We're expecting our first baby around October 27. I've been hoping that we could fly to visit my family for Christmas, but I'm wondering whether that is realistic. The trip isn't absolutely necessary, but I would love for our baby to meet my 91-year-old grandmother (who will not be able to travel to visit us). If we didn't go in December, we could possibly go in April instead. It is a short (approx 1 hour) flight, and transportation to and from the airport would only take 10-15 minutes on each end. We would be staying in my parents' house, with room for us and the baby, easy access to laundry, and people who are supportive of breastfeeding, family bedding, etc. Assuming that our baby arrives between 38 and 42 weeks, he/she would be somewhere between 6.5 and 10.5 weeks old when we left on the trip. What do you think? Is this doable? Are there other things we should be considering?
I flew from NYC to Ireland (5 1/2 over 7 back) with my dd was 7 weeks old and with ds last January when he was 9 weeks old. My babies mostly slept at that age so they really weren't any trouble. My advice would be to take as little as possible, wear the baby in a sling, and don't try to rush.
It'll probably be easier then than any time in the next 3 to 4 years. If you have future kids, add 3 to 4 years on for each of them too. Toddlers are very difficult to fly with, but tiny babies have no expectation that they'll be able to climb, run, jump, kick seats, etc.
remember to breastfeed to keep the ears adjusting to cabin pressure.
I flew to NY, 6 hours. So, it is doable. Buy a seat and use a carset. Turbulence happens and it is not safe for a baby to be on you lap during it.
Plus, you can put baby int eh seat next to the window, you ine the middle, and give an extra space between you and flying stangers.
Bring spare clothes for yourself for sure. No fun flying with spit up on your shirt
I think the travel itself will probably be pretty easy-that is such a short flight.
Things I would be concerned about:
You might be super crazy "I don't sleep, I breastfeed all the time, I don't know what day it is, I'm covered in spit-up, and the thought of having to organize and get on a plane makes me want to cry" territory, or you might be in "blissed out, earth mama, I've got this totally under control" land. In that situation, I would want to leave myself an out (socially and financially), just in case I didn't feel up to the trip.
Germs are the other thing I would worry about, my lo is a preemie so maybe I wouldn't have thought about it if she had been full term, but I would have been way to freaked out to take her in an airport in winter.
ETA: I just flew alone with my 8m old and it was a lot easier than I expected. I did sling, carry on bag, and car seat and was able to manage fine. I bought a seat for her, but the carseat also came in handy in the bathroom, because I could put her down-I know I could have just balanced her in the sling, but the carseat was easier.
Blogging at http://chronicladybug.blogspot.com
I just flew by myself with my baby (8 different flights total) in 1 month. She was 4 and 1/2 months when we left. This blog helped me a ton:
What I learned:
Carry very little on- I had one backpack and baby in a sling
My son was exactly 2 months old when we flew from Dallas to Detroit. He didn't like it because of all the sitting still but it was probably easier than it would be now that he's 7 months old and REALLY doesn't want to sit still!! He also didn't want to feed on the plane or sleep! It was nuts but I had to do it and the people I sat next to were very forgiving of his crying.
This Mommy and Military Daddy are loving their son.
DS born Dec 2010 Pregnant with #2, having another !
flying with a small baby is the easiest way to travel with a kiddo!
when i did it i brought the infant carseat (which we needed at destination anyway) and borrowed a snap and go stroller thing. you can gate check both for free so just use both right up to boarding. the baby also gets a free carry-on even without a ticket. since i was travelling with this stroller thing i brought as much carry-on as i wanted.
also, check-in at the ticket counter when you get there because if there is an extra seat they will block it out for you and the baby and you can use your carseat on the plane. this is amazing because you have hands free, they are as safe as it can get, and more often then not the white noise of the plane (i never realized how lulling plane noise was until i traveled with a baby) will put them right to sleep. my 3 month old passed out before take-off and woke-up right before de-planing.
and last resort, don't worry so much about crying and other passengers....that at least takes the stress off. the crying baby thing is so cliche but i finally realized when another infant was crying on our flight that because of the noise of the plane, you really don't hear crying past the immediate proximate rows. so at least you know the whole plane isn;t freaking out about your potentially crying baby.
and staying at parents' house?!? hellooooo........you will finally have extra people dying to hold your baby and give you a little bit of a break!!!!! best thing ever!!!!!!!
I travelled with my babe when he was 3 months old and then again when he was 5 months old. He did great for both trips. We got him his own seat on the plane, so he slept in his carseat most of the way. LOL, I don't expect it to be that easy when we go back to visit family again in October.
i traveled from dallas to los angeles when my son was 2 months old and he did great. My ped told me as far as germs go that he's probably safer traveling now while all he gets is breastmilk and no one else is holding him/touching him than when he's older. So I felt very safe taking him on a plane at that age. I was traveling with my mom and she was a help, but honestly the baby slept most of the time and the other time was just playing and laughing. It was a very enjoyable trip, but I'm sure it all depends on the child's temperament.
DH(9/04) DS(12/08) and DD(5/11)
We traveled when my son was short of 3 months with my Mom when she was so sick. Just be prepared if your going by yourself to be able to handle your babe, your diaper bag, and carrier by yourself. Also decide if you want your car seat checked or carry on. I did carry on so that I did not have to worry about losing it and getting into the next airport late at night.
I used a sling through the airport but I also had a mei tai with me. Make sure you take a change of clothes for your babe and yourself due to accidents in your carry on/diaper bag. If your a new Mommy, get accostomed to nursing in public.
You can do this!
I traveled w my baby at that age, but my pediatrician did remind me that he had not had any vaccines yet. I know, I know... many on this forum are not bound by vaccines. But just in general, do be hyper-aware of germs in airports/ airplanes (esp in winter), bring wipes and wipe your own hands OFTEN. I second keeping baby in a sling, close to your body where she is not touching airport surfaces and, esp, strangers are not reaching out to touch HER. Having a sick tiny baby on vacation is not fun. Be super-vigilant about wiping yourself and baby, and I think it's fine. Also, I second nursing often on the plane! A bebe-au-lait or some sort of nursing cover has come in very handy for me on airplanes (I never use it any other time!). good luck, it'll be fine!