Flying with an Infant

  • Ok, we are flying on April from Germany to Florida and then from Florida to Pennsylvania and back to Germany. We decided not to buy a seat for our 6 month old son. We are first time parents so we are really new to this experience. What do we do with the car seat? Do we check it in? Also, any advice on making the traveling easier for all of us? Do I keep him on a sling/carrier/wrap while on the plane?  Any advice would be helpful.

  • Our DD flew round trip flights when she was 2 months, 8 months & 16 months ( a couple weeks ago on Presidents Day weekend).

    We checked her car seat at the gate.

    Also, I'm  HUGE fan of baby carriers--I use them daily and help other parents learn how to use them.  Each time we flew, we breezed through the airport w/DD in a carrier on my back.  On the plane, I wrapped her (my fave carriers are wraps) to my front and we both napped without me having to worry about dropping her in my sleep.  I also used the wrap as a blanket when we got cool.

    A ring sling might also be a good idea for traveling with a little one because they are really convenient when you have to take the baby out a lot.

    Good luck!  Let us know how it works out.

  • Sounds like you've got some fun trips lined up! I've done a lot of flying with my little guy - hopefully I have a few tips that can help. I'd take your car seat and stroller up to the gate and just check them under the plane. About 60% of the time, the plane has an empty seat on it and they can shuffle us around so that we have all the seats together. Then, I can take the car seat on the plane and strap it in, which is a lifesaver when the baby sleeps or you just need a break. Just go up to the counter as soon as you arrive at the gate and ask if there are any extra seats on the plane. Also, when you check in at the front counter, they usually have you board first before the other passengers so that you have time to get everything settled.

    Some airlines want you to take the baby out of the sling when taking off and landing and others don't care. I brought a wrap while on the plane when my boy was little and he slept a bit in that. Mostly I brought my boppy pillow to feed with and a blanket. It will really help you if you feed the baby when taking off and landing so that they are sucking and swallowing with the change in atmosphere. It cuts down on their little ears hurting and getting super plugged up. Bring plenty of snacks and books and little things to play with. My boy LOVED playing with a big box of band aids. He would open each band aid and stick them on me or just put them in and out of the box. Little things like that are fun. 

    Bring extra outfits and plenty of diapers and wipes on the plane. If your little guy poops through his outfit, you'll have another there and changing a baby in the bathroom is not too easy either - bring a pad to lay down on the toilet top or your lap - wherever you can find to change him.

    Good luck!! You'll do great! :-)


  • We are traveling from New York to Florida in a couple of months and your suggestions and advice are great! Thanks for sharing them on Strong Moms!

  • I flew often with my son starting at about 4months. Agree with checking stroller at the gate - LIFESAVER - and I also invested in a good wrap carrier. I was never allowed to use it for take off or landing stateside, but it was great carrying baby through airport and on plane this way when you really need both hands for luggage, etc. I did not breastfeed, so for longer trips would take 3 empty bottles. Bottled water is easy to get once past security and on a flight - and it cut down on the weight I was hefting through the airport. Most airports do not have a large selection of juice - so if your child drinks this you may want to pick up some of the smaller travel size juices and keep sealed until you are through security. String cheerios on a ribbon baby can chew straight off of it and it minimizes mess if you are holding baby on your lap. I also invested in the overnight diapers - and extra pacifiers when I flew. I will never forget the flight with explosive poo or when my 9month old chucked his binky down the aisle of the airplane never to be seen again.

  • Thanks for all the tips and advice. I'm really hoping for a smooth trip.

  • Sunspot566- Oh my goodness - your description of your nightmare flight at the end made me both laugh and cringe. How stressful! I started out one trip with 3 pacifiers and ended with one. I clutched that one with a death grip - it was not getting away from me! :-)