Preparing for longhaul (Ireland to NZ) with 5 week old FF baby

(28 Posts)
Zara1984 Tue 13-Nov-12 15:37:11

Hi all

Am travelling to NZ at the end of the month with DS who will be 5 weeks at that stage. The plan was to breastfeed but that hasn't worked at all sad so now am trying to figure out what I need to do/pack to formula feed him. It's making my head spin because I did not plan at all on having to formula feed and now I'm having to figure all this out on top of figuring out how to look after a baby generally confused

We are flying Air NZ, transiting thru Heathrow & LAX.

From other threads/research I understand its not so safe to make up powdered formula on the plane - due to getting access to cool boiled water etc, and having access to sterilised bottles for 30+ hours travel. The prepacked Aptamil cartons (but with what disposable bottle?! I can't seem to find any that are suitable for babies younger than 3 months!) or SMA easy feed 250ml bottles + pre-sterilised teats seem good - but by the sounds of things they will get taken off me by Heathrow security. I know I can reserve pre-made liquid baby food at the airside Boots, but what happens when I get to LAX?? Will LAX security let me take eg unopened SMA easyfeed 250ml bottles in my carry-on? I'm going to need quite a lot of premade stuff for that length of flight.

HELP!!!!! Has anyone else done this?? About to call the airline but I'm not entirely confident that the person at the call centre is going to know what I should do...

Going to post this in Longhaul too....

Zara1984 Fri 07-Dec-12 03:47:31

Update! We did the trip a week ago and it was a breeze! That Milton Travel Steriliser is the business!

I packed 4 bottles, pre-sterilised at home. I used the first two from Dublin>London>Los Angeles, washing and swapping into the steriliser after each feed. Then when I got to LA I started to use the other 2 bottles instead through to Auckland (b/c they were still within the 24 hour sterile window). When I got to Auckland I still had another 3 hour car journey, so it was great to have the other two bottles (still within the 24 hour sterile window from LA) ready to go.

Having 4 bottles was excellent b/c it meant I always had backup clean bottles if I couldn't do a wash & swap in the plane loo - eg due to turbulence.

My hands were dry as a bone from the detergent & Milton but who cares - DS had perfectly clean & sterile bottles all the way through our 35 + hour journey.

No problem at all with getting my cartons through Heathrow security, but was very handy picking the bulk of them up from Boots. You can now pre-order on Heathrow website instead of having to call them.

I practiced my little wash & sterilise system (and tearing Aptamil cartons with my hands!) a few days beforehand at home.

Would suggest to anyone reading this that you use big ziplock to keep
filled steriliser in & washing utensils & liquid.

Am eternally in debt to forevergreek and cheungfun for your excellent advice - THANK YOU!!

Zara1984 Wed 21-Nov-12 08:39:14

Also does anyone know is it easy to get babies to take a bottle or dummy during take-off & climb? Am worried he will howl from sore ears otherwise. I can't really hold him off eating until we're about to go, as when he's hungry he goes from hands in mouth to purple-faced screaming in about 2 minutes confused and his dummy gets angrily spat out...

Zara1984 Wed 21-Nov-12 08:25:42

Going for 2 months so it would be handy to have the steriliser on balance I reckon.

And yes, plenty of Lyons Gold will be packed, and DH will be bringing more at Christmas! Jaysus I can't be drinking de poxy Kiwi tea anymore grin

vvviola Wed 21-Nov-12 06:56:52

How long are you going for? I'm not sure I'd bother bringing a microwave steriliser at all. I'd just pack some of the microwave steriliser bags, and some of the Milton tablets. Most things can be just soaked in a big bowl with the Milton & then you have the microwave steriliser bags for when you need something quick.

Save you some luggage space for teabags if you are visiting Irish family as they don't do proper tea here grin

Zara1984 Wed 21-Nov-12 06:52:58

Ok Chilli Peeps teat is for 3m+... will order later once I'm back from NZ!

Zara1984 Wed 21-Nov-12 06:48:23

Thanks again all. Airline were bloodly hopeless, they were just like "errrr yeah probably it'll be fine..". They also only have emergency amounts of formula on board so it's probably not worth relying on them...!

Also on the water at 70 degrees, my Public Health Nurse said when she visited Monday that although that is the current guidance and is obviously correct to sterilise the formula powder, it is very very practically difficult to make sure that you are making formula with water at that temperature for every feed, particularly when out and about. She said that due to these practical difficulties, most mums on her books continue to make up formula with cool boiled water in a sterile bottle when out and about (ie tipping in the powder). She said at home though when making up feeds (I make up 6 bottles at once and put in fridge) she said to make sure the water is still very hot. Although how the hell you tell whether it's 70 degrees is hard, my scientist DH says that water would cool to 70 degrees or lower very very quickly. Thanks also for the poster who said that Evian could be used in an emergency, checked this with French friends of mine who said yes indeed that's what they have used (and have been advised to use) from birth with their baby!

Right, so this the plan:

Have put in an order for 20 Aptamil ready to drink cartons with Heathrow Terminal 1 airside Boots. Will have 5-10 in my handluggage coming over from Ireland too, and my backup powder. Just in case anyone else planning on travelling super-longhaul with baby is reading this, Heathrow Shopping Services (who are very helpful by the way) said that because the order was so big they had to confirm with Boots 7 days ahead of time. They didn't say what was the amount of cartons that made it a "big" order.... so I'd say that if you can, always order a week ahead!

Have ordered a Milton Solo Steriliser (and steriliser tabs) which looks fab, fecking annoying though as I had to order from Mothercare UK as not in stock anywhere in Ireland. If it doesn't turn up by Monday (I'm flying next Thursday) will ask airside Boots if they have any in stock/can put one on hold for me. Or will think of something else (hope not). Are those Milton tabs easy enough to break into quarters??? Will see if I can find a little bottle brush and little washing up liquid as per cheungfun suggestion.

Will pack 4 of my Avent bottles. Thinking of buying some of those Chilli Peeps teats for the cartons too, they seem very handy to have anyway! In my checked luggage is going the other bottles, my Avent microwave steriliser (they are about 5x the price in NZ for some stupid reason), microwave steriliser bags (for when not at home with family), and one or two tubs of Aptamil (which is not available in NZ - will figure out when I get there what formula is most similar).

Have got Ikea kitchen containers that I will put backup powder into as per forevergreek suggestion. About to buy 0.5L Thermos for the hot water.

On the suggestion of a friend who's a paediatric nurse will pack Infacol to give before each feed to zap windyness (and therefore crying and associated death stares from other passengers)! Seems to work well on DS!

As for nappies - I am going to take 1 nappy for each hour of travel.... so about 36-40 confused. So about half a big bag of Pampers, size 2. Seems like it will fit in my carryon bag fine. Will also take a one pack of wipes, enough nappy sacks, and one of those tiny tubs of Sudocrem. And 6 sleepsuits and 6 vests. A couple of kitchen ziplock bags for putting wet clothes into. And a change of top and pants for me and DMIL. 3-4 muslins. 1 cotton cellular blanket, 1 fleece blanket, 1-2 thin merino blankets.

Will see how enormous my hand luggage is after all of that....! I am taking a standard pull along rolly bag, and my awesome cheap change bag I bought from Amazon.

In terms of transporting baby easily around airports (because the stroller will be checked in from the start) I have borrowed a friend's Baby Bjorn carrier which seems brilliant and comfortable, and DS seems to like. It's so cute, he's only 3.5 weeks old so his legs and arms are very very tiny still hanging out of it! I had bought a Moby wrap previously but to be honest there's so much fabric it seems like a bloody faff dealing with that in an airport - it's about 12 feet of fabric!! (also I can see security telling me to unwrap baby because it covers so much of my body - eg like they tell you to take off big jackets/scarves). Baby Bjorn seems like it will be easier to switch between myself and DMIL who is carrying baby.

Ummmm anything else??? Any other suggestions???

Lillyaan Fri 16-Nov-12 19:50:54

Talk to your PHN who has specific info re this.

KaylaC Thu 15-Nov-12 17:51:49

I'd call the airline, when we flew to NZ with Emirates, they had formula on board

CheungFun Thu 15-Nov-12 09:29:28

I've recently got back off holiday from Hong Kong and Tokyo and it wasn't as bad as I was expecting!

My DS was 9.5 months old, so didn't require as many milk feeds as a 5 week old would. I sterilised my bottles at home and packed them into my hand luggage, and I also packed the ready made cartons of milk to use. I did take some milk powder too just in case the ready made cartons were confiscated, I thought worst case scenario the cabin crew would have to put boiling water in the bottles and make up the milk for me if I wasn't trusted with hot water!

At Heathrow security the man said I'd have to open 50% of the ready made cartons, so I said I was happy to open one, but not 50% of them as the only keep for 2 hours once opened (24 hours if refrigerated, but I had no access to a fridge), so he agreed DS could drink one as a test. He did comment "it's easier to buy it in Boots when you get through security", which I agree with if you can reserve some in advance.

At security in Hong Kong and Tokyo I took the ready made cartons and let the staff know before it was scanned and they were fine. I think possibly it is just the UK and USA that are obsessed with liquids!

I would also second the recommendation of the Milton Solo Travel Steriliser and the Milton sterilising tablets. The tablets keep for 24 hours in the steriliser and you can steriliser as many bottles as you like in the same water in a 24 hour period.

I personally would take a small bottle (less than 100mls) of washing up liquid and a bottle brush so you can clean the bottles before you put them in the travel steriliser.

Definitely ask for a bassinet, this will be much more help for you as my DS was a bit too long to fit in one, plus I had to stay awake as he could have woken up and started climbing out of it! This will also give you lots of extra leg space smile

We asked to check in the buggy at the gate and this was fine, they also delivered it to us as we got off the plane on the way back from Tokyo via Hong Kong. If you have got a sling or a soft structured carrier for your baby this would probably be handy to take as well.

Hope you have a good trip smile

vvviola Thu 15-Nov-12 09:10:03

I think someone mentioned it already, but you definitely don't have to go through security again at LAX - you just go into a holding room. But, equally you have no access to shops etc.

DD2 was breastfed when we did the trip, so I didn't have to worry about formula, but I do want to sing the praises of the AirNZ staff who were incredible ... to the extent of giving DH a bit of a telling off because they though he should help more grin (he was actually doing his fair share - it's just that DD1 was being unusually calm & cooperative!)

Definitely request the bassinet. Makes life a lot easier.

Oh, and spare tshirt/trousers for you & everyone else travelling. Last thing you want is to be sitting in baby spit-up for 30-odd hours.

Oh, final rambling point - our transfer time was very tight in Heathrow - despite it seeming like loads. Suited us in the end as we didn't have to try to entertain DD1, but if you are planning to be able to get to Boots, make sure you leave loads of time!

forevergreek Thu 15-Nov-12 08:59:30

Yes you can just rinse ie in cafe/ on plane. Then add to solution with tablet. Tablet lasts for 24 hrs so you don't have to change solution every time ( usually change after a couple of bottles just as they haven't been washed with soapy water) you can take a little bottle brush if you like

Zara1984 Thu 15-Nov-12 08:55:17

Thank u all again! Yes bizzee French friends of mine use Evian to make up bottles but I wasn't sure if it was for eg 6 month + babies. Useful to know!! We had been told by midwife that cooled boiled water was sterile in a sealed clean bottle for 24 hours and could be mixed with powder (eg for out and about) so the current advice on 70 degree + water is not being dispensed universally in the UK & Ireland..!

Thank you littleone for the tips on the blankets. What about numbers of clothes changes for baby and nappies? I was going to pack 6+ sleepsuits and vests and 30+ nappies (one for every hour of the flight....!).

forevergreek with that travel Milton steriliser is it ok to just rinse the dirty bottle in water then pop in with new water and tab to sterilise? Ie doesn't need to be washed in soapy water? Sorry if that sounds obvious.... blush

LittleOne76 Wed 14-Nov-12 23:14:07

We've done a few long haul London to Sydney and I have to say that travelling when DS was 6 weeks old was much easier than when he was 7 months old... Remember to take a decent baby blanket/ wrap and a few layers as the aircon on the planes can be pretty strong. Good luck and try and enjoy the flight/ trip with your little jetsetter!

BizzeeBee Wed 14-Nov-12 21:45:33

Zara, regarding the 70 degC water for making up bottles with powder, I live in France and here the instructions for making up formula are to use Evian or another mineral water suitable for babies (low sodium and other minerals) at room or fridge temp and then warm.

Before everyone jumps on me, the Uk/ Ireland advice is very risk adverse compared to other bits of Europe. In case of emergency, if you have got some emergency formula powder in your bag, just use Evian if you don't have pre-mixed and can't easily get water above 70degC. Evian can be quite easy to get all over the world. Do use hot water if you can - I'm just saying that in an emergency use cold mineral water and pointing out that in other countries the advice about water temp is different and is what many people use (and that might be why people on FlyerTalk said to use cold water).

HeavenlyWineandRoses Wed 14-Nov-12 12:21:12

You can call Boots in the airside terminal and ask them to put aside cartons for you so you can collect them at Heathrow and avoid the whole liquids / security palaver.

Good luck! I think this is a great age to be traveling long-haul as baby will love having your undivided attention for all that time. A journey like that will be much less enjoyable once baby is mobile.

galwaygirl Wed 14-Nov-12 07:27:53

Hi
Have to point out that formula needs to be mixed with water that's above 70 degrees as it is the formula that can contain bacteria - I know lots of people at home seem to think its boiling the water that's the only issue but this is incorrect (although in Galway you'd want to make sure it's been boiled!)
Now that that's out of the way... They usually get you to open up to half the cartons but not more so we always poured one of these directly into a bottle to use for the next feed. If you sterilise the bottles before leaving they will be fine if left unopened til using them - I know they're not supposed to be left longer than 24 hours but I think you'd be alright.

As someone that spent days and days researching formula and travelling etc here is what I would do:
- bring enough sterilised bottles to do the whole journey
- bring some Milton tablets so if you end up runnin out of bottles you can ask someone in a cafe to clean them and get bottles water and some container and sterilise more
- pre-order most of your formula in heathrow and bring powder so if you get too many taken off you or are worried about running out you can get boiling water in a cafe airside an make up bottles, saving some cartons for the plane (remember its the formula you've to worry about so this would be safer than using cool bottled water)

forevergreek Wed 14-Nov-12 07:12:13

Oh and I tend to fly with handbag and cabin suitcase as all that mill can weigh a bit! Then just move some cartons to handbag a you use them

forevergreek Wed 14-Nov-12 07:11:00

No like I said I haven't had many opened hence why powder just a back up really. If I take 18 for example, they usually open 2 at random ( they can see where you are flying to so will know a reasonable amount). Yes pre order at boots is good too.

Any old box that seals is fine. Remember formula isn't sterile anyway once opened so they box doesn't even need to be sterile, that's why it's important to mix with water over 70degrees as that's what sterilises it.

Then just pack a load to fly back with! And take powder in suitcase to mix with when in country if they don't have

Zara1984 Wed 14-Nov-12 06:52:56

Also that chilli peeps teat looks fab, I think I will get a couple anyway. DS is fine with room-temperature milk, he doesn't seem to care what it is as long as it gets in his gob fast. grin I was worried about the fast flow on those Vital bottles, think I would prefer to take 2 Avent bottles and the Milton steriliser.

I discovered yesterday I can tear open the Aptamil cartons with my teeth grin so no worries on the no scissor front to open them.

ginger yes there is no Aptamil in NZ so I will send ahead some tins and also pack some in my checked luggage (as well as more cartons for the way back).

Zara1984 Wed 14-Nov-12 06:47:55

Thank you so much for all of your responses. forevergreek you are absolutely amazing, thank you for your advice! Can I hire you for the flight grin

forevergreek so have you had problems getting loads of cations for (double) longhaul through Hearhrow security? Their advice says take a "reasonable" amount that's enough for your flight, but they also mention you can do the airside Boots pre-order and anecdotally lots of people online say they've had cartons taken off them/forced to open lots of them. I'm temped therefore to take 10 aptamil cartons from Ireland and pre-order a further 20 at Boots.

For the backup formula powder, is any sterilised container ok eg an ikea kitchen storage box? Then would take the scoop from inside an Aptamil box. For a flask, have seen Tommy Tippee ones online.

This is brilliant advice as on the Flyertalk forum ppl were saying unboiled bottled water would be ok confused confusing and I'm still in that neurotic new parent phase! So I presume if eg I got a mega-numpty in LAX who took all my Aptamil cartons off me I could also ask flight attendants for boiled water? Is aircraft boiled water safe for infant formula?

That Milton travel steriliser looks bloody brilliant!!!

Feeling way better about this now. Was neurotically getting paranoid about security zealots taking all my formula supplies and my baby starving or getting gastro because of my bfing failure blush <post birth hormones emoticon>

If anyone has further tips I am very very receptive! smile

GingerPCatt Wed 14-Nov-12 06:37:23

Just so you know, in the US you can't get the same formula as here. When we went to FL last christmas we packed a couple of boxes of formula. Don't know about NZ, but you may want to check.

forevergreek Tue 13-Nov-12 21:52:36

or use these http://www.mothercare.com/Hipp-Organic-Infant-Milk-Starter-Pack---6-X-90ml/450507,default,pd.html

i might start using at some point

forevergreek Tue 13-Nov-12 21:24:47

I do long haul lots as a maternity nanny

I take lots of milk! so for your trip i would say trip is 24hr long?

At 24hrs i would take:

18 cartons of milk (allowing for one every 2 hours plus spare incase some are opened). I serve cold and get all babies i care for used to this beforehand (at airports you can usually warm in baby areas or cafes but not always, and some planes will/ some wont allow warm water to warm through.

then formula powder in a lock lid pot (enough scoops for 10 bottles, plus scoop thing in there), in case some numpty decides you need to open more cartons/ check twice if changing planes. (i have only dipped into the formula powder back up supply once and that was when planes cancelled due to volcanic ash a few years back) - and we could have brought more formula at boots if needed.

as for bottles, i find the disposable ones are v fast flowing usually. i usually take 4 regular bottles then I use this travel steriliser http://www.milton-tm.com/solo_travel_steriliser.html. which means i can sterilise anything in cold water in 15mins

i take a baby flask too, and water gets refilled in the air/ at cafes at airports (but like i said i have only used once)

vital baby do sell disposable bottles but i would try first as they are fast flowing as i mentioned

chilli peeps also sell teats that attach directly to carton so you can just sterilise teats and no bottles

MrsMmoo Tue 13-Nov-12 21:10:11

Actually if you are on NZ2 you may not even go back through security, they take you to a special holding room as you are getting back on the same plane. You do see immigration but I can't remember going to the scanners again, you don't get to wander around the airport on that flight. I'm certain unopened baby milk will be ok, they may ask you to taste one.

MrsMmoo Tue 13-Nov-12 21:05:35

I can't help with the formula question but Air NZ are great with kids, have flown them many times to NZ. Have you booked a bassinet? As your baby is so young you will be pretty much guaranteed one anyway.

You may not get your buggy back in LA so take a sling of some sort with you.

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