Any advice for taking a baby on a long plane trip?

We’re taking Vayette (9 months, and pretty energetic) home to San Diego this CNY (14 hours there / 16 back including a plane swap in Japan). So far I’ve gotten one piece of advice which is to give her children’s Sudafed or a similar cold medicine to make her relax and sleep more. Any other words of wisdom?

We recently took Charlietta on a short flight. Our paediatrician suggested if she feels discomfort due to ear pressure just give her a bottle. The sucking action will equalize the pressure. We didn’t have any problems though, she slept through the whole flight.

The most important advice is to take care on take off and then to take more even care when the plane starts to descend.
As soon as you see the plane drop from 33,000 feet to under 30,000, grab that bottle out and get the baby sucking. Don’t wait until they show signs of discomfort, it can be too late by then, and you’ll have a screaming baby on your hands for 40 minutes.

Don’t see any need for giving Sudafed, unless there’s a problem.

How the majority of the flight pans out is just a crap-shoot IMO. Totally depends on how your baby is feeling that day. Can be easy, can be a nightmare.

Take more than 1 change of clothes in your in-flight bag or a full apron or duster. I had such experience on my way back to Taiwan. There was a mother travelling with a baby and she didn’t pack enough clothes. The baby pucked milk on her and the mother’s clothes got very dirty and smelly. I was sitting near the mother and the baby and gave her one of my T-shirts and pants. And I moved to another empty seat.

Do you honestly think that giving a baby cough meds just to get her to relax is a good idea? Doesn’t that amount to drugging the baby?
Kids cry in planes because their ears hurt (very good advice above) or they are bored so figure out a way to keep her engaged when she is awake. Read her a story, pick her up and walk her around (can be done) or get an i-pad with some videos or games that will entertain a young one. There must be something like yo yo tv or MOMO that she likes.

A one time dosage doesn’t hurt. It may help soothe YOUR nerves. I think I gave cough med to my first baby the first time we travelled, but somehow I always had a good experience so didn’t have to for other travels. Be sure to give hte meds when you’re waiting for boarding your plane so the kid sleeps in flight.

Most importantly you have to be cool and your spouse. Kids pick up tension and then cry on. You have to be cool. There is no embarrassment in taking a baby aboard a flight. If she chooses to wail, so be it. The other adults on the plane will understand. If you go witht that attitude, trust me the flight will be a breeze. I breastfed my kids through the landing and take off phase, and you could always give them a bottle. Thing is if the kid is awake give the bottle as soon as you begin ascent and descent and do not wait for her to feel the pressure in her ears, coz imagine stuffing a bottle in a baby wailing with ear pain.

Take clothes, take diapers. Ask for a bassinette. So that once the baby sleeps off you can put her in there. Also if you have a bassinette and the required changing pad, you don’t have to take your kid to the bathroom for nappy change. Again if you request for a bassinette, then you get front rows with good leg room and diaper bag area. In some airlines if you request a bassinette and the plane does not have it, then you get upgraded. :thumbsup:

Take a new toy (toys) preferably sth. engaging. Take your sling or carrier. I know a lot of people like to take strollers, but that is added anxiety. Just keep your 9m/o close to your chest and you have your hands free. Of-course if the stroller is important then it is. Thing is there are no rules. Just common sense, like taking extra wipes etc. What else?? If your kiddo is eating mush (pureed food), take them in little boxes and a little extra. Take medicines. Make sure you have a thermometer on you and crocin/tylenol/fever medication. Lotion. Keep the baby warm. Take her blankie…basically just use common sense and you’ll err at some point. You’ll live to learn. Have a great trip. :thumbsup:

[quote=“E04teacherlin”]Do you honestly think that giving a baby cough meds just to get her to relax is a good idea? Doesn’t that amount to drugging the baby?
Kids cry in planes because their ears hurt (very good advice above) or they are bored so figure out a way to keep her engaged when she is awake. Read her a story, pick her up and walk her around (can be done) or get an i-pad with some videos or games that will entertain a young one. There must be something like yo yo tv or MOMO that she likes.[/quote]
:astonished: No it is not drugging a baby. besides most kids already have a cold or wiill get a cold on board :laughing: You can call it preventive medication.

Kids cry due to ear pressure but also due to the tension in the environment and the newnessof it. Cramped seats, so many people so close by, weird lights, …all of it. Read a story, well ofcourse but one can’t read stories for a hours, can one?? Ditto with TV… THing is, at home a baby does cry. once every few hours. So she WILL cry at some point, due to fatigue or just because… It is OKAY. Soother her and calm her and distract her and she’ll settle down. Don’t go into a frenzy. I’d take a crying baby over an obnoxious adult any day. :smiley:

We were once taking the high speed rail and I think it was the more expensive cabin and a lady was BEHIND us. My children were being entertained, talking, singing songs, laughing, not loudly, but you know just happy children. I was patting my back about having such good travellers. When the lady said something about getting disturbed and she got upset and went and sat a few more rows behind us grumbling under her breath. Now these were happy kids, imagine if they were wailing and throwing a tantrum and kicking and thrashing about. Moral? You can’t please everyone.

What I did was travel during the night, my daughter slept 12 hours out of the 18 hours. Changes of clothes is a must, for the baby and for you, keep it simple a light t-shirt and and shorts or spandex bottoms so you use the space to carry more baby things. My daughter was 3 at the time so we were more concern about her entertainment.

Also very true. I’ve seen parents get on board, and one of them straight-away starts fussing and worrying. You can see the tension they feel from being on-board with their baby. That does seem to end up being transmitted to the kid, who gets agitated because he/she senses the agitation of his parents.

So, chill out up there.

I used to take mine for trips around the cabin. Remember spending a lot of time at the foot of the stairs leading to the upper deck on KLM and Emirates flights. Stairs are great for a crawler, you just let them get so far up and then pull them back down. Repeat for an hour :sunglasses:. None of the crew cared, and I just kept out of the way when I had to. Plus the KLM stairs had sparkly lights embedded, to signify the glory of the upper deck. Great distraction.

Great advice, everyone! Thanks a ton!

iPad, a few toys, bottle of warm water or milk, snacks.

Book a late night flight, so the baby is tired and more likely to sleep. Pacifier/Water bottle can help with the change in cabin pressure. I try to time the feedings to coincide with the takeoff and landings. Get the sudafed, but use it only as a last resort. You’re probably not going to need it. The humming jet engines will put your little one to sleep in no time.

If possible, take night flights …

We flew to Europe on a nightflight - was perfectely fine.
However, trip back to TW left noon (europe time) and was an absolutele
disaster. Crying the whole journey until touch down in TPE, when she
went to sleep …

Although you are flying the other direction, my impression is that
flights in western direction are always more smooth than towards to
east (well, at least to Europe).
Maybe that is the other way round if your destination is in America.

Don’t know if anyone suggested this. Book early so you can pick seats right behind a wall/divider and you can request a cradle that hangs on the wall right in front of your seats. This way you do not need to hold the baby the whole time.

We booked as soon as the baby was born (wouldn’t allow us to do it earlier!) to make sure we got the bassinet. Btw, bunch of people mentioned Ipads. We’re buying one this week. Any recommendations for games/shows/whatnot suitable for under-a-year-olds?

We booked as soon as the baby was born (wouldn’t allow us to do it earlier!) to make sure we got the bassinet. Btw, bunch of people mentioned Ipads. We’re buying one this week. Any recommendations for games/shows/whatnot suitable for under-a-year-olds?[/quote]
I have a 7 year old who is an absolutely avid traveller, a 5 year old who is better than her. They’ve survived numerous, plane, train, car trips like Kending and fro all without a gadget in sight. Not even my simple phone. I don’t believe in games and apps and so I sing, play games, read or whatever and the kids do the same. I know it is not for everybody which is absolutely great (maybe better), but if you have a gadget, you really don’t have to fret about what apps the baby’ll like. :laughing: Just give her the damn thing she’ll figure it out all by herself!!!

The reason why I write what I write is not to make you as a parent feel ‘that my way of parenting is right’ etc. but mostly to be a little (useless)voice, in the overwhelming world of ipads and blackberries, that children still can be raised without gadgets. I know it is old fashioned, but not everyone can afford ipads and they should feel it is OKAY to not have your whiz kid mastering angry birds. For those, who do it, great!!!

We booked as soon as the baby was born (wouldn’t allow us to do it earlier!) to make sure we got the bassinet. Btw, bunch of people mentioned Ipads. We’re buying one this week. Any recommendations for games/shows/whatnot suitable for under-a-year-olds?[/quote]
I have a 7 year old who is an absolutely avid traveller, a 5 year old who is better than her. They’ve survived numerous, plane, train, car trips like Kending and fro all without a gadget in sight. Not even my simple phone. I don’t believe in games and apps and so I sing, play games, read or whatever and the kids do the same. I know it is not for everybody which is absolutely great (maybe better), but if you have a gadget, you really don’t have to fret about what apps the baby’ll like. :laughing: Just give her the damn thing she’ll figure it out all by herself!!!

The reason why I write what I write is not to make you as a parent feel ‘that my way of parenting is right’ etc. but mostly to be a little (useless)voice, in the overwhelming world of ipads and blackberries, that children still can be raised without gadgets. I know it is old fashioned, but not everyone can afford ipads and they should feel it is OKAY to not have your whiz kid mastering angry birds. For those, who do it, great!!![/quote]

No argument there and in fact I’m not at all crazy about letting the baby play with the Ipad. My thinking is only for the flights, and then it’s MINE!

[quote=“E04teacherlin”]Do you honestly think that giving a baby cough meds just to get her to relax is a good idea? Doesn’t that amount to drugging the baby?
Kids cry in planes because their ears hurt (very good advice above) or they are bored so figure out a way to keep her engaged when she is awake. Read her a story, pick her up and walk her around (can be done) or get an i-pad with some videos or games that will entertain a young one. There must be something like yo yo tv or MOMO that she likes.[/quote]

Good luck reading a story to a nine month old and walking her around !

Don’t be proud. This is one occasion when it’s OK to play videos or games on an iPad for hours and hours. For very little ones, under 1-years-old, try puzzles, doodle apps etc. There’s a kids category on the App Store, so go look there and see what your kid enjoys. Mind you, there’s usually no Internet on board, so you have to install everything in advance.

Don’t be nervous or upset or ashamed. Kids are kids, and they’ll do what kids do (i.e. don’t give a flying **** about people around them). :slight_smile:
If some adult gets annoyed by children on the plane, that’s his/her problem. There are earplugs and noise-cancelling headphones after all.
Kids do pick up on the vibe around them, so it’s important that both parents stay cool, no matter how exhausted you are.

Get some surprise toys and books that they’ve never seen before. Keep these secret until the very last minute. That’ll increase their novelty value for at least… 10 minutes. :smiley:

Balloons worked for my kid the first time he took a long flight to Europe (8 months old).
Crayons and paper.
Snacks.
Pants-style diapers. Faster to change, and the lower capacity doesn’t matter much, because you’ll be checking the diaper more often than when you’re at home.
Walks around the airplane. There’s usually some small space where the kid can crawl and jump for a while.
Try to get the front row seats (facing the wall). That way the kid can sit on the floor and play, almost like home, unless there’s turbulence and the flight staff order you to buckle up.
Favorite blanket or stuffed animal (if your kid has one; mine never did) for added sense of security. An airplane is quite an unsettling place, even for many adults.
Soothing lullabies.

I always over-prepare for every flight with my son, but I’d rather have one time-killer too many…

breast feed during take off and landing. This way the wee one’s ears won’t pop.