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Thread: Travelling with a 6 month old

  1. #1

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    Default Travelling with a 6 month old

    Hi,
    I'm hoping I can pick the brains of all the experienced mums out there.
    In December we are going to fly from Australia to Germany. That's a looong flight, especially with a 6 months old. Does anybpdy have any tips, tricks and ideas on how to keep them happy for that long? Maya doesn't really like to sit still for too long, unfortunately. I fear I'll get kicked out of the plane.

    Any advice will be appreciated.
    Sasa


  2. #2

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    Take any of her favourite snacks, toys, a book/s colouring in etc!!!
    Although I travellked heaps with DD#1 as a baby through til 4/5yrs & I never had any troubles, you might find she will just sleep...
    We travelled 3wks ago to Bali & back (6hrs) with the 3 kids & it was no where near as bad as we had previously imagined! (#2 is very strong willed!)

  3. #3

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    Hi Sasa,

    I travelled to the UK (and back) with my 7 month old by myself. And I’m sorry if this puts you off but for me it was much worse than giving birth (I had a great birth though). Going there was just OK but coming home DS got sick before we left and then I got sick on the plane and it was just a living hell. Are you going with your DH?

    Anyway, here are the Rachel and Angus top tips for flying alone with a baby.

    - It's really hard but you can do it, you will (both) survive! The 15 hour flights are easy-peasy, it's when you have to back up for another 8 hours after a 3 hour wait that's the worst. But even that can be done.

    - When you book and when you check in make sure you specify that you need a bassinet.

    - When you check in ask if they can block out the seat next to you. Sometimes they will, sometimes they look at you like you’re from another planet, but it’s worth a try.

    - For carry on luggage I had a backpack + small nappy bag + small handbag + Angus. I carried Angus in a baby-bjorn in front and with the backpack and other stuff it was too much. I would have preferred a small wheelie suitcase + handbag + Angus. The baby-bjorn was brilliant for hands free.

    - Make sure you take your pram to the gate if you can (most airlines will let you). You won't get it in transit though, only at your final destination. I also cable tied my pram together so it wouldn't unfold (dodgy cheap clip). I could just imagine it unfolding and getting all mangled. I put a pair of scissors in a non-cable tied part of my checked baggage so I could easily cut them off at the other end. Some prams have proper travel covers though which would probably be good.

    - I liked to swap with the person next to me if I'd been allocated a window seat so I could sit on the isle and get up and down like a yo-yo as I pleased. No one ever objected to swapping.

    - Angus had no problems with take off and landing, I breast fed him while this was happening so that probably helped. Don't start to feed until you are actually about to take off because you can sit on the tarmac for ages.

    - Drink plenty of water, just ask for a big bottle and keep it with you.

    - Of course you will bring a change of clothes for your DD but don't forget a change for you too, at least a top.

    - Take 8 or so small toys and offer them to her one or two at a time, then take them away and swap them for new ones.

    - Just let her crawl up and down the isles, don't worry about what other people think and most will love it.

    - For a blocked nose (both of us) I put a gob of Vicks vapor rub in a tissue and held it near our noses during take off and landing. This helps clear the sinuses making it easier for the pressure to equalize.

    - For conjunctivitis (hopefully you and DD won't get it) Vaseline on the eyelids helped enormously. It stopped the gunk sticking to the lids and sticking them together. It was a lifesaver.

    - Don't worry about what other people think, you're doing your best and that's the best you can do.

    Good luck. Hope that helps.

  4. #4

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    We travelled a few months ago on an almost 30 hour trip with our 6 month old and apart from waking for a bum change or feed (which always happened when the food came out!), she pretty much slept. Most of the airlines are wonderful once you have the bassinet and even better is that you get extra leg room!

    Everything Epicras said, she has summed it up perfectly!! We didn't take a pram at all though and only had the carrier which was great. We took spare tops for ourselves but wished for extra pants as well as we had to change our gorgeous girl in our seats a couple of times (the toilets were too disgustingly dirty by the end of the flight) and we had a few 'issues'.

  5. #5

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    Thank you so much for your tips, girls.
    I am back from overseas now and the trip wasn't nearly as bad as I thought. For anyone who's intersted, I had Maya in my Ergo carrier. I didn't need to take a pram, car seat, portacot or any of this stuff as my mum had organised that stuff at our destination. On the way there, I had my DH and in laws to help me, so I did get the occasional break. Maya was really good though and slept for more than half the trip. I didn't want the bassinett as it is very small and Maya is a restless sleeper, she would have woken herself up avery 15 minutes or so. So she slept on me in the Ergo. When mealtime came around, DH and I ate in shifts. The only really annoying thing is that you don't have any space to out anything down. Everything had to be put on the floor, drink cup, toys, etc. The it is obviously hard to pick up. I let Maya cral on the floor a bit when she was awake, but had to be careful because the flight attendants almost ran her over a couple of times.
    I didn't need nearly as many toys as I brought along. There were so many things for her to discover that were way mor interesting anyway.

    I had been prepared to have her on the breast however often I needed to to keep her calm. But really, she wasn't that interested. Not even during all the take offs & landings. She still had no problems with the pressure.

    When it came time to fly home, Maya had a bad cold and bronchitis, so I decided to postpone our flight. My DH and inlaws flew back home and I stayed with my parents. I dreaded the 36 hour trip with her without having anyone to even hold her when I had to go to the toilet. But again, it was not as bad as I thought. In fact, she was an angel and even let me sleep quite a bit. Again, she was in the Ergo, but when she was awake, I let her crawl on the floor. She was also standing, by then, so she enjoyed practicing that. And she played with another kid.

    One tip I can give, take your own babyfood. Maya didn't like the food they had there at all. But she adored the cheese that I had on my tray. Luckily she was always asleep during mealtime and I managed to fold the traytable down evn with her on my chest.
    The flightattendants and people in the seats next to me were lovely and very helpful constantly offering to take her for a bit to give me a break. They also didn't object to letting me sit in the aisle seat. She won the hearts of everyone on that plane and didn't cry once. I know, it could have been very different and I was very lucky.
    Fortunately, by the time we flew back, she had gotten used to the dummy, which made it a lot easier on me to keep her calm.

    One word of warning, though. Epacris mentioned using Vicks Vaporub. My doctor told me never to use it on such a small baby. It can overstimulate their sinuses and block them up completely so they can't breath anymore. There is a special baby formula, that can be given from 3 months, but she still advised against it. Especially on a plane where medical help is not available.

    All I can say is: do whatever it takes to keep them happy. Be prepared for the worst, and you might be pleasantly surprised.

    Sasa
    Last edited by sunshine_sieben; February 12th, 2008 at 05:14 PM.

  6. #6

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    Oh, and when I traveled by myself, I had Maya in the Ergo on the front. It has a pocket where I put my travel documents and money, so I didn't need to get it out of my bag. I also had a backpack with spare clothes for her, food, drink, toys, nappies etc. I didn't take a handbag or anything. I had packed some snacks for myself aswell, jsut in case I wouldn't be able to fold down the tray table and eat the plane food.
    It was alright carrying her on the front and the backpack on my back. During the stop overs however, I picked up one of the complimentary prams at the airport. I mostly wheeled the backpack around in that as it was heavier than Maya.

    Sasa
    Last edited by sunshine_sieben; February 12th, 2008 at 05:14 PM.

  7. #7

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    hi all - someone also recommended to me that i get a long piece of ribbon and tie toys to it.. that was you can rotate the easily and pick them up if they 'drop' - ie they wont be on the floor..
    this worked b well for me with a v small bub.

  8. #8

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    That's a good idea. I had a dummy chain that I attached a couple of toys to.
    Sasa

  9. #9

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    Just wanna say thank you for all the tips here. Lucky I found this thread.
    I am going on a long flight 9+2hr trip with my 5mo. I am actually worried of how it will be like as it is just the two of us, DH cannot come. Hope I can use some of the tips here.

  10. #10

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    Agnes, You'll be fine!!! I was fine on a 36 hour trip. Take all the help that is offered and don't be too proud asking for more. Most people have a lot of understanding and sympathy for a woman travelling alone with a baby. Try and be as rested as possible before you leave so that you have all your energy to keep DS happy.
    Good luck and let us know how you went!!!

    Sasa

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