Help with short internal flight with 8 week old

(17 Posts)
BonaDea Wed 16-Jan-13 10:43:26

Hello - planning ahead a bit here, but trying to take the stress out of the first few months of parenthood.

We need to travel from London to Glasgow for a wedding when our baby will be around 2 months old. First of all, I need to decide whether it might be easier to drive. The main pro of this is that we can chuck absolutely everything we'll need to take in the car without worrying about baggage allowance etc. The main down side is that we can't have the baby strapped into a car seat for more than 2 hours at a time, and in all liklihood DH will have to do ALL the driving himself. So, if we have to keep taking breaks (perhaps even an overnight) a journey that might otherwise take 7 hours will take much longer and be very tiring for all concerned.

The other main option is to fly. Having checked out, for example, the BA website, I can see that for a baby you are allowed to check in a car seat and fully collapsable pushchair as well as a bag for the baby. But, how does this work in practice?:

- we'll need to take a carry cot with us, both for the baby to sleep in while away, but also because he/ she will still need to lie flat when in the pushchair. I assume this won't fall into the 'fully collapsable' category. So what happens? Do you pay for that part? Check that in as the baby's bag and pack the baby's clothes, blankets, toys etc into your own suitcase?
- I gather that you can bascially keep your pushchair with you to the gate. But then, presumably you have to dismantle it and we'd have to pack the carrycot up for them to take away at that stage?
- we'll need to hire a car when we get there. If so, I guess we take our own car seat but not use an easy fix base, just strap it in. If you check this in, how do you protect it from damage? Do you have to buy a protector bag thingie for it?
- I assume you basically want to have a sling as well? Babies under 6 months are basically to sit on your lap but at that age the baby won't really be sitting up as such, so to prevent arm ache and possibly for safety it would be good to have the baby strapped into me?
-What ID does the baby need? Some airlines still require photo ID for internal flights, although the last few times with BA my passport hasn't been checked. Will I have time to get a passport sorted for the baby in the 8 weeks we have before we need to go? Would something like a birth certificate do?

Am I overthinking this? Any other general tips?

DoItToJulia Wed 16-Jan-13 19:21:08

Can't answer all of your questions, but re travelling by car, you can buy a lie flat carry cot car seat thing. I can't remember what it called but you can defo get them.

Wrt to flying the car seat carrycot as above may be an option here too, as it cuts down the amount of stuff to take as it has a double function.

Re pushchairs there is a Maclaren that has a carry cot attachment which may work for you, or alternatively I think the Uppababy Vista is the only one on the market at the minute where the carry cot is suitable for overnight sleeping as it is properly ventilated. (I am biased though, this is the travel system I bought and I love it). The uppababy also comes with travel bags and uppababy guarantee them against flight damage.

Random advice would be to invest in a decent lamb skin. They will make travelling easier as it smells of home, keeps baby warm when it s cold and cool if it is not. It is like a travel mattress, and will line any carrycot or travel cot and is very soothing.

As for some if the stuff you need, can you order stuff like nappies and stuff from amazon and get them delivered to your hotel? That would cut down some of the stuff you need?

If I remember the name of the lie flat car seat I will repost. Also, I think you can get a passport for babies, which may be worth getting, just to make it easier, but this is a guess, so worth checking!

DoItToJulia Wed 16-Jan-13 20:10:39
DoodlesNoodles Wed 16-Jan-13 20:24:43

I travelled when my DCs were this age. Usually on my own and with toddlers in tow too confused. I used to take a maclarens umbrella pushchair that provided a flattish surface for the baby and was fully collapsable. My DC's would sleep in it if we were out. I never minded that it wasn't properly flat if it was for a short time. They don't move that much at 2 months so I just used to make up a bed for them wherever was most suitable. I never took a travel cot. Obviously, some people wouldn't do this for safety reasons but I did. confused
I also didn't bother taking toys, if they are that young you can easily entertain them in other ways.
I would take a sling, they are really useful.

If you are just going for a few days I would try not to take to much (apart from clothes).

DewDr0p Wed 16-Jan-13 20:25:51

I would fly. I took ds3 to Spain when he was the same age and it was dead easy honestly - they are so portable at that stage. The driving sounds very tiring to me.

Ditch the carry cot idea I think. Does your intended pram seat not lie flat? That will do for a short trip. Get a popup travel cot for the hotel instead (we had a Samsonite one, it was fabulous) or just use the hotel's travel cot.

You could hire a car seat with the car. Or we have also taken one with us and just wrapped it in a strong plastic bag and secured it. You could bubble wrap it if necessary?

A sling is not essential but would be useful. You may or may not get the pushchair back at the gate so it's quite handy to have to carry them to the luggage carousel.

Worth checking with the airline what id they will accept for a baby but we obviously managed to get ds's passport in time.

DewDr0p Wed 16-Jan-13 20:27:13

Oh and I wouldn't pack a separate bag for the baby tbh. Totally agree with noodles pack as light as you can manage!

DoodlesNoodles Wed 16-Jan-13 20:30:45

I used a pushchair something like this one. If you check any accessories such as the rain cover etc you are much more likely to be allowed to gate check it. It looks really small when it's tightly folded up.

MrsBradleyCooper Wed 16-Jan-13 20:30:54

Re the ID - I flew with ds when he was 4 weeks old and I think his birth certificate was sufficient. Definitely fly. Driving will take forever and be so tiring. IME airlines are usually super helpful if you have a baby smile

MrsBradleyCooper Wed 16-Jan-13 20:36:18

What we used to do was take baby into the plane in the car seat then ask them to store it in the wardrobe on board. Then when we landed they were very good at letting us off first (and on first) so we could get baby into the car seat to carry. On the journey he was just on our laps. I'd say that 99.9% of hotels have cots or travel cots so no need to take one with you. Hope that helps.

JennyPiccolo Wed 16-Jan-13 20:38:04

Just a thought-trains from London Glasgow can be as quick as 4 1/2 hours. Must less stressful than flying IMO and you can take your pram with you.

DoodlesNoodles Thu 17-Jan-13 12:07:21

The train is a great suggestion, the prices can be amazing if you book at the right time.

BonaDea Thu 17-Jan-13 13:40:43

Thanks all. I didn't really think I'd manage with just the pushchair seat at that age. At the wedding, for example, we'll be there all day from 1pm, so thought it would be pretty crucial to have a proper lie-flat carry cot...

Had briefly considered the train but disregarded because of having then to hike everything across London to Kings Cross (we live SW). Then again I guess if we timed it right, we could go early morning and just get a cab before the rush hour. Anything to make life easier. Would just feel so much better to have the pram with us, but guess we'd also need the car seat for the other end (even if a family member picks us up!) so there would still be quite a lot of stuff to take!!

MrsBradleyCooper Thu 17-Jan-13 16:29:36

Could you just take the car seat and arrange for a family member to borrow a pram from someone for the weekend?

Mutley77 Thu 17-Jan-13 18:30:25

We flew to Australia when DD was 8 weeks and it was fine. We bought a "travel carrycot" from Mamas and Papas - not sure if they still sell them but actually it was brilliant and we used it a lot for evenings out at friend's houses, and the odd overnight stay in the first six months.

Do you know I have no recollection of carrying her on and off the plane but pretty sure we just carried her "loose" so to speak, which doesn't sound ideal but I can't remember it being a problem. I never got on with slings, but if you find them comfortable that's probably a good option.

We had a pliko (not sure if they still exist) but it was a nice padded seat and lay flat with an umbrella fold. Was perfect for flying. We didn't need a car seat as borrowed one at the other end.

FergusSingsTheBlues Thu 17-Jan-13 18:37:06

Its honestly quicker to take the fast train. Plus taking off and landing can be quite stressful with babies. However, if you decide to fly, my one piece of advice lis to buy him sunglasses, the lights in the vabin are v bright for young babas

MsPickle Thu 17-Jan-13 18:38:00

We have the britax lie flat car seat and love it. It gets round the two hour rule so we could do longer stretches when small people allowed around feeds! Ds also slept in it the odd night but he was such a bad sleeper he was always more with me! We've a sheepskin this time around and I love it. We don't use it in the car seat but we do everywhere else. With ds I took far too much stuff, now I pack and wash. I love travelling by train and think it's often the easiest with babies as you can sort them out at any point. Also second having things like nappies delivered.

SolomanDaisy Thu 17-Jan-13 18:40:05

I managed using a sling and co-sleeping. The baby can sleep in the sling at the wedding too. Have you bought the pram yet? We use a quinny zapp for travel now and the zapp xtra is suitable from birth.

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