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Discussion Starter #1
I wanted to ask if anyone knows this..

I will be traveling from Sac to Philadelphia next month. I have a 5 month daughter. I want to know what do you guys think.. Should I take her, or leave her with my mother.. I am not questioning whether I should leave her with my mother.. Just if I should leave her.

If I do decide to take her, She will be in my lap. Do I have to buy a separate ticket for her? Or how does it work?
 

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Always check with the airline, but in general...

You have three options:
- Buy a ticket and use an approved infant seat. See the airline's website about seats.
- Bring an infant seat in the hopes that there will be an empty seat you can use. This will probably require some reseating and flexibility on your part as well as the gate personnel, so allow ample time. If there is not an extra seat, you then gate-check the infant seat and hold your child on your lap. There is a great deal of difference among airlines in this regard; check carefully.
- Just plan to carry her as a lap child. Generally free up to a cutoff age. There will be an increase in risk to her in the event of severe turbulence or rapid deceleration. These problems are very uncommon, though.

Personally, I'd only use an infant seat. If cost is a problem, at least you have the option to leave her at home.

Babies shouldn't fly with an ear infection or bad congestion.
More info:
Flying with Kids: Infant, baby, toddler, and child air travel tips
 

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Five months? I think she should be okay but check with your pediatrician first.
 

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I have an 18 month daughter we've taken on a few flights. Under 2, they usually count as a lap child and don't require a ticket - check with the airline first. When traveling with a lap child like that, you are required to check in at the airport, can't check in at home and print a boarding pass, so allow extra time for the lines. You also won't be allowed to sit in an exit row with a young kid (so again, need to declare this when booking your reservation). Check as much baggage as you can to minimize your carryon baggage as your arms will be full and busy. Take a small (umbrella) stroller and your car seat all the way to the gate, and gate check it there (talk to the agent at the gate to get a gate check ticket). If you're lucky, at that point (or before, when you check in) the agent can tell you if there's an empty seat next to you and if it'd be OK for you to take the baby seat on. To help ensure that, when you book seats get an aisle and window seat in the same row (assuming you're traveling with your spouse), at the back of the plane - increases your odds of there being an empty seat between you two that you can put the baby seat in for free. If someone ends up sitting there, they'll almost certainly swap their middle seat for either the aisle or window so you two can still sit together.

Don't forget a change of clothes for YOURSELF as well as your kid. Last flight I was on my daughter was sitting happily on my lap when my leg started feeling very warm; her diaper had leaked. Badly.

Not all airplane restrooms have changing tables, though usually at least one on each plane does. Might want to scope that out when you board, before you *really* need it. ;)

Like others said, try to time it so a bottle is needed/wanted during takeoff and landing to help relieve air pressure in the kid's ears.

Oh, and of course, take advantage of preboarding!
 

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MattG got most of the important issues, but I can add a few notes.

Every airline I've checked with which includes quite a few on both US and international flights has a cutoff of 2 years old for lap children. I don't know if it's all airlines, but I've yet to come across an exception.

And, some airplanes only have certain rows where you can have a lap child due to the availability of an extra air mask. My understanding is that this is why they usually require check in and printing of boarding passes at the airport.

Get to the airport early. Going through security with all of the extra baby stuff can be rather time consuming, especially if you're randomly selected for the extra security screening.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks all for the advice. I will talk this over with my wife and we shall go from there
 

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Or, you can leave her with your mother, and get home quickly and easily to see her.

And bring her a present!
 

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I never understand people who take babies on airplanes... they are probably gonna get sick, and since they cant equalize the pressure in their ears they are gonna scream the whole timeTADTS I would just leave her with mom. to be honest I am suprised that your wife hasnt already said "leave her with me and thats final" TADTS:rolleyes::panic:
 

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I never understand people who take babies on airplanes... they are probably gonna get sick, and since they cant equalize the pressure in their ears they are gonna scream the whole timeTADTS I would just leave her with mom. to be honest I am suprised that your wife hasnt already said "leave her with me and thats final" TADTS:rolleyes::panic:
One day it will happen to you!

The reasons though are as many and varied as people - but I have taken my youngest around the world twice (once to visit home, once to move there). Also, quite simply, babies aren't pets to be left when not convenient - you do get quite attached to them :)
 

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I never understand people who take babies on airplanes... they are probably gonna get sick, and since they cant equalize the pressure in their ears they are gonna scream the whole timeTADTS I would just leave her with mom. to be honest I am suprised that your wife hasnt already said "leave her with me and thats final" TADTS:rolleyes::panic:
What I don't understand are folks who will put their child in a properly-installed infant car seat for every drive in the car, but then sit the kid on their lap for a flight. The sad fact is that, in the event of serious turbulence, a rough landing, or a crash, the kid is likely to become a fleshy projectile.
 

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I think children under a certain age fly free but I would check with the airline first.
2 years old with most airlines. Don't buy a seat, the child won't use it anyway.

My son was travelling fairly frequently starting at a little over 2 months old. It was fine. Depends on the child, the mom, and the length of the flight. Nurse up and down (to help w/ the pressure issues), try to time during nap if you can.

'Greg
 

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The sad fact is that, in the event of serious turbulence, a rough landing, or a crash, the kid is likely to become a fleshy projectile.
Not a sad fact. Not even a sad half-truth.

In the event of a crash, the child may become a projectile, but if you are holding the baby (as you should), if you experience enough force to yank the child out of your hands, you're probably going to be seriously injured, too.

'Greg
 

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I never understand people who take babies on airplanes... they are probably gonna get sick, and since they cant equalize the pressure in their ears they are gonna scream the whole timeTADTS I would just leave her with mom. to be honest I am suprised that your wife hasnt already said "leave her with me and thats final" TADTS:rolleyes::panic:
:huh:
Kids are tough critters. Lots of people decide that they're going to continue to lead normal lives after having kids, and travel is, for many people, part of that. Traveling with babies is easier than with toddlers or young children IMO (less mobile and more interested in sleep). They can easily equalize air pressure in their ears, you just need to know what needs to be done to help them do that. It's really not that tough and most babies I've seen on planes are perfectly quiet the entire flight. Besides, the germs a kid is exposed to in a few hours on a plane are nothing compared to what they get in a few hours at a day care center.
 

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Don't do it unless you absolutely have to. Kids under 2 fly for free but its not worth the 'freebie'. You will be public enemy number one if you can't control your kid. I am speaking from experience.
 

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Not a sad fact. Not even a sad half-truth.

In the event of a crash, the child may become a projectile, but if you are holding the baby (as you should), if you experience enough force to yank the child out of your hands, you're probably going to be seriously injured, too.

'Greg
I disagree and so does the pilot who lives with me.

If you wouldn't ride around with the baby on your lap in the car, it doesn't make sense to do so in a plane, where the potential (and unexpected) non-crash-related G-forces are significantly higher than what you'd experience in a car. Clear-air turbulence does happen and does injure travelers - the ones that aren't buckled in get hurt worse. If you think your grip has the holding power of a seatbelt you're either (1) The Hulk or (2) delusional.
 

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One day it will happen to you!

The reasons though are as many and varied as people - but I have taken my youngest around the world twice (once to visit home, once to move there). Also, quite simply, babies aren't pets to be left when not convenient - you do get quite attached to them :)
I have no respect for parents who drag children, aged 2 and under, on planes. Leave them with Grandma. Leave them with a babysitter. Leave them with the nanny. Leave them off the flight. If they're a toddler, they're not going to remember the trip later in life. It's not like a trip to Italy with your 1 year old is going to culturally enhance their life.

If you believe that "babies aren't pets to be left when not convenient", then why don't you take your baby to work with you as well. When they start screaming and spitting up all over the place, you can tell your co-workers to just deal with it. That's the attitude parents have when they take their infants on airplanes.

I was sitting in business class on a flight from London to Los Angeles last year. A woman had reserved 3 business class seats for her 2 kids (both under the age of 3) and her nanny. After the plane took off, the woman put on her Bose headsets and went to sleep. The little girl screamed the ENTIRE 11 hour flight. The little boy ran around the business class cabin annoying passengers and dropping food all over the place. The poor nanny was stuck trying to corral the kids while the mother slept and ignored the whole situation. It's just plain rude.


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I have no respect for parents who drag children, aged 2 and under, on planes. Leave them with Grandma. Leave them with a babysitter. Leave them with the nanny. Leave them off the flight. If they're a toddler, they're not going to remember the trip later in life. It's not like a trip to Italy with your 1 year old is going to culturally enhance their life.

If you believe that "babies aren't pets to be left when not convenient", then why don't you take your baby to work with you as well. When they start screaming and spitting up all over the place, you can tell your co-workers to just deal with it. That's the attitude parents have when they take their infants on airplanes.

I was sitting in business class on a flight from London to Los Angeles last year. A woman had reserved 3 business class seats for her 2 kids (both under the age of 3) and her nanny. After the plane took off, the woman put on her Bose headsets and went to sleep. The little girl screamed the ENTIRE 11 hour flight. The little boy ran around the business class cabin annoying passengers and dropping food all over the place. The poor nanny was stuck trying to corral the kids while the mother slept and ignored the whole situation. It's just plain rude.


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Sounds like the real problem was the parent who didn't take care of her children.
 
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