Flying with 4 month old

Alicia_rife - posted on 04/27/2010 ( 12 moms have responded )

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What are some suggestions for flying with a 4 month old. He will be on my lap, not in a car seat. I'm just afraid he will cry, because he likes to be put down on the ground and not held all the time. The flight is 6 hours long. It is also a red eye flight.

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Liz - posted on 04/30/2010

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Hi,
I flew from New York to Brisbane Australia when my daughter was 4 months old, and i was terrified she would cry the whole way.

Firstly dont worry if your 4 month old cries! Its totally natural and most people will be really understanding! they are really tolerant if you are tyring to calm your baby. There are some mothers out there who will sit on a plane and let their kids scream and not try and calm them down which irritates most people. But make sure you try and relax as much as you can!

I survived a 30 hour flight, and the aeroplane actually made my daughter sleepy. Firstly make sure you try and stay as relaxed and calm as you can and dont stress out if your little one does cry a bit. Like everyone else said try and feed your little one during take off and landing, make sure you dont give the breast or bottle until you start your take off, sometimes you can taxi for a very long time and then you have nothing to use during take off.
I also made sure i had my ipod and some super soft head phones - i down loaded some white noise and vacuum cleaner sounds form itunes and i put that on her ears - very softly, during times i thought she was getting fussy.

Make sure you take advantage of the little old ladies sitting near you who want to goo and ga all over the baby!

Hopefully you will have flight attendants who are helpful! sometimes its hit and miss, just make sure you have enough diapers, a change of clothes and some interesting things for your little one to look at.

good luck and enjoy your flight! seriously dont worry too much about people getting annoyed! you will never see those people again and if they dont like it too bad. I have had worse experiences with drunk obnoxious people on flights disrupting my flight!

The best thing to do though is to have your baby suck during the take off and landing, try and time it perfectly!!!!

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i just flew back from TEXAS TO MINNESOTA

with my 7month old and my 3yr old i had no problems he enjoys the movments of the plane and after we were in the air he just fell right to sleep also if u get the roll alone u can put baby in the seat too and buckle baby in with toys in lap since its a redeye flight baby might just sleep

GOOD LUCK

Liz - posted on 04/30/2010

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oh and dont worry about the car seat, i held my daughter almost the whole way! we had a bassinet isle seat and she didnt want any part of it! it was a VERY long time to have her in my arms, but we were ok!

Sherry - posted on 04/30/2010

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LOL our flight home from Montreal lasted 5 hours.. but we came out in good order...

Sherry - posted on 04/30/2010

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oh boy.. your in for a journey girl! We flew from Edmonton alberta to montreal quebec with our 4 month old... if you have an interchange and your baby is comfy he may just fall asleep. best bet is to bring along books and games that he can play on your lap ... another thing if it's the "being held" part that's the problem.. take along one of those baby carriers-- you know the kind that straps to your chest? or a sling so you don't HAVE to hold him inflight but you have to hold onto him tight during takeoff and landing...

breastfeeding is definitely helpful especially if he's sleeping long stints at night...
DON"T DRESS HIM OVERLY WARM.. airplans I've found recently are pretty warm.. even with the fans on..

make sure you have a bottle if your bottle feeding -- don't worry about a warmer you can ask the flight attendants to warm it up for you.. they'll be more then willing to do that!

If he's an interactive child sing songs (who gives a rip about everyone else if it keeps the baby quiet they'll appreciate it-- and may even beg for the off key singing we mom's like to do to quiet our little ones) in place of a screaming babe-- it's amazing how attitudes can change quick when that happens LOL

once your in the air don't hold him so tight, let him look around at all the faces.. and sometimes if the flight attendent isn't busy ask her if she'd mind holding him for a few minutes to give you a break LOL My husband did that I was quite surprised when I actually almost had to pry my son away from her so she could go back to work...

remember RELAX if your stressed out your baby is going to be stressed out...

Make sure you have his birth cirtificate (with parents names on it) and possibly a letter from daddy stating permissions been given to go on said trip (security can be a pain in the arse) Keep these in your purse... they might not ask for it but you'd be wise to have them...

I'm sure you'll be fine...

Sara - posted on 04/29/2010

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I just flew with my 9 month old and she's the same way. Always wanting to be down.
Make sure that you give him a bottle or binkie to suck on during take off and landing, it'll help with his ears. Plus it'll sooth him if he's anything like my daughter and her bottle. After that make sure you have a selection of toys. It doesn't have to be anything fancy, she had a couple different balls. If that doesn't work to entertain him sometimes you're really lucky and have nice seat partners that don't mind helping. I even had a lady behind me that would talk to her. If he does get a little upset don't hesitate to get up and walk the aisle. And if he does start to cry as long as you're trying to calm him most people will understand. My daughter let out a few ear piercing screams on the flight home and no one complained. But Stefie is right. If you can get him to sleep it's great! Oh and change him right before you get on. I had to change my daughter on the plane and it was the hardest thing ever!
If it makes you feel better my 1.5 hour flight turned into a 3 hour when when we had to stop at another air port to get more gas because we had been circling so long because of weather. They didn't let us get off or anything. When we were sitting there I let her walk up and down the aisle holding my hands. She loved getting to show off and seeing all the people.

Grace - posted on 04/29/2010

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Request to have your seat where the bassinett is. Most airplanes have that. Once your baby starts to feel sleepy, you can put your baby on the plane's bassinett and let him have a nap. My child has flown on planes since she was 3 weeks old - every 2 months since then she's been on a plane (due to the nature of our work/lifestyle). Once the plane starts to ascend and your ears are starting to feel the pressure, try to get your baby to suck on something - your boob if breastfeeding, a pacifier, teether, anything. Quite often the loud monotonous sound of the plane's engine will soothe a baby to sleep (like a vacuum cleaner or washing machine). If you have a carseat that would be good too, but I've never used one, coz an extra seat means more $$. If carseats are essential for children, I really wonder why airlines don't provide them or even rent them out for that particular trip. A mommy already has to carry soooo much stuff for a journey, let alone a heavy car seat.

Alicia_rife - posted on 04/28/2010

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I would love to get him his own seat, but it is too expensive for us right now. Thanks for your concern.

Sally - posted on 04/27/2010

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As a former flight attendant please reconsider getting him his own seat. It really is not safe to hold him. I have seen the crash films. I flew for 16 years. All long haul flights. Holding a baby for that long in a tiny seat is much more difficult than you can imagine. Do not lay him or place him on the floor, some airlines will absolutely not allow that.

As far as the ears go, nurse or bottle during take off and landing. But if he cries while descending then you can bet it is his ears. Let him cry, I mean don't try to quiet him. Crying is his way of trying to relieve the pressure, it opens up his ears and often will cause them to clear. Often the hum will put them to sleep but be prepared for it not too. I must repeat a carseat is the only safe choice. Remember, you strap him in to drive down the freeway at 60 mph, shouldn't he be just as safe flying at 500mph??

Alicia_rife - posted on 04/27/2010

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Thanks so much for your help. I am really nervous. But your advice will help I'm sure. Thanks again

Aimee - posted on 04/27/2010

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I flew with my daughter when she 3 months old and 6 months old. You should nurse him or give him a bottle on takeoff and landing because the sucking action helps to regulate their ear pressure. (They don't know to do anything to make their ears pop with the change in elevation) Also, when my daughter was 3 months, she slept the whole 4 hour flight. I nursed her to sleep when we took off and the humming sound of the plane kept her asleep. When she was 6 months, she took a short nap and we brought toys for her and let her play with the sky mall magazines - we opened the tray in front of us for her toys. Once you are allowed to remove your seat belt, you can let him crawl across your lap or move around more. Mine did really well, all children are different though. I wish you the best of luck!

Stefie - posted on 04/27/2010

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If you are nursing that will be super helpful. I flew with my daughter at 6 weeks, 6 months, and 15 months. The hardest time was 6 months because she did want to crawl.

The best thing for babies on flights seem to be naps.I would nurse my daughter on take off and she would drift off, wake up for a bit and play, then I would nurse again for landing.

She loves books so we brought with a few books each time and that worked well. If I have to travel again with her I might also bring an IPOD with video.

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