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  #1  
Old June 11th, 2013, 11:32 AM
ShanteS ShanteS is offline
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Default Flying with a toddler...Tips/advice please!

We have 2 months left before our cruise and August will be here before I know it. I've been thinking about this for awhile now and would like some opinions since this will be my first time flying with my daughter. My daughter will be 10 days shy of her 2nd birthday when we fly to San Juan so she can fly as a lap baby. We'll also be flying with 16 year old cousin and my grandparents (her great grands). The plan was to have my cousin sit with us but if my daughter is having one of her restless periods (which she tends to have if she's sleepy) I'd worry about her being a bother to the third passenger in our row. The flight isn't sold out right now but I know that can change by August. Our flight leaves at 8am so we'll be leaving for the airport around 5ish. I'm thinking if I bought her her own seat then she'd/we'd have more room. So opinions and personal experiences on this are appreciated. When you flew with a toddler what did you do? Also, what do you do with strollers? I'll be taking an umbrella stroller so nothing too big. Can they store it on the plane somewhere or will I have to check it?
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Old June 11th, 2013, 11:49 AM
boulders boulders is offline
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You can gate check the stroller. That means the agents at the gate put a tag on it, you leave it just outside the airplane and they bring it back to the same spot when you land.

Flights are full these days. It's unlikely there would empty seats. I would definitely buy a seat for the little one. Install the car seat on the plane. If you don't bring the car seat, you'll have to hold her during takeoff and landing.
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Old June 11th, 2013, 11:52 AM
ShanteS ShanteS is offline
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Originally Posted by boulders View Post
You can gate check the stroller. That means the agents at the gate put a tag on it, you leave it just outside the airplane and they bring it back to the same spot when you land.

Flights are full these days. It's unlikely there would empty seats. I would definitely buy a seat for the little one. Install the car seat on the plane. If you don't bring the car seat, you'll have to hold her during takeoff and landing.
Thanks for your help. Question about gate checking though, do they store it with the rest of the luggage beneath the plane? I'm trying to decide if I need to invest in a cover for the stroller. What do you think?
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Old June 11th, 2013, 12:34 PM
IttaBit IttaBit is offline
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One thing that I have always done when flying with my kids is have either a binky, bottle, or lollipop for the kids to suck on when ascending and descending. Sucking on something helps with ear pressure and discomfort.
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Old June 11th, 2013, 01:22 PM
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If you do buy a seat and do not want to take a car seat, get the CARES harness if your daughter is at least 22 pounds. http://kidsflysafe.com/ We used it when our son was 3 and it worked great.

We flew with our son as a lap baby when he was 13 months and did not have any problems. It was a 2.5 hour flight. I can imagine it will be more difficult with an older child.
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  #6  
Old June 11th, 2013, 01:41 PM
Ferball35 Ferball35 is offline
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You don't need a cover for your stoller, but you will need to fold it up. I think it goes in a different hold than the rest of the luggage. It will be sitting outside the plane when you get off. Best thing in the world!

Can't say anything about lap sitting. We always bought a seat for our kids. I'm very paranoid about turbulence and the kids flying off my lap.

Have a great cruise!
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Old June 11th, 2013, 01:42 PM
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Mimajo Mimajo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShanteS View Post
Thanks for your help. Question about gate checking though, do they store it with the rest of the luggage beneath the plane? I'm trying to decide if I need to invest in a cover for the stroller. What do you think?
You can buy an inexpensive cover, hope the link below works. They tend to toss these items so if you want some protection I would cover it. We are traveling with our 21 month old granddaughter with a McLaren stroller and I purchased a heavier cover for it.

http://www.albeebaby.com/jl-childres...content=2111RD
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  #8  
Old June 11th, 2013, 02:03 PM
ShanteS ShanteS is offline
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Thanks for all of your help. I just went on ahead and booked a roundtrip seat for her. That way we'll have an entire row for her to stretch out in and hopefully have my grandparents sit in front of us. Now I just have to decide whether to bring her carseat (which is almost as big as me) or if I should just purchase the CARES harness.

She has this carseat (in Cuddle) and I'm wondering how I'm going to cart the thing around once we get to San Juan and where I'd store it since I doubt it'd fit in the closet:

http://www.amazon.com/Graco-Ride-Con...co+65+car+seat

I booked an aft wrap though so maybe it can be stored in a corner of the room possibly? I do like the idea of her having her own seat a lot more. I feel more comfortable with the flight now. Now I'm just worried about how she'll fare during take off and landing. She can get really reallllly loud if she's in pain or upset.

Also thanks for the link for the stroller cover. A laundry bag is another option that could also be used. So much to think about and consider. Maybe I should start packing now...
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Last edited by ShanteS; June 11th, 2013 at 02:07 PM.
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  #9  
Old June 11th, 2013, 02:43 PM
cb at sea cb at sea is offline
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If she has any sinus or ear issues, ask your pediatrician for an antihistimine she can take before and during the flight. I know from experience that if the ears get blocked, it feels like a knife is in your head....seriously! The bottle or gum is ok, but it's best to be proactive, IF she has any issues like that!
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Old June 11th, 2013, 02:51 PM
ShanteS ShanteS is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cb at sea View Post
If she has any sinus or ear issues, ask your pediatrician for an antihistimine she can take before and during the flight. I know from experience that if the ears get blocked, it feels like a knife is in your head....seriously! The bottle or gum is ok, but it's best to be proactive, IF she has any issues like that!
Thanks for the suggestion. She doesn't have any sinus or ear issues that we're (her pedi and I) aware of but I agree, it's always better to be proactive. It never bothers me too much but once I was in so much pain that I was in tears for majority of the cross country flight, east to west coast. I was miserable and I'd hate for that to happen to her. I'll mention it to him when we see him next.
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  #11  
Old June 11th, 2013, 03:05 PM
flhokie flhokie is offline
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I flew with DD several times as a lap child but all were under 1 yer old. Once she was mobile I swore I'd buy her a seat if we flew before she was 2.

I hope to fly to visit friends this year & will probably get the CARES harness for DD (2 years old). I fly weekly for work so I'm sure we will have the opportunity to use it again. My friend uses it when flying with Her son & says it works well.

I never covered a gate checked stroller & never had an issue. But, if it rains a cover might help some. Make sure to have everything off of/out of the stroller before going down the jetway. I often see people scrambling at the door of the plane.

Have things to keep your daughter occupied...new small toys, stickers & paper (I like garage sale stickers b/c they come off easy of stuck in the wrong place), coloring sets with markers that only show up on certain paper, books and a DVD player or iPad with headphones (they make "kid headphones"). Make sure to have drinks for takeoff & landing (can get them after security--take them on--do not rely on flight attendants for these drinks).

If she's still in diapers, pack a zip lock bag with diapers & wipes that you can easily grab for a trip to the bathroom. Also ask on the plane if any of the restrooms have changing tables (some do & some don't).

Don't worry if she gets upset/loud. As long as you are trying to help her (you'd be surprised how many parents ignore their loud children) most passengers won't care & many will sympathize with you.
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Old June 11th, 2013, 03:07 PM
HarperSays HarperSays is offline
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We just flew from NC to Vancouver and then AK to NC with our almost 2 year old. We bought her own seat and it was much easier this way. We flew with her last year as a lap baby, but it was only a 2 hour flight (and thank goodness because she squirmed the entire time). It was nice this time having the entire row to spread out and she liked having her own seat. The things that helped us the most were snacks, kindle for games or movies, books and stickers. We also let her have a paci that she usually only gets at night. I've also heard that having a paci during take off and landing helps with cabin pressure. We've always gate checked our stroller without a cover and it's been fine. We also brought her blanket that she sleeps with and she napped pretty good on the plane (we also had to be up at 5am the morning we left). When she started getting fussy with us, we would pass her behind us to our family to entertain her. It was nice traveling with family so we could switch off when needed. Good luck!
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  #13  
Old June 11th, 2013, 03:14 PM
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If you are going to get a CARES harness...look around for a used one. I found mine at a local consignment shop for $15. If its not something you will get much use out of, there are rentals available on eBay. I would check there for a used one or craigs list.
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Old June 11th, 2013, 03:30 PM
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We've now flown with our son five times and he just turned 21 months. Though every child is different, he never had a problem with takeoff or landing... he does have trouble sleeping on the plane - there is just too much to look at.

I am super conscious of him being a seat-kicker and tried very, very hard to minimize any discomfort for the passengers in front of us. We have yet to buy him his own seat, however on our SEA-YVR-YYZ flight coming home from our jewel cruise two weeks ago, I swore I would never, ever fly with him on my lap again. 26 lbs of happy, squirming, toddler. He didn't cry at all, but he was just busy busy busy. Even the tablet only held his interest for a few minutes (he's never used one before). Thankfully we had a few books for him.

Only three flights have had a spare seat for him, which has been a blessing. You've done the right thing in purchasing one for yours. Just keep in mind that you'll need food for the flight (obvious, I know - but when we got to the airport in Munich a couple of months ago, I just assumed we could buy him something for the 8 hour flight to Toronto - he ended up eating muffins and a banana.) The airlines will be happy to give you milk and/or water (though I prefer to bring my own water).

Biggest time waster though? And this happened on every flight.. I would take the window seat, and he would sit happily looking out the window at anything and everything.

At the end of the day, don't worry about it - it's only going to be a few hours, and you'll probably never see most of these people again.

By the way, we always use a 'gate check' bag for our stroller. If you're just using a cheapo fold'em'up from walmart ($20) then who cares, but KLM damaged our nice Chicco last year and since then we've used a bag. If anything, just because it keeps the rain off.
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Old June 11th, 2013, 04:21 PM
notentirelynormal notentirelynormal is online now
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Remember also to take a change of clothes for the little one. We flew when my DGD was just 2 YO and on landing she threw up everywhere. Mostly down her mother's front. So here mom is walking a toddler through the airport carrying all the junk with puke running down her. All she wanted to do was change.
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Old June 11th, 2013, 08:52 PM
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deinitely change of clothes for both of you. The puking happend to my son on his first flight as well and just happened to my friends as well. Agree on the antihistimine. My son has allergies, so he already is on one, but I had a mild sinus issue before I got on my last flight and I have never felt the pain that I felt in my ear (and I have flown A LOT) when we were descending. Never again...I will always come prepared (for myself) - but would hate for a kiddo to go through that pain.
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Old June 11th, 2013, 09:32 PM
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We flew with my 2 year old son from Newark to Ft Lauderdale, and thankfully he slept the whole way going and almost the whole way coming back (a flight delay kept us from taking off on time.) It is an enormous pain to bring a carseat, but a small child will find a carseat much more comfortable than a large plane seat. Our son fell asleep in his car seat as soon as we took off. You can use a very cheap Mommy Hook (http://www.amazon.com/The-Mommy-Hook...ds=mommy+hoook) to attach your car seat to carry on luggage, so you can roll it around instead of carrying it.
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Old June 11th, 2013, 11:37 PM
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I try to fly during nap time or late at night after bedtime. Most of the time DD will sleep through the flight. Definitely objects of interest to keep your tot occupied. Snacks are a must. I also will buy the window and the aisle seat. Middle seats are often the last to go and that maximizes my chance that the seat will be left open. When it has backfired, the middle person has always happily switched a seat.
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Old June 12th, 2013, 11:07 PM
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My apologies for coming in and asking a question on your thread.

I was planning on gate checking our stroller and didn't think about a bag. It's a City Mini and from the looks of the ones I've seen they won't work on that style stroller, anyone know of one that will work?

ETA: Thanks for all the other info this has been a helpful thread.
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Old June 13th, 2013, 08:58 AM
vatali27 vatali27 is offline
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When we flew with our baby (from 7 weeks on) we would buy her a seat. We did this because on a longer flight (say 3 1/2 hours or more) momma wanted to stretch out and set the baby on the seat and lay with her. The baby generally sat in her arms when she was that young though throughout the flight.

Another thing, we always took her stroller at that age, not a generic umbrella. We ended up taking way to many things that fit in the bag in the stroller vs carrying them (diapers, formula, bottles, etc) that would have just have been a huge pain to deal with in a umbrella. You will fold up the stroller through security and gate check it for the plane, it will be waiting for you at the gate when you land, not in the baggage pickup place. The gate staff are very good at working with parents on most airlines, they will know what to do so you wont have to worry about it.

Make sure you use a binky or a bottle at take off. MAYBE at landing, although we never had many issues with that part. Make sure it is an experience for them. As you fly more as the baby gets older you will really start to appreciate someone who enjoys flying vs someone who is scared of it. smile, giggle, tell him/her how exciting it is to be going in the air. By the time my daughter was 4 she was the best behaved little thing on the plane sitting in first because she enjoyed the process of flying, not the short hassle of security and all the other things that can frustrate you.

Good luck,

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