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Transatlantic Travel with a Baby

Transatlantic Travel with a Baby

Old Mar 27th 2012, 9:23 pm
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Default Transatlantic Travel with a Baby

We're going on our first trip back to the UK with our 6 month old son on Friday

Any tips on what to bring (over and above the obvious things like him, diapers, etc.. ), how to keep him entertained or any trade secrets any of you have picked up along the way. Kinda nervous... 10 hours where he can't really be put doen to crawl around and play sounds kinda terrifying right now and he's started fussing in the last few nights.

Will be nice for his Granny to see him again though (and nice for me to see my Mum of course).
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Old Mar 27th 2012, 9:28 pm
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Default Re: Transatlantic Travel with a Baby

Originally Posted by Bink View Post
We're going on our first trip back to the UK with our 6 month old son on Friday

Any tips on what to bring (over and above the obvious things like him, diapers, etc.. ), how to keep him entertained or any trade secrets any of you have picked up along the way. Kinda nervous... 10 hours where he can't really be put doen to crawl around and play sounds kinda terrifying right now and he's started fussing in the last few nights.

Will be nice for his Granny to see him again though (and nice for me to see my Mum of course).
Business class; a stroller that has a good chance of fitting into the coat cupboard of aircraft you're likely to get; blackout material secured around the bed/bassinet with wooden pegs; copious amounts of gin for the parents
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Old Mar 27th 2012, 9:35 pm
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Default Re: Transatlantic Travel with a Baby

Originally Posted by IPM View Post
Business class; a stroller that has a good chance of fitting into the coat cupboard of aircraft you're likely to get; blackout material secured around the bed/bassinet with wooden pegs; copious amounts of gin for the parents
I would love to fly Business class, but unfortunately I can't bring myself to pay for that out of my own pocket (quite happy to oblige when company pays it though )

I'm thinking the copious amounts of gin might go down a treat though!
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Old Mar 27th 2012, 9:43 pm
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Default Re: Transatlantic Travel with a Baby

New toy he has never seen, new book. Baby snacks. He'll probably go to sleep with the vibrations. Ours did at that age. We stuck on play with me sesame for a bit as well on the tv unit.
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Old Mar 27th 2012, 10:02 pm
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Default Re: Transatlantic Travel with a Baby

Buy him a seat, and take his car seat. Best think I ever did. Mine were used to sleeping on car journeys anyway so didn't object to being fastened in. A new interesting toy is always good, maybe two. and pack them away while in UK and use them again for the return journey.
Check the stroller at the plane door, they give it a bright coloured tag when you are checking in the suitcases, and it'll be back by the plane doors as you get off at the other end.
Lots of finger foods and bottles/sippys of water, or milk or whatever he likes best.
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Old Mar 27th 2012, 10:03 pm
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Default Re: Transatlantic Travel with a Baby

Originally Posted by Bink View Post

I'm thinking the copious amounts of gin might go down a treat though!
Thats for everyone in the seats around you
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Old Mar 27th 2012, 10:05 pm
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Default Re: Transatlantic Travel with a Baby

Originally Posted by Mummy in the foothills View Post
Buy him a seat, and take his car seat. Best think I ever did. Mine were used to sleeping on car journeys anyway so didn't object to being fastened in. A new interesting toy is always good, maybe two. and pack them away while in UK and use them again for the return journey.
Check the stroller at the plane door, they give it a bright coloured tag when you are checking in the suitcases, and it'll be back by the plane doors as you get off at the other end.
Lots of finger foods and bottles/sippys of water, or milk or whatever he likes best.
I contemplated this, but haven't this time... I hope I don't regret that...!
We did manage to get the sky bassinet on the bulkhead seat and he should still be small enough to fit in that so I'm hoping that will help.
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Old Mar 27th 2012, 10:23 pm
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Default Re: Transatlantic Travel with a Baby

Not tried this myself (as our isn't due until June and I am dreading that first long haul flight) but I have heard that some people use Benedryl.

Obviously check with your pediatrician first in regards to using any such medication.
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Old Mar 27th 2012, 10:36 pm
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Default Re: Transatlantic Travel with a Baby

Originally Posted by sir_eccles View Post
Not tried this myself (as our isn't due until June and I am dreading that first long haul flight) but I have heard that some people use Benedryl.

Obviously check with your pediatrician first in regards to using any such medication.
Just don't try it the first time on the plane, some kids get get more hyper from it. I wouldn't use it on a small baby a preschooler maybe at a pinch.
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Old Mar 27th 2012, 11:20 pm
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Default Re: Transatlantic Travel with a Baby

The Sproutlet's first flights were last August July when she was seven months old. We flew BA Club World (business class, bought with miles) BOS-LHR-FRA and return. Didn't buy her a seat - whacked her in a bassinet instead.

The crew couldn't have been nicer - made a fuss of her while we were settling in, and Mrs tonrob breastfed during take-off to help the Sproutlet's ears with the pressure.

As soon as the seatbelt sign was off we wedged her into the bassinet (it was a tight fit) and draped a blanket over the head end. I was getting claustrophobic just looking at her but she was fine and crashed out instantly. She stayed asleep almost the whole way - waking up of her own accord about an hour before landing and behaving for the rest of the flight.
She was as good as gold on the return too, and upon disembarking other passengers commented that they hadn't even been aware there was a baby in the cabin.

We checked the stroller along with the suitcases and used a Baby Bjorn carrier from there on in - we found it perfect and a lot less cumbersome.

Looking back, that age seemed perfect for flying. We took her BDL-ATL-PHX and back in coach in October, this time with her own seat, and that was a bit more challenging from a sleep perspective. Still, she behaved most of the way.

Next flights for her will be BOS-FRA and return this coming July, so waiting to see how she performs on those!
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Old Mar 27th 2012, 11:45 pm
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Default Re: Transatlantic Travel with a Baby

Originally Posted by sir_eccles View Post
Not tried this myself (as our isn't due until June and I am dreading that first long haul flight) but I have heard that some people use Benedryl.

Obviously check with your pediatrician first in regards to using any such medication.
Disagree with this I'm afraid, I can't imagine why anyone would want to drug their child when there is no medical reason.

I used to work with a guy who used to give his kids calpol to make them sleepy for flights. 1 kid who had used the medication several times became ill on the flight, throwing up constantly and feverish. They had to take him to the emergency room where the doctor asked if he had taken any medication in the last 24 hours, his dad had to say, yes calpol, when asked why, he had to say to make him sleepy for the flight
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Old Mar 28th 2012, 4:59 am
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Default Re: Transatlantic Travel with a Baby

Take a clean t-shirt for you.....Speaking from experience of a very unpleasant flight to Japan. I gave my 3 month old a bottle of milk on take off to help his ears. Having done its job perfectly, he decided to "share it with me" just as we leveled off at cruising altitude. It was a very long, sticky and ultimately smelly flight with no change of clothes for me!

Other things, some repeats:
Gate check the stroller.
Baby Bjorn indispensable.
Don't take too much for yourself (apart from the clothes!) - if the babie's asleep, copy him, if he's not, you're gonna be playing with him.
Skip the drugs - see how he fares on his own.
Be prepared for if there isn't a basinette available - happened to us a couple of times even when booked well in advance. A couple of blankets and pillows can make a makeshift bed on the floorat your feet....not ideal, and probably not very safe in the event of unexpectedturbulence, but then neither are the basinettes really.
Car seats are great, especially once they start toddling - we used ours till 2 years of age. I used to travel with 3 of mine, and being able to take the baby to the toilet to change nappies, knowing that the other(s) were restrained was a big relief!
Don't worry if the baby cries - a) its never as loud as you think, and b) most people will be sympathetic from their own experience.
Enjoy the flight - this is the easiest it'll be for a couple of years
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Old Mar 28th 2012, 8:05 am
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Default Re: Transatlantic Travel with a Baby

Concur with most here - change of top (for the parents), no drugs, limit the carry-ons to as little as possible, sleep when you can. Blankets should be provided: when you're on your back in a bassinet, those overhead lights become lights that shine in your face - even worse if there's a bulkhead TV above as well. Breastfeeding (or bottle) on take off and more importantly landing will help with the ears.

You can usually board early; however, I'm not convinced that is necessarily a good thing, especially as you don't disembark any earlier. The less time I spend in an enclosed capsule with a 6-month old, the better!

"Veteran" of 2x 15 hour flights with each of our kids 5-6 months at the time. You'll manage!
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Old Mar 28th 2012, 11:16 am
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Default Re: Transatlantic Travel with a Baby

I would add making sure you have plenty of time at the airport. Rushing around before the flight just stresses out baby/children and increases vomitting (so much so that you may end up with 3 new t-shirts from overpriced departure lounge tat-shops...!).

And the best piece of advice so far is not to stress... if the baby cries, it cries. If the baby vomits on the person next to you, it does... the flight is a short part of peoples' lives and they can live with a bit of discomfort! It's nobody's fault, it can't be helped and stressing about it will only make things worse.
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Old Mar 28th 2012, 11:44 am
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Default Re: Transatlantic Travel with a Baby

Thanks all! It's really nice to have some comforting words.

I'm a very relaxed flyer so I'm hoping I won't be stressing out about it too much. Baby Bjorn noted (we have one and I love it and so does the little one, so I'll just make sure it's in hand luggage). I thought I was over the 'new parent syndrome' but I guess when it comes to his first flight I'm not!!

I'm not a believer in pre-emptive medicine so we'll see how he fares without anything. He's actually normally very good in general (we're lucky) but he has been a bit fussy in the last week...

Thanks for the spare top advice too! We normally each have a spare top in the diaper bag but that's something we may easily have forgotten.
He doesn't have his own seat this time so the car seat will be in the hold.


2 days...!!!
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