Posted by: Ingrid | July 6, 2010

Flying with an 11-month-old baby

Help!  Fears of flying solo with Isaac have now dominated my top three list of worries (followed by wondering if I’ll ever run fast again and fearing that one of the giant Michigan ants or spiders is going to walk off with my son or crawl onto his face while he’s sleeping).

On Friday we fly from Detroit to Chicago, have an hour in the airport, then fly from Chicago to Oakland.  We will be in the car, plane, or airport for about nine hours.  It’s just me and my little extroverted baby who is developing a temper and wants to crawl everywhere.

And he’s loud.

He also won’t take a bottle, a sippy cup, or a pacifier and doesn’t nurse well in public because he gets distracted and tries to take off my shirt.  Charming combo, isn’t it?

So I welcome any advice.  Last time I flew alone with him he was two weeks old and he slept the whole time.  How do you travel with a mobile opinionated baby sans drugs?



  1. My hubby flew solo with our daughter, then 10 months, from Australia to UK (about 25 hrs!) . He recommends that you ask for a bassinet seat, and try not to pack to much to take on board as his difficulty was lugging all the gump around. He found the airline staff very helpful. He found that she was enterained by all the passengers wanting to say hello. Hopefully you have a great experience like he did.

    Good Luck!

    • Lisa, that is what I am hoping for, since Isaac is such a people person. I have horrible fears, however, of being next to a businessman who despises children. 🙂

      • If you manage to get a bassinet seat, you’ll be surrounded with parents and kiddies. Hehe, it’s like the “hope”-mine’s-going-to-behave-club” Have a great trip

  2. I flew as a nanny with a slightly older child. We had a supply of new toys and books. When things began to get a little dicey, we would take out something new to entertain him with.

  3. My parents carted me to the UK from Sydney when I was 22 months old (luckily for them I had only just started walking . . I know – late bloomer!) and I still don’t know how they did it! But one thing I do know is that for every person who might give you the evil eye, they’ll be about 10 other people who think he’s cute and adorable and will (hopefully) offer help if you need it. If you get that hour break at the airport and let him find a space to run around in, maybe that will make him comfortable tired for the rest of the flight. I hate facing worry/fear, but in the end you’ll be in CA and having a great time 🙂

  4. my 11 month old is entertained for relatively long periods of time by emptying and sorting. so, on the plane, i allow her to empty the diaper bag item by item or i fill the seat back pocket with baby safe things and allow her to empty item by item. also try to manipulate his naps such that he naps at the time when it would otherwise be most difficult to have him awake i.e. the chicago-oakland flight sounds like a good nap candidate. i will try to keep my daughter awake longer in order to get her to nap at an otherwise difficult time. in terms of the other passengers… dealing with babies is part of being a member of society. as long as isaac is not doing things like pulling other passengers`hair or otherwise directly causing someone hardship (crying does not count!!) then whatever is going on falls into the category of things that all travellers simply have to put up with. you have put up with other people`s crying babies before and you will again… that is simply the way it goes. Finally TRY not to worry about it too much beforehand because then you wind up living it twice – once by worrying about it ahead of time and then the actual experience itself which (knock wood) might not be that bad. breathe. however it goes it will all be ok in the end. best wishes!!

    • Thank you! That is very helpful and I’m trying to just relax about the whole experience. We will do a lot of sorting, I think!

  5. I would also be terrified. I refused to fly one hour alone with my baby when he was 11 months old. One hour. I am a big fat chicken. You will just have to be flexible–and be prepared to try anything. You will probably be horrified at this suggestion, since I think you’ve been super nursing mom and not much else yet, but Puffs. They are a mom’s best friend. When we were traveling it was all about non-stop Puffs and Cheerios. You might want to bring some Puffs along in case of emergency. They melt in the mouth so you don’t have to worry about his ability to master them. Good luck! It will be okay!

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