International travel with infant


#1

My husband and I will be taking our five month old infant to the Middle East next week to visit family. The plane ride is 15 hours long and we have one connection beforehand. We've reserved a bassinet for the little one and I know we'll get lots of help taking care of the baby once we get there, but I'm wondering if you have any advice for travelling with an infant in tow. I'd especially appreciate any advice on handling jet lag in children or navigating the airport, etc. We travel a lot but it seems so much more intimidating with a baby. Thanks!


#2

Traveling oversea with a child that age is not that difficult. It gets bad when they are three or four year old, I have been there and done that. i think that at that age jet lag is not a big issue. The main problem that I see is the ear pain due to altitude changes when taking off and especially when landing. Babies of that age do not understand what is going on, they cannot communicate but they still suffer. I encourage you to search more on internet on how to deal with that issue. The another potential problem is the risk of minor dehydration, just make sure that the baby gets fluids during the trip.

A final suggestion is for you to go to a sporting good store and buy a package of ear plugs for shooting sports. The are cheap and the people sitting next to you will be pleased if the baby cries a lot. The ear plugs will not please everybody but they will be considered as a gesture of good will and care toward them.


#3

I would agree. We’ve traveled to Ireland with our kids.

Ear pain is the biggest issue. Give them a bottle or juice box during take-offs and decents. Children’s “Ear Planes” if they are toddler or above.

Also, talk to your pediatrician about using children’s benedryl to help them sleep on night flights.

Bring LOTS of things to do during day flights ( books, DVD player, music etc…)


#4

Done a lot of this. It isn't so bad.
Nurse the baby during take-off and landing....or at least use a pacifier or bottle....anyway make sure baby is sucking on something so the little ears don't hurt.
Take a baby carrier with you, but not one to carry....more like a sling that you put on and put baby in. Look around and invest in the very best, most comfortable one you can possibly find. Holding baby this way will allow you to still have both hands to carry things in while navigating the airport. At five months old, you want a sling/carrier where baby can look around while you have both hands free. We had a sling and also a backpack carrier for our babies. They loved it and hardly ever cried.
DON'T take one of those baby carriers that you have to hold with one hand...those are a royal PAIN.
I wouldn't worry about a stroller, either. It will eat up space, cost extra, and you won't be able to use it on the streets anyway.
Make sure to take appropriate meds for baby that you may need. Esp. baby tylenol!
Make sure your diaper bag is a nice big one that zips up and has handy little pockets so you can instantly grab whatever you need.
Have you considered where baby will sleep at your family's? If with you, so much the better. Or maybe a pallet on the floor.
I learned through years of international travel with our four babies that the less baby stuff you take, the better. Especially the bulky stuff you have to fold up, etc. Just don't mess with that stuff, seriously. To be honest, take one large diaper bag for baby, the baby sling, plenty of $$ for more disposable diapers when you're gone, and you'll be absolutely fine.
PM me if you want more info; we've gone everywhere in the world, both separately and apart, with one or more babies. I'm an expert! :p
Have fun, and enjoy your trip!


#5

This is not the best advice as those baby carriers that you have to hold are often the CARSEAT. Even if the country you are traveling to does not have carseat laws…why would you ever risk transporting the baby in a car without a carseat. Also most major airlines and the FAA and the American Academy or Pediatrics say tha the safest place for a baby on a plane is in an approved carseat strapped into their own seat. Having a baby in a sling or just held in your arms on a flight is dangerous for the child. Is it more expensive…yes, but is risking your kid’s life worth it? Not to mention who wants to have to juggle a 5 month old on their lap for 10+ hours straight.


#6

[quote="Alix1912, post:5, topic:239410"]
This is not the best advice as those baby carriers that you have to hold are often the CARSEAT. Even if the country you are traveling to does not have carseat laws....why would you ever risk transporting the baby in a car without a carseat. Also most major airlines and the FAA and the American Academy or Pediatrics say tha the safest place for a baby on a plane is in an approved carseat strapped into their own seat. Having a baby in a sling or just held in your arms on a flight is dangerous for the child. Is it more expensive.....yes, but is risking your kid's life worth it? Not to mention who wants to have to juggle a 5 month old on their lap for 10+ hours straight.

[/quote]

I agree with you that it is a goof idea of having a car sit for where you go.:thumbsup:

I am not sure about your safety concerns on board of an airplane, car sit or not if you have any airplane accidents I do not think that the car seat would do too much. The OP is talking about having an airline issued bassinet and not about holding the baby for 10+ hours.


#7

#8

One more point! If you have a car seat and you plan to use it you need to purchase a regular ticket for the seat, while that should not apply for a bassinet.
[/quote]


#9

I flew to England when our son was 3 mos. old. This was LONG before 9/11 and I was nursing, so I didn’t have to worry about taking formula on the plane. I have read about women who were forced to drink their own breast milk because the TSA agents didn’t believe that it was breast milk and would not allow it through the screening. Check with your airlines and see what the regulations are, they change it seems like every couple of weeks. I don’t know if there are exceptions for baby formula. I just hope you are nursing b/c then they can’t take that away from you!

I think the suggestion for ear plugs to hand out was very cute. Most people would probably smile and refuse, and perhaps even offer to help if the baby were having a hard time.

It was kind of funny, on the way back we had one comment from an older man, “He doesn’t sleep very much, does he?” and I said, “Well, it’s daytime for him, so no, he’s not interested in sleeping that much.” Like somehow if his eyes were open, it meant he wasn’t a good baby b/c good babies sleep all the time.

People.

:shrug:


#10

My husband has been in the foreign service for over twenty-seven years, and we have traveled all over the world with children of all ages. The safest way to travel with a baby is to purchase a ticket for the child, and let him or her travel in an FAA approved car seat. The baby will be safe and comfortable. If you are holding the baby, he or she could be knocked out of your arms in the event of severe turbulence. It is also very difficult to hold a baby for hours. I would never travel on an airplane with a baby who wasn't strapped into a car seat.


#11

[quote="Alix1912, post:7, topic:239410"]

I would check and make sure the airline bassinet is an actual restraint system as well. Also there is quite a bit of evidence that suggests that during episodes of turbulence, take off and landing, that lap children are much more at risk than a child in a proper restraint system. During take off and landing and turbulence flight attendants are required to stowe everything.....except lap children. Which would you rather have flying around the cabin, a coffee pot or a child. Not to mention that a plane is traveling at 120+miles an hour at take off, if they have to abort they immediatly hit the breaks. A child in your arms is going to fly out of them, and a child strapped to the front of you in a baby lsing is going to be crushed by the force being exerted on your body.

[/quote]

That's an interesting point. I just checked the airline's website and they actually prohibit babies from being in their carseat during take off and landing:

Hmm...


#12

What airline are you traveling on? Most in the US do not have this policy.


#13

Emirates.


#14

[quote="nodito, post:13, topic:239410"]
Emirates.

[/quote]

Ahh....there are a lot of foreign airlines that seem to have strange rules. I would still tke the seat on board. You'll need it when you get to your destination anyway.


#15

I’ve dealt with the extremes in this situation, being that I’ve adopted several children from China (12/13 hour difference). Basically, a child of that age will work on his/her own schedule. Expect to be up during night for a few days there, and when you get back, for a few days. The child will likely fall asleep at various points in the day also.

As others have noted, child’s ears can be an issue. Bring a bottle or something for them to suck on during the plane flight.

Travel as light as is reasonable. Parents tend to bring way more than is necessary with infants…I know firsthand.:slight_smile:


closed #16

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