Any tips out there for taking an 18 month old on a plane?

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Jana - posted on 03/07/2009

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I flew in Jan with my daughter who was 16 months old and a few weeks before we flew, I gathered up some of her favorite toys and packed them in the carry on bag. She was really excited when she saw them again on the plane.  I packed more toys then normal just so I had a ton of things to offer her on the plane.  I also packed lots of her favorite snacks, and sippy cups.  You can bring milk through security, just tell them as you are going through and they will test it to make sure it's milk (they dip a piece of paper in it) I filled another cup with water after I got through security.  She did great on both flights she has been on, but she always cried on the decent, I'm sure because of her ears popping...I don't know any tips to help with that other then swallowing, but it hurt and she wanted no part of drinking. 



 I also kept her moving the best I could while we were in the airport, 1. because I knew should couldn't move on the plane 2. because I was hoping for her to sleep on the plane.  We are flying again in a month and I'm not worried at all, although I think I am going to bring a long some "Crystal Light to-go" to add to her water on the decent just so she will drink.  Either she'll be fine or she won't, but like Jodi said, as long as you are trying to console your little one, people will understand, because chances are most of them had crying kids on a plane at one point in time.  And if they haven't I'm sure they were a crying child in public at one point in their life!  Good luck!

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great website: travelingwithkids.com that is a great help. We also purchased a 5-in-1 stroller, it's a carseat, airplane, seat, booster and stroller in 1...absolute lifesaver. (and a little bit of benedryl). :)

Shana - posted on 03/09/2009

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Brittney ~ My babies just turned 18 mo and never took a bottle as infants. However, their cousin who is a couple months younger just visited and they wanted a bottle after seeing his. I happened to have a couple on hand and they thought it was such a treat! We plan to fly in May and I'm considering taking the bottles to help with ear popping on the ascent and descent as I think it will be more effective and readily accepted than their straw cups. You may want to consider that, too. : ) Best wishes! Shana

Amber - posted on 03/09/2009

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The best tip I can offer(we just came back from vacation with our 16 month old and a 6.5 hour flight each way) is take a direct night-time flight. Our daughter is very social and not being able to walk around was very difficult for her(and horrible for me) but our return flight was during the night and she slept all but the last hour. I highly recommend a night flight if at all possible!

Deborah - posted on 03/09/2009

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Quoting TinaMarie:



Quoting Deborah:

Check with your airline but baby items such as a car seat should not cost you a dime. It is not considered extra baggage. And please do not drug your child with Benadryl, especially since she is not 2 yrs old. And for those considering that option when their child is 2 or older: Make sure you know how your child will react on the medicine. My daughter got her first dose of Benadryl last month and she was the opposite of a sleeping baby. She was hyper and jumping off the walls which is a known side effect of the medicine. Totally harmless but when on a plane will not be the trip you were planning. LOL






Ok! I am not a druggy Mom and didn't think anyone would take my quote in the way it was.  my daughter is a very dramatic and nervous little girl.  I had talked to her doctor in regards to our flight and her first word was Benadryl.  For her it calmed her down and then a bonus was it made her go to sleep.  My daughter has been on Benadryl since she was one due to allergies.





No one accused you of being a druggy mom. I was self explanitory of my concerns with the drug and why and none of this was an accusation against you.

[deleted account]

Thank you for all of your tips.  Nora has not been on a bottle for a really long time so I think I will be using a straw cup instead.  We are flying at night so with a blanket and her baby hopefully she will sleep.  We do have a  1hr and 40min layover.  We will see if I can keep her entertained!!

Ashley - posted on 03/09/2009

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My daughter has been traveling on planes since she was 9mos. so I've learned over the years...Definitely bring your stroller b/c when your in a layover and only have 45 min to get from the opposite end of the airport...your going to need to fly and you can't do that with your baby in your arms!!! Just check it at the gate, NOT when you check you bags at the front! Bring lots of snacks but don't bother with drinks cuz you can't get them past security...give him/her tylenol or motrin 1/2 hour before take off, Bring something that she will chew on or a bottle or somethin that she can have to help ease the poppin of her ears, the meds will also help with that. So other than that just bring some of her fav. toys and a comfort toy and you should make it!

Christina - posted on 03/09/2009

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The travel size magna doodle is a great toy for plane rides, car rides and appointments. It keeps them quieter and entertained. I would sit your child in the window seat because there is a lot to look at and my son actually spent the whole ride staring out the window asking what things were. Some airports have mini playgrounds...those are awesome! Be prepared to chase your child a lot in the airport...they see everyone else running around and want to explore. When we flew to Georgia they took our stroller as we boarded the plane and it was waiting for us when we got off, but check the stroller in when you get to the gate because you have to fill out a tag with your information. If you are concerned with your child's ears I would bring fruit snacks or something along that line to eat while landing and taking off. My son has chronic ear problems so I was very concerned with his ears popping due to the altitude change. Good Luck!

Christelle - posted on 03/09/2009

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Also be aware of drug laws in terms of medicine, eg we use Stopayne in RSA for fever/pain, and it makes kids drowsy (sometimes!) - but it's TOTALLY illegal in e.g Dubai - you're looking at jailtime...therefore, be safe, that's why I resorted to Rescue.

TinaMarie - posted on 03/08/2009

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Quoting Deborah:

Check with your airline but baby items such as a car seat should not cost you a dime. It is not considered extra baggage. And please do not drug your child with Benadryl, especially since she is not 2 yrs old. And for those considering that option when their child is 2 or older: Make sure you know how your child will react on the medicine. My daughter got her first dose of Benadryl last month and she was the opposite of a sleeping baby. She was hyper and jumping off the walls which is a known side effect of the medicine. Totally harmless but when on a plane will not be the trip you were planning. LOL



Ok! I am not a druggy Mom and didn't think anyone would take my quote in the way it was.  my daughter is a very dramatic and nervous little girl.  I had talked to her doctor in regards to our flight and her first word was Benadryl.  For her it calmed her down and then a bonus was it made her go to sleep.  My daughter has been on Benadryl since she was one due to allergies.

Christelle - posted on 03/08/2009

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Dont'fear!  If this first flight goed well, you'll have a travelling baby for life.



Take your carseat if possible.



A few toys and blankie, but not too much - some WILL get lost.



Extra snacks, extra formula (yes that's the secret, just keep the bottle coming).



Don't even go into the plane toilet, change your baby in the seat.  Can be done.  Much easier anycase than in toilet.



Rescue  Remedy drops if he's a little excited (for you too).



Show him the ear phones, remote control for screen etc. 



Take umbrella stroller (eg McClaren) - usually allowed on plane as it folds up so smaal, can go in overhead bins.



Walk walk walk in terminal, make him tired. 



Order special food (vegetarianm fat free etc) - then you'll be served first , can feed your baby and hopefully can relax soon.



Dress him in sweatpants or pj's, much more comfortable.



If you take baby food in jars, be prepared to open and taste everything at security.



The stewardess are there to HELP you.



Take it easy, ignore other people and it might be a great flight.  My boy has been flying internationally since 18 months , from RSA to Dubai, Australia, Ireland, Hong Kong and at 5yrs his professional!  Litlle brother is now going on his second long haul flight and I hope for the best.

Christelle - posted on 03/08/2009

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Dont'fear!  If this first flight goed well, you'll have a travelling baby for life.



Take your carseat if possible.



A few toys and blankie, but not too much - some WILL get lost.



Extra snacks, extra formula (yes that's the secret, just keep the bottle coming).



Don't even go into the plane toilet, change your baby in the seat.  Can be done.  Much easier anycase than in toilet.



Rescue  Remedy drops if he's a little excited (for you too).



Show him the ear phones, remote control for screen etc. 



Take umbrella stroller (eg McClaren) - usually allowed on plane as it folds up so smaal, can go in overhead bins.



Walk walk walk in terminal, make him tired. 



Order special food (vegetarianm fat free etc) - then you'll be served first , can feed your baby and hopefully can relax soon.



Dress him in sweatpants or pj's, much more comfortable.



If you take baby food in jars, be prepared to open and taste everything at security.



The stewardess are there to HELP you.



Take it easy, ignore other people and it might be a great flight.  My boy has been flying internationally since 18 months , from RSA to Dubai, Australia, Ireland, Hong Kong and at 5yrs his professional!  Litlle brother is now going on his second long haul flight and I hope for the best.

Deborah - posted on 03/08/2009

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Check with your airline but baby items such as a car seat should not cost you a dime. It is not considered extra baggage. And please do not drug your child with Benadryl, especially since she is not 2 yrs old. And for those considering that option when their child is 2 or older: Make sure you know how your child will react on the medicine. My daughter got her first dose of Benadryl last month and she was the opposite of a sleeping baby. She was hyper and jumping off the walls which is a known side effect of the medicine. Totally harmless but when on a plane will not be the trip you were planning. LOL

TinaMarie - posted on 03/08/2009

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We took our daughter to Disney when she was 2 and what we did was check the car seat (With baggage cost now I would purchase one from the car company),  packed a bag of toys we bought her new and gave her a dose of Benadryl before the flight!  It kept her calm for the 1st hour and then she slept the rest of the trip.

Deborah - posted on 03/08/2009

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I flew by myself with my soon to be 2 year old to NYC. My first suggestion: Check in all that you can and only carry on what you have to. You can check the stroller at the gate so keep it for the long terminals. If you are holding the child on your lap then check your carseat at the gate if you are taking one. Also remember that you have to take your shoes and the babies shoes off during the gate check, so dress appropriately for that.

Tip: change the diaper right before you board the plane. You don't want to deal with the plane restroom facilities. If the plane trip is only 3 to 4 hours long you shouldn't have to change the diaper again until you are off the plane. Take plenty of snacks, small books and little toys to keep her/him occupied. I also collected new items for my daughter so she was more likely to focus on it longer. Brand new books and a mini doodlepro that we could scribble on.

Also, right when you take off, give him/her a snack to eat b/c if they are chewing their ears will pop naturally and they won't experience the ear pain. You can also ask for a warm towel from the flight attendant to put on their ears but the snacks really works.

My plane trip was awesome. I had this one couple on the other side of the aisle one row up that looked disgusted when they saw a baby on the plane. By the time we touched down they leaned over and said how amazing she was and they could not get over how good she was through all of it. On the plane ride back they were on the same plane and were excited when they saw her. They called her their airplane baby. But by being prepared and packing wisely it made all the difference in the world and I could not ask for a better plane ride.

Tracy - posted on 03/07/2009

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I dont know about the actual flight part of it, but we traveled to L.A. a couple years ago with my nephew and my brother in law packed him in the big pack back! it was great, well knew where he was no pushing the stroller and makeing sure we got that on and off the plane ect!  It just seemed to work well for them, and for us after it all! That way you can check the stroller and car seat! Good luck either way!

Jodi - posted on 03/07/2009

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My husband's family lives in florida so my baby has been on a plan multiple times. She was on at 3, 5 & 6 months. We are preparing for another plane ride and she will be 8 months.

Basically, take something for them to suck (binky, bottle, water sippy cup) on for the ride up and down to help with their ears. Contrary to popular belief, you can take baby bottles with water on the plane. I had about 3 separate bottles of water to mix formula with and they cleared security easily. Closed jar baby food goes through easily as well. Bring plenty of food especially if you have a layover. Bring toys and any sleep aids that your baby may be attached to.

Finally, if your baby freaks out... dont worry just show you are actively trying and everyone understands. If not... screw them! :o) Good luck! Relax... everything will go fine. :o)

Frances - posted on 03/07/2009

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When my oldest was 17 months old we moved back to the States from Germany. I was very worried about the 11 hour plane ride. My son was still on a bottle then and I was so thankful for that on the plane! We brought a lot of milk with us (I know you can't do that now) but he probably had more bottles that day than a newborn. We were lucky enough to score a bulkhead seat so he had a little room to play. A portable DVD player would have been good, but they did not exist yet. Also, changing a baby in a plane restroom is a nightmare, you may want to practice in your bathroom changing him on the toilet. Good luck!

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