Advice Wanted
Published on August 2, 2007 By KFC Kickin For Christ In Travel
I have never traveled on an airplane with a very young child.

The first time my children flew they were well into grade school the oldest already in middle school. That was the year we went to Oregon/Washington looking for a possible job relocation.

In about three weeks or so my D-I-L is flying for the first time with baby Ethan who will be just shy of 10 months. Can you believe it already? Ten months!! They are coming here for a whole month!!!

Anyhow she's a bit nervous about how he'll react. I don't think she's an experienced flyer herself so with baby in tow I'm sure she'll be a bit apprehensive. Of course she'll be flying with him at ten months and then again a month later, and he'll be 11 months.

So my question to anyone in JU land who can answer....do you have any practical advice for Amanda in her traveling with a very bubbly 10 month old? I was wondering about the pressure on his little ears and what may have worked for other moms. I told her I thought bringing a bottle or cup of water for him to drink may help but not sure how the airport would handle that with the whole liquid thing. For me, of course, I chew gum but for little Ethan he's not ready for that yet.

Just keeping him quiet and entertained will be a job. She's hoping maybe he'll sleep some since the timing is around his naptime. I was also wondering about diaper changing. How on earth do you do this on an airplane? I've NEVER used an airplane bathroom myself (I'm quite good at holding it) but I'm thinking it can't be big enough can it?

Since it's a fairly short trip, only a couple of hours I believe, the diaper thing probably won't be a big issue unless he decides this short window of opportunity is the time to go.

Any ideas or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.


Comments
on Aug 02, 2007
I did a couple 8 hour flights with a baby a 6 yo and a 10 yo by myself. No problem.

I would suggest putting the baby in a wrap for going through security. Nurse during take off and landing. If it's a short flight, he might even sleep through the whole thing.

Otherwise just hold him and he will probably entertain everyone around him.

It's a good idea to use Link-a-Doos to keep toys from falling on the floor or getting lost.

He will do fine.

They have a diaper changing table (fold down) in the bathroom on the plane. Bring a changing pad, though cause you know it's going to be covered in germs. It is a tight fit and hard to manage with a squirming baby, but it will be fine.
on Aug 02, 2007
Thanks TW....

Amanda is a faithful reader here on JU so she'll be sure to see your advice.

Not sure what link-a-doos are, but have an idea. I'm sure she'll know tho.

Why the wrap for going thru security...just to have hands free and easier handling or is there some other reason?

on Aug 03, 2007
Have a bottle of sugar water handy.  I have never travelled with my children so young, but I did with my brother and sister.  The swallowing of the liquid relieves the ear pressure.  And since it is a short trip, hopefully she will not have to worry about diaper changes.  I was not so lucky.  It was an 8 hour trip for us, so there was several stinky ones!
on Aug 03, 2007
DO NOT GIVE A BABY SUGAR WATER.

Wow.

No, no, don't do that.

Holy crap I can't believe anyone would suggest that. Nursing will work just fine. If she is formula feeding, allow him to have his bottle during take off and landing.
on Aug 03, 2007
hahahahah TW...I think what you're seeing with the doc is the difference in the generations. We all grew up on sugar water. In fact when my kids were born, they sent me home with very small (like 4 oz) of baby bottled (sterilized) water. It was in a small glass bottle similar to those very small plastic Poland Spring bottles but with a nipple. They gave me quite a few of these little bottles.

We gave them water in the beginniing until the mom's milk came in fully to help prevent dehydration. When Amanda went home from the hospital she had no such thing.

I was also feeding my babies baby food at one month and very very weak cereal at about 10 days or so. They not only all survived...they thrived. So it's the diff between the then and now. I think even Amanda has fed Ethan earlier than most of the girls do nowadays. He's like in the 95% bracket so I think he must have needed solids earlier than say a tiny petite little girl. Babies are individual just like we are.

When I was a baby it was canned milk.....blech! Somehow we all survived.

I'm sure she'll bring a bottle or cup for him to swallow as they get started.

on Aug 03, 2007
Sugar water is completely unnecessary. Colostrum is the milk pre-cursor and is designed for those first few days. A baby WILL NOT dehydrate during that time. S/he needs the immunities and calories from that milk.

Introducing a bottle that early can also cause nipple confusion, messing up the breastfeeding relationship.

Re: solids

Until the first year an infant should get most of his/her nutrition from breast milk or formula. Breast milk has way more calories and way more nutrients than "solids" and adding too many solids instead of breast milk or formula is a good way to make a baby deficient in nutrients as well as causing problems with weight gain.

A baby's digestive tract is not fully developed at birth. Breast milk works to help digest itself in the baby's tummies.

Introducing foods too early can lead to allergies because the food enters the blood stream through the incomplete digestive tract and the body may attack it and create an allergy.

Babies also have a tongue thrust reflex that keeps them from choking when they are too young to have "solid" foods. When that reflex disappears, a parent can begin thinking about feeding an infant solids.

Before that, you are not only giving your baby something unnecessary and hard on their tummies, but you are going to be making a mess because the baby will keep spitting it out or letting it run out of his or her mouth.

Surviving is one thing, being as healthy as possible is another.

on Aug 03, 2007
Don't bring any liquid with you, if you can help it. If you're going to have a normal water cup (I don't remember when my son started on water) dump it before going through security, and refill it on the other side.

Change right before the flight and right after, and pray for the middle time. *grin*

Also, I'm with TW, nursing is the way to keep a baby quiet on a plane. Just watch out for evil stewardesses!
on Aug 03, 2007
Breast milk has way more calories and way more nutrients than "solids" and adding too many solids instead of breast milk or formula is a good way to make a baby deficient in nutrients as well as causing problems with weight gain.


I agree about the calories and nutrients but I see this the other way around. My kids are all built on the lean side, none of them were what we'd call chubby babies...well my middle one was kind of, but he was the big drinker. He was the one of the three that only wanted to nurse. In fact I remember putting solids in his baby bottle a few times because I thought he'd never eat. He is still the heaviest of the three even today. He's not lean like the other two were.

Today there are many more problems with overweight kids than ever before. I know there's lots of diff reasons for that but I wonder if it doesn't start right from the get go. I know the doctors change their minds every 10 years or so about these things. I bet by the time your little girl becomes a mom she'll have some fresh new ideas given to her as well. This seems to be a debatable issue although I don't have a problem with a mom that believes nursing for a full year is best for her baby. Nursing is a natural and wonderful thing that God provided for mom and baby. I don't think it's either or tho.

My kids were extremely healthy. The only one that had allergies was the middle one (Brian), the one who drank the most and didn't really want the solids. He had hay fever type allergies. So going on just my criteria and that of my mother who had three children feeding them early along with nursing was quite healthy. Neither I nor my siblings had allergies and we were all lean as well...still are so I don't see this. Also there's many more problems with allergies today than ever before and the moms are holding off on solids. Actually there's more of everything going on. I don't think they have a clue as to why most of the time.

But I readily admit I'm not a doctor, just a mom and I can only go by what I've seen in not only my own family but also those around me.


Change right before the flight and right after, and pray for the middle time. *grin*


hah! I think this is a given....thanks for the advice Jythier...from a daddy no less!



on Aug 03, 2007
From the wife:

Take lots of snacks, an empty sippy cup, take a stroller and gate-check it, and change right before the flight so that you won't have to change during.

From me:

So I did pretty well with that, got two out of four!
on Aug 28, 2007
I traveled by myself with the youngest (Alaska to Mississippi) when he was 10 months old.

If you have an umbrella stroller they will let you check it at the gate (and it will be waiting just off the plane when you depart). That way you don't have to carry the munchkin the entire time at the airport. You can also take a car seat and check it. It does NOT count as a piece of luggage. Wrap it in a clear plastic bag though, or it will get nasty.

Plan on him crying the entire trip and plan accordingly. That way if he doesn't...great, but if he does, you are prepared (at least mentally). Heh.

Everyone else has offered good advice.

Have a great trip Amanda.
on Aug 28, 2007
Hi Tova,

Well Amanda is here now. She's been here for a week now. The baby did great on the plane. He didn't go as far as you did with your 10 month old. It was only about an hour and half flight. Nobody sat with her. There was no assigned seating so when they saw baby and mama, she got avoided. She said she brought a small blanket and nursed him with both takeoff and landing. She said he looked out the window and played and talked the whole time. He didn't get fussy at all. But once in the car he screamed the whole way here from the airport about an hour and a half.

So we're hoping he does well on the plane on the way back. I don't even want to think about that now...them leaving. They will both be here for a while longer. It's going to be hard to say goodbye to them.

on Aug 29, 2007
So we're hoping he does well on the plane on the way back. I don't even want to think about that now...them leaving. They will both be here for a while longer. It's going to be hard to say goodbye to them.


It's the way of military families. If your son decides to be a lifer, take a deep breath because once his career gets in full swing, they won't stand still for long. Heh.

I saw that sweet baby this summer. He smiled at me the whole time....what a charmer.
on Aug 29, 2007
They actually let us check our big stroller at the gate.
on Aug 29, 2007
I saw that sweet baby this summer. He smiled at me the whole time....what a charmer.


you ain't kidding!!! He's a charmer all right. Everytime you clap your hands and smile at him he gives a great big grin showing all his six teeth. Even when he's cranking we do this to distract him, and sure enough his whole face lights up. Everytime we clap, he does too. Everytime.

We met a lady with a 13 month old boy in the checkout line today. Amanda was quite surprised to see the size diff. Ethan looked huge at 10 months next to this boy.

They actually let us check our big stroller at the gate.


Ya, I've seen that in my travels. She didn't bring a stroller tho. Brian put her right on and her Dad was able to get at her right there when she got off. Portsmouth is a very, very small airport so it's wicked easy to do without a stroller. This airline "Skybus" is a straight shot from Columbus to certain destinations including Portsmouth which makes it easy for her to get here.



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