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flying with a 5 month old... panicking
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mrswelchiswaiting posted:
hey ladies,

the hubs and i will be flying to california in septmeber with our baby girl who will be about 5 months at that point. lets just say i'm super nervous about this. when i made the flight reservations i asked the rep to request the first row for us, well when i checked the reservations online yesterday it looks like the only special request that was made was a japanese style meal FOR THE BABY! WTF?!?! i have tried calling the airlines and requesting the first row so that we have a little more room for the carseat. i figured we could set it on the floor and she could (hopefully) snooze in there comfortably. we could have purchased a 3rd seat for her carseat to sit on, but that would have been getting pretty pricey, so we just bought two and opted to have her on our laps. now i already get a little bit "anxious" on flights (that lightheaded upset stomach slinet panic for no reason kinda thing) and i don't want my anxiety to be happening when i'm trying to take care of my baby.. my DH can get a little claustrophobic on flights too since he's very tall. i just don't see this going well. anyways, so far my attmepts to reserve that first row haven't gone well b/c i can never get thru to a person to help me. ugh... i'm nervous just thinking about it! plus if she is fussy and crying.... oh man... we should have drove!!!!

i guess thats all... kind of a vent/panic attack. thanks for listening :)
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Lilliahna responded:
if the airport is close by, try going there to speak with someone if you can;t get through by phone or online : ) it's worth a shot
 
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peachyisthelife responded:
Aw hon try to calm down!! Sounds like most of your worry is coming from your's and DH's anxiety about flying. It's actually not too bad flying with a little baby! Gosh I've flown with my kids at all ages....3 months, 4 months, 10 months, and so on. The younger ages are much easier than toddlers! She will likely sleep for a lot of the plane ride. It's really not going to be too bad. If there's extra seats on the plane once you get there, ask if you can do some switching around so you have the empty seat by you so you can put her in it in her carseat. It'll be ok, I promise! By the time she's 5 mo old, you'll be an ol' pro at mommyhood ;-)
 
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blackab responded:
Ok first off...don't panic! It is a BREEZE flying with a younger baby...much easier than a toddler. DS is 2 and has been on just shy of 100 flights with us in his 2 short years so you could say .....we've done this a few times. A couple of tips for you.

1. You can't fly with the car seat on the plane unless it is strapped in a seat.

2. If you think you will get panicky or claustrophobic between the two of you buy the extra seat and she will likely snooze the whole way in her car seat.

3. Bulk head (first row) is nice for the extra room but you cannot have ANY carry on items with you during takeoff and landing until you reach 10,000 feet so basically the first 15 min of the flight and the last 15 min its just you and baby and whatever you can hold....bottle, burp rag etc. you can't get up and get anything out of the overhead if something comes up. I usually just get a regular row for this reason...also because a regular row is less likely someone would sit next to us if plane is booked....the bulk head is always the first taken after the exit row so you are pretty much guaranteed you will have someone next to you.

4. You need to nurse or feed her a bottle during takeoff and landing (mostly during initial decent) which is around 30 min before landing. When your ears are popping hers need to also but their little eustachian tubes are not as easily cleared as ours are so they need to be sucking and swallowing to help. If she is asleep slip a paci in her mouth it will do the same thing.

5. I used to give ds tylenol before we took off so if his ears did bother him it wouldn't hurt as bad. After she is 6 months old you can do motrin...works well too.

6. Take twice as many diapers, wipes and bottles as you think you will need. Blowouts happen... :-) also take an extra change of clothes for her and maybe an extra shirt for you blowouts and vomit happen :-) the extra also is because you cannot for see what will happen such as being stuck on the runway for 2 hours before your flight begins....this has happened NUMEROUS times to us so always be prepared with extras. (that goes for paci's too in case you drop one)

7. She will be old enough to be grabby so bring a travel pack of "wet ones" and wipe down all surfaces around you so she won't pick up any germs on the seats etc.

8. Gate check a stroller so you can be hands free in the airport. Going to the bathroom while holding a baby is pretty difficult to do. You could also take your car seat thru security too and when you get to the gate ask the airlines if the seat next to you is occupied...if it is ask if there are any open rows with 3 seats. if there are they will let you take your carseat on for free in the 3rd seat. If there isn't you will just gate check your carseat with your stroller.

9. For security you need a copy of her birth certificate so when you sign up for her BC at the hospital get a wallet sized one too and keep it with you and just file away her big BC. You can take bottles with milk or water in them thru security you just have to declare them and they will do a test to make sure its what you say it is...(they don't touch the liquid just wave a paper over it). It's not necessary to put this in plastic bags. BUT for medicine such as tylenol or gas drops..that must be in a ziplock bag and I do recommend carrying it on with you in case she gets fussy or gassy. You must carry her thru security, she can't be in a stroller or carseat or a baby carrier "on you" bc your baby carrier has to go thru the belt so keep that in mind.

10. Bring a blanket it can get drafty on the flight. If you decide not to do the carseat in a seat bring a sling or bjorn and just let her sleep on your chest (so you can be hands free)...but you can't "wear her" during take off and landing you have to hold her.

11.The back of the plane is the loudest and where kids usually sit. I prefer sitting mid-back because the engine noise drowns out potential crying or meltdowns and it gives a nice "white noise" for sleep.
 
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Kami2008 responded:
Ok, don't panic babies do very very well flying its soothing to them, the hum of the engines and the motion of the plane. With that being said make sure you 1. have a bottle ready for take off and landing. 2 depending on the type of aircraft you are on you may not get the first row due to it being an exit row and needing to be 15 years of age or older to occupy it. 3. You will not be able to just put her carseat on the ground. This is a HUGE safety issue, I have seen it many times where you hit what they call "clear air turbluence" and that carseat could be thrown to the ceiling. You will either have to purchase her a seat or put her carseat under the plane with the cargo and have her be a lap child.

I personally would just hold her as a lap child she will probably sleep better in your arms or DH's arms. She will be fine, make sure to take a binky on board, and like I said bottles for take off and landing. Also bring a blanket on the plane that you can cover her with incase of a full flight and someone is hacking next to you behind or in front of you. Don't hesitate to ask the person on the aisle if they will switch with you and take a window seat, aisle seats are much easier with a baby! Bring tylenol for her on board just incase she gets super fussy sometimes their ears can hurt because they don't adjust right to the pressure on the plane!

It will all be ok though. What airline are you flying with?
 
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Kami2008 replied to Lilliahna's response:
PS going to the airport anytime prior to the day of your flight will not help you they are just ticket agents you will need to contact someone on the phone or internet for any questions regarding your flight.
 
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Lilliahna replied to Kami2008's response:
Really? I never had a problem going in and getting things arranged at JIA . That's good to know for future reference : )
 
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mrswelchiswaiting replied to Kami2008's response:
well crap i really wish that lady that made my reservatiosn woudl have told me that i couldn't put a carseat on the ground!! i told her a million times that that was my plan and she never said anything! cripes. i know we'll make it through, i just don't like getting worked up over nothing. its funny, i'm not nervous about giving birth, but flying with a baby makes me panc. ugh. i think its the extra people on the flight...if it were a private plane i'd be great!! now if i can just find myself a private jet....
 
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fsuchick1976 responded:
You've gotten great advice so far. I thought I'd share some tips I learned from flying with DD1 (we started when she was about 4 1/2 months and even took an international flight when she was almost 1 yr).

  • If you are going to gate check your car seat or stroller, go to BRU and buy a gate check bag. It will protect your car seat and/or stroller from the dirt and grime under the plane. Plus, you can stuff extra stuff in it (blanket, diapers, etc) and not have to pay for an extra checked bag.
  • Don't pack a week's worth of diapers or formula. They have stores where you are going.
  • If you have connecting flights and you gate check things, pick up your stuff at the gate before you go to your connecting flight. We didn't do this our first time. We thought they would transfer our stuff. They did transfer our car seat, but it was to the wrong plane. We got to the destination and didn't have our car seat. The airline gave us a loaner, but it wasn't in the best shape and I was a little worried about using it. They got our seat sent to us the next day.
  • When you check your bags, ask if they have any empty seats. If they don't, go ahead and check your car seat so that you don't have to lug it through the airport. Remember, car seats and strollers fly free.
  • Make sure the airline knows you have an infant in arms. They will print a ticket that says that. I have never had to show a birth certificate at security. I just show that ticket.
  • Wear slip on shoes. That will save some time when going through security.
  • I breastfed, so DH and I always chose the side of the plane with two seats. I would sit by the window and he sat on the aisle. I would nurse DD1 during takeoff and she would fall asleep and stay that way for most of the flight.
It's really not that bad. It's actually better than driving b/c with driving you have to stop to change diapers and feed the baby. That adds a lot of extra time. With a flight, you have some freedom to move around.
 
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blackab replied to fsuchick1976's response:
dito to what FSU chick says except on some airlines (i.e. southwest) they do actually require a birth certificate. Now for a 5 month old I doubt they would keep you from boarding if you didn't have one since she would look no where near 2 years old but better to be safe than sorry.

Also you will want the gate check bag regardless of whether you gate check it or check it before security to keep your carseat clean. She is right that strollers and car seats are free but only 2 baby items are free. So if you come with a packnplay too and you check all 3 before security you will have to pay for one of them...so def. take one of them to the gate to gate check it for free...they never charge to gate check items.
 
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mrswelchiswaiting replied to blackab's response:
thanks ladies!!! i'll pick up the gate check bag at BRU since we will be flying several times while she;s little. i appreciate all the info!!!
 
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Kami2008 replied to mrswelchiswaiting's response:
You can also just ask for a large back at the ticket counter and they will give you one for your stroller and carseat to keep them clean! Instead of paying the money for a bag at BRU! And also becareful they CAN and WILL charge for a gate check item that should've been checked at the ticket counter if you come across a gate agent with a hair across their you know what lol... I was a flight attendant and saw it happen a few times where the gate agent took the persons back and seat assignment and told them they would have the charges on their CC for the items that should've been checked. I have never had to show a birth certificate for Sophia either they just have to give you a special ticket for her BUT I don't know if that is the case for everyone, we are airline personal and I don't know if that makes a difference or not.
 
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Jen32129 responded:
you have gotten great advice from all of the other ladies ..and I would agree with all of them..its always nice to have the birth cerificate just in case because sometimes they do ask for it .. I've traveled by myself with my son who has just turned 3 and daughter who just turn 1 from Iowa to Florida many times. If I didnt I would never get to see my family since my husband works. I am due in June with baby # 3 and I will still continue to fly there. An idea that works well that I used with my daughter when she was 2 months was a Mobi wrap...but u should make sure you know how to use it before your trip.. it allows you to hold the baby but your arms dont get tired. Its wonderful for nursing. It is way better to have a 5 month old than a one yr old on your lap .. And even though Ive flown so many times I still get nervous, not because Im worried bout me, Im more worried about other people getting upset if one my kids r screaming. Just remember we've all been there and other moms understand. I always like to sit in the back because it does drown out the babies crying. When you sit up front, it is so quiet and everyone can hear everything. If anything pack extra formula because you can always buy water .. Because it never fails you make the bottle and baby falls asleep before actually finishing it and wants more or its better to give an extra bottle if baby wont stop screaming..definately give the tylenol before the flight because it does help their ears...Most of all have fun on your family vacation!!
 
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mrswelchiswaiting replied to Jen32129's response:
thank you! so many good tips!!
 
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Louise_WebMD_Staff responded:
Unless you have platinum or titanium or whatever level frequent flyer miles, you won't get that row unless you fly Southwest, get lucky, show up at the airport early, etc. Otherwise a nice unencumbered businessman will be sitting in that aisle and smirk at you as you struggle to your seat.

In the past you could usually count on getting an empty middle seat if you reserved an aisle and a window. Now, that is practically impossible as well. Either plan to have the wee one in a sling/kangaroo type carrier or buy a ticket.

Up in the air my kids were generally good. My breastfeeding kids were great taking off and landing too.

I flew a ton with my kids for the first five years of their lives. Since then they have flown much more than most adults with their father (after this summer they will have only missed Antarctica as a continent) ...and are always a bit put off when they travel by air with me and they don't get the automatic upgrade to the business/first class cabin with their miles.


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