Tips for transatlantic travel with 6 month old please?

(8 Posts)
Rosiebells Mon 30-Sep-13 19:10:31

So DH and I are travelling to Boston with our 6 month old BF baby this week.
We're flying with BA, and spending time with friends who live in Boston and travelling with them up to Vermont and staying in SC cabins and a few inns.

Our friends are expecting a baby in Nov so have cot and car seat etc for us. We are taking baby carrier and buggy. We intend to do some hiking and enjoy the fall foliage.

This is our first big trip with DD and I'm starting to worry about the flight and the jetlag, and continuing our initial attempts at weaning.

Does anyone have any tips for how to cope with a little one on a long haul flight and dealing with subsequent jet lag?
We're half tempted to put a hold on the weaning till we get home.

Any help appreciated!

goodbyeyellowbrickroad Tue 01-Oct-13 03:17:09

We did our first transatlantic trip when DS was 7 months old and out of all the flights we've done it was the easiest! Babies are incredibly portable at that age. It's now our DS is up and walking that it gets more difficult.

We fly BA and always book the bassinet position seats - do this if you haven't already ad you can pre book your seats in advance when travelling with an infant. These are usually at the front of the cabin do you get a bit more space. You'll have 2 choices of baby seat onboard - 1 is a Moses basket which is v small and the other is a bouncy chair crossed with a car seat which reclines. The seat will go on top of a drop down table in front of you.

A baby carrier is a great idea to take onboard. You can use it if you need to stand and settle your DD. if you don't get your pushchair back at the plane door when you land you can use it until you pick it up. You'll be able to take your pushchair to the gate and we've always got ours back at the plane door.

Weaning wise we primarily did baby led weaning but did use some of the Ella's Kitchen pouches for travelling. We also made sure we had chopped up fruit with us along with breadsticks. You'll find loads of purées/baby food in stores like Target, Walgreens and CVS. DS is also breastfed which I found a lifesaver when flying. It really helped him fall asleep and if he stirred and wouldn't fall back to sleep I'd pop him back on the boob. It did mean that on the night flight back to the UK he slept on me the whole way back.

What else have you planned to take onboard? I'd suggest more nappies than you think you need along with nappy bags, a spare change of clothes for you and DD, empty carrier bags for any dirty clothes and some favourite toys. If you use sleeping bags or blankets for DD take one with you as it can get chilly onboard. Oh and buy a couple of big bottles of water for you as if you're breastfeeding you may get more dehydrated than usual. A pillow is also useful if you think DD will only settle to sleep on you - the ones BA hand out aren't big enough to have across your lap with a baby lying on it.

We always get DS onto local time as soon as we land and get him straight into his routine. We also make sure we all get out into the midday sun as that helps reset your body clock.

Sorry for the essay! Have a great trip. We're planning on visiting New England next Fall to see all the beautiful trees.

InTheFace Tue 01-Oct-13 04:46:27

This is a great age to travel, especially as you are breast feeding so no faff with bottles and security at the airport. Few tips:

- book a bulkhead seat and a bassinet. You may not be able to sit next to DH, but as long as one of you is up there all will be fine

- pack twice as many diapers as you think you will need

- pack a change of clothes for you and baby

- take a blanket/large cotton throw. Airline ones are minging, and you may end up using it to line the bassinet anyway

- try to feed during ascent and descent to prevent ear popping (baby, not you)

- take bananas, breadsticks, carrot sticks, pouches, rusks...whatever you can carry, basically. Or just wait till you get back. The mess a new eater can make...!

- out DD takes three days to get into the time zone each way. Just stick to your normal routine, baby will slowly adjust

- chill. Traveling with a baby this age is easy - it will eat and sleep the whole way.

- use your sling if you have one. Best thing at this age: leaves hands free for luggage, passports, baggage carousel, faffing, eating, walking up and down the airport/aircraft with wakeful baby...

Sounds like a great holiday - have fun!

Thumbwitch Tue 01-Oct-13 05:14:07

BA = fab because you can get the recliner seat instead of the bassinet, which is better for bigger babies.

I took DS2 home to the UK in March/April this year, we flew BA, DS2 was 6mo. He was already too big for the bassinet so the recliner seat was great - it has 2 positions, lying flat for sleeping and more upright (but not very) so baby can look around when awake.

Tips:
DEFINITELY delay weaning until you get home.
Feeding baby on take off and landing helps with the ear popping and so they don't scream with the pressure change.

Some 4+m fruit pouches are excellent for taking with you, fruit and/or veg in easy to swallow format.

I took an umbrella-fold stroller with me because my back is too bad for me to have coped with a nearly 10kg (~22lb) baby on my front AND lifting 3 suitcases. Luckily it came in the cabin with me both ways, so I had it at the stopover (necessary).

One of those little "airhostess" style zipped trolley bags is brilliant for the cabin luggage - have all the nappies and change stuff right at the top end, so that when it's in the overhead locker, you only need to unzip the top end and put your hand in to pull out what you need - saves a lot of time.

Definitely need change of clothes for you as well as the baby. Probably more than one.

I think I'm just going to be repeating what everyone else has said now so I'll stop - but yes, a 6mo is relatively easy. I am sooooo not looking forward to next year's trip, when he will be 18mo and mobile - eeek! Thankfully DS1 is a seasoned traveller at 5 and can pretty much sort himself out now.

I didn't find jetlag was too bad for DS2 - his sleep wasn't exactly in a set 10h a night pattern anyway! - but it takes me and DS2 about 3 days to get over it (but that's Australia to the UK, so more time zones to worry about).

Longdistance Tue 01-Oct-13 05:20:27

Ring BA and try and get yourself a bassinet in the front row of seats.
You can also order a baby meal fir the flight.
Contact Boots airside at the terminal you're flying from, and you can order any baby bits you may need. You can phone them the day before.
Babygro's are useful fir the flight, and easier to put on than tops and trousers.
Bring lots of little toys.
IPad if you have one.

Rosiebells Tue 01-Oct-13 08:12:48

Thanks for all the great advice.
Bulk head seat booked.... The recliner seat sounds fabulous. Hurrah for BA!

I'm thinking we'll just postpone weaning and just give bread or cleanish finger food to chew on when we eat (to prevent little hands from grabbing my food).
I was planning on putting DD in a baby grow rather than proper outfit for the flight, but will now definitely bring gro-bag too.

Feeding/sleep.... So it's going to be one long boobathon for the entire flight I think ;-)

Thanks for the reassurance about LO's age at travel.... So the tricky times are yet to come if seems!
Hope you all enjoy your coming trips.

Now.... For that small matter of packing!

goodbyeyellowbrickroad Tue 01-Oct-13 21:11:52

Had another thought. Take extra breast pads onboard if you use them. My supply went a bit crazy with the extra feeding and cabin pressure!

Twizzywizz Sat 05-Oct-13 10:44:22

We are travelling to Japan with our 7 month old in a months time. I'm no longer breast feeding so will need to take bottles. I'm planning on taking empty bottles and a dries milk storage container. Is this allowed? I will be taking pouches and snacks for him too and we have a baby meal booked on board. We are flying with virgin so I'm hoping they will be the same as BA.
Many thanks for all of your tips and advice so far.
Xx

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