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Thread: air travel

  1. #1
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    Default air travel

    I know this really isn't a BF related question but... We're flying with our then 3.5 mo old DS in a couple of wks. Does anyone have any suggestions for making the trip as comfortable as possible for him (and us)? I'm mostly concerned about helping him clear his ears at take-off and landing. I'm not comfortable BFIP... Would BF be better or can I offer EBM in a bottle to help with his ears? I'm worried about having "one of those" screaming infants on a long plane trip that I always hated sitting next to before I had a baby.

    Jennifer
    Amazed and Proud mom of Luke (Lucas) - 4/5/2006; 9 lbs 12 oz , 22in
    Wife to best friend Carl - 11/4/2001

  2. #2
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    Smile Re: air travel

    I just travelled with my 4.5 mth old DD last week and was worried about the same thing, I thought it would be a nightmare but was pleasantly surprised. When we checked in I asked the desk agent if the flight was full, she said it was fairly packed but she blocked the seat next to us which was great because she was riding on my lap for the trip. See if your airline will do the same. As for lift off and touch down, I did b/f her which calmed her down and she managed to sleep for the majority of the flight. Since you are not comfortable b/f in public, definitely give the bottle, it helps with the decompression. Good luck to you, hope your flight goes smoothly!

  3. #3
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    Default Re: air travel

    Another suggestions that works everytime....travel with earplugs and chocolate for the people around you! That usually relaxes them and in the event your baby is a screamer, you've done all you can!!

  4. #4
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    Default Re: air travel

    We traveled with our son two weeks ago (the week before he turned 4 months). I did breastfeed during takeoff for each of our three plane rides that week (he was quite the jetsetter!). A bottle would work equally as well. I think that its mostly about getting them to suck- in the same way that chewing gum or swallowing helps us clear our ears during altitude changes. The time of our landings were never quite right for him being interested in breastfeeding again. Once he was mostly satisfied with sucking on my husband's finger. Another flight I got out a pacifier (he had never even seen one before). Since he'd never had one he couldn't quite get the hang of keeping it in his mouth- but what was quite funny was that it was more like a new toy and provided him with a distraction as he touched, dropped and put it into his mouth in every possible direction! For our flight home he was asleep when we landed. If your little one is asleep during takeoff or landing, no need to wake him up, he'll sleep through any ear discomfort.

    I know what you mean about being the people with "that baby", I was worried too. It seemed though that there was so much to look at in the airport prior to boarding the plane he would be tired by the time we boarded. Our son is generally quiet and well behaved, but it certainly felt nice when we got off one flight and one of the flight attendants told him he was invited to fly with them again, anytime. And then added, "unlike the baby in row 8". Good luck!

  5. #5
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    Default Re: air travel

    I flew to Europe with my 2.5 months daughter, and she slept through most of the flights (one connecting, one transatlantic). She didn't seem to mind taking off or landing, I only nursed her on board when she was hungry.
    (By the way I was v uncomfortable about nursing in public, that went out of the window v quickly! I nursed on the plane, at the airport etc. and it was totally fine- I can nurse anywhere now!)
    I think taking off/landing doesn't bother all babies, but if your son gets fussy, you could try the breast, EBM, a pacifier, or even your finger/knuckle! I saw parents do that with TINY twins on a flight years ago, and it seemed to work great!
    Main thing for me was not to get too stressed when my daughter had the odd cry- I felt bad about disturbing other passengers, and then I thought 'scr8w it, babies cry, deal with it!'

  6. #6
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    Default Re: air travel

    During DS's first year, I flew with him about 6 times. He's not a huge comfort nurser, so sometimes I'd be able to time it right and nurse him on take-off/landing, sometimes not. I would think that the breast would be preferable to a bottle/paci because the baby's jaw is open wider, but I don't have any concrete info to back that up. However, there are HUGE benefits to not having to lug around a bunch of bottles and paraphenalia with you on the plane. If you are in a window seat, you can nurse pretty discretely. I also usually wear a nursing tank top under a regular shirt when I travel so I can just pull up my shirt and unclip the tank to nurse.

    Getting comfy with NIP is always sort of a trial-by-fire affair. I agree with the PP that NIP while travelling is a big milestone. Be brave! You can do it! Most people think you're just holding a sleeping baby, and I have never had a negative reaction.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: air travel

    We also just got back from vacation w/ air travel. DD is 4.5 months old. Quite the air traveler as it turns out. I bf her on takeoff and landing. She was content looking at and talking to everyone. The mom in front of us used a binky and a bottle. They did fine as well. I've heard take off is much better on the ears than decent. So for sure offer the bottle if you don't like to NIP on the way down. Have fun on your trip (I also like DJ's mom's suggestion of chocolate for those around her)

  8. #8
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    Default Re: air travel

    I just flew from Western Canada out east and back again with my 5 month old. I had absolutely no problems with him experiencing discomfort during takeoff or landing. I bf the first take off, but for the others, he just used his pacifier. I think he was simply so interested in everything going on, and all the people and things to look at, that he didn't notice any discomfort that he might have had.

    Also, about the NIP, I think most people on a plane would rather have a nursing mother than a screaming baby!! And, I agree with one of the previous people, if you have a window seat, it's very private!!

    Good luck!!
    First time Mommy to Alexander - Born Jan 15, 2006

  9. #9
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    Default Re: air travel

    We actually just landed earlier this afternoon after DS's second airline experience. He's 9 mos now, but flew for the first time at 6 mos. The first time I planned to nurse him up and down, but as he only nursed to eat, we only nursed a few times (2 flights each way). I didn't have any NIP issues though. I brought one of the Taggie blankets and found that they are a perfect size for covering my exposed side when I nursed. I also tried a bottle, but he had no interest. On the way there, he was fine though when he didn't suck. On the way home, though, he has a little cold and ended up screaming for just a few minutes on each landing. People were very understanding.

    On this trip, as he is no longer nursing and is older, we gave him Cheerios up and down - It worked great as he was basically sucking and chewing the whole time. It also kept him quiet during the flight while he decided to test out his voice and squeal (his new "thing") That was fun! My DH said that there was a pod of whales somewhere in the Atlantic trying to answer his call This trick, of course, only works for older babies.

    As for the people, I think that MOST are understanding and have been through it. They may not enjoy the crying, but probably are probably sympathizing with you more than they are upset about the noise. And for those that are grouchy - well, I like the idea about the chocolate! Oh - and the women who sit behind you and play peek-a-boo with your baby, well they deserve a hug and a BOX of chocolates

  10. #10
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    Default Re: air travel

    Thank you everyone! Lots of good ideas and made me feel a lot more comfortable about the trip.

    Jennifer
    Amazed and Proud mom of Luke (Lucas) - 4/5/2006; 9 lbs 12 oz , 22in
    Wife to best friend Carl - 11/4/2001

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