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First trip with 6 month old.... questions

First trip with 6 month old.... questions

Old Apr 8, 18, 2:18 pm
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First trip with 6 month old.... questions

So preparing for the first trip with our 6 month old. First, i need a carry on. The goal being to carry everything for the kid. I am going back and forth between a full size carry on(right at the airline limits, but likely wont fit on a regional) or an underseat carry on(more flexibility but holds less). Any thoughts from those that have been there? Im assuming this bag will hold everything from diapers to formula/breastmilk, to wipes, etc. Underseat does seem best but in my 3 trips this year none of them involve a regional. Not to mention we have bulkhead on all of these flights.

We were going to rent a car seat with Avis but decided against it and will bring ours and check it. We will also bring a stroller and gate check that. Any tips for navigating the flight? Board first? Board last? Should we consider a pre-emptive tylenol? or is that unnecessary? Im told we should either feed him or have him suck on a paci during take off/landing to help with this as well.

Any other tips/tricks?
Thanks.
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Old Apr 8, 18, 6:44 pm
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Originally Posted by njxbean View Post
So preparing for the first trip with our 6 month old. First, i need a carry on. The goal being to carry everything for the kid. I am going back and forth between a full size carry on(right at the airline limits, but likely wont fit on a regional) or an underseat carry on(more flexibility but holds less). Any thoughts from those that have been there? Im assuming this bag will hold everything from diapers to formula/breastmilk, to wipes, etc. Underseat does seem best but in my 3 trips this year none of them involve a regional. Not to mention we have bulkhead on all of these flights.

We were going to rent a car seat with Avis but decided against it and will bring ours and check it. We will also bring a stroller and gate check that. Any tips for navigating the flight? Board first? Board last? Should we consider a pre-emptive tylenol? or is that unnecessary? Im told we should either feed him or have him suck on a paci during take off/landing to help with this as well.

Any other tips/tricks?
Thanks.
You'll get through it! You'll definitely need diapers and milk/formula on-board. Plan for having to sit on the plane for extra long (in case of departure delays, etc.). At that age, our son still generally slept on flights (like how the car put him to sleep). Our diaper bag is a backpack that fits under our the seat in front of us - we definitely bring that and don't have the fear in case of a regional aircraft. We always bring our own car seat. We don't give any pre-emptive tylenol. We did try to feed on-board right before taxi/take-off and use a pacifier during take-off (not sure it was necessary, though).

What time of day is your flight? Is that during a normal nap time?

Lap infant? Or, separate seat with ability to bring car seat on-board? We've done both many times....much easier with the second.

Are you traveling alone or with another adult? The more caregivers, the easier!

How long is the flight(s)? Domestic or international?
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Old Apr 8, 18, 6:56 pm
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Bringing your own car seat is best; rental car seats can be unreliable in terms of availability and cleanliness, and most importantly the history of the seat is unknown. Are you traveling on your own with your 6 month old? That will make big difference; two people traveling with one child certainly helps!

We traveled with our daughter and her pushchair for over ten years and we found the best way was to use the stroller as soon as we arrived at the airport. The only times she wasn’t in it was when we went through security and when we boarded the plane. When she was really young, we always made sure we had her favorite toy attached to it to eliminate any chance of it getting dropped or left behind (when she was older, she just read quietly or helped direct us through the airport). One of us would push her and the other carried her car seat and when we needed to we’d swap over. Some use small wheeled carts to avoid carrying car seats around (we’ve seen some kids in the seats too!), and some kids will of course not want to sit in their stroller, so be prepared for it taking a few trips before you know what works best for you.

When it came to boarding, we always boarded early, gate checked her stroller, and took her car seat on the plane. You said you’ll be checking yours, but you might want to consider using it for the flights if you can (we understand you may have booked the flights already!). Boarding early gives you more time to get to your seats in a quieter cabin and – if using a car seat – allows you to avoid having to awkwardly maneuver it over seats and around other people, while also giving you time to get it installed properly. There is a big debate about lap babies versus car seats (there is plenty of information in other threads on the forum should you wish to read up on it), but we personally believe car seats are safer and so always made sure she stayed in her car seat for as much of the flight as was possible (our daughter was a good traveler and was rarely bothered so we were very lucky in this regard!).

We were always the last to leave the plane for the same reasons – it’s much easier to gather things together when there are less people around you. We’d do exactly the same as before the flight; we’d pick up her stroller first, and she stayed in it until we had completely left the airport (the one exception being passport control).

One important tip if you do use the stroller is to make sure they’re always properly buckled in. We know a lot of people never do this (and that’s fine if that works for them) but we have seen a few accidents and a few kids jump out which on more than one occasion did cause the parents some stress. Also, with strollers, don’t forget to remove anything bulky or detachable (like a rain cover, or toys that are clipped on). These can easily come off and cause stress or hassle later.

If you do take a car seat on the plane, be sure to have a copy of the airline’s policy on car seats to hand (on your phone or printed out), and familiarize yourself with the location of the FAA certification label on the seat itself. In our experience cabin crew hardly ever know their own airline’s policy regarding car seats, but most will be fine if you have the policy to show them and if you can point out the sticker.

Regarding Tylenol, we never did that, but others on the forums may have better advice. And with a pacifier, you’ll probably have one to hand in your carry-on so that’s probably a case of figuring that out at the time.

Lastly, have you found out the exact dimensions allowed for your carry-on for the regional flights? I would select a bag based on the smallest dimensions you are allowed across all the flights. For example, if the second regional flight has the smallest dimensions, work to that. This will avoid you having to swap things between bags which can risk things getting left behind or lost, and could also create time pressures (or worse make you late). We found a small backpack worked better than a diaper bag as they are easier to carry. Finally, whenever we packed for the trip, while I cannot remember exactly what we took in what bags, we always laid out everything we needed to take on the flight and then packed everything else. What was left was the essential things we needed in our carry-on. That might not work for some of course, but for us it worked well.
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Old Apr 9, 18, 9:14 am
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The FAA, the Flight Attendant union, the pediatrian associations ALL state that it is safer to put your child in a car seat than on your lap By the laws of physic, if the plane his an air pocket it is impossible to hold onto the child. Same for the occasional hard bounce on take off or landing (why you can't have anything on your lap. I fly overseas about twice a month now and probably see at least one baby "fly" every month. It may be rare, but it is not rare when it happens to your baby
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Old Apr 9, 18, 2:17 pm
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Originally Posted by njxbean View Post
Should we consider a pre-emptive tylenol? or is that unnecessary? I
Tylenol is a medication to relieve pain or reduce fever. Which of those would you be treating?

It does not make the kid happy, relieve pressure in the ears or magically keep the kid from crying.

While used in the correct dosage to treat pain or fever, Tylenol is generally considered safe. However it can have side effects, see https://www.drugs.com/sfx/infant-s-t...e-effects.html for more information.

Medications should be used to treat medical problems, flying is not a medical condition.
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Old Apr 10, 18, 5:45 am
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Some docs will recommend Benadryl BUT try it at home first. It makes some kids hyper
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Old Apr 10, 18, 11:42 am
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I suggest using a backpack as a carry-on instead of a wheeled carry-on, especially if also carrying a stroller and/or car seat to the gate/plane and traveling as the sole caretaker of the child on the trip.

Originally Posted by BeatCal View Post
Some docs will recommend Benadryl BUT try it at home first. It makes some kids hyper
Medicating children just to try to make them sleep on planes? Not my idea of a good approach.
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Old Apr 10, 18, 6:53 pm
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Originally Posted by BeatCal View Post
Some docs will recommend Benadryl BUT try it at home first. It makes some kids hyper
No ethical or competent physical would recommend giving Benadryl to a 6 month old infant, especially not for the purpose of making air travel "easier".

From https://www.benadryl.com/products/ch...allergy-liquid
  • Children under 2 years: do not use.
Why do people keep suggesting Benadryl for babies? It's not safe, and suggesting doping an infant with it is just plain reckless and irresponsible.
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Old Apr 11, 18, 7:02 am
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Originally Posted by CDTraveler View Post
No ethical or competent physical would recommend giving Benadryl to a 6 month old infant, especially not for the purpose of making air travel "easier".
From https://www.benadryl.com/products/ch...allergy-liquid
  • Children under 2 years: do not use
Why do people keep suggesting Benadryl for babies? It's not safe, and suggesting doping an infant with it is just plain reckless and irresponsible.
It is not to be used just "to make them sleepy". It also helps with the PAIN from the ears when taking off and landing. Most pediatricians would agree that it is safe for infants older than 6 months for flying. Or you can have your child cry with the pain of the ears - that will release the pressure too

https://www.pediatricassociatesnyc.com/dosing-chart.html
Benadryl Dosing Chart

DIPHENHYDRAMINE (Brand Name: Benadryl)
For infants 6 months or older only**
Benadryl is an antihistamine, so it can be used for allergic reactions and allergies. It can be given every 6 hours. Benadryl comes in Children’s liquid suspension, Children’s Chewable tablets, Children’s Meltaway strips or adult tablets.
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Old Apr 11, 18, 4:31 pm
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Originally Posted by BeatCal View Post
It is not to be used just "to make them sleepy". It also helps with the PAIN from the ears when taking off and landing. Most pediatricians would agree that it is safe for infants older than 6 months for flying. Or you can have your child cry with the pain of the ears - that will release the pressure too

https://www.pediatricassociatesnyc.com/dosing-chart.html
Benadryl Dosing Chart

DIPHENHYDRAMINE (Brand Name: Benadryl)
For infants 6 months or older only**
Benadryl is an antihistamine, so it can be used for allergic reactions and allergies. It can be given every 6 hours. Benadryl comes in Children’s liquid suspension, Children’s Chewable tablets, Children’s Meltaway strips or adult tablets.
Benadryl is an antihistamine, not a pain reliever.

Since you posted a link to that chart, it seems rather dishonest of you to omit where it says:

**DO NOT give benadryl to a child younger than 2 years unless advised by your physician

As for your statement
Originally Posted by BeatCal View Post
Most pediatricians would agree that it is safe for infants older than 6 months for flying
Where do you get garbage like that? Here's the statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics, which represents thousands of doctors, not the single practice whose chart you partially quoted:
https://www.healthychildren.org/Engl...histamine.aspx
AGE LIMITS: Avoid diphenhydramine under 6 years of age unless instructed by healthcare provider.
To sum up:
  1. the manufacturer says it's not safe for kids under 2 years of age
  2. the American Academy of Pediatrics says not to give it to kids under 6 years of age - except under the supervision of a healthcare provider, and an ethical healthcare provider will put the safety of the child ahead of the risk of the kid crying on an aircraft
  3. even the chart you quote says not to give it to kids under 2 years of age unless directed by a physician, a detail you omitted from your post
You're playing amateur doctor and telling people to dose their infants with Benadryl (diphenhydramine), a drug to treat allergies, in an aircraft where they're long way from emergency medical care, to stop kids from crying.

Swallowing repeatedly is more effective to relieve the pressure in ears and far safer - for an infant of 6 months or less, that generally means feeding, which help prevent discomfort from dryness as well.
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Old Apr 11, 18, 4:35 pm
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Originally Posted by CDTraveler View Post
Swallowing repeatedly is more effective to relieve the pressure in ears and far safer - for an infant of 6 months or less, that generally means feeding, which help prevent discomfort from dryness as well.
Indeed.
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Old Apr 12, 18, 5:38 am
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Originally Posted by CDTraveler View Post
Benadryl is an antihistamine, not a pain reliever.

Since you posted a link to that chart, it seems rather dishonest of you to omit where it says:

**DO NOT give benadryl to a child younger than 2 years unless advised by your physician

As for your statement


Where do you get garbage like that? Here's the statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics, which represents thousands of doctors, not the single practice whose chart you partially quoted:
https://www.healthychildren.org/Engl...histamine.aspx
AGE LIMITS: Avoid diphenhydramine under 6 years of age unless instructed by healthcare provider.
To sum up:
  1. the manufacturer says it's not safe for kids under 2 years of age
  2. the American Academy of Pediatrics says not to give it to kids under 6 years of age - except under the supervision of a healthcare provider, and an ethical healthcare provider will put the safety of the child ahead of the risk of the kid crying on an aircraft
  3. even the chart you quote says not to give it to kids under 2 years of age unless directed by a physician, a detail you omitted from your post
You're playing amateur doctor and telling people to dose their infants with Benadryl (diphenhydramine), a drug to treat allergies, in an aircraft where they're long way from emergency medical care, to stop kids from crying.

Swallowing repeatedly is more effective to relieve the pressure in ears and far safer - for an infant of 6 months or less, that generally means feeding, which help prevent discomfort from dryness as well.
CD: It is you you are playing doctor. I am a member of the AAP and I know what their position is. At a recent meeting there was a discussion on using benadryl in kids > 6 months and most agreed. AND note my first post: "Some docs recommend...." Did not say to give without talking to your doc. So please go back and do what you do and stop playing doctor.
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Old Apr 14, 18, 8:52 am
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Regarding giving your baby any medication, ignore everything you read on Flyertalk and instead talk with your pediatrician. If you don't trust your pediatrician, find another one you do.

Fortunately for most, ear pressure on ascent and descent is not really an issue unless there is some sort of pre-existing infection or congestion. We flew enough with our six month old for her to make status, and she did not have an issue with air pressure until she was a toddler and started getting colds from her classmates.

One of the prior moderators of this forum had some great advise - if the baby is sleeping, do not wake them just to nurse or use a pacifier. More likely than not, the waking will cause them to cry when they would have otherwise slept the rest of the flight.
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Old Apr 15, 18, 7:31 am
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Originally Posted by rjque View Post
Regarding giving your baby any medication, ignore everything you read on Flyertalk and instead talk with your pediatrician. If you don't trust your pediatrician, find another one you do.

Fortunately for most, ear pressure on ascent and descent is not really an issue unless there is some sort of pre-existing infection or congestion. We flew enough with our six month old for her to make status, and she did not have an issue with air pressure until she was a toddler and started getting colds from her classmates.

One of the prior moderators of this forum had some great advise - if the baby is sleeping, do not wake them just to nurse or use a pacifier. More likely than not, the waking will cause them to cry when they would have otherwise slept the rest of the flight.
Agree with above. As I first stated. Talk to your doc before you go.
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Old Apr 17, 18, 11:26 am
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I've got three kids, and my thoughts on traveling with a 6mo are:

1) Bring a small backpack with a water bottle and reading material for yourself, and enough diapers, wipes, and milk/formula for at least 5 hours beyond what you expect your travel time to be (in case of delays or lost luggage). Also bring a change or two of clothes for a baby that age, as you never know when you'll need 'em, and plastic bags for disposing of diapers and wrapping up any soiled clothes. And bring anything else you'd normally keep in your diaper bag. If your kid uses a pacifier, bring 2 or 3 in case one gets lost. Toss the tylenol or advil in there, too, just in case, but I wouldn't give it ahead of time unless indicated. Check everything else so you're not messing around with luggage at the gate or on the plane.

2) If you bought the kid a seat, bring the car seat to the gate and board early so you have time to install the carseat before it gets crowded. If you didn't buy a seat, I like to board last since I don't care about overhead space and have no desire to spend more time than necessary sitting on a plane wrangling a kid (though at 6mo they're usually pretty easy--it's 18-24mos when lap children get really tough). As noted above, buying a seat is definitely preferable to holding kids in your lap, but I'm not going to judge you if you don't (we've certainly flown with lap children on numerous occasions).

3) For ears and whatnot, sucking a pacifier, boob, or bottle is the best thing. Try to time your feedings to coincide with takeoff and descent when the pressure is changing as all that swallowing works wonders.

4) We like to bring our own car seat but have on occasion used rental car seats from Hertz (free if you use a AAA CDP code) and they've been acceptable. There are definitely people who would NEVER use a rental car seat. Other people would never even check a car seat as luggage for fear that the baggage handlers might damage its structural integrity. I'm not one of those people (we check our car seat regularly).
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