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  1. #1
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    Default Things to consider when traveling internationally with infant

    My hubby is in the military. He was able to come home for the birth, the downside he will not be home again until May. He also has a rather nice duty station; alas, the base is overseas and does not allow children under six to live there. So we are here and he is waaaay over there. Hubby and I are thinking about having me and the little one visit in December before I start back full time at school.

    We gave ourselves until the end of the month before booking the flight, that was we have plenty of time to research and finalize everything. We want to figure out logistics now rather than later.

    What are some things we should probably have figured out?

    For instance, the first “problem” I thought of was how am I going to feed the baby (who will be four months at the time of the trip). Flights with layover is looking like 26 hours, add in getting to the air port early, and travel time to and from lodging on either end equals a huge stash of milk needs to be packed. I exclusively pump and the TSA 3-1-1 did not sound very breast milk friendly. I e-mailed TSA and they were very quick to respond. Turns out breast milk is considered liquid medicine and does not fall into the 3-1-1. As long as each container is 3 oz or greater you can bring as much as necessary, on top which you are allowed frozen liquid/gels to keep it cold.

    oh and Air France is looking like our most likely candidate for air carrier… any one travel with them recently?

  2. #2
    lowrioh's Avatar
    lowrioh is offline Sapphire level (2000+ posts)
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    Default Look into getting a skycot/bassinet

    Before you travel you should call the airline and see if they offer a bassinet for the baby. They attach to the bulkhead and give you a place to set down the little one if you don't buy them a seat. We are flying with South African Airways in late Dec and arranged the bassinet when we made the reservation. If you don't buy the baby a ticket, be aware that you will be charged 10% of the fare plus all the taxes. For us that ended up being almost $600.
    Also, you should look into whether the airport you have the lay over in has a hotel or other rooms you can rent in the airport. I know that the airport in Amsterdam has rooms you can rent so you can get a chance to lie down and rest between flights or take a shower.
    They also have babycare lounges which look interesting
    http://www.schiphol.nl/web/show/id=92821/langid=42
    Good Luck!
    ___________________________________
    Mother to DD-A July 2008
    and DD-B-November 2010

  3. #3
    niccig is offline Clean Sweep forum moderator
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    Default

    We travelled when DS was 1 to Australia - so a little older. I was still breastfeeding and he was eating some solids, so it was a little easier to feed him with some jars of baby food and myself.

    You're little one is younger. Can you pump as you go and give that to her as needed - I don't know about the logistics, but during the layover maybe you could pump in a family restroom (not the ladies restroom, the family one which is often bigger, has a changing table, somewhere to sit etc.) I never pumped exclusively, so I'm not sure if that's practical or not.

    I would be worried about the stash of breastmilk not kept cold enough. I can't remember how long it can be at room temp etc. Hopefully another person who pumped and traveled will have some advice on that. One of the mums pumped while serving in Iraq and she sent it home....maybe that's an option, send some ahead so you only have to take enough for one way.

    Take your stroller and infant car seat and gate check. Easier to get around the airport and for baby to sleep. Check with the airline if a gate checked item gets returned at the gate for layovers. Not all airlines do this - yes, USA based ones do, but international airlines have their own rules. When DS was 1, we didn't get the stroller back for the layover, so I had a baby carrier, a hot sling, to carry DS around the airport. Unfortunately, we had to go through security again and I had to take the sleeping baby out of the carrier - it wasn't pleasant.

    Lot of diapers and changes of clothes for you and the baby. DS got a stomach bug on the return flight home, DH had scoffed at how many diapers/wipes/clothes in the carry-on - we used every single one.

    To help with clearing of the eyes, you need to feed the baby as the plane ascends and descends. Hopefully, at this age she'll mostly sleep. DS was a star traveler until 1 year old, it then got difficult as he didn't want to sit still. He's nearly 4 and it's getting easier again.

    Enjoy the trip.

  4. #4
    army_mom is online now Platinum level (1000+ posts)
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    Default

    I can't offer any help with the travelling with baby part, but remember you will have to have a passport for the baby...and this will take a little extra work as your husband is stationed away from you. I would allow a few months for the passport to arrive.

    If the airport doesn't have a hotel room or another place you can relax, check to see if the airport has a USO. You should be able to have access to one with your dependent ID card. USO's will have a place for you to rest, books, TVs, computers, travel size toiletries, and food for you...all provided by volunteers that support the troops! I stayed at one where they had big recliners and alarm clocks so you could nap and not miss your flight.

    passport info:
    http://travel.state.gov/passport/get...inors_834.html

    HTH!

    Enjoy the trip and time with your DH!

  5. #5
    niccig is offline Clean Sweep forum moderator
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    Yes, try for a bassinet if you're not getting a seat for the baby - the only problem with that is if there is any turbulence and seat belt light is on, you might have to take the baby from the bassinet and have the baby on your lap and use the infant seat belt that threads through you seat belt and then around the baby - many International airlines insist on these being used for a child without a seat. We had to do this with DS when he was finally asleep.

    If you do get a seat, then you can install the car seat on the plane. Either way give you a chance to put the baby down so you can eat. But I would think that a flight attendant or a nearby person might also offer to help - DH and I just flew from Italy without DS, and DH helped a child in the row in front as the parent was busy helping another child.

  6. #6
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    Default

    We traveled overseas with ds when he was 8 months old. It was tiring but doable. He was barely mobile, so it makes things easier. Here are a few things we learned:

    Worth every cent to buy baby a separate seat on airplanes. Air France may be more accomodating, but we flew Delta and they were NOT accomodating about flying with an infant. We were bumped from the bulkhead row (meaning no bassinet) because they give those seats to their frequent flyers even if you reserve a bassinet. Good thing we had bought ds a seat so he had a place to sleep in his carseat. And we had a place to put him when we were needing a little extra space on our laps. However, European carriers tend to be more kid-friendly. Our return flight was through Delta but with Czech Airlines. They put everyone traveling with kids that they could in the bulkhead rows, and even had little packages with diapers and teething toys that they gave out. Super nice about asking about heating bottles, using the bassinet, and letting us know to ask if we needed help. FYI - In our experience, European carriers don't typically allow baby to be in carseat during takeoff and landing and require the use of some strange seatbelt contraption that attaches to your seatbelt and around your baby.

    Does baby have a passport? It may take you longer to get one since both parents aren't going to be able to apply together for your baby's. You may want to check into that asap.

    Our Mac Quest stroller worked great through airports with our Snugride draped over the handles with the carseat handle. DS rode in stroller. Ergo carrier was nice when ds couldn't be in stroller or didn't want to be.

    Recommend a backpack diaper bag. I use the LandsEnd diaper backpack for traveling with ds. But I'm not sure they are still selling it. It keeps my hands free to deal with him. I only take the one carry-on when I'm traveling alone with ds. I organize very specifically in the pockets with extra outfits and LOTS of diapers/wipes. Remember you will need even more wipes since you'll probably end up using them for more things than you can imagine.

    As for pumping, I don't have experience with exclusively pumping. I certainly wouldn't be offended on a plane though if someone had to pump next to me and would help with anything I could (but it wasn't so long ago I had to pump when away from ds, and I'm getting ready to go down that road again). Maybe check some of the bf boards as I'm sure lots of women have been in your situation.

    One more suggestion - your hardest part of travel will be going through security with all of your stuff and your dc. I would practice at home with everything you think you will have with you ie stroller, carseat, carry on bag etc. Wear slip-on shoes, no belt, etc.

    Hope you have a great trip.
    Mom to Two Wild and Crazy Boys and One Sweet Baby Girl

  7. #7
    trales's Avatar
    trales is offline Sapphire level (2000+ posts)
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    Default

    I can't offer any help with the travelling with baby part, but remember you will have to have a passport for the baby...and this will take a little extra work as your husband is stationed away from you. I would allow a few months for the passport to arrive.
    There is a military exemption, you just need a letter from your husband that is notorized giving you permission and having his deployment info on it it. I have travelled a lot with DD from 3 months on. It is much easier than you think it will be. Go for it.
    Tracey

    DD1 3/07 Itching to take over the universe.
    DD2 1/14 My mellow little snuggler.

  8. #8
    niccig is offline Clean Sweep forum moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by carolinamama

    One more suggestion - your hardest part of travel will be going through security with all of your stuff and your dc. I would practice at home with everything you think you will have with you ie stroller, carseat, carry on bag etc. Wear slip-on shoes, no belt, etc.

    Hope you have a great trip.
    Ugh, security. When DS was a baby and I traveled alone, I had the stroller and infant seat and the diaper backpack. I had DS in a sling carrier as I needed two hands to put everything on the conveyor belt, collapse the stroller etc, I couldn't do all that one handed and hold onto DS. I had to take DS out of sling before walking through metal detector, but I think I read that some people haven't had to remove baby now. Sometimes the security guards or someone else would collapse the stroller or set it up at the other end. It's all doable by yourself, and some people do volunteer to help.

  9. #9
    o_mom is offline Red Diamond level (10,000+ posts)
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    Default

    Air France may or may not be good - they do not allow carseats to be used during take off and landing - must be stowed during those times and they require a 'belly belt' which the FAA banned, so go figure.

    I'm not sure if they will even sell you a ticket for the baby. Some EU carriers will not allow a child under two to have a seat. If you do buy a seat, you risk that they will force you to buy an infant fare when you get there which will be 10% of the walk-up rate ($$$).

    Pumping as you go may help things. BM can be kept at room temp for 8 hours. Some sort of cover may be helpful if you have one and a handsfree pumping bra.
    Mama to three boys ('03, '05, '07)

  10. #10
    mom2binsd is online now Diamond level (5000+ posts)
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    Default

    I have had good experiences when traveling and breast feeding DD....she would only latch on to the side and I needed a couch...the terminal was packed and when I asked about any type of lounge the Delta agent opened up the nearest employee lounge and then put a sign up to knock and wait a moment for others....it was so nice...I had to put a nipple shield on then get DD positioned and it was a lifesaver....I would think if you can find a nice agent and explain you need to pump they might help out...or direct you to the family lounges if they have them....

    I know many people say it's necessary but I have never given my DC's bottles or nursed during takeoff and landing...they did fine....I think it's good to have a bottle ready but not every child needs it.

    It sounds like you should pick the airline based on who has the best policies for infants, I can't imagine not being able to use a carseat and stroller at each layover though.

    I think you'll find most other travelers helpful too (and I've never had issues with flight attendants but many others have).

    Make sure you get an adaptor for your pump that is compatible with European voltage.

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