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Advice for a plane ride with a 10 month old

Posted by on Jan. 18, 2010 at 9:05 PM
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My son will be 10.5 months when we travel to Club Med Ixtapa in Mexico in two weeks. We bought an extra seat on the plane for him but we really don't want to bring his car seat
because we will not use it all week, so we don't want to lug it with
us. He is only 20 pounds, so we can't use the CARES Harness.

What words of wisdom or other ideas do you have for us?\

Also, if you have any ideas for new, fun toys to bring on the plane and good snacks (besides the Gerber stuff) to bring on the plane with us, we would appreciate your help!


by on Jan. 18, 2010 at 9:05 PM
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by New Member on Jan. 19, 2010 at 12:10 PM

You will have to have the car seat if you want him to sit in his own seat during take-off & landing, but otherwise you can just hold him on your lap.  For future reference, if you don't want to pay for a seat, I never bought a seat for my daughter, but as soon as I got on the plane I asked the stewardess if there were any extra seats and if we could have the person sitting by us in the 3-row seats to move (I asked them first if it was okay to ask) - only once, out of 10 different flights, did she have to sit on my lap for the flight.

Also I advise you to bring some new toys, new snacks, and a few of his favorites with you to occupy his time - oh and make sure he's either nursing or drinking during take-off and landing to help with ear pressure.  I breastfed over a year and would just make sure to time a nursing for the take-off.  Good luck - I'm sure it will be fine.  Worse case scenario is he cries, people near you will be upset, but everyone will survive!

by Member on Jan. 19, 2010 at 3:42 PM

Bummer he's too small for the CARES harness. That would have been a good solution. What is the transport for the airport transfer? You might need the seat for that too, and then you could just store it at the Club.

Does he still fit his infant seat? If you don't have a "travel system", you can get (or borrow) a stroller frame. Works great and you can leave the stroller behind. If your own car seat is too big, you might think about getting something like the Cosco Scenera, which sell for as little as $40-50 and then you can use it for baby sitters, grandparents or future children. 

Whatever toys you get, be sure they make NO noise. Babies love to rattle and play things over and over. Your fellow passengers will appreciate it.  You also might want to get soft things if he's prone to throw things. 

You wont need much at his age. He'll be interested in his new surroundings and that alone will keep him occupied. 

If it's a short enough flight, and you can manage it, avoid bringing purees in jars. So messy on airplanes! Can you make do with snacks and milk until you get there?

As a Flight Attendant and having flown countless times with my own children, please don't fret the ears. I actually rarely saw any ear problems when working and my own children never had any problems either. It's not necessary to make them suck on take-off and landing. This is a common myth. The AAP says simply to have them awake at the top of descent, or 40 minutes to an hour before landing. Landing itself is too late. Please let your child sleep and feed normally without any disruption. 

I did take them to the doctor before leaving and had their ears checked. Chances are you have been/will be going soon so his ears are probably fine. Healthy ears can handle pressurization changes.

I go into more detail in this article, which I put on a blog. Totally non-commercial!

Be sure you have a good baby carrier. Avoid hot, fiddly front packs like the Bjorn and get something comfortable. They're great for getting through the airports. I visited several Club Meds with my children and I was sooo happy to have the carrier. I'm not familiar with that property but Club Med's seem to have a lot of stairs and there's a lot of walking. I have a ring sling but other quality carriers would work too. 

I actually skipped the stroller and used the ones Club Med provides, the few times I needed a stroller. We also used the high chairs. I would put the baby down in the stroller or high chair with the carrier around her. Their stuff was clean but I was extra careful (since it was easy to do).

I really recommend packing ALL the diapers you need for the entire time. I ended up wasting my precious vacation time at one Club Med, dragging into town for diapers and then I had to buy this huge package, because that's all they sold... Don't make my mistake! I found that even when you can find diapers and other baby stuff on resorts, they're really expensive. Besides, once used, you have room for your souvenirs! 

I hope your baby is signed up for the baby club. Another mistake we made! Luckily, it was a short break but we didn't realize, and the agent didn't tell us, the kids have to be signed up and paid for at booking time. Luckily we had that covered for longer vacations with them!

Club Med is really good with children and babies. We probably wont go back because we feel their prices have gone up while the quality of the food and accommodations  have gone down. That might not be the case in your part of the world. 

What's nice is that everyone down there will be young families with small children and babies. Virtually no one goes to Club Meds which don't cater to their situation. We had been to singles and couple-oriented Club Meds before. There's a certain luxury knowing that your child can chuck food on the floor and no one will bat an eye or your baby can cry and no one notices. 

Have a great time! 

by Member on Feb. 1, 2010 at 11:40 PM

Here are some ideas of ways to keep baby entertained on the airplane.

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