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  1. #1
    Senior Member himespau's Avatar
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    Flying with a baby

    So this weekend, my wife and I will be flying with our almost 5 month old for the first time. We've already decided to just bjorn her through the airport and not take the stroller (it's a huge Bob Revolution) because I doubt we'll need it much there (everyone drives everywhere, few sidewalks/areas for walking and we'll have our bjorn and back up moby wrap) but absolutely depend on it here as we're car free and couldn't handle going without if that got damaged in flight, but we are taking the car seat (obviously). Anybody with infants (or who has had them recently) with some flying experience want to offer tips?

    I talked to the guy at the airline when I booked the tickets who said we could gate check the car seat (and stroller, but he didn't seem to understand how big our stroller was), but he was in India (I think) and didn't seem too familiar with the policies, so I guess we'll find out when we go to check in what the situation is.

    I hope the pressure changes aren't too bad on our fellow passengers' ears with her crying. I've heard eating/pacifierizing during those times helps some.
    Punctuation is important. It's the difference between "I helped my uncle, Jack, off a horse" and "I helped my uncle Jack off a horse"


  2. #2
    derailleurs are overrated bigbenaugust's Avatar
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    Get an umbrella stroller when the kid starts walking. That BOB is too expensive and too big... you don't want to irritate the rampers.
    Check the car seat, it's too much of a pain to carry through the terminal. Stuff it in a giant bag if possible.
    Gate-check the stroller when you use one, you'll need it right off the bat when you arrive.
    Pre-board and stage everything possible before sitting down. Bottles, books, toys, etc., in seat back pocket.
    Sounds like you have the important stuff. Feed on takeoff and descent for the ears.
    Other than that, it is all up to the baby's temperament how she does.

    Our son has been on 12 flights in 16 months, starting at 6.5 months old... he's a good traveler. Once we get there, however...
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  3. #3
    derailleurs are overrated bigbenaugust's Avatar
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    Also, we found window+middle seat combos (on a 3-3 aircraft, shade closed) to be advantageous to the baby sleeping. Unless you happen to be in a regional jet, 767 or in the VERY back row of a United domestic 777-200, then it's window+aisle (because RJs are either 1-2 or 2-2, 767 is 2-3-2, old United domestic 777 is 2-5-2 or 2-4-2 at the back).

    And if she doesn't sleep, she might be as mesmerized by the lights of Chicago on departure from ORD as our son was.

    5 months is a good time to travel, as she isn't likely so mobile yet. It's not too much tougher when they're crawling, but when they start walking/climbing... you'll want to stay home more.
    --Ben
    Carrboro Bike Coalition - putting the "bike" in "CARrboro" :)
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  4. #4
    derailleurs are overrated bigbenaugust's Avatar
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    I am going to go all Pcad in this thread because, well, we've flown a bunch with our son.

    It's a heck of a lot easier if you guys are breastfeeding, because then you don't have to bring bottles and worry about warming, etc. Just go get a nursing cover (don't use an airline blanket) and be discreet about it.
    --Ben
    Carrboro Bike Coalition - putting the "bike" in "CARrboro" :)
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  5. #5
    Senior Member himespau's Avatar
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    Seating is something good to look into, thanks. Definitely don't want someone having to crawl over us. At 6'3 or so, I've always preferred aisle seats to my leg and shoulder could stick out there when the stewardesses didn't need to get by.

    We're doing United (mainly their subcontracted regional flights with one real United), from Boston to Chicago to South Bend, IN.

    We'll think about checking the car seat. It is nice to have a place to put her down if she gets fussy and you don't want to wear her during the 2 hour wait after security.
    Punctuation is important. It's the difference between "I helped my uncle, Jack, off a horse" and "I helped my uncle Jack off a horse"


  6. #6
    Senior Member himespau's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigbenaugust View Post
    I am going to go all Pcad in this thread because, well, we've flown a bunch with our son.

    It's a heck of a lot easier if you guys are breastfeeding, because then you don't have to bring bottles and worry about warming, etc. Just go get a nursing cover (don't use an airline blanket) and be discreet about it.
    Yeah, I'm not sure my wife is comfortable enough with the public breastfeeding and our daughter doesn't like eating under the blanket. She gets to distracted by the cover. We might try it, but my favorite trick is to take empty water bottles through security and then fill them in the drinking fountain for getting me stuff to drink. Might supplement that with also taking bottles with premeasured formula through and mix as needed. Not warmed, but she will eat room temp formula ok.
    Punctuation is important. It's the difference between "I helped my uncle, Jack, off a horse" and "I helped my uncle Jack off a horse"


  7. #7
    derailleurs are overrated bigbenaugust's Avatar
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    Oh yeah, and diaper changes: Not all planes will have changing tables (generally, it's the newer planes, larger planes and/or the accessible restrooms onboard). If your plane doesn't have a changing table, the flight attendant might have a plastic sheet for you to use in the bathroom. Some do it right there at their seats, but we weren't fans of the idea. We did it once on our way back from Kauai. I would be super-anti changing at your seat in case there is poop involved.

    We've done:
    SJC-PDX and return (6.5 months old)
    SJC-DEN-ORD-AVP (Scranton, PA) and return (10.5 months)
    SJC-LAX and return (11.5 months)
    and SJC-LIH (Lihue, HI) and return. (15.5 months)

    Also, be prepared for the eventuality that she will pick up a cold on the plane, or you will pick one up and y'all will share it. Little A and I have done this a couple of times.
    --Ben
    Carrboro Bike Coalition - putting the "bike" in "CARrboro" :)
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  8. #8
    Senior Member himespau's Avatar
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    Yeah, she picked one up last week from the other little girl she goes to day care with, so we've got the cold thing covered at the moment. I have changed her in some odd spaces using the changing table cover we have, so I think that's going to be ok. As with you, I'm anti changing at the seats in case of poo and also because fresh air for some reason is her signal to pee. It's going to be odd checking luggage. I haven't done that for years as I've been just a carry on guy for a long time.
    Punctuation is important. It's the difference between "I helped my uncle, Jack, off a horse" and "I helped my uncle Jack off a horse"


  9. #9
    You Know!? For Kids! jsharr's Avatar
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    Another vote for the greatness of the umbrella stroller. Also, been years since we did it, but it was nice to fly with the baby seat. As I recall, we boarded early and strapped it in so the little on could ride in it.
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  10. #10
    Sore saddle cyclist Shifty's Avatar
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    I made several trips solo with my 5 to 8 month old from Hawaii to various places on the mainland. I'll second the idea to buy a cheap umbrella stroller, that saved me many times on trips, if I needed to carry the kid, my bags went on the stroller, it was VERY useful. On one trip I ran out of diapers, I just asked another parent if I could have a couple, they were very helpful, ask other parents if you need something. I would always book a night flight, the baby would sleep the whole time.
    Those voices in your head aren't real, but they have some great ideas

  11. #11
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    If you bring formula/bottles, remember the 3 oz. TSA rule. Also, don't leave baby powder in bathroom:
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...um-powder.html

    I'd ask for a pat-down instead of subjecting baby to the new body scanner (x-ray) machine.
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  12. #12
    derailleurs are overrated bigbenaugust's Avatar
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    The TSA agents we've dealt with seem to always send Mrs. A and little A through the old-school metal detector together and make me go through the new nude-o-vision machine. They must prefer men.
    --Ben
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  13. #13
    Senior Member himespau's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bike_boy View Post
    If you bring formula/bottles, remember the 3 oz. TSA rule. Also, don't leave baby powder in bathroom:
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...um-powder.html

    I'd ask for a pat-down instead of subjecting baby to the new body scanner (x-ray) machine.
    I can bring empty 8 oz bottles with enough powder to make up 6 ounces of liquid in each of them, right? I was thinking that should be under the 3 oz limit and then if I fill a couple of empty water bottles up at the drinking fountain (I do that often on flights as I'm a cheapo), I should be able to use those to make up the formula as needed, no? If it comes right down to it, I don't have a problem if they make me taste the formula. One of my jobs in college was in the quality control lab at the factory where we made similac. So once every half hour (or was it 15 minutes?) I had to make up whatever we were running at the time (I was working with powders) and run it through a filter to look for metals, check the vitamin content, hand off parts for others to check fats and protein content. Oh and do flavor and aroma analysis (aka that whole wine swishing around in your mouth thing, but I had to swallow as they thought that was part of the taste). Similac and Isomil were the good days. Ensure was the great days. The food for babies with PKU, people with pancreatic cancer, other foods meant only to be tube fed, and dog formula...well those were the bad days.
    Punctuation is important. It's the difference between "I helped my uncle, Jack, off a horse" and "I helped my uncle Jack off a horse"


  14. #14
    derailleurs are overrated bigbenaugust's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by himespau View Post
    I can bring empty 8 oz bottles with enough powder to make up 6 ounces of liquid in each of them, right? I was thinking that should be under the 3 oz limit and then if I fill a couple of empty water bottles up at the drinking fountain (I do that often on flights as I'm a cheapo), I should be able to use those to make up the formula as needed, no? If it comes right down to it, I don't have a problem if they make me taste the formula. One of my jobs in college was in the quality control lab at the factory where we made similac. So once every half hour (or was it 15 minutes?) I had to make up whatever we were running at the time (I was working with powders) and run it through a filter to look for metals, check the vitamin content, hand off parts for others to check fats and protein content. Oh and do flavor and aroma analysis (aka that whole wine swishing around in your mouth thing, but I had to swallow as they thought that was part of the taste). Similac and Isomil were the good days. Ensure was the great days. The food for babies with PKU, people with pancreatic cancer, other foods meant only to be tube fed, and dog formula...well those were the bad days.
    Now tasting dog formula is a rough job.
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  15. #15
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    I hope I am on a different flight than you.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by wfin2004 View Post
    I hope I am on a different flight than you.
    word

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  17. #17
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by himespau View Post
    Yeah, I'm not sure my wife is comfortable enough with the public breastfeeding and our daughter doesn't like eating under the blanket. She gets to distracted by the cover. We might try it, but my favorite trick is to take empty water bottles through security and then fill them in the drinking fountain for getting me stuff to drink. Might supplement that with also taking bottles with premeasured formula through and mix as needed. Not warmed, but she will eat room temp formula ok.
    Also, breastfeed on takeoff and landing. It soothes both the baby and mom, and more importantly it helps with the change in ear pressure, which can be excruciating for babies.
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  18. #18
    GATC
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    Quote Originally Posted by caloso View Post
    Also, breastfeed on takeoff and landing. It soothes both the baby and mom, and more importantly it helps with the change in ear pressure, which can be excruciating for babies.
    Yes.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by jsharr View Post
    Another vote for the greatness of the umbrella stroller. Also, been years since we did it, but it was nice to fly with the baby seat. As I recall, we boarded early and strapped it in so the little on could ride in it.
    You rode in that to avoid paying adult air fare?Nice dude.
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