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 Post subject: International travel with babies
PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2011 10:47 am 
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Drinks Wild Tofurkey
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There is a chance that I might be going to London with Nate and Grey. We would be flying from San Francisco to London, should I get a flight with a connection or fly straight through (10 hours)? What are things I should consider about taking this trip versus skipping out on it? What do I need to bring? Grey will be almost 5 months when we may be going.


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 Post subject: Re: International travel with babies
PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2011 10:55 am 
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Nooch of Earl
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I'll be following this thread because there's a chance we may be moving overseas for a few months with V, although according to my husband's detailer that's looking less likely (sad panda).

But if you're thinking about travel bed type things at all, we used our Peapod Plus for the first time while camping and absolutely love it. It would fit in a suitcase, assembles instantly (seriously, stand back!), and takes about 30 seconds to fold back together. (the regular Peapod is smaller than the Plus, but the latter is good until 5-ish years instead of 2-ish.)

obVegan: this isn't kid related, but these books are great: http://www.vegetarianguides.co.uk/produ ... tml#veggie Vegetarian Britain was so helpful.


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 Post subject: Re: International travel with babies
PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2011 11:16 am 
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5 months? I flew cross-country with Lydia for the first time at that age, and it really wasn't that bad. At that age, babies are usually really happy to be able to be in constant contact with their parents for hours. As long as there was a boob to suck on, and a couple toys to play with, she was generally content. With a non-mobile baby, I'd choose a direct flight and get the travel over with as soon as possible. Once Lydia was crawling though, I started to prefer stopovers to give her a chance to move around.


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 Post subject: Re: International travel with babies
PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2011 11:20 am 
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probably obvious, but it surprised me... even babies need a passport now. So make sure you have the lead time to get one.


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 Post subject: Re: International travel with babies
PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2011 11:27 am 
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I've flown to the UK with poopiebaby twice. Once when he was 3 months, and once at 12 months. 3 months was WAY easier! He wasn't mobile yet, so he didn't care that he was stuck on my lap for hours on end. He pretty much nursed and slept most of the long-haul flight (both ways). The really tricky part was trying to eat (um, WHERE exactly was I supposed to put the tray of food?), but between my husband and I we somehow worked it out. 12 months was a different story... (heh)

If I could have had the option of no connections (which in our case come with massive layovers) I would have taken it in a heartbeat, but unfortunately there are NO direct flights from Memphis, so we had a 2-3 hour flight, then a 4-5 hour layover, then a 10 hour flight, which is exhausting anyway, but is just compounded when you're traveling with a baby. Of course it was flipped on the way back - big long flight, then a layover, then ANOTHER flight to get home.

As far as what to take - we do disposables when we travel internationally. It's a lot easier than trying to find places to wash nappies, plus we just didn't have the luggage space to take all those cloth nappies. Otherwise, at that age, poopiebaby pretty much just needed appropriate clothes, and me. Take anything that you can't imagine making it through a day without at home, keeping in mind that if worst comes to worst, you can buy whatever you need while there. On our last trip (in July), we underestimated how cold it would be and ended up having to buy Peter some long sleeved shirts, trousers and a sweater. It worked out though, because we bought them big and now he's wearing them starting this week (now that it's finally cooled off here).

I would also recommend a sling/baby carrier that you both find comfortable. I found ours invaluable for navigating airports (especially those long immigration lines!), the underground (it's not very easy to carry a pushchair up and down all the stairs and there isn't always space for one on the trains), and just general walking to and from places. I actually giggled to myself at the line of parents waiting to pick up pushchairs getting off the planes, while I breezed past with poopiebaby on my front, his nappy bag on my back, pulling our carryon. If you're going to be doing a LOT of walking, then it might be worth taking or hiring a pushchair.

Honestly, if you're going to make the trip, it's going to be a lot easier at 5 months than once he starts crawling/walking. I wouldn't skip it! Traveling with a baby is only complicated if you over think it.

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Last edited by poopiebitch on Wed Oct 19, 2011 11:29 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: International travel with babies
PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2011 11:29 am 
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Semen Strong
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My sister did some lovely international trips (Barcelona and Brazil) when her son was little because he was so portable. Now at 2.5 he is more work to manage on a flight.

I'd talk to his pediatrician about shots that are recommended though, just in case there is a concern with having him exposed to stuff en route.

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 Post subject: Re: International travel with babies
PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2011 4:16 pm 
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Another lurker here. Bean's likely to be a world traveler. I've watched lots of babies on our recent flights, and the under 6-months crowd does seem to do a lot better: less mobile, easier to distract, sleep more, etc. A direct flight seems easier to me in that you'd have to pack Grey up and move him around the airport, wait in queues, etc. an extra time if you connected.

Be sure to contact the airline ahead of time too, as many of them have special kid-areas and/or baby beds, etc.


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 Post subject: Re: International travel with babies
PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2011 5:40 pm 
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All I know is airline related: tell them you have a baby when you book your flight and they can give you a bulkhead seat (the ones at the front, where you have the most leg room) and they can lend you a bassinet for the flight that will fit in front of you. Also you get priority boarding.


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 Post subject: Re: International travel with babies
PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2011 6:31 pm 
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I always told them I was traveling with an infant, and I never got a bulkhead seat or a bassinet, even when I asked. I think it depends on which airline you're flying with, so it's still worth a shot. But yes, you do get priority boarding, and some really nice airport people will even let you jump security queues when entering the gate (like at Gatwick, where you have to go through security again before you board the plane).

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I'm in a pure mood with poopietits now. Damn her jugs! - interrobang?!
give my you inquiries! and give poopie you burritos. - acr
Sometimes I think, it's really my lack of cybernetic implants that keeps me from being truly human. - Mars


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 Post subject: Re: International travel with babies
PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2011 7:06 pm 
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I flew from Bahrain to New Zealand next to an infant and her mom. They were given the bulkhead seat, the bassinet, and the baby was great! She would fuss and the mom would boob her, then everybody slept. I was worried when I sat down, but they were great row-mates.

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 Post subject: Re: International travel with babies
PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2012 4:13 pm 
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*bump*

I've only ever seen kids sleeping on mom and dad on flights....how does the bassinet work? I read that it hooks onto a seat, but wouldn't that mean that you have to book a seat for baby too?

We're planning our first trip with the bean for this coming July/August. I pray that we will survive. :) She's still waking all the freaking night long which is frustrating at home, but I fear may lead us to be personae non gratae on the airplane.

Also trying to figure out what to do about pumping. LON-CHI is usually about 10 hours there, 9 back. Add in 4 hours beforehand for train/checkin, then another 2 hours for immigration/luggage, etc. and ride home...one long day. I have a manual single pump, but I've not used it since like the second day after milk came in. Pumping now 4x/day (skipping nights since she feeds then) with a double electric, hospital grade pump. Wondering if maybe I can rent one Stateside that's the same model (Medela Symphony), or if I should haul this sucker across the sea. Just don't think that this little hand-powered guy's gonna cut it for three weeks.

Did your munchkins do okay with takeoff/landing and pressure changes?

<<pauses and wonders if I am out of my freaking mind


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 Post subject: Re: International travel with babies
PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2012 4:41 pm 
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If you can find a lactation consultant where you're going, I'd rent the pump. Sounds like such an amazing PITA to lug.

We're planning our west coast trip for the summer, Malka will be 10 months and she is almost walking now at 8.5 months, so I'm sure she'll be walking then. I am just gearing up for it being a nightmare. We will have to pack formula because ours is not that commonly stocked and enough disposable diapers to get through when we can buy some, so on the upside our luggage will be lighter coming home!

My mother says when I traveled cross country as an infant, the bulkhead/bassinet thing was de rigueur. I have flown a bunch of times cross country or internationally as an adult and have never seen one.


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 Post subject: Re: International travel with babies
PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2012 5:03 pm 
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I have traveled internationally with an infant and didn't get a bassinet, but I did get the bulkhead (both there and back) so it probably does depend on the airlines. I would take the direct flight if possible, so you don't have to unpack and repack and lug things around (and possibly wait for a few hours). I'm usually a fan of the lay-over, but not in this case.

I also second the babysling, and disposible diapers. I might try to purchase some there though. I believe that Bambos are probably easy to find (a Danish diaper). They're eco-friendly (both the diaper and the manufacturing process) and they're probably cheaper since they're manufactured on that side of the world.

I would bring the obvious baby stuff: wipes, pain-reliver/fever reducer of choice, handful of toys, and enough clothes to get you through without washing. Even in that, I would try to pack minimally. London is easy to navigate (IMHO) and should you need anything that you don't have, it wouldn't be too hard to find it.

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 Post subject: Re: International travel with babies
PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2012 6:17 pm 
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Do you have to pump during the traveling day or just when you are at your destination?


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 Post subject: Re: International travel with babies
PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2012 12:38 pm 
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Nooch of Earl
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You could find a nearby hospital that has a lactation center (this was really easy for us to do when the military took back the pump they gave me to use for free) that will rent out hospital grade pumps. If you have been using the medela hospital grade, take the user-specific parts with you (remember those two round yellow pieces on the inside!) so you don't have to buy another kit. I think we paid about $100 for 5 weeks, which struck the LCs I talked to as on the high end.


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 Post subject: Re: International travel with babies
PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2012 1:34 pm 
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@Butternut: sorry for not responding sooner. I had been pumping every day so would need to do so on the day of travel (there/back) as well. Things are all wonky now though, with her nursing more sometimes and maybe only pumping once/twice, so I don't know what's going to happen. Oi.


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 Post subject: Re: International travel with babies
PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2012 3:25 pm 
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Yeah, I would rent one. Not sure if you are going to be in a large city or what, but if so you can usually rent them from breast feeding supply stores (think nursing bras, shirts, pumps, etc.) as well as hospitals.

I have a medela pump in style that has a battery pack I guess you could use at the airport or plane, but I have never tried it for that. It's pretty pricey for that and you would make out better renting one and using the hand pump on the travel day.


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 Post subject: Re: International travel with babies
PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2012 2:22 pm 
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*bump*

Have you/would you trust your car seat in the hold? I'm having some mixed feelings on this. Might get one to just use Stateside.


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 Post subject: Re: International travel with babies
PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2012 2:42 pm 
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i personally wouldn't. i've had way too many things mistreated by baggage handlers, and the point about car seats is that any dropping or crushing can weaken the frame to the point where it malfunctions in a crash. you can gate check it, which will prevent it from getting damaged, or you can buy a cheap one when you arrive at your destination (assuming you can get TO the airport without one and assuming you have a way to get OUT of the airport at your destination). the cheaper convertibles run about $40 i think? if you have family picking you up, you could get them to pick it up beforehand and install it in the car. it just depends on what kinds of transport you'll be using to get around.


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 Post subject: Re: International travel with babies
PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2012 2:43 pm 
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oh, and i'm still confused why you need to pump while you're on your trip?


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 Post subject: Re: International travel with babies
PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2012 3:18 pm 
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Oh, hallelujah, this is no longer an issue, I hope. At the time I wrote the first post, Freya was still refusing the breast about 8 hours/day. I had to pump or I'd explode. Also, she wasn't nursing very well (as in getting lots of milk) I think during the night, so I pumped in the early morning as well. I'd posted in another thread that we seem to have mostly gotten over "the troubles" now, so I'm just going to take my hand pump. I'm so nervous about it, but she's nursed all over the place, including while tired and on a moving train today. So, I hope that we're good. :D


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 Post subject: Re: International travel with babies
PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 6:12 pm 
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This is not about international travel, but I couldn't find a better thread.

Oh my God, guys, I am never going to get on a plane with a 17-month-old again. That was a freaking disaster and it was only 5.5 hours each way (I know people who take their kids to Europe at this age - HOW?). How come other people's kids like to sit still? Or watch videos? Or read books? Or eat food? And my kid only wants to run up and down the aisle, fork with stuff in the bathroom, or grab strangers' faces for hours on end? Seriously. Never. Again.


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 Post subject: Re: International travel with babies
PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 6:28 pm 
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Nooch of Earl
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Hahahhaha we just went to Asia and back. I'm composing a postmortem (I mean, a lessons learned - no one died!!!) in my head and was going to start a "International travel with toddlers: the terrifying sequel" thread at some point.

Anyway, I hear ya.


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 Post subject: Re: International travel with babies
PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 6:59 pm 
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Semen Strong
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Oh I look forward to hearing about both your trips! They sound exciting, despite the challenges.

My Dad wants us to go to Austria this summer and he thinks its super easy to travel with toddlers, and I'm really apprehensive about that...

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 Post subject: Re: International travel with babies
PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 7:02 pm 
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Your dad must be smoking something, although i bet nearly 3 is easier than nearly 2.


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