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"When can she fly?"

"Um,   doctor?  When can she fly?"Summer tends to be a busy travel time for my family, so once Chris and I knew when BSparl was arriving, we started researching "traveling with babies."  We consulted different books, some websites, and asked around our collection of family members.  We also spoke with our pediatrician at her first appointment - and we asked her a ton of questions of all kinds.

"When should we expect her to start sleeping through the night?"
"Does she like us?"
"Should she be taking some sort of vitamin supplement?"
"Why is her poop, like, electric yellow?"
"When will she start crawling?"
"How do we get her to stop smiling when she eats, because it makes it hard for her to latch on?"
"Does she know we don't have a clue what we're doing?"

But the question that always made me laugh was this one:  "When can she fly?"

As though she was going to sprout wings and start flapping.

But apparently BSparl gets her wings next Monday, as the full Team Sparling travels to Florida for the Roche Summit and a few days of the CWD conference.  

And I have no clue how to truly travel with a little baby.  

As far as BSparl's safety and immunity goes, her pediatrician is completely fine with us traveling so soon.  BSparl has had her first round of vaccinations and we're breastfeeding, so her immune system is ready for travel.  But am I?  I'm a nervous traveling as it is, and the idea of planning for all my diabetes stuff and now BSparl's needs makes me feel like I'm certain to forget something.

So I would love some advice, if you have any.  What are some tricks for keeping a two and a half month old baby happy and content on a plane ride?  How do you pack for four days with an infant in tow?  What toys might keep her happy and quiet?  How can we keep the rest of the passengers from hating us?  Do airlines have special arrangements for teeny kids?  Is it true that breastfeeding is a good way to keep her content and to protect her ears from popping?  Do they have baby changing tables in the airplane bathrooms?  (Is there even room in there for one of those??)  Do you check the carseat as baggage or do you bring it on as a carry-on?  I HAVE NO CLUE!!!  (And please don't make your advice, "Don't bring the baby.")

If you have traveled with a little kid before and you have some sage advice, please, pass it along.  I'm still figuring this mommy stuff out and I can use all the help I can get!!

Comments

While I do not have children yet, I can tell you what I do know about travelling with little ones...
- When packing, think of what she really likes and occupies her when you're at home and take that.
- When taking off & landing feeding is a good idea,just think of us adults, we're told to chew gum or drink water when taking off/landing.
- Most importantly...remember you are going to a place where there is no lanuage barrier, your money is completely valid and you'll have a credit card - worst case, you forget something and have to buy it there.

You're gonna do great! Have fun.

In my normal attitude of preferring being feebly witty to being helpful, I just pass on Robert Benchley's maxim that there are two ways to travel: first class, and with children. :)

I traveled with my cousin, aunt, and then 1.5year old nephew for a month trip from Los Angeles to the Philippines (something like a 16-hour flight). Since we were cleared for pre-boarding, my aunt and I boarded during that time with all the baby stuff, got everything ready, and my cousin + baby boarded towards the end. That way, the baby isn't stuck on the plane for longer than necessary. I don't think she brought a carseat either...she and my aunt traded off holding the kid for the entire flight. O_o

Oh yeah, not sure if you guys have one of these, but I thought it was pretty cool: http://www.amazon.com/Chicco-Caddy-Hook-Chair-Red/dp/B000A7V1EM
Saves you from having to request a high-chair (with germies).

Good luck!

My sister is a veteran travler with small children. Breastfeeding while the plane is asending or desending will help with the ears. You can also use an eyedropper filled with water to get the same effect. The carseat is checked as baggage. Rental car agencies also have carseats that you can rent for a few extra bucks if you're already renting a car. If you can, try to sit toward the middle of the plane, the plane is more steady there. Bring a change of clothes for you in your carry on. Spit up is bound to happen.

Our kids weren't quite that little when we traveled (we just don't travel much) but we gate-checked the car seat and stroller so I knew it would get off the plane with us. Feeding is definitely good for the ear popping, and as for toys - you know which ones she likes best. My youngest was happy with receiving blanket peek-a-boo for the plane ride. Good luck! :)

Call the hotel and inquire about delivery. I hear that in Orlando there are stores that deliver relatively cheaply. Perhaps there are stores that can deliver diapers, wipes, etc. rather than packing a ton of it. I also hear that one can rent strollers, etc. to be delivered to your hotel room & picked back up.

I always call the hotel ahead of time and ask for a crib for the room. When our kids were littler, we took our pack 'n play on all car trips for them to sleep in at the hotel. Though that's a bit much to do by plane.

It is difficult to travel light with a wee one, but at her young age, she'll probably sleep a lot.

Do you have a baby carrier of some sort?

Also, if you are taking your carseat on the plane so that she can ride in it in her own seat, make absolutely sure that it meets the airline's requirements. Make sure it has it's little sticker saying it meets the guidelines. I had a friend who paid for a seat for her baby and her carseat didn't have the sticker and they took the seat from her and made her carry the baby...even though she PAID for the extra seat.

You'll all do just fine and there will be lots us us experienced parents there waiting in line for our turn to hold BSparl :)

I don't remember a changing table....but do remember laying down a changing pad and changing a diaper on the ground, half in the aisle and half in the bathroom with the door constantly closing on me.

Just plan on nursing her constantly. It is true that it will help with ears during take off and landing...on that note, you might consider giving a dose of Tylenol 30 min before take off and landing...as long as the doses are at least 4 hours apart. Nursing is also the best way to keep her content during the flight.

As for what to do AFTER the plane lands....well...just keep nursing :)

Most of all, HAVE FUN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

RE Car seat

Neither - You do the safe thing, and BUY her an airline ticket, and you strap her into her carseat

Does this mean we get to meet BSparl in person. What fun, I can't wait.

Let me know if you need a babysitter! :-)

I flew with my first son so often that by his second birthday, he had earned enough miles for his own ticket! It's actually pretty fun (if not relaxing) traveling with babies... and preferable to being homebound or leaving them behind. A few tips:

-- Did you buy BSparl her own ticket? If so, you can install her car seat on the airplane seat - that will give her a place to rest comfortably (and give your arms a break, as needed).
-- If she's a lap child, that's great, too (I'm sure she'll love snuggling with you for the trip!) You can check her car seat at the front counter, with your luggage. If you have lots of extra stuff to take with you through the airport to the gate, keep your stroller with you (it's easier to haul things on wheels than on your back), get a stroller tag at the gate counter, and then you'll be able to leave it at the bottom of the boarding ramp just before you get on the plane.
-- Breastfeeding is superb for popping ears during takeoff and landing, and for lulling her to sleep.
-- Yes, bring a change of clothes for her. :-)
-- Some of the plane bathrooms do have changing tables, some don't. I'm always scared about the cleanliness of those, so (and this may annoy people) my husband and just lay our babies across our laps to change diapers. No baby parts (or fluids, etc.) ever touch any part of the plane, and no one (not even the person in a seat next to us) has ever said anything.
-- Bring sealable bags with you to put soiled diapers in, either dispose when the flight attendant comes around, or put them in your diaper bag and chuck them after you arrive.
-- Bring Purell or antimicrobial Handi-Wipes. You'll want clean hands, and may want to wipe down toys after they've fallen on the ground.
-- Nearly everyone on the plane has traveled with their own kids at some time. Folks are nearly always understanding and most often willing to play peek-a-boo. My first time I had to breastfeed on the plane, my husband was not with me and I was so nervous about sitting two inches from a stranger and going through the process. Turned out she was a nurse at a children's hospital and counseled women in bf!

Enjoy your trip!!!

I first flew my almost 6 week old baby (alone) and, like mentioned above, fed her for take off/landings... strapped her in her car seat for the ride and she slept to the whirl of the engines...

I gate checked her stroller and as I left the plane to go to my next connection, it was set up and waiting for us... I just had to clip the seat on and we were on our way.

I'm not a mom (yet) but I recently traveled with girlfriends who have babies and learned a LOT from their experiences. Here's what I know:

She breastfed on take off and landing and the baby was so occupied with her meal that she never made a peep. Since most of the ear-popping happens during those two times, once we got her through that, she was good-to-go and happy for the rest of the ride. Also, she made sure that the baby had gone a while without eating before the flight so that she would definitely be interested in breastfeeding on take-off. It worked great. I'd definitely give that a go.

As far as strollers, we took the baby all the way up to the gate in the stroller and "checked" it right before we boarded. Then, once you arrive, you have to wait in the gangway (RIGHT after you step off the plane) and they will unload the strollers first and hand them to the waiting parents. We live in Orlando and this wasn't an issue where we went. BUT coming home (to the vacation capital of the world) there were like 6 families with babies all crammed into that tiny space right off the plane, waiting for strollers. So don't be surprised if that happens when you arrive in Orlando. Just move off to the side so everyone else can debark and settle in with the other families. It probably won't be that crowded when you get back home.

Lastly, not sure if you are renting a car. But if so, be aware that you can also rent the base for your car-seat to snap into the rental car. That way you have one less thing to travel with.

Hope this helps!
~Layne

Hi Kerri,

I completely agree with the advice on nursing. Not sure what long nursing sessions do to your blood sugars though. But if can, nursing is by far the BEST way to keep a baby happy while flying -- at least in my experience. However, I did not need to nurse the entire flight (we flew several times with our son when he was an infant, as far as Mexico). And honestly, the younger they are, the easier it is to entertain them and keep them content!

I was also a big sling user, so we either checked our umbrella stroller at the plane entrance, or just didn't bring a stroller at all (gramma had one at her house). Slings or other wraps/baby carriers are also nice because they allow you to have your hands free, carry baby close, and nurse very privately. Not sure if you already use a carrier of some kind, but this is a nice discussion on baby slings in regards to the recent safety concerns:
http://seattlemamadoc.seattlechildrens.org/video-infant-slings-wonderful-way-to-wear-a-baby/

I also love the "bring some new previously unseen toys" advice. Babies LOVE new things and if they haven't seen it before, or in a long time, it's like new to them, and they will be entertained for a long time.

Airplane diaper changes are tricky -- the bathrooms are SO tiny. If it wasn't poopy, I did it in the seat/on my lap. I'm sure you've gotten pretty good at diaper changes in the dark, etc. Same thing on the plane. Quick quick quick and no one notices. But poops, even thought breast milk poops really don't "stink" -- if your fellow passengers see your poopy diaper, they will be appalled and disgusted and possibly complain. I think planes DO have a little fold out changing table in the handicap bathroom, but it is TINY.

Car seats are available from car rental agencies if you don't want to check yours through.

Take advantage of the "now boarding families with small children" option. It's great to get on the plane first before everyone is staring at you, getting annoyed that you are taking so long to find your seat, stow your belongings, and sit down.

Lastly, I never found it necessary to give baby any medicine for airplane travel. Nursing did the trick, and even when older, my kids just haven't had big issues with their ears (despite ME having really bad ear problems as a baby/kid).

Best of luck - I am sure you'll do great! :)

Actually, most carseats are NOT approved for airline travel. You gate-check them.

I've never tried to change a diaper in an airplane bathroom. We always do a trip to the bathroom to "go" and/or change diapers when they start the boarding call, and then they're usually good for the flight. (We're usually only in the air a couple of hours, though, so YMMV.)

Pack only enough diapers/wipes/etc for the duration of travel, and buy new ones when you get to your destination. You'll end up wasting a couple of bucks on diapers that she doesn't use, but it's so worth it not to have to carry that stuff around.

I don't know about you, but when I travel, I always end up packing more stuff than I actually need. This goes double for the baby. Better safe than sorry with clothes, since she's a spitter, but don't take more than a couple of small toys -- babies can be entertained with the most mundane things, like necklaces, empty test strip cans, discarded pump tubing, cell phones, and styrofoam cups. (...Okay, it should go without saying, but lest someone jump on me: obviously these are not naptime toys; you're watching to be sure nothing gets put in the mouth or wrapped around the neck.)

I'll second {or third, or whatever} the breastfeeding during take-off and landing - it helps with the ears and it might even encourage sleep. And, I also second the tylenol before take-off. I'm not one to medicate needlessly {I typically undermedicate, if truth be told}, but this is one of those cases where if they need it {meaning, pain from ears not popping}, it's going to be too late by the time you realize it.

And, personally, I always took our own carseat. I haven't flown since my second kiddo has arrived, but with the first, I always took his carseat and checked it at the gate. Sometimes, if there is an open seat next to you, they'll let you "carry on" the carseat and use the seat with no fee. That is, if she's going to be a lap child. Pack light, but pack smart for a carry on. And dress BSparl in just a onesie or something else that is easy to get on and off - temperatures on the plane can vary during the flight, so just dress her in something light and keep a blanket {or nursing cover} handy to keep her warm as needed. Oh! And, the best advice I was ever given... put two diapers on the baby. The inner one is their current size and the outer one is the next size up. That way, if the diaper leaks, you've got a good safety net and in case you need to change the diaper midflight, you can do it at your seat relatively easily. Sounds crazy, I know, but I've been more than grateful for it when Noah had a blow-out on a two-hour flight to OKC! Good luck Momma!!

Oh you will survive it, no worries.
This is what I know after 3 kids and numerous plane trips with varying age kiddos:

1. If you bought her her own seat, bring the car seat and strap her in.

2. Breastfeeding during take off and landing, absolutely yes. Keeps them busy and keeps those ears open.

3. Minimum toys, nothing too noisy.

4. Board early. Take full advantage of the 'families with young children' rule. Get seats near the back of the plane, near the potties. You will thank me later. They are near the stewardesses and near a site to clean up and no one is behind you.

5. Just apologize if all doesn't go well, and frankly, you will never see those people you are flying with again, so don't sweat it. Just say you are sorry and ask them if they have ever flown with a baby and that shuts them up.

That's all I got. Have fun!

Having flown with babies, I understand your apprehension.

If you don't already have a sling, now is a great time to get one. Much easier to pack than a stroller. Don't take your car seat at all; phone ahead so you can rent a car-seat when you reach your destination.

Plan to nurse for take-off and landing to protect her little ears. And as often as possible in between to keep her and the other passengers happy. Play with your baby however you usually play with her and she'll be fine.

No, there aren't changing tables on the plane. It's possible to stand in the aisle while laying your baby in your seat for a quick change.

The first time I flew with my then-2-month-old, he threw up down the inside of my shirt and I had to try to rinse baby barf out of my bra in the airplane bathroom. Ick! I recommend a complete change of clothes for you and your baby in the diaper bag.

Awww... Will I actually get to meet BSparl?!!! I will be at the CWD Conference. Hooray!Good luck with the plane ride. I'm sure she'll be just fine.

BSparl probably won't know you are even on a plane, and I'm sure you've already figured out she knows what you are feeling.

Be calm. :-) Give yourself time so you aren't stressed.

She isn't going to need anything during that 2 or 3 hour plane ride that she doesn't need when you are sitting in your living room for 2 or 3 hours. A few things to occupy her. A couple of diapers. Maybe some milk. Maybe a blanket. Maybe a pacifier.

If she appears to be bothered by the pressure (cranky or crying), try feeding her.

Someone above said gate check car seat & stroller - I agree with that. Also - I never fully understood why people with kids get on the plane first. Maybe not a big deal with an infant, but the last place I want to be with a two year old is strapped in an airplane seat for longer than I have to be. Get your gate check tags for stroller/car seat before you are boarding so that is taken care of.

You are going to feel like a circus going through security (and you actually will be one - tee hee hee - I'm not missing those days) but don't worry, you are no worse than the people who forget to take off their belts, their shoes, or leave change in their pockets.

I guess one other diabetes related item... I carried one of my daughters through gate and agent got all up in arms about the pump (this was years ago). They had to man-handle both of us to ensure we weren't a threat. Might be better to have Chris take Bsparl through just in case.

Have fun! (Oh, I was in a theatre yesterday and saw preview for Buried. Fun!)

Pacifier, Bottles (or nursing) anything that will help her sucking and swallowing to keep her ears from hurting! :) This was key when we travelled with Gabe as an infant! Best wishes and hope you have a blast!!! We are going on vacation next week too or I'd join you at the CWD for a day!

Some things that worked well for me:

1. Bring the stroller!!! It is great for transporting the baby and bags throughout the airport.

2. Check the carseat, but stow the stroller at the gate (unless you have a travel system, then I guess you'd stow it all together at the gate). The crew will have it waiting for you when you get off the plane.

3. Start nursing a few minutes before take off, and while you are gaining altitude--it makes for a very content baby!

Have fun!

We travelled with our son when he was five months old. I remember we requested seats on the aisle, so we could pass him back and forth between my husband and I. Also, I tried to change him (the baby, not my husband!), *right* before we boarded, but found that if we HAD to change him, it was easier to do so right at the seat, instead of going to the bathroom (much cleaner, imo). We also had one of us board first, with all the baby cargo, and then oen of us board closer to the flight being full with the baby. That way, there was less movement for him, and less chance he would get upset or startled. On the plane, I did a bottle, and thankfully, he fell asleep. OUr total flight was nearly three hours, but the day is a long one, when you start to include the airport time, check in, etc.

Good luck!

Check on the bottom of your carseat - I think most back facing, "bucket" styles are approved for airlines. Also, if BSparl has her own seat (which I highly recommend) ask the flight attendant which seat she should be in in your row. I think they want her againt the window so her seat doesn't block the exit row.

You've gotten some fantastic advice, but I'd like to add a few things:

1. Most people will be kind and friendly. However, some will scowl at you as you go down the aisle, as in, "OMG, I hope they're not sitting near me." Ignore them and remember, karma's a bitch.

2. While everything will probably go just fine, it never hurts to have an extra change of clothes for you and BSparl (you: spit-up upon, BSparl: blow-out runny diaper). And while we're at it, take a couple more diapers than you think you'll need for the plane ride, just in case.

3. Always pack a thermometer and the infant Tylenol. If your child gets sick and it's 3 a.m., the last thing you'll want to do on a trip is trying to figure out where the nearest 24-hour drugstore is at.

Flying is easiest when they are under 6 months and over 4 years. This will be a piece of cake. I flew with my child as a baby; I took her car seat on with her own seat, and she slept the whole way. I was told never count on the rental car place having either a car seat or the right size for your child. I believe you should take your own even if you want to check it. You should have some sort of cover for it if you do, because there is a lot of grime. The only thing I would add to what you have been told here is that with a child of ANY age, bring a change of clothing (and maybe a t-shirt for yourself) plus a plastic bag. It's hard to endure a flight with a diaper blowout or vomit on anybody's clothing. I looked for a site I used to know that had car seat comparisons; it listed which ones were approved for use on a plane. I'm thinking you could just look up your particular model, though, and find all you need to know to make your decision. With two parents you could probably do without the extra seat, but it might be really nice to have a sling especially for turbulence.

One of my daughters was getting married in Vegas and my other daughter had just given birth two months prior. She refused to miss the wedding (in the Grand Canyon, BTW) but was dreading bringing the two-month-old on the plane. Turned out she was an angel. Slept the whole way there and back. I had to laugh when I knocked on my daughter's hotel room door and she answered with a dish towel over one shoulder. She brought along dish detergent and was washing bottles in the bathroom sink!

I just saw this and had to laugh at the timing. Good thing you don't have twins...
:-)

From a Southwest Airlines employee: "Welcome aboard Southwest Flight XXX to Chicago. To operate your seatbelt, insert the metal tab into the buckle, and pull tight. It works just like every other seatbelt and if you don't know how to operate one, you probably shouldn't be out in public unsupervised. In the event of a sudden loss of cabin pressure, oxygen masks will descend from the ceiling. Stop screaming, grab the mask, and pull it over your face. If you have a small child traveling with you, secure your mask before assisting with theirs. If you are traveling with two small children, decide now which one you love more."

Try checking the TSA website. I think that should answer some of your questions.especialy the one about the car seat. as for things that will keep her happy :
A mirror should do the trick but she might sleep alot but if she doesnt than i am shur U will figure somthing els. U are so creativ!!
:):):):)
Good luck

I haven't seen anyone mention this yet, but my sister in law taught me to always ask for the bulkhead seats. The first row often has a little extra floor space/wiggle room, and you only have people behind you and to the side of you, instead of all around you so somehow, it feels a little more private.

When my kids were young we flew one time to NYC from Texas, and we carried the car seat on the plane. We were instructed that the baby had to be in a car seat for take off and landing. Also, when ever there is changing air pressure whether taking off or landing in a plane, or even riding in an elevator (like to the top of empire state building), you definitely need to have the baby sucking on bottle. It truly works! Good luck Kerri on your first trip w Baby! :))

I would always be leary about car seats from the rental place; as you never know what they have been through... When carseats are in accidents they become useless I believe... The same types of shock can occur if you check the seat too... no telling how those guys handle our stuff

Breastfeeding really helps as long as you don't mind covering with a blanket and going for it. That's what I always did with my babies. You don't need a carseat on the plane with a baby. The only reason to bring one is if you are renting a car and need one once you're down there. You can carry it on, but they will take if from you and stow it with the rest of the luggage anyway, so the real question is, do YOU want to lug it around the airport??? Do you have a sling? long walks can get tiring when you're holding a baby, plus bag, plus bag. Definitely bring the stuff your baby likes...a pacifier, a blanket. She's still so little. I bet she's sleeping alot. You'll be fine. :)

I didn't read all the previous comments, but I totally agree with all the ones I read. We flew to Hawaii when my baby sister was 5.5 months old, and it was not terrible! If she takes a paci, that works for taking off and landing too. One thing that we really loved was requesting the row of seats, like right behind first class, that way we had more leg room, and were able to put a blanket on the floor and have her lay there for a bit! Oh and pack more diapers then you think you will need, we had a ton on delays and she had an upset tummy... at the end of the flight my 5 month old sister was wearing a borrowed size 5 diaper. it came up to her armpits! haha have fun!!

Kerri,

As the mom to four boys ages 2 to 8 (#1 is Type 1), I have traveled A LOT. Babies will surprise you at how well they do on the plane. Do not be afraid!! Most babies have a harder time on the descent than the ascent. So, if Baby BSparl doesn't appear to have trouble as the plane rises, don't feel obligated to feed her. You will definitely be able to sense her discomfort. I have done many-a-poll of the flight attendants -- babies have a harder time going down than they do up. If you haven't had a pacifier, now is time to try one out. The sucking motion helps balance the pressure in her ears. But, the swallowing motion helps even more -- think about how sometimes you really want to stretch your mouth/jaw to make your ears pop -- same concept. The noise on the plane is really soothing, and I found that if the baby is comfortable, she (or in my case, he) is probably going to sleep. Don't over-stimulate. Babies don't really need a boatload of toys to be happy. And, the last thing a crying, upset baby wants is someone shoving or rattling a toy in their face. Their favorite thing in the world is Mommy's smiling face!!

I disagree with the new toy concept for an infant. She wants familiarity. Don't forget her "lovies" or blankets or stuffed animals or whatever it is that makes her comfy at home. You want to do your best to recreate her environment while you are traveling. I always over-packed, making sure I had whatever the babies could need.

Most importantly, babies sense Mommy's anxiety. If you are stressed, she's more likely to get stressed. Sit back, relax and realize that your flight is a short period of time in your life and in hers. If it goes disasterously, it really just isn't that big of a deal. Have Chris walk her up and down the aisle of the plane, knowing the majority of the people have been there, done that.

Hope to see you there!!

Try to keep her active prior to boarding and a little hungry. Once you have boarded and ready for take off. Feed her. And maybe if you are lucky sleepy will take over.

Have fun!

Oh, Kerri. My only piece of advice (as a 59 year old PWD whose 32 YO son is a PWD) is to relax and enjoy every minute.

I was a single dad for a while and did take the baby on flights. Just trust your own instincts, don't worry so much, and everything will turn out fine. What you forget, you can buy. My only advice, besides relaxing and enjoy the trip, it to prepare for the unexpected airport delays.

Having flown with babies, I understand your apprehension.

If you don't already have a sling, now is a great time to get one. Much easier to pack than a stroller. Don't take your car seat at all; phone ahead so you can rent a car-seat when you reach your destination.

Plan to nurse for take-off and landing to protect her little ears. And as often as possible in between to keep her and the other passengers happy. Play with your baby however you usually play with her and she'll be fine.

No, there aren't changing tables on the plane. It's possible to stand in the aisle while laying your baby in your seat for a quick change.

The first time I flew with my then-2-month-old, he threw up down the inside of my shirt and I had to try to rinse baby barf out of my bra in the airplane bathroom. Ick! I recommend a complete change of clothes for you and your baby in the diaper bag.

unless you bought her seat you cant carry on the carseat!

Bring at least a change of top for all adults. I used a changing table that was hidden above the toilet in the bathroom -- the flight attendant filled me in on which bathroom had it. And I brought hershey kisses and passed a few out to folks around me before the flight even took off.

Wow! You got a ton of advice! It's almost midnight here, and I haven't read all of the comments so I'm just gonna throw my two cents out there, just in case someone hasn't mentioned...that sometimes, babies poop WAY MORE than you think they will when on a plane. So bring more diapers than you think you'll need. (14 years ago I had an bad experience...but I'll shorthand it and tell you, it was pretty awful...it smelled...and he went through 6 diapers on a 3 hour flight.) Good luck!

I have to agree with Annie's list. I just flew with my little one (4 months) from CA to IL...the one thing I would add is the Boppy. We flew with our daughter in our arms (in the future, if I can afford the extra ticket, I will buy her one), and it was so nice to bring the Boppy on the plane--great support, even if it was a little crowded. We packed a backpack with my diabetic stuff, her "diaper bag" stuff, and magazines--I brought the Boppy as my carry-on. One other thing we purchased prior to flying was a carseat cover with wheels (30$ at Babies r Us). It was great to have walking through the airport, and then we checked it at the gate with our stroller.

Good luck and have fun!

I see you've had a ton of advice and i haven't read through all of it so sorry in advance if i'm repetitive. I first flew with DD at 4 months. I tried to follow the breastfeed on takeoff and landing advice but was foiled when DD was hungry about 30 minutes before i would have liked her to be latched. But no worries. She didn't bf and she wouldn't take a pacifier, but she was still fine during those potentially ear popping moments.

Honestly, traveling with an infant is a million times easier than traveling with a toddler so enjoy it now!!

Bring a change of clothes (for both of you) and only the essential items to keep bsparl happy and clean. We also gate-checked the stroller since we had a carseat at the other end and DD flew as a lap child. Piece of cake. Have fun on your trip!!

Don't worry you'll do fine. We've flown with three kids at various ages. Yes, nursing or a bottle helps with the ears popping. But, try to time it so she's not full as you're decending, or she might not nurse. A change of clothes is a good idea; a clean shirt for you and an outfit for her. Rather than a stroller, I recommend a good strap-on carrier. The Sutemi pack is the best I've found; easy to get on/off, carries most of baby's weight on your hips instead your shoulders, can be worn back or front, and by either mom or dad. A pack will keep your hands free to carry your other stuff and you won't have to worry about stowing a stroller on the plane. If baby is a lap snuggler, you don't need to take the car seat on board; we only did that when we had a toddler who needed to be strapped in and occupied. No, there's generally no changing table for diaper changes; you just have to do your best. Laying her on the adjacent seat with the arm rests up is probably your best bed. And, don't worry about the other passengers. She's little enough most passengers will totally understand if she gets a little fussy. Have a great trip!

I have done plenty of road trips with small children, but never on a plane. My husband always laughs at the amount of stuff I think I need to bring. Just remember...if you forget it, you can always buy it at Target or Walmart down there. :) And the convenience of nursing vs. worrying about bottles and formula will help eliminate some of your travel stress. Enjoy!!

Flying with kids is easy and fun! The main thing to remember is to relax, the kids can sense if you are tense or frustrated. Check the car seat when you check in, but push the stroller to the gate and have it gate checked. If BSparl has ever bottle fed, she might like that for landings (those are so much slower than take offs). We took our kids to Orlando at 3yrs (t1) and 7 months and to Rome at 4(t1) and 1yr and they loved every minute of it! We packed one whole suitcase for diapers! Actually, I think Jenn (with the 4 boys) said everything perfectly - ditto Jenn!!

Hey Kerri - I'm in the same crazy predicament as you actually. My son will be 4.5 months old when I fly to England this coming September. I'm also a type 1 and have all my diabetic supplies to bring as well as everything but the kitchen sink for the baby. I'm flying by myself and am absolutely terrified! I came across a good website with some useful tips:
www.flyingwithkids.com
I'm planning on wearing Jacob in his babybjorn and only taking hand luggage. I know that the car seat only goes onboard with you, if you are buying a seat for BSparl and she will be strapped into the plane seat, in her car seat. You're a super organized person, you'll do absolutely great! Just prepare for the unexpected; like her pooing through 3 outfits and being sick all over you! It won't happen, but if you don't take enough stuff, it just might!
I will definitely breastfeed my son during takeoff and landing - even if it doesn't help with the pressure, at least he's getting some comfort from being nursed. I really hope they don't feel any pain :(
Good luck

Hi there stranger! Funny you should ask this... we took Kate to Colorado just about two weeks ago, when she was almost 10w old, so once again, we are on the same page here. First, let me say, it was much easier than I thought it would be and I just kept the attitude that we've gotta go, so whatever happens, happens, and we will make it through regardless :). I didn't go through the comments, but wanted to share my experience.

We asked at check in whether the plane was full and it wasn't so we got a full row to ourselves and Kate got a free seat for her car seat (they will book you and Chris on the ends and assume no one will choose a middle)...on the way home we weren't so lucky, but we were still fine with just two seats. I'm kinda fond of holding Kate anyway :) So just make sure to ask if it is a full flight and let them know you'd like a full row, if possible.

You can gate check her stroller, and ours also includes her car seat, so we did it for both for free. This won't count as carry ons for you. I think you can also check her car seat, but since ours is used as part of her stroller, we didn't do that.

As we began to board, Kate began grunting, which meant one thing... oh yes she did! Blowout and all... we had to wait until the seatbelt sign was off to change her. Thankfully we brought a set of extra clothes in her diaper bag, in a plastic bag, for the rotten outfit. So yes, there are changing tables in at least one bathroom; ours was pull down and was behind the toilet. There was enough room to change her; the table was pretty big, thankfully.

I nursed her during take off and she sucked her pacifier at landing, both worked fine for her ears. The rest of the way she slept and played... on the way home she started screaming at one point bc her nose got stuffed up, but I had some saline drops for her and that cleared out and she calmed down quickly (I think it was the dry air from Colorado, not the plane itself, but if you do bring meds, just put them in the required plastic baggie and keep them in her diaper bag, just in case!)

Other than that, we thankfully had equipment from a family member, and we just bought diapers, wipes, etc. there. I've heard little ones travel really well, and that was my experience. Try not to worry and just enjoy your time with her :)

Hope all is well!! First week back at work for me... :( but we are surviving!

oh my, you've gotten tons of good advice. My 2 cents. Know the location and phone number of at least one 24 hour pharmacy and supermarket in your general area. Look into gardengrocer.com they will deliver food and baby items right to your hotel room. Highly recommended. Alternatively, you can pre-ship by fed-ex diapers (and some diabetes supplies) down to your hotel and have them waiting at the front desk for you. Don't forget to pack enough stuff for YOU. And Tide-sticks are you friend. :)

Most importantly, take lots of pictures of her first plane ride and have a great time. :)

Give her a bottle taking off and landing it will help take the pressure off her ears put the car seat in a plastic garbage sack tie it shut and check it take turns holding her on your laps and It will be fine. Both may wife and I are type Is so I guess we always had double if one of us forgot something. Best of luck and enjoy.

"...most of the larger, newer airplanes used for long-distance flights do indeed have infant-changing tables in one or more lavatories. But finding one on your next flight can be hit or miss, especially if you’re flying on a regional airline or on an airline that’s hasn’t updated its fleet.

For example, JetBlue has infant-changing tables in all aircraft lavatories. Southwest Airlines has changing tables on some of its aircraft, Northwest Airlines has them on all but 10 percent of its fleet and, according to Tim Wagner at American Airlines, there’s at least one lavatory with a changing table on all but 13 of the airline’s fleet of 673 airplanes. In an e-mail message Wagner explained: “All of our ‘widebody’ aircraft have changing tables in the lavatories. [These are] the aircraft with two aisles that are most likely to be used on long flights — for us those are 767, 777 and Airbus 300 aircraft. Almost all of our narrow body aircraft have changing tables somewhere onboard. All MD-80 aircraft have a changing table somewhere on the aircraft.” "

Diaper duties on airplanes
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/20498649/ns/travel-tips/page/2/

If you haven't yet mastered the trick of changing a baby on your lap, try it. :) Seriously, it sounds crazy, but when my kids were tiny I learned to lay their heads toward my knees while I was sitting upright and change them right in my lap. It came in handy at ballparks and in places where the restroom floor (eewww) was the only other option.

I was a big fan of the baby sling, which would work great for cuddling her on the plane, carrying her in the airport, and discreetly nursing as needed.

Have a great trip!

I didn't make it through every comment, but I'm wondering if you are sorry you asked... :). Here's what I'll add - bring a ton of plastic, ziplock bags. The 4 oz size is best, just in case you need an extra one for carry on liquids at some point. Chances are, you will have clothing, etc., soaked in various body fluids, that need to be placed in a bag for the duration of the trip. You will not believe all the different ways these bags can be used! The change of clothes (or at least shirt) in your carry on was a GREAT suggestion. Unless you are on an older plane, there will be a changing table in the bathroom. A sense of humor is invaluable. I was always amazed at how many incredibly nice people there were on planes. Everybody (well, almost) loves babies. When she's a toddler it may be a little different :). Have fun!

Babywear.

It's easier than a stroller in the airport itself and you can use the sling/carrier on the plane to rock her, if needed. We flew at Christmas with our then-9 week old daughter, and I spent half the flight to Chicago standing in back by the bathrooms with a friendly flight attendant, swaying foot to foot to keep Ms. P happy. When she fell asleep, I went back to my seat and sat down with her still strapped on me and was able to read a magazine while she continued to snooze :)

I'm pretty sure your trip has already happened, but for future reference, it is not safe at all for a baby to be in a lap on a plane.

I know it's expensive to buy another seat, but a child should be in it's car seat properly restrained at all times while in flight. A carseat should NEVER be checked as baggage anyway. You have no idea what the baggage handlers will do to it, which could compromise it's safety in a crash.


Also, a few people have mentioned that car seats are available at most car rental places. This is absolutely not recommended, as you have no idea what the history of those seats is (if someone was in an accident in one) or if it will fit her properly.

I know many people who have flown with babies in car seats and were still able to breastfeed during takeoff and landing by leaning over. It's extremely awkward, but it's safe.

Just a few things to keep in mind!

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