Travel tips for 6-month-old

Heather - posted on 12/02/2008 ( 4 moms have responded )

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In December, my husband and I will be flying to New York City and Tennessee with our daughter (six-months old when we travel) (and my parents and older sister). This will be the first time we've really traveled with her (other than car trips to visit family) so I'd like to get your travel suggestions/advice. Here are the things I've already thought about/read.



-We're taking our travel system so we will have a car seat for her whenever we need one and a stroller for getting around.

-I'm thinking about taking a Baby Bjorn for another carry option. (I think...this could go either way, but I thought there might be times when this would be easier than the stroller...advice here would be great!)

-She is exclusively breastfed, but will also take bottles of breast milk. (I'm planning to take my pump with me to ease our outings a bit.) (And, yes, I know I should either feed her or give a pacifier or bottle during take off and landing to help pop her ears.)

-I've considered taking a backpack for her diaper bag, instead of the diaper bag I usually use, just so it would be easier to carry.

-I have a fleece bunting (that can be gown-like or pants-like) to keep her warm, so outerwear is not an issue.

-We have requested a crib at the hotel in New York and have arranged for a travel bed in Tennessee

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I flew by myself with my baby twice. The first time did not work out great, but this is what I did the second time that worked best for me. I took my nice graco stroller/carseat together. Do not take an umbrella stroller, unless it is a really nice one that you can push with one hand. There is a way to put the infant seat on the umbrella stroller, if you pull the handle all the way back so it goes almost under the carseat, then you can slip the handles in. It works well if you can't bring the stroller that your infant seat locks into, if you want to save space. This option is difficult getting through security though because you have to take your baby out and fold everything up. Always always always check your carseat at the gate because if there is extra room on your flight, they will let you bring the carseat on and then you can put your baby in the seat next to you throughout the flight which is sooooo nice. I took a boppy pillow both times for the baby to sleep on. This works well if you are sitting next to someone you know, otherwise it takes up a lot of room and your baby might be kicking a stranger the whole flight. My sister loves the baby bjorn during the flight, but I have never tried it. Those are just some tips to make the flight go more smoothly. I have never taken my baby on a trip other than to see family, so I haven't had to worry about what to do during sight seeing and that. And, I have never had the luxury of traveling with my husband, so i don't know what it would be like to have someone else hold the baby for a little while. Good luck, and I hope you have a great time!!

Kristine - posted on 12/02/2008

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Lets just all say GOD BLESS THE BABY BJORN!! We used that when we brought our daughter to Portland. It was wonderful!!! A few suggestions for during take off and landing. To prevent her ear popping. Feed her during both times. There little ears are just so sensitive.
I work for the airlines so here are a few help full tips; If you don't have them already gate check covers for your stroller and car seat (just in case the flight is full) they are like 10-15 bucks at babies r us. Well worth it!! I have seen some strollers & car seats come out soaking wet before. And that is a bad way to start a vacation. But also check with the gate agent not so much the check in agent to see if it's a full flight. With your seats, you have to be on the left hand side of the aircraft. So if you already have pre-selected seats. They could be changed at the last minute for that reason. As a note, I think South West is the ONLY airline that allows small children pre-boarding. So just a heads up on that. The airline I work for is big on ONLY allowing wheelchair people to pre-board. That really sucks!!! So if you ask you might get a snappy response as terrible as that sounds. Since becoming a mom I am more apt to bend the rules. So try to read what kind of agent is working your flight before asking. I hope this helps you as far as the airlines go.

Amanda - posted on 12/02/2008

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Sounds like you've figured out pretty much everything! Here are a few things that have helped us travel with our son (who is just 6 months now):

1. Make sure the airline knows you're bringing your child (they require baby tickets even if they aren't getting a seat). I saw a distraught mom at the airport the other day so not everyone knows this! Oh, and double-check what you're allowed to gate-check. Some airlines will let you take the travel system right to the gate & gate check it - others are much more strict.
2. Double check your seating when you check in. Some airplanes can only accommodate babies in certain rows ; we haven't had any problems but it has to be mentioned because sometimes they have to change your seat assignment.
3. As long you're talking to the agent... Even if you haven't bought a ticket for your daughter, don't be afraid to ask if there are extra seats on the flight; if there are, sometimes an understanding agent will try to save an open seat between the parents & allow you to take your car seat on, giving your child a more familiar place to sit.
4. Pack an extra change of clothes for the baby & at least a spare shirt for you. (Spit-up happens & it can get ugly!) Also bring at least one more diaper than you would normally use in the amount of time you're traveling - because travel can upset everyone's system!
5. We love our carrier (like a Baby Bjorn) when we travel & when we're in the city. If your daughter likes it at home (and if it's comfortable for you), she'll like it when you're out - and we've even used the carrier to help our son get to sleep during layovers in the airport, so I say take it!
6. 6-month-olds don't require a lot of toys. We recently took one favorite & one new-ish (a toy he hadn't seen in about 10 days because we hid it which makes it extra-fascinating when it returns!) & that was plenty of entertainment for the plane - because, of course, there's also the latch for the seat-back tray, the pocket on the seat, the armrests, the air conditioner control, the flight attendants, the person behind us, etc. etc.! You may want more toys at the hotel, etc, but don't overload yourself on the plane.
7. Don't fret about other people. In the first place, I've discovered that most people are very kind & understanding when you travel with a baby. (Really - it's just that you only hear the horror stories - I had people volunteer to help me carry things when I was traveling alone & my son was 4.5 months old!) It turns out that people are more critical of crying toddlers (not something to look forward to, sigh) because they feel that you should be able to control them. But most people give babies a pass. And even if they don't, you are doing the best you can & sometimes your daughter will just need to express herself (possibly loudly), so ignore any scowls & think holiday thoughts!

Good luck! I hope you have a wonderful trip!

Stacey - posted on 12/02/2008

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We took our son on a cruise when he was 7 months old. The trip included a flight to Florida to catch the ship. The flight was easy, if there is an extra seat next to your they will allow you to bring on the infant seat. If not the airline will take both the stroller and car seat from you at the gate, so moving around the airport is super easy. Flying down to Florida there was no extra seat so he sat on our laps and slept the whole way with no drugs-which everyone suggested we give him to keep him happy. I'm not a fan of that and was happy that he was fine on his own. On the flight home there was a seat so he sat in his infant seat. We rented a car in Florida for the day and just popped the infant seat in the back-no problems. The cruise was easy because he was in his stroller for the most part- which was great because I kept the diaper bag underneath and we had storage space for anything we bought. I did request a refrigerator in the room to keep his formula and food cold. He slept in a pack and play which was great-every hotel has pack and plays or cribs available. My only suggestion is to bring your own crib sheets, they wash theirs with hard detergents. We brought his favorite blanket and crib toys so he felt comfortable. Travel is easy! Enjoy! Sounds like you have everything in order! Happy Trails!!

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