have any other suggestions? first time mom
As for changing diapers, most airplanes have a changing table in the bathroom. When our daughter was a baby, we changed her there. Now we change her on the seat (if it's just pee) 'cause it's more convenient (less crowded than the bathroom). Flying with babies is actually much easier than it sounds, just make sure they have something to suck when the plane takes off/lands (or breastfeed them), and give them plenty of liquids through the trip. anon
I would recommend the back - I ended up walking my son to the back galley and the flight attendants were great about it. (One of them even got out some dry ice, then poured water over it, to entertain my son...eventually it lulled him to sleep!) Plus my general feeling is that if your baby is cranky, the less people around you the better - too much visibility in the front! But my main recommendation is to get the middle seats if that's an option on your flight. Good luck! anon
Re: diaper changing, please use the bathroom. Your child's soiled diapers with excrement should be confined to an area with a door and where they cannot contaminate or disturb other paying travelers.
I once sat next to a woman who, immediately before the dinner service, proceeded to lay her daughter on her lap and change her diaper loaded with excrement, and, put the dirty diaper on her tray table. It was beyond disgusting. Changing diapers in public should be done in a restroom to prevent disease transmission and out of respect for others.
I fly a great deal and usually it is better for everyone if parents flying with young kids are in the back. The reason is that it usually takes longer for them to board and deplane and this can wind up holding everybody else back and creating an environment where the tension gets ratcheted up beyond what it is already on today's completely full flights. Alternately, use miles to upgrade your family to business or first.
Bring her favorite snacks, non-noise making toys, and, the things you know she likes to drink. Try having her suck during take off, descent and landing to help with the ear popping thing. There's always Benadryl if it's a long flight. Good luck and thank you for acting responsibly by purchasing a seat for your child. anon
Also, some airlines have changing tables in the bathrooms -- all JetBlue planes (in every bathroom...hey, the founder has 9 kids, he knows what Moms need) and many of the larger aircraft of other airlines (747, 767, 777) have changing tables in one of the restrooms. Carry a plastic bag for disposal in the aircraft bathroom. If a plane does not have a changing table (an issue that I hit on Southwest a lot), I just do the bizarre balancing act on the toilet seat lid. It isn't pretty, but it works. Even if the flight attendant tells you otherwise, please don't change the diaper at the seat. It grosses me out and I have a kid. Hand down, though, he absolute best method that I have found for changing diapers on planes, is to smile sweetly at my husband and say 'honey, I think that she needs changing' and off he goes. :-) anon
I recommend the front row because if your child gets antsy, she can climb up and down the seat, or crawl an play on the floor in front of you without disturbing anyone in front. Plus there's a little more room.. These seats are really popular with families, so I would reserve as soon as possible if you decide to go that route. GC
1. You mentioned that you bought a seat for your 8 month old, and that should give you some peace of mind. If you don't purchase a seat, and the plane is not full, you can still bring your carseat on and buckle up the child. This is highly recommended, not just as a safety measure, but also because if your child falls asleep in his/her seat in the car, s/he may do so in the plane, which is a great releaf to all concerned. Also, keep your stroller with you till the last minute, and gate check it at the bottom of the ramp. It makes a good luggage rack and carseat transporter, even if the kids aren't in it.
2. Bring an EXTRA LARGE changing pad. Some airlines have changing tables in their bathrooms now (Jet Blue does), but not all of them. If you're in a bulkhead seat, the floor works well for changing, otherwise, with a big pad, you're ''covered'' in the isle, or on a row of seats, or whatever spot you can find.
3. Although we mosty use cloth diapers, we only bring disposables when travelling. Bring more than you think you'll need on the plane, as babies tend to have bowel movements on takeoffs and landings, due to (the flight attendent tells me) changes in cabin pressure. Also bring LOTS of plastic bags for disposal of same, and extra wipes. Note: Some flight attendants actually told me that moms have handed them dirty diapers to throw out. They don't appreciate it one bit.
4. Also, if you nurse, try nursing on takeoff and landing if the baby is experiencing ear discomfort.
5. Front Vs. Rear: We like the front, because of the bulkhead. But what's really important is that you be near a galley, for things you may need like trash disposal, juice, etc. If your baby drinks milk, be aware that some carriers do not have milk, (like Southwest), only juice.
6. Expect to be entertaining your child the entire trip. Forget reading, or visiting. If you get to do that, it's a bonus. Bring every amusement you can think of for the child--Books, toys, etc., including one or two new things. Keep a few out of the overhead compartment before takeoff---you may be on the runway longer than anticipated. Ditto for food. TRY NOT TO PICK LOUD OR OBNOXIOUSLY REPETITIVELY NOISY TOYS. You may need help from your fellow passengers at some point. It's easier if they don't hate you.
7. Label everything. We even put a tag on our toddlers overalls, just in case he wandered off.
8.Make sure your carryon has enough of everything that if you get stranded somewhere overnight, you can cope.
9. Welcome the kindness of strangers. If you are alone with the kids, and somebody offers to help you carry a stroller, or carseat, LET THEM! You can return the favor someday when you are not encumbered. T.L.
Most (though not all) airplanes have fold-down diaper changing stations in the restrooms.
As for the layover, the hard thing about that is that most airports don't have any quiet, dark areas in which to help your baby fall asleep if it's his or her naptime. I have heard that some airports DO have this -- Philadelphia and Houston, I think. Perhaps the airport you're stopping at has a website you can check to find out. You could try bringing a dark or opaque blanket and draping it over him or her either while you're breastfeeding or while she is in her stroller, and perhaps she'll fall asleep (though not likely with all of the noise and action going on).
I strongly recommend bringing your carseat on board to install in her seat -- we found our baby slept in it quite well (you can install it forward-facing). I also recommend bringing an umbrella stroller and checking it at the gate and requesting that it be available to you at the layover airport. This way, you can put her in the stroller and walk her around the airport so she can see all the lights and action.
If she likes looking at books, I recommend ''The Big Book of Everything.'' It's got pictures of everything under the sun. It kept our baby entertained for quite a long time.
As for front versus back, I don't think it makes much difference. Some people say that it's better to be towards the back because it's less crowded and closer to the restroom. Depends on how quick your connection is, I think. Happy traveller
Jet Blue is the best for diaper changes...all planes have a changing table in the lav. I bring a receiving blanket solely for the purpose of covering the changing table. I also carry sanitizer, which I never use at home, and I use it frequently. I'm normally one of those parents who figures exposure builds their immune systems, but on planes I get very germ wary-- there's too much nasty stuff coming in from all over the place on a plane.
Other airlines are hit and miss -- ask when you book if the plane has a changing table -- if not, nice airline attendants have let me change my daughter on their pull down seat in the back of the plane- and even closed the curtain for me! I've also had an attendant stop me from changing a wet diaper on the floor of the bulkhead (on a disposable changing pad). While I wouldn't subject other passengers to a poopy diaper, I personally don't think that changing a wet diaper on a pad is rude - although this is a personal judgment call. I've done it a number of times and only had an attendant ask me to stop once.
Buying a seat at that age is a wise move; we have done lap baby until now, and the last trip we took (she was 91/2 months) made us swear not to do it again.
If you have any other questions feel free to email me. We've traveled a number of times with our daughter via plane. brb
I am going to travel with my 3 months old son out of the country to a place with 10 hours time difference. So practically, we will be flipping day and night times. We will be away for 3 weeks. Do infants my son's age have a jet leg? And if so, do you have any advise about how we can best handle the jet leg? All advise will be greatly appreciated. Ruth
I imagine that, like so many things, kids really vary on this one. My daughter has always been semi-regular with sleeping, having patterns but not a real tight schedule. Her sleeping style has made her more adaptable to travel, I think. Hope this helps. -- Ilana
Coming back, I tried a different approach. I slept when he did, and we both got back to normal schedules in two days.
I hope it helps... reutsh
Both directions the first night was difficult. Usually between midnight and 3am he couldn't understand why we wanted him to sleep. We managed to get him to sleep by taking him into our bed and one of us cuddling up with him. The first night he needed two nighttime feedings (usually sleeps 9 hours without feeding). The second night just once some comfort sucking. During the day we tried to keep him awake as much as possible.
The biggest recommendation is really to get an extra seat for the baby. It makes the flight more comfortable for everyone plus it's much safer for the baby (take the car seat along and put him in there). Ina
I am travelling with my son to Ireland in a few weeks time. He will be 6 months old when we take the 11-hour flight. I will be flying on my own as my husband can't get the time off so I am looking for the following advice: - How do I make the 11 hour flight as pleasant as possible for my baby and for my fellow passengers bearing in mind that I will be alone? Any advice on what to pack in carry on luggage would be really helpful. - How do I help my son deal with the jet lag? - How do I help him adjust to the eight hour time difference? Please help - I am nervous about this first flight with baby! Thanks! Grainne.
We used all of our carry on luggage for baby food, toys, books, diapers, and a change of clothes. We also bought the infant bassinet that hangs on a wall which we used for sleeping kids, but also for storage. It was most valuable when the girls were awake because we prepared food there, stored toys that would have been under our feet otherwise, and let a girl sit in it while we played with her. We also walked one baby around the plane very frequently which kept her less figity. I think the shuffle from parent, to bassinet, to walking resulted in very little fussiness. However, it was very tiring, as you can probably surmise, for us. The alternative seemed less desirable; we didn't want crying kids the entire flight, which we did see with other kids whose parents sat in their seats the entire flight.
On our flight over, there was a mom with baby, alone. I believe her son slept for only short periods which must have tired her more than normal because at one point she had a little cry. The passengers around her volunteered to watch her son while she departed for the bathroom. She as in there for half an hour at least. I assume she needed the break and her son was asleep while she was gone. Likewise, he was in no danger being watched by strangers on a plane. I wondered if travelling alone also meant she'd had to do all the pre-flight prep (like packing) alone before her flight which could have contributed to her on- flight fatigue. If so, the care of her son added to her travel fatigue. If my guess is right then make sure you get a ton of rest before you fly. It will help with any ''off-schedule'' baby surprises you have to deal with in transit.
One tip, see if your airline will let you check a stroller on the plane. This is invaluable when you exit the plane to collect your baggage. If you are carrying on an infant car set, you won't need the stroller though if you use a luggage cart to carry the car set through airports.
As for jet lag: our pediatrician wasn't terribly keen on the idea of bringing along baby Benedryl to use as a sleep aid for jet lag. We'd heard from other travelling parents who recommended this. His advice was to just go with a two-to-three day natural flow of letting our girls, and us, adjust to the time difference once there. For the most part we did this; giving lunch at 6pm, dinner and play time at 1am. However, we did bring along Triminic cough syrup (don't get a cough syrup with any other symptom relievers like an antihistimine) to give to them in desparation. We used it two or three times around 3 or 4 AM when our girls had been up for a few hours and we needed to go back to sleep. Our pediatrician advised that Benedryl hipes up some kids (about 10% who take it) and recommended Triminic instead. We let them sleep for as long as they liked otherwise through the morning.
The first few days after landing, and when you return home, are very tiring because you and your kids(s) are jet lagged. This is just normal. Don't plan much then and just adjust. Be prepared to take on a schedule set by your jet lagged child and wake and sleep ''off hours'' until he has adjusted. It was a little overwhelming but short lived. Our girls adjusted in about three days and were completely fine and happy afterward. Since adjusting to jet lag is a a time commitment for you both, I'd never recommend a short trip over because you need some tourist/family time in between the jet lag adjustment. Overall, we have no regrets going and had a memorable trip. You will too. Good luck! travelled with twins
We plan on taking a 4 week vacation to Western Europe when our baby is 2 months old (given that we will have regained some of our sanity by then). Is this too young? How young is too young? When are infants usually ''old enough'' to travel? Is there anything in particular we should be concerned about or aware of before we make plans? We plan on talking to the pediatrician but I'm quite interested in hearing what you have to say. Traveling as a family
Younger babies *are* pretty portable -- they fit in a bucket seat and can easily be carried around in a sling or frontpack, they don't require any special food or feeding paraphenalia (assuming they're breastfed), they can sleep pretty much anywhere, and they can't crawl away the moment you glance elsewhere! But all of those things are still true at about 3-5 months, when the immune system will be better developed, they'll usually have developed a more predictable daily routine (including, if you're lucky, a longer stretch of sleep at night), they're usually less fussy and more capable of play, and the parents will probably be coping a bit better.
We never did any major traveling when our son was an infant, but we did do a weekend ski trip (a group thing) when he was 5 or 6 weeks old. The weekend itself was fine, but of course I was not feeling up to any actual skiing; we did fine on the drive up but the drive home was miserable -- lots of traffic and an uncomfortable baby meant it took FOREVER, with many long stops to nurse in random parking lots. I don't think I'd've wanted to brave an airport at that point, if I had a choice, nor would I want to deal with jet lag on top of normal newborn night waking! And my son was a fairly good sleeper and not at all colicky -- something we could not have known until after he was born, of course, so I wouldn't have wanted to plan a trip ahead of time. anon
I'm thinking of taking our new daughter to England to visit my mum and dad. Unfortunately her dad can't come so I'll be on my own. Now, I've flown back and forth alone loads of times so I'm not worried about me. However, I've never done it with a 4 month old. I cringe as I think of all the times in my impatient 20s when I was unsympathetic to crying babies on those long flights and feel the karma gods preparing for payback! Does anyone have advice for air travel with such young ones? I'm mainly concerned about how she'll be for that length of a flight (10-14 hours depending on tail winds) as well as how it will affect her sleeping patterns. Thanks so much, any advice will be really welcome. Angela
Enjoy it now. It gets really ugly when they hit toddlerhood. Avoiding Blighty until my boy is 4!
As for jetlag, in California she would sleep from about 8pm until 6 or 7 am. In England, she would go to sleep with me at around midnight or so and then sleep in very late the next morning. It worked out fine. It turns out jetlag is a much bigger problem for grown-ups than for kids and babies, who (usually) adjust fairly rapidly to a new time zone.
Enjoy your trip. Judith
I didn't sleep a wink either flight- even when my son was sleeping. This resulted in a very tired mom.
OK, some thoughts...Try to get seated in the bulkhead row. That way you're close to the bathroom when you need to go- and you can leave your little one in the airline provided basinette for 30 seconds. You'll be able to hear her if she makes a peep. I was lucky enough to have 2 seats on my flights which gave me some breathing room and a little privacy. I played with my son in the extra seat and when he slept, I put him in the bassinet.
As you might expect, on the flight to the UK, he slept a lot. But on the flight back to SFO he was awake most of the time. Try to befriend the flight attendants who will sympathize with you and provide lots of assistance. I was not very successful here but hopefully you will be.
As for adjusting to the time difference, this was the most difficult part of our trip. I have always done well adjusting, especially when I'm able to sleep on the flight, so I thought my son would be the same. Wrong. My son slept about 8pm-6am without waking, consistently, before our trip to England. After spending 3 weeks in England, he never adjusted to the time change, nor slept through the night. After about 6 days of returning back to California, he was back to sleeping through the night. I hope your baby is able to adjust better than my son.
With all that said, it was wonderful for my family to see my son so it was worth it! Please feel free to contact me if you'd like to discuss further. I'd be happy to. tina
I would like to get feedback on travel with newborns. How early have you traveled and did you go by plane or car? What kind of experiences have you had? I'm due 8/25 and have family getting married in Southern CA at the end of Sept. and am wondering if this is way too soon to take a trip? Obviously I will talk to my doctors and it will depend when the baby is actually born but I'd really like input from parents on this list. Thanks. Dylyn
What we found a bit difficult was having her sit in a car seat. Most car seats (the usual rear-facing infant thingies) are far too upright for a young baby who can't yet hold her head. The U-shaped support cushions don't help at all, because the head can still fall forward, and it will. So we ended up having one of us sitting in the back of the car holding our little daughter's head with our hands. In case you haven't bought a car seat yet, try to get one where the baby can actually lie down flat, possibly sideways rather than facing the back. (I don't know if they sell them in this country; I've seen them in Europe).
We haven't tried air travel with our daughter yet, but I've seen many babies on flights that I took before my daughter was born, and they usually did very well. It gets far more difficult later with a one-year-old who wants to move around the plane, but the tiny ones are just happy if Mommy is close. Angela
You can tell if the baby is keeping hydrated by the rate at which it wets its diapers. Your pediatrician could be more specific, but my guess is that it should be at the same rate as at home. My vague memory is that we stopped every hour-and-a-half for nursing and diaper changing.
My instinct is that driving would be better than flying. Airplanes are notorious for circulating germs through the recycled air. Fran
1. Make absolutely sure you can carry everything you need to carry on yourself. My system when travelling alone with her (which was often) was to take a stroller to put my child in (umbrella fold ups- you can usually carry on, if not they will gate check them which means you can pick it up at the door of the plane on your way out) I would strap the carry on bag to the handles of the stroller and carry her car seat in a carrier on my back. This left both hands free to wheel her and attend to her. If she was asleep or crying, I would put the car seat strapped in the stroller, hold her, and wheel with one arm. It may sound difficult but it works very well. The stroller is indispensable for going long distances through airports, on shuttles etc. The car seat is good bc apart from keeping her safe and being immediately available for taxis/cars on arrival (even if your luggage gets lost) its often more comfortable for the children when they are very small, and she was used to napping in it. She could sleep, be safe and I was free to read or rest.
2. EVEN if you don't have a purchased seat for your child ALWAYS ask the stewardesses if you can have an empty one. It doesn't always happen but usually does. I would always say very sweetly "everyone on this plane will be much happier if my daughter isn't confined to my lap and grabbing the person next to her's things during the whole flight".
3. I also recommend sitting near the back of the plane-although the engine is much louder, it drowns out the sound of your child and also masks noises in the cabin that can wake them up. Also it puts you near the stewards station so you can get as much milk warmed up as you need , extra napkins for spills etc. Also they can easily keep an eye on the baby when you need to use the toilet. There are usually more free seats back there too.
4. Timing the flight around your children's sleep is good too. On flights to Europe I try to leave around 4 so that my daughter has a few hours of excitement on the plane, dinner, and then bed around her usual hour.
5. One last recommendation: Virgin atlantic is superb for children, the planes have child seats available on board (so you don't need to carry yours on) and give the kids special snacks, games, books etc. Also each seat has a tv and they have two or three channels for children. Even if you don't usually let your kids watch-you'll be happy to have them occupied for part of a very long flight! -- Christina (4/99)
I will take my half-a-year-old daughter for a three day trip to Chicago in early April. Being a first-time mother, I would like to know more about the safety and TIPS to travel with an infant by air. For example, I assume we will need to bring car seat for taxi ride and rental car. Since the car seat is heavy, do I have other alternatives? Do I need the car seat for the plane? Any suggestion on infant-freindly places to go and things to do in Chicago is welcome too. Thanks. Lijing
Don't have the infant sitting on your lap. Buy a seat on the plane for your infant, take the car seat, and strap her in just as you would if she were riding in your car. It's against the law to have your child riding without a car seat in a car; why take any less care when flying with her in an airplane? Depend upon it; if there's trouble with the plane, you will not be able to keep her safe holding her in your lap. It will also be more pleasant for you to make the long ride with your hands free.
You may also want to get some prescription stuff (I forget what it's called) to numb her ears before takeoff and landing. Your pediatrician will know what this is. It will ease her discomfort with the change in pressure on her tiny ears. Alternatively, some bottles of milk, or, if you are breastfeeding, nurse her during takeoff and landing. The sucking will also help relieve the pressure in her ears. Kimberly
As for Chicago, the Frommer travel guides do a series on different US cities (including San Francisco--I highly recommend it) on placese to go and things to do when travelling with children. Easy Going bookstore in Berkeley carries this series, or could advise you on other guides.
Also, call your hotel and find out if they have baby cribs and or playpens so you don't have to lug your travel one on the plane. They use up luggage allotments pretty fast. Beth
Our five months old has already traveled to the East Coast and back three times, and to Israel and back, so I consider myself a pro by now... We started traveling with him when he was just over two months. First, you have to check with you pediatrician. Assuming there's no problem on that front, here are some tips: *try to travel on a relatively empty flight (midweek/midday), and take the baby's car seat with you. If there's a free seat they'll usually try to accommodate you. Try to plan strategically: if there are two of you flying, ask for an aisle and a window seat; if only one parent is traveling with the baby, ask for the window seat, as far back on the plane as possible (those seats are for some reason less desirable). Even if the person at the check in counter tells you there's no chance for a free seat, don't despair, and try again at the gate. It's well worth the hassle of carrying the car seat that far, and if worse come to worse they'll check it in for you at the gate. *On international flights ask for a seat with a bassinet. *you can never have too many diapers, changes of clothes, etc. On the other hand, don't carry more than you can handle along with baby, car seat, etc. *young babies sleep on planes very well. *take a baby carrier with you in case you can't use the car seat. It's much safer and convenient than holding the baby, especially during takeoff and landing. *take the stroller with you to the gate. If you want to protect it, bring a big plastic bag and some tape with you and wrap it up. *unless you're going to a place where the weather is very stable, pack enough clothes for warmer and cooler days. *even on warm days babies need to be dressed warm for the plane ride. *allow plenty of time and arrive at the airport early. I've found United to be especially notorious about making parents stand in a 40 minute check-in line... *have some form of id for baby (birth certificate) *if traveling with baby alone out of the country, have a letter of consent signed by the other parent with you. Orit
I flew with my son to Washington DC and NYC when he was 2.3 months old. He was much happier traveling (so much stimulation!) then he was at home. I also traveled by plane with my second son to LA when he was 4 months but that was much easier because I had help. Below are some suggestions for traveling by plane: 1. Nurse/bottle/pacifier on ascent and descent -- it helps to open the baby's ears. 2. Arrive earlier than normal to check in. Let the gate agent know you will be traveling with a baby. The agent may be able to arrange an extra seat. (Except on Southwest.) 3. If you have some flexibility in schedule, try not to go with the weekday commuters (6am-8am). These flights are full of business people who are interested in sleeping or preparing for a meeting. You may feel more at ease (less worried about a crying baby) later in the morning. I would pick a time of the day that your baby is at his/her best (usually mid-morning). It may backfire if you try to travel at a time when your baby usually sleeps. He/she many not want to fall asleep because of all the excitement and get overly tired. 4. I find Southwest more family friendly then United Shuttle. Southwest has early boarding and I believe United (as well as Delta and others) have discontinued early boarding. 5. Travel light. I find it best to bring only what I can carry in one load. Also, you may be bringing purchased items or gifts back with you. You won't need many clothes for the baby. You won't need toys (any object you can find in your purse will captivate a young baby). 6. Bring a baby blanket. No matter where your newborn sleeps, the familiar scent of the blanket will provide some comfort in the new environment. It can also be used to pad a dresser drawer as a makeshift bassinet. Alternatively, most hotels will have cribs or you may have your child in bed with you. A portable crib is not necessary and is awkward for traveling. 7. Don't worry about a crying baby - especially a newborn. You (and maybe other sympathetic parents) will likely be the only ones who can hear your baby. 8. Take your time. Consider the airport is like a trip to the park. It can be as enjoyable! 9. The most important suggestion I have is to be very diligent in asking people to wash their hands with soap before touching your newborn. This is very tough, especially with family. Be sure that you have little kids just "tickle the feet". A final, somewhat amusing, thought: The following happened on a trip back from Central Americal. We were on the third and last leg of our travel. My 17-month old was cranky the entire flight and refused to fall asleep until, of course, we touched down. We tried everything to calm him down and singing seemed to help the most. As we were exiting the plane we apologized to those around us and especially to the man in front of us. The gentlemen said with an amused smile, "I was fine with my chair being bumped, and I was fine with the little hands on my neck, but damned if I can't get the song "The ants go marching" out of my head". Best wishes to your delivery and the first of your many travels. Cynthia
Babies travel just fine and they love the open spaces of airports and the new sights, sounds, smells of other places. They have no particular attachment to pickett fences and to the extent they love routine, it can be a modified one. Bon Voyage! Chaudry
I have been EXTREMELY lucky flying with my now 14 month old son. He made his first flight at 7 weeks and has flown nearly 10 times since. He's a lovely airplane rider, but the older he gets, the harder it gets. I have only ever flown with him in my lap, but always look enviously at the other parents whose children have their own seats. I simply can't afford it. If you CAN afford it, buy an extra seat, for your own sanity. If you can't, these tips might help ease your trip: 1) Be prepared for absolutely everything. Plan for the most uncomfortable situations imaginable...double up on everything in your diaper bag. Don't worry too much about having room for your carry-on items...with baby in your lap, you won't get to do anything else anyway. In my experience, airlines tend not to count your diaper bag as a carry-on, but I wouldn't count on that either. 2) Be prepared for rudeness. Airline personnel are often nice, but the last time I flew the stewardesses repeatedly whacked my son's sleeping head with the food carts as they raced down the aisles (and not a single "sorry," either.) Fortunately I was sitting next to a lovely woman who allowed my son's feet to lie on her lap and even let us put our food on her tray. But most of the time, the people flying with you will be very unhappy about sharing their flight with your child. My thoughts on that are, tough luck. 3) Take-off and landing are often difficult because of ear-popping. I think bottles are the best way to ease this, but if you aren't doing bottles anymore, any eating or drinking will do. I hope you have a wonderful trip. I just try to remember that my labor was longer and more uncomfortable than any flight I'll ever take! (4/99)
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