Need tips on traveling with a 22 month old on an airplane

Nicole - posted on 01/11/2010 ( 3 moms have responded )

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I'm pretty new to circle of moms but thought this would be the best place to get some help. My husband and I are taking a nonstop flight from Newark, NJ to Phoenix, AZ in March. We will be traveling with our 22 month old and need some advice. What to bring to eat on the airplane? How to keep her comfortable during take off and landing? Toys to bring for the airport and plane...etc! The flight is a little over 5 hours. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated! Thanks

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Bethany - posted on 01/12/2010

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Bring your car seat...it's a pain, but your kid will be comfy and sleep during the flight. We found a strap that attached the carseat to a rolling carryon bag and that was very helpful. Also, if your airline does not pre-board (delta did not) ask a flight attendant to put the carseat into your assigned seat for you before people board- we have a britax marathon and it is not easy to carry down the ailse of a full airplane. Buy a couple of new toys, everytime your child gets cranky if you whip out a new toy they will get distracted. Bring a stroller that folds easily because they make you put it through the x-ray. Also, what helped with my toddlers is to explain everything that will happen- ticket booths, they put our bags on a big conveyor belt, we go through security, etc. so that they will not freak out the day of the flight.
I hope that helps!

~♥Little Miss - posted on 01/12/2010

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Awesome question! The first time that I travelled with my son, he was 5 months old. I have travelled 7 round trip flights with him since without incident! (even 2 roundtrips just the two of us). If your child uses a binky, that is the best thing to stick in his mouth during take off/landing. Snacks such as canister of cheerios, goldfish, banana, nutrigrain bars, and maybe even a cut up apple should do. You are allowed to bring on sippy cups...but also packing a couple of juice boxes come in handy if he/she can drink from a straw (motts has one that is already 1/2 water 1/2 juice so you do not have to cut it with water yourself!). You can bring a stroller into the airport...I have a really good umbrella style stroller..and it comes in handy. You just need to leave it right before walking on the plane, and they will have it ready for you when you come off the plane. As far as toys go, bring a comforting stuffed animal or blanky from home for sure...all other toys/books should be able to fit into your diaper bag. If you bring a whole seperate bag of toys for the plane...chances are only 1-3 will get used. There is alot to keep them distracted on the plane...,and who knows, your child might fall asleep on you like my son does. Another tip, I use a toddler sized backpack instead of a diaper bag...it goes on the backof the stroller easy, and if you need to carry your child..so easy to put on your own back! Also, if you have to change he/she on the plane, plan on doing it in the seet...the bathroom is just to darn small!!!! Don't forget to pack your hand sanitizer and baby wipes! Good luck, I know I rambled, but I hope you find some good advice in here!

Ella - posted on 01/12/2010

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Tips for travelling by plane with children

Posted in: holidays & travel, baby

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It is recommended, but not compulsory, to wait until your baby is at least 3 months old before flying. If you have to fly at an earlier age check with your doctor or child health nurse prior to booking. You will also need to check with the airline regarding their minimum age policy.



Airfares

The rules and regulations for childrens' airfares do change slightly from airline to airline. Rules are also different for international and domestic travel and you should check all details at the time of booking. Here is a general guide to childrens' airfares:



•on domestic flights passengers under the age of two (or three on some airlines) may travel for free providing they travel on your lap

•on international flights a child fare equal to 10% of the full adult fare is generally charged for children up to the age of 2. The child does not receive a seat and must travel on your lap

•you must always inform the airline at the time of booking of any children travelling with you - some airlines have restrictions on the number of lap-infants travelling on board each plane

•only one free (or 10%) child fare is allowed per adult passenger. If an adult is travelling with more than one child, the other children must pay full adult fare

•for children age 2-11, a child fare in the region of 67-75% of the full adult fare is charged by most airlines. Once a child reaches 12 years of age, the full adult fare is payable. Some airlines may charge a full fare once a child occupies a seat, whatever the age.

•if, for your own comfort (particularly on a long journey), you wish to book a seat for your child, even under the age of two, the airline's standard child fare, if available, will apply



Bassinets

Most airlines offer baby bassinets on longhaul flights. These bassinets are limited in number as they can only be attached to certain seats on the plane. If you require a bassinet, you should book early and specify that you require a bassinet at the time of booking. Bassinets may not be suitable for children over about 8 months of age - for example, the standard size of bassinets on Qantas is 71cm long x 31cm wide x 26cm deep with a weight limit of 11kg.



Bassinet seats are sometimes located directly in front of a large in-flight movie screen with the bassinet itself attached directly underneath the screen. This can be very distracting for a young baby who's trying to get to sleep. If possible, try and avoid these seats. This is not a problem on aircraft with individual seat-back screens.





Travelling securely

If your child is travelling on your lap, they will be strapped into your seat via a child extension strap. Some airlines will allow you to strap a car-restraint onto the plane's seat and then strap your child inside the car-restraint in the normal way. This is usually considered the safest way for your child to travel. On the downside, you must purchase a seat for your child. Some airlines do not allow you to take a child restraint into the cabin for this purpose. Check at the time of booking.





Taking prams and strollers

You may be allowed to keep your pram or stroller with you until it is time to board, checking it in to the hold at the boarding gate. It will depend on the size of the pram - which must be collapsable, light and compact - ask staff at the time of check-in. If your pram has to be checked in at the same time as the rest of your luggage at the main check-in desk, ask the airline if they have a stroller that you could borrow until boarding time. Airline customer service desks often have wheelchairs and strollers to assist passengers within the airport. Check at the time of booking if the airline have such facilities at your departure, arrival and any stopover airports.



If you wish to hire baby equipment, such as prams, cots, car-seats at your destination rather than risking damage during the journey, visit our nursery equipment hire page.





Airline meals for children

Child, and even baby, meals are available on most airlines, but they must be booked in advance. If you don't pre-order a special meal for your child they will only be offered a standard adult meal, even if their ticket indicates that they are a child (go figure).



Many parents would also suggest taking your own meals and snacks as flight meal times may not coincide with your child's hunger pangs.





Equalising ear pressure

Try to feed your baby with milk from either a breast or bottle during takeoff and landing. The sucking action helps to equalise the pressure in the ears ('pop' the ears). If your children are older, take a lollipop or sweet for them to suck on.





More information



•flyingwithkids.com has lots of tips and checklists (US site)

•travelling with children info from Qantas

•travel with infants from Virgin Blue





Applying for a passport

If you are travelling internationally you will need a passport for your child. Children cannot be included on adult passports.



To apply for an Australian child passport, you need to obtain, complete and lodge an application form. Forms can be obtained from certain Australia Post Offices and State Passport Offices. Full details of where to obtain forms, and the application procedure, can be found on the Passports Office website or by calling 13 12 32. You should allow upto a month for issue of the passport.



If you are applying for a passport of another nationality, check the required procedure with that country's embassy or high commission.

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