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3yo on Jetblue airplane: Can I nurse her at takeoff landing?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

My 3yo, (ok, almost-- she will be in Dec.) my DH and I are flying a short 2 hour trip on Jetblue in a week. I'm a ball of nerves. I don't like flying much but when I do, I have been VERY happy with Jetblue and wont go on any other plane! Luckily, I get to use them again.


We weren't going to bring her carseat on the plane but now have decided we'd better do so. I've read it's safer and it will even be a comfort for the child in that they are in the seat they are used to sitting in. Our seats are assigned but our toddlers' is not, I was hoping to be able to sit her on my lap-- no such luck because of her age. But I was told the flight attendants/airport would easily get our seats all together and to not worry.


So long story short-- I told her I'd be nursing her on the plane. And now, I can nurse yes, but only after takeoff landing from what I'm reading. She has to be buckled in the seat. I'm a bit worried as to the logistics to that. She is not the happiest child in a car and does NOT and I mean NEVER falls asleep or naps in her seat. She will hold out till I can nurse/rock her-- she's always been this way. Do I have husband get the carseat on board and then board with her a the latest possible time? Since I can't nurse, I've bought some snacks she loves and yes, you guessed it: lollipops/jellybeans. I don't like using sugar but by golly, it works in these kinds of situations.


Ladies can you help me get a clear picture? How does boarding work? How to easily lug around the darn carseat, should I buy a luggage cart? Should I also get the toddler her own little carry-on or just do a backpack? Do I need to alert the check out desk that we NEED all seats together and will even upgrade if necessary?


I will be bringing my ring sling, new toys I bought at Target and snacks, a copy of her birth cert. Thanks in advance!

post #2 of 16


From our experience flying numerous times with our 3yr old. Yes, she will need to be buckled up during take off, landing and any time the seatbelt light is on. But you can nurse her other times.

Try to relax yourself and show less anxiety towards flying. She will feed off of that.

Make it an adventure.

Pack snacks she likes.

Download fun apps for your phone.

Pack books and toys she will like. What we do is pack a few new toys and take out a new one every 20-30 minutes. It keeps our DD engaged.

Does she like unwrapping things? If so then you can even wrap each each little toy and let her open it up.


Things we bring along:

mini tubs of playdoe, books, small animals, a favourite stuffy, little people figurines, lego.

We let our DD bring her own little carry-on backpack packed with her stuff. She loves that.


Basically we make it an adventure and she cannot wait to fly.


Good luck.

post #3 of 16

Agree with all of the above.  We fly often, too, and here's my typical routine.  


We fly southwest.  I always call ahead of time to see how full the flight is... it just gets me mentally prepared for how much crowding to expect.


Once DS outgrew the infant seat, I no longer took any carseat on the plane with us.  I can't even IMAGINE carrying the enormous Britax carseat down the plane's aisle, never mind fitting it into an airplane seat.  It seems ridiculous to me, and I think lugging a carseat all over the airport and the plane may actually cause you a bit more anxiety.  


What I do is immediately buckle my son into the airplane seat.  That way he instantly gets the idea that he's secured and not able to run off anywhere (he loves running away)


No, you aren't going to be able to nurse her during takeoff/ landing.  Everyone is required to be buckled and restrained during that time.  You may even find that nursing in-flight is a challenge with a 3 year old, considering how crowded the quarters are.


I bring sippy cups and lollypops for take off and landing.  The novelty of the candy goes a long, long way.  I'd consider bringing other unusual snacks, too, like fruit snacks or chocolates that you dole out a little at a time.  


If you can get a window seat for her, go for it!  I see a lot of parents putting their little ones in  the middle seat, but honestly, I think there's a lot more for kids to watch out the window!


You can't demand to be seated together, but it would help if you ask an attendant when you first get to the gate.  They try to be helpful.


I'd pass on giving your daughter her own travel bag, unless you are sure she is going to carry it herself.  It may end up just being one more thing you have to carry.


And then bring lots and lot of little new toys.  Last time we flew, I wrapped about 10 Matchbox cars, individually, with squares of fabric.  That way, DS spent lots of time unwrapping them but didn't litter the floor with garbage.  Stickers, action figures, phone apps, all go a long way.


In my experience, the flight is always the easy part.  Its the waiting around in the airport terminal that is a challenge for my little guy.  Keep that in mind.

post #4 of 16

One time my rambunctious daughter fell asleep during take off, the sound of the engines have this magical power...you can always hope for that.  But best to relax yourself and make it an adventure. While seated, waiting for people to board, pull out the crayons and paper.  Ah Jet blue, they have individual TV's. Let her play with the buttons, watch a cartoon. Or the map during take off. Also, stickers are really easy to pack. Maybe she can put stickers on the seat and area around her (my daughter did that, accidentally, but when I realized she was immersed and enjoying herself, I let her continue and then cleaned up after. Flying with my son at age 2.5 was much easier then my daughter, but one does survive and forget. I did think my daughter may have been better off/more comfortable/familiar in a carseat (but I didnt bring ours)


Ditto the flight being easiest. The line up through security. argh. An hour with nowhere to go. (but if there are two adults, one can take her aside to explore and then join you in line when you are closer to getting through.

post #5 of 16

We flew last month on United with our 34 month old. He was buckled into his car seat (forward facing) during take off and landing. Once the seatbelt signs were turned off I took him out of the carseat and nursed him. Distraction during take off/landing worked wonders, he wasn't even aware, plus the pressure change wasn't even an issue. I recall he did something funny like sang a song and said 'I can't hear myself?!'. Sticker books were helpful for entertainment, but also colorful Crayola dry erase markers and a dry erase board kept him busy. It was magnetic too, so I brought along magnets of a larger size.

I packed foods he rarely gets, the 'less than healthy' things he does not get very often, the novelty was worth it. Oh my husband did board early, they let us on first. He and the attendant secured the car seat. The attendant may need to give you a seat belt extension.

I did take an extra carry on for my son. And if you need to do a diaper change I found it easy to do while he was standing looking over the seat back. It was only wet, not sure what I would have done had it been soiled. Also the rollers for the seat are probably a good investment. We've only flown with the seat twice and each time I make a mental note to purchase one, I just should do it. The ring sling was of course one of my greatest tools, I don't know what we would have done without it. The tail was helpful for discreet nursing in airport also.


 All in all he traveled beautifully, it was a lot of work and constant rotation of nursing/food/toys, I didn't get a break but it went really well, better than I ever thought it would.

post #6 of 16

When we fly with our DD it is usually 5-7 hour flights.

My partner and I take turns for who is "on". 

Usually we do 1.5hour turns so the other parent can watch a movie or sleep or whatever. 

At least we feel like we get a break.

We are not allowed to bother the other parent unless absolutely necessary. 

post #7 of 16
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the replies ladies. I do realize my anxiety is going to show and that wont be good, so I will do my very, very BEST to stay calm. I didn't even think of the standard long line through security. Ugh. That's going to be hard. Do they even let you get in and out of line? We are going to have to. 


I'm also wondering afterward having to put her straight in the rental car-- this is why we are bringing our carseat (it costs too much per day to rent one!) so then there is that. I'm sure she will do fine. Off to buy her some fruit snacks and she'll have everything mentioned above. I just hope we all get to sit together because yes, I guess I can't demand it but can pay extra for it if necessary. She's a real cutie so I'm sure she'll charm the pants off of anyone we encounter-- I don't think I'll let her run the aisles, that seems pointless since the flight is so short.


Thank you ladies, I feel a bit better and think we can do this no prob!

post #8 of 16

When ever we fly we usually get to go through a security line reserved for people with babies or people in wheel chairs etc. 

So look for something like that if they have that in your city airport.

post #9 of 16

You'll be fine.

There is a family line a the security checkpoint.  You go in, its always quite fast.  

You can check the carseat just like a piece of luggage.  

post #10 of 16

My biggest reason for NOT taking the carseat ON the plane was that it puts a 3 year olds feet RIGHT at the seat in front of them. Unless you want to ask you toddler 150 times to stop kicking the seat in front of them and potentially have a VERY upset passenger in front of them, I'd CHECK the carseat at the gate like  you would a stroller. JMO. 


And yah, no nursing on take-off and landing for children who have their own seats. It's the law, unfortunately. Good luck!

post #11 of 16

so i dont understand, how come you cant just lean over and nurse her with you both buckled in?  there is not law i have ever seen that says you have to be sitting perfectly upright, heck i buckle myself in and grab a pillow and fall asleep before we even take off half the time. , by kids can sit next to me and nurse without too much contortion, can someone explain why this is not an option?

post #12 of 16

I nursed my son during take off and landings while we were both buckled in. He was buckled in a car seat, but it would have been easy to do it without one (probably easier). This son was almost 2. I did loosen my seat belt to do so, but it was no biggie. The flight attendants do their final pass to make sure everyone's buckled in then they take their seat and buckle up. So really, you could do whatever you wanted at that point.


Also, for a 3 year old, you could also introduce her to the magical treat called gum. We really built it up for my 3 year old. We told him that he can only have gum on airplanes. He was so excited for it. Gum also helps with the ear pressure equalization thing. It was funny the first time he had it though. We told him that he wasn't supposed to swallow the gum, but he didn't quite get that he could swallow the juices. So after 10 seconds he said he was done and then spit out the gum and the mouth full of sugary spit from his mouth. Once we told him he could swallow the juices, the second piece lasted longer.

post #13 of 16

Don't know about the logistics of nursing a three-year-old on a plane.  But to answer your other questions:


How does boarding work?

I haven't flown Jetblue, but I'm guessing they have a "family boarding" time.  If not, try to get in with the "needs extra time for boarding group".


How to easily lug around the darn carseat, should I buy a luggage cart?

If you anticipate flying a lot, maybe.  Otherwise, just use the smartcarts they always have at airports.  They're $4.50 to rent.  I usually can find one loose in the airport and haven't had to pay for one EVER, but boy are they handy.


Should I also get the toddler her own little carry-on or just do a backpack?

At three, I would skip that and bring a bigger bag for you both.  That way you won't have to worry if she decides she doesn't want to carry her own stuff halfway through the airport.


Do I need to alert the check out desk that we NEED all seats together and will even upgrade if necessary?

It can't hurt.  Odds are that you'll be fine though because someone will ALWAYS volunteer to move in these kinds of situations.



post #14 of 16

when i was traveling and we bought 3 seats, one of them for a toddler, they were not booked next to each other, i called the airline right away and asked to be placed in the area set aside for families, (on Alaska it is usually the 2nd and 3rd row from the back on both sides)

. they were more than happy to move me right away.  call sooner rather than later, since other family will call too and the few rows they set aside will get filled up.

post #15 of 16
Thread Starter 
Just to update... DD did very well and I was worrying for no reason. The flight there went so smoothly and all I wished was that she had a nap beforehand. I had to wrap her immediately once off the plane.

The flight back... Well she had that magical nap. But was a bit manic and you could tell VERY worn out from the craziness of travel. I gave her too much sugar and her iPhone (yes, she has my old one with no sim card!) had no good volume control so we worried the entire plane would hate us. Nope! Everyone was too busy watching the 2nd pres. debate. Thank goodness! Play dough however is NOT good for an airplane. What was I thinking?!?!? She immediately started throwing it. At the end people actually commented how well she did and they made me feel so good!

Thanks ladies for all your invaluable advice!
post #16 of 16

Great update!

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