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Tips for Traveling with a 4 month old

I am taking my 4 month old on a plane in 2 weeks.  What types of things should I do/avoid to help her during the flight?  The flight is approximately 4 hours.

Four months old should be a great age to travel. I recommend you feed her on the way up and way down. This should help her ears adjust to the pressure changes.

Bring a sling or a baby bjorn to help holding her - 4 hours can be a long time. Bring a pacifier (with a pacifier string) and a couple toys. By toys, I mean a couple of objects to draw her attention. We do not travel with a large bag of toys as our children never played with them and they can be hard to keep up with.

I do not recommend “medicating” children with benadryl or other cold medications prior to traveling. They are not approved at your daughters age and often make children feel worse. In general, if you can stay calm, your plane trip should go well.

Follow up

On the flight to Colorado, I nursed her during take off and her ears didn't bother her one bit.  She slept for nearly 80% of that flight.  When she was awake, she was happy and chipper.  When my husband boarded the plane with her, everyone around us gave him the look.  But when the flight was over, one passenger said to us that had he not seen her board he wouldn't have known there was such a young baby on the flight. 
 
On the return flight, she was tired when we got on the plane.  I tried my hardest to keep her awake, but it didn't work.  The moment she started to nurse, she fell fast asleep.  Though I was able to give her a pacifier, I think her ears were bothered by the pressure change.  She was a bit grumpier on the return flight.  But with a lot of bouncing in the seat and being passed between my husband and I, we survived the flight. 
 
4 months was a perfect age for a first flight.  She doesn't yet have the taste of freedom by crawling and walking and is very content to just be held.  I did have her lovie, plenty of pacifiers (though she didn't toss one), blankets (she's a blanket girl), and a couple toys (she didn't have any interest in those).  She'll likely be taking her next airplane trip in May when she's 7 months old - that trip will surely be a bit more interesting

 

Written Originally February 2011
follow up added March 2011 by
Dr. Gordon, Orlando Pediatrician

 

 

 

 

 

 

gregorygordonmd.com is intended to help parents understand the needs and behaviors of children. The information presented in the site is the opinion of Gregory Gordon, M.D.and does not reflect the opinion of his partners. This website is owned exclusively by Doctors insights LLC. The advice in this site does not apply to all children. Always consult your healthcare provider for your individual needs.

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