We’re Flying Cross-Country With An Infant

Mastermind Weekend 1/16

Hey there!

I'm Tina

I’m the owner of Carrots ‘N’ Cake as well as a Certified Nutrition Coach and Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner (FDN-P). I use macros and functional nutrition to help women find balance within their diets while achieving their body composition goals.


An in-depth, 4-week reverse dieting course for women who feel like their metabolism has slowed down, think they might have hormonal imbalance and can’t lose weight no matter what they do.

Hello! Good morning!

Just some pics from the last couple of the days…

Mal and I went out to lunch on Monday afternoon and we had such a nice time. He’s so fun. And, hey, we’ve had two dates in two months””not too shabby!

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We went to The Met Bar & Grill at Legacy Place. We had some errands to run there, so we incorporated lunch too.

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Wine with lunch? Yes, please!

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Mal and I shared some tacos as an appetizer.

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And then I ordered the turkey chili as my entree. Both dishes were quite tasty!

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Yesterday, Quinn and I had a fun day together. We ran some errands, took some nice, long naps (him not me) and ate all sorts of delicious food (both of us).

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We also played, played, played and played some more! (This kid is already such a goober. He’s “talking” up a storm, and it’s so fun acting silly with him!)

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Remember when I said I didn’t want a house with a million kid toys all over the place? Um, yea. Quinn is only 7 months old and he has SO MANY TOYS. And it’s mostly my fault. I can’t help myself. I see something and just know he’ll love it, so I buy it. It happened again yesterday, and I bought him two more toys. Oops.

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In the late afternoon, I ran on the treadmill at KFIT. I did a hill workout (15/7 hills/15), which took me 58 minutes (6.32 miles). I felt kind of blah during it and even walked a couple of times, but, hey, the bad runs make you appreciate the good ones, right?

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Last night’s dinner: Sweet Potato Shepard’s Pie (although I used a couple of regular potatoes to use them up)! So delicious!

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After dinner, Mal and I bought a couple of tickets to visit Seattle with Quinn in February. Cross-country flight with an infant? Yikes. We’re nervous. Please tell us it’s going to be okay!

Question of the Day

Any tips for flying with an infant? 

I think we have the car seat/stroller thing figured out (we still need to get covers – any recommendations?), but any and all advice is welcomed! A few things to know about Quinn: If he is awake, he is moving, he loses interest in most toys after 5 minutes (books typically keep his attention – thank goodness), and he has zero interest in TV. He reminds me of Buddy the Elf at the doctor when we need him to sit still. Haha! We’re in for a real adventure!

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  1. I always find it cute when people make little “goodie bags” for the passengers sitting around them, with a little note from Quinn saying it’s his first time flying sorry if I cry etc.
    Question about your treadmill run- what does the -15/7hills/15- mean (beginner here)? Thanks =)

      1. @Tina: @Tina:

        Don’t bother. Folks that drink too much prior to flights, or don’t shower or whatever don’t give a crap about fellow passengers. A baby is a baby, just do your best. Entertain your child and do your best to be a considerate traveler (check bags that should be checked, listen and react to instructions, etc). We fly a lot with our little guy, the plane window shade is a big hit.

        1. Agreed.
          Seriously, as long as you are doing your best with him, that’s all that matters.
          Be conscientious but remember Quinn has every right to be there just like everyone else.

          Also, between the white noise and the fact that most people have headphones, noise is sort of a non-issue.

          1. @Jenny: I have to chime in too! Goody bags are sweet but SO unnecessary. Besides, why didn’t all those men who hogged my armrests and sat spread-eagle give me a goody bag to apologize for their bad behavior? Which they could have entirely prevented considering they know better, and a baby doesn’t?!

  2. Make sure you feed him on take off and landing and have a passifyer. It helps with the ear popping. I traveled every week for ten years and from my observation infants are generally easier to travel with than toddlers. Once they’re toddlers, they want to be walking and sitting is torture for them.

  3. It’ll all be okay!!
    When my daughter was age 2months – 1 year we flew 4(!!) different times with her cross country to visit family. And it was totally fine. Like another reader commented, when they’re less than a year old its pretty easy to feed them and have them cuddle with you during the flight. If you can, wait to feed him as you’re literally taxi-ing down the runway for takeoff. One time of those 4 times we flew, I thought since we were backing up from the gate that we would be taking off soon, so I gave her her bottle then, only to find we sat in a long line on the runway and she drank her whole bottle before we even got in the air. But it still turned out just fine – by then I think she had fallen asleep and it didn’t phase her.

    Now that said daughter is 4 years old, and she has a 2 year old sister, we don’t fly anymore, haha! Luckily we’ve moved closer to family so its not a necessity anymore. This toddler age scares me more (in regards to flying) than the baby stage. Enjoy your trip to Seattle!! It’ll be awesome.

  4. Mmm.. wine and lunch sound perfect… that shepherds pie looks awesome! I made one very similar not too long ago, and won’t go back to the “traditional” way!

  5. I think you will be pleasantly surprised…my son was 1 and mobile the first time he flew. If you can time a nap for when the plane is taking off, give him something to suck on for his ears, chances are he will snooze most of the way! My pediatrician told me for ever screaming baby on a plane, there are a handful of babies you never knew were there cuz they were quiet. The roaring hum of the engine is like white noise. Other than that, snacks and a few small no-noise toys, but I wouldn’t go crazy packing things cuz I guarantee you will end up not using it. I personally would not even bother with the gifts…whether or not he cries, we as parents don’t need to apologize for a crying baby. Most people would be sympathetic and been there before and if they are judgmental, screw them and you never have to see them again!

  6. We did it twice when we just had my daughter, and since my husband’s family is in Seattle we’ve done several trips with more than one as well! It really depends on the child, but bringing more snacks and entertainment than you could ever imagine helps! That and trying to roll with the punches of traveling with kids. It’s not easy.

  7. Your lunch with Mal looks delicious! I wish I could be more of a help of tips with flying with a baby but all I’ve got is feeding them when your taking off and landing. It will help with the pressure in their little ears. Have a great day!

  8. Check your car seat at the gate. Reason I say this is because if they have an open seat bring your car seat on the plane with you and Quinn can sit in the seat vs your lap. We fly quite often with our 1year old and 3 year old – now we don’t bring the seat on for my 3 year old but a must for the wiggly 1 year olds and younger!!!

  9. I’ve traveled with my niece and nephew several times from the ages of 3 months to 2 years. The best advice you will get is –

    1. Get an isle seat for yourself, this will allow you to get up and out of your seat quickly. You can then easily get to the bathroom to do a diaper change or walk up and down the isles to soothe the baby.

    2. Give the kid a bottle (milk, water, anything!) when you are about to take off and on landing. This will make their ears not hurt and give them something to concentrate on. If they won’t take the bottle, try a pacifier – any sucking action will help with the pain.

    3. Make sure you have the essentials: bottle, nook/pacifier, extra clothes, diapers, snacks, etc. in a small bag so you can take it out when needed. When you need something and you are in mid-flight, it better be right in front of you!

    4. Check an umbrella stroller at the gate, it will be super helpful when you get off!

  10. We flew to Spain when my daughter was 9 months old (from JFK). If he’s a good car sleeper then he’ll be a good plane sleeper so fly during nap times, have plenty of toys and snacks to entertain him if he doesn’t sleep.

    Consider buying a seat for him (if you didn’t). My youngest doesn’t like to be held and did great on the plane in her own seat (in a car seat) because it was just like being in the car.

  11. Eeeee that’ll be so fun, I absolutely LOVE Seattle. Best tip: bring extra formula / food! When my sister was little, we had to “circle” once for 2 hours and if we hadn’t thrown in extra formula and diapers at the last minute, it would have been reaaal hectic.

  12. We have flown a few times with our little guy and the first trip was around 8 months. We planned the flights as close to nap time as we could and we got lucky that he napped for a good portion of the way and back to Texas.

    Feeding at takeoff and landing helped with is ears.

    Snacks that take a while to eat can be distracting and kills some time too. You can carry on any bottles you need but know they go through extra screening so that just takes a few extra minutes.

    Otherwise we travel with a bag of lots of little things to play with as he loses interest quickly too! Small books, cars to push etc..

    I would plan to bring some sanitizing wipes or spray and clean the seat down, window etc, as my son licked everything at that age on the plane. ugh.

    We have had good luck with the prince lionheart stroller and car seat travel bags (bought cheap on amazon) and we gate checked both items.

    Wearing him through the airport will make things easy for you and most airports allow you to go through security without taking him off. Boston, providence, Orlando, and Dallas have been great about that for us so far.

  13. My one tip for flying with an infant, be careful what you pack in a sippy and how full it is. They pressurize on the way up and when you open them, they can explode, even non carbonated ones. The ones that flip open with a straw can become a water house….I am strictly speaking NOT from experience. LOL

  14. I have a 2 year old and the toys can be really overwhelming in small space. We bought 3 rubbermaid containers and split all of his toys and books into 4 piles – 3 to go in the bins, and one to stay out. Every month, we rotate. It’s like the toys are all new to him again each month and he LOVES it! I also love having a quarter of the mess to worry about 🙂 Also…I split the toys with the most pieces evenly amongst the boxes (blocks, legos, stacking toys, etc) so I only have one of those to worry about each month. He does enjoying helping to clean up, but usually can’t stay focused long enough to do it!

  15. I once took a redeye flight from San Francisco to Boston. When I got on, I found next to me a young mother with an 8mo old. She said to me “I’m your worse nightmare!”

    But she had this well thought out. She kept the baby awake all day — so with the exception of take off and landing, the baby slept, well, like a baby and so did I.

  16. Distraction is key. Babies will not be distracted nor excited by toys or objects that they’re used to playing with on a day to day basis. Before each trip I’ve always hit up the dollar store for a few trinkets that I can offer up to our little girl when she got fussy during a flight. DO NOT give them the new toys all at once– just introduce them to your babe when they are in need of a distraction. This has always worked like a charm for us. Good luck!;)

  17. Buy a couple of cool new books and don’t let him see them until you’re on the plane!!!

    He’s at an easier age to fly because he will be happy to have a lot of lap time!

  18. I’m flying to Australia with my two month old next week. I’m really scared! I’m just hoping I can get him to sleep most of the time but the entire trip takes 24 hours so it’s going to be interesting to say the least . . .

  19. ahhh i’m dying to go to Seattle and have heard so many great things about that city! Seattle, Austin and Portland are high on my list of must-see cities in the US that i haven’t hit yet. luckily, i’ll check Austin off this wknd and am looking forward to that. i’m sure Seattle will be a blast, and best of luck flying with a baybee!

  20. Hey Tina! Is there a recipe for the shepherd’s pie? I’m doing Whole30 right now and it looks like something that could be compliant with a few modifications!

  21. We’ve traveled with our little one (Now 15 months) across country 3 times. It was actually a lot easier before she could walk because now she doesn’t want to sit.

    I actually went to Target and bought a handful of small novel toys that my daughter had never seen before and that helped quite a bit.

    In terms of the car seat and stroller, you should def check them at the gate. I’ve read multiple times that by checking your car seat you are basically “wrecking it” and that it is no longer safe. Just think about how they throw those things around! Plus, if there is an empty seat, you can take it right on the plane with you, leaving a comfy familiar place for Quinn to hang out.

  22. He’s at the perfect age for a flight – he can’t walk yet and will still have multiple naps a day! Too, you’ve said he’ll sleep in the car. The flight will feel very similar to him and he might even doze off. We flew cross country with my little one at that age (busy body, hates tv) and it was WAY easier than I expected. Not to say it wasn’t rough, but it wasn’t that bad. Just be prepped for his ears to pop, have plenty of snacks, baby wear when you can, and have some cocktails in the the air ;). You’ll do great!

  23. We flew with my little one when she was 7 months old. I was nervous too, but I found that the other passengers were really understanding. One of the most challenging things for me was dealing with all the baby stuff that I brought carry-on. I would recommend only packing the essentials so you don’t have to haul around a stuffed to the brim diaper bag and try to keep track of everything. If Quinn is anything like lochlyn he will be most entertained by whatever he can find to play with that isn’t actually a “toy” anyways.

  24. I flew with my daughter when she was about Q’s age. I had a full bag of board books, little toys, a pacifier (for taking off and landing) also milk on the go for this one, and this was also before ipads etc were a part of my world. She did great! She is usually a wiggle worm and it was just her and I, we got stuck in a window seat. Most people were really understanding and even offered to hold her (creepy in my world, but nice… hello stranger danger! haha) Anyway, one of the GOOD things about this is whenever there was a first class seat open or a spot with more room I always got moved! I especially enjoyed the first class relocation bc I got all the fun perks they get 😉

  25. I’ve never flown with a baby! But I will be watching to see how it works out for you since we plan to travel a bit once our newest little one in born. Good luck!

  26. Of course it totally depends on the kid, but an infant is so much easier to travel with than a toddler–several of our flights went super smooth when my daughter was little like that. Definitely feed a bottle or give a binkie during take off & landing to help with the ear popping, and snacks help too!

    Definitely only pack essentials, and if you can/want to, wear him through security –like in an Ergo. So much easier than a stroller (you don’t have to take him out but make sure your coat is off b/c you’ll have to take that off). 🙂 He will love the trip!

  27. You can do it!!! I am not a Mom, so I have no real advice, but a friend was on a plane with an infant and the parents packed extra sets of ear plugs to give to people around them in case the baby cried. I always thought that was a sweet idea.

  28. Hi! Sorry, but I don’t have any baby advice. I do however live in seattle and would be happy to share any tips or insights on the city. Just let me know if you have any questions. Pack boots! February is pretty rainy 🙂

  29. I would love to give you advice but we took my two year-old on a flight once and we said we would never do it again. However, he’s younger so it might be easier? I don’t know. Snacks. Snacks. Snacks. Make friends with the people around you. 🙂
    You’re going to have fun!

  30. I first flew cross country (VT to Oregon, Oregon to Virginia and Oregon to Vermont) with my daughter at 6 months then at 12 months and last at 20 months. 6 and 12 months were by far the easiest. Don’t stress yourselves out – most likely he will sleep for most of the trip/ Bring a few toys, a bottle, some food, a change of clothes and if he cries – it happens NBD.

  31. I have done a bunch of flights with my son. They were always in the evening so he slept, but for the most part feeding him on take off and landing is good for the ears. Bring some toys to amuse him and let him look out the window. I also used a baby carrier to carry him through the airport and not a stroller. I personally think its ridiculous that people feel that they have to apologize that their baby is crying on a flight…its not your fault…and you the parent are a lot more uncomfortable then the passengers around you who have to hear him cry. SO try not to stress if he does cry!

  32. We flew from Boston to California when our daughter was about 8 months old. It went really well! We managed to snag a flight that overlapped with nap time, so she slept a nice chunk of the flight. For that reason, a window seat was huge for us, but I know some parents like the aisle. I fed her during take off and landing which helped her ears. I bought a few new toys and touch-n-feel books that she hadn’t seen until the flight, and those seemed to provide extra entertainment. She also loves seeing pictures of videos of herself (such a diva!) so we would flip through our iphone if we got desperate. We also had ear plugs to distribute, but thankfully we didn’t need those. Good luck!!

  33. We just flew with my son over the christmas holiday and I was worried but it turned out to be TOTALLY FINE and easy. My son was 6 months (almost 7). We flew LAX (Los Angeles) to Boston and then had a long drive to the cape. There was horrible traffic and the drive took over 2 hours. It was all so much better than I thought.

    The best thing for us on the flight was hanging out in back with the sweet flight attendants. They were nice to talk to and my son was entertained. He only had very brief (15 min or less) naps and we were up a lot. On the return flight there was winds and we had to refuel in chicago and we were on the plane for almost 9 hours! It was an evening flight so he slept a lot and while it was uncomfortable for me to hold him it was an easy flight. All in all, it will not be too bad at all!! Good luck!

  34. I’ve flown lots with our kiddos…from 7 weeks old and on! I have never had a negative experience with a fellow passenger, and that fact has restored some of my faith in humanity! 🙂 My boys are CONSTANT movers also. I once flew with my oldest when he was 7 months old and he NEVER stopped moving during the 6 hours flight. Not once. But he was happy the whole time. It was exhausting, but you’ll be fine. I’ve honed my travel strategy to a few points:
    1. Get a window seat
    2. Check as much as possible (car seat, stroller)
    3. Wear the baby through the airport
    4. Wipe down everything around your seat with clorox wipes
    5. BOARD LAST (do you don’t need all that extra time sitting on the plane, and if you’ve already checked everything, you don’t need to worry about overhead storage)

  35. Also definitely buy a bag to put your carseat in when you check it! We always do, and our carseat bags are disgusting after just one flight; imagine if all those germs are on your baby’s carseat!! We bought ours at babies r us…they are Brica brand or something like that.

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