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To fly with a baby?

(122 Posts)
Spuddybean Sat 13-Oct-12 19:00:48

We have to move abroad for DP's work early next year. His company will pay for us to go over in Dec to do house hunting. But we have a young baby and i'm not sure about the 7 hour flight.

Is it unreasonable on the baby and other passengers? Baby will be 3 months. Would flying business class make any difference?

Cheers smile

MacyGracy Sun 14-Oct-12 01:07:12

When my babies have been 3 months they have pretty much slept all the way to NZ!

OP which part of the world are you flying to, I have flown most of the major airlines with kids and can advise which I think are best by destination.

Avoid any US airline!

MacyGracy Sun 14-Oct-12 01:08:35

Actually a seven hour flight, I'm guessing UAE way?

Ozziegirly Sun 14-Oct-12 05:47:06

I flew with DS when he was 8 months from Sydney to the UK with Ethihad in business class. It was great. He slept for hours and hours, we had a basinette next to the seat on the floor, or I had him cuddled up on the bed next to me.

I was dreading it as he was already crawling and standing and was really active. But he was surprisingly fine and loads of time was taken up with sleep food, watching tv, playing with the toothbrush and toothbrush holder (he ignored all the toys I took) and smiling/waving at the cabin crew.

The flight was quite quiet so they gave me two seats in the middle so I had loads of room.

The bonus with business class for that length of flight is that when you stop, the lounge is great, there is a whole children's room and they will bring you food and drink while your child plays.

Can't fault the service I had with them, and we only chose them because they were cheap!

Plus stopping in Abu Dhabi, with my little blonde boy was wonderful as he was utterly swooned over by dozens of young women which he really enjoyed.

Spuddybean Sun 14-Oct-12 05:47:14

Thanks all. We are going to Washington. I think it's actually about 8 hours flight.

I think we will go. He's only 4 weeks old now, but usually quite a good baby unless he has reflux - then he's very hard to settle.

Ozziegirly Sun 14-Oct-12 05:53:33

The reflux will hopefully have gone by then anyway - my DS had colic and at 4 weeks he was a real screamer, but this totally calmed by about 2-3 months.

Also, planes are quite loud, my DS did have a few cries on the flight and when we went to get off someone said "wow, has he been asleep for the whole flight?" and I was like "erm, no, he was yelling his head off for what seemed like ages!"

If you use a dummy, take it, it is a godsend......

Also, I actually think babies like that fact that you're totally there with them, playing and giving them your full attention, which actually cuts down on the screaming a bit.

SomersetONeil Sun 14-Oct-12 06:02:40

If you're worried - take a couple of boxes of naice choccies and hand them around to your immediate neighbours on boarding the plane, and kind of 'apologise' in advance. It softens people up a treat - at the end of the day (unlike the opera or a fancy restaurant hmm) sometimes you have no choice but to fly with a baby, and while it might not necessarily be great for your fellow passengers, it's just one of the those things.

To the ludicrous person back on the previous page - presumably you're unacquanited with the fact that some people don't just marry people from the same village as them, with friends and family all in spitting distance. Some people reckon it's important for, e.g. grandparents in other countries to have a relationship with their grandchildren. And oddly enough, don't consider random passenger X's feelings as more important than that. grin

bonbonpixie Sun 14-Oct-12 06:26:35

OP I flew out to Singapore with our 12 weeks old DD to visit my DH as he had been working out there. We flew BA first, just the two of us. Staff were helpful and other passengers were accommodating. However she was very good. During take off DD was a tiny bit unsettled and a prat behind me was reminded that this was in fact 'public transport' and if he had an issue about babies in first class he should take it up with the airline or hire his own plane. Was very quiet after this, on all fronts.
Generally speaking, if other passengers are parents themselves they will understand.

ComradeJing Sun 14-Oct-12 06:52:03

I STRONGLY recommend BA for business with babies. The location of the bassinet seat means that you and DH will be sitting next to each other without anything between you and you can easily share ds. The bassinets are good too and you'll have heaps of legroom.

We've flown business (and economy) with dd since she was 4 months (now 22m) on BA, Cathay, Singapore, virgin and most Chinese airlines.

I've never, ever found the staff turned a hair at her. The only comment I've had is from economy passengers questioning why you would fly business with a baby but no one in business has ever huffed or been rude. Otoh expect staff to offer other passengers to move away from you or to ask to move away from you.

ComradeJing Sun 14-Oct-12 06:53:36

Virgin were rubbish with kids btw. Don't bother.

Also we only go business because the company pays or we upgrade ourselves.

SomersetONeil Sun 14-Oct-12 07:15:14

Air NZ are fantastic.

Longdistance Sun 14-Oct-12 07:18:22

We flew over to live in Oz, 20 hour flight with a transit, and dd2 was 3 months old.

I have since flown back to the Uk on my own with dd1 (3), and dd2 (15 mo).

Longdistance Sun 14-Oct-12 07:19:45

We flew over to live in Oz, 20 hour flight with a transit, and dd2 was 3 months old.

I have since flown back to the Uk on my own with dd1 (3), and dd2 (15 mo).

Alligatorpie Sun 14-Oct-12 07:34:22

A word about the stroller for your stopover. BA told me I would get my stroller back for the five hour stopover, but when we went to get it, it had been sent off to the final destination, along with 7-8 other strollers and a wheelchair! They do have umbrella strollers you can borrow, but they are not suitable for babies under six months. Luckily I had a sling, it would have been a long five hours with a 8 week old and no where to put her down.

I was told to bring it to the gate and ask the FA to find space for it. I will do that when I travel long haul at Xmas alone with my seven month old and seven year old.

weegiemum Sun 14-Oct-12 07:36:17

I'd never fly Air Canada again with kids. They were abysmal!

VisionaryGoat Sun 14-Oct-12 07:46:56

Perfectly reasonable to travel with young 'uns - regardless of which class you travel. We all have to travel (not at all like taking a kid to a grand restaurant or cinema) so go for it, wherever you think you will be happier - you will all survive and the baby will probably arrive the other end in a better frame of mind than you will.

One thing I think you do need to bear in mind for travelling with babies is all the carry on stuff - seriously, take so much more than you think you will need.

More more more. Endless (okay at least two, maybe even three or four spare outfits - as get on a long-ish flight and the little toads will decide to get explosive poo/puke... its just sods bloody law IME) so consider having many full changes of clothes and nappies for him and a spare shirt or two and leggings for you (or whatever you like which packs down small and covers you) plus loads of wet wipes and several big sturdy zip-loc plastic bags to seal up any dirty puked/pooped on stuff in.

Your seat-mates will thank you greatly if they aren't sitting in a lingering fug of baby-butt/barf, and you will doubtless feel happier if not plastered with sick/shit too.

A friendly smile and the tendency to share your mag/paper and freely dish out chocs/sweets etc will also go a long way to making your seat mates hate you less if your baby turns into a howling spewing extra from the exorcist for the duration of the flight.

Also, the rule of: Are you actively trying to comfort/engage your loud child? Check yes for good parent, check no for crappy parent really applies on a plane. If people around you can see you snuggling/cooing/feeding etc then the reasonable ones will not be overly annoyed by 'baby' noises.

But people who just sit and 'let' babies squawk will be much less popular.

bbface Sun 14-Oct-12 07:55:43

I have flown upper with a six month. It was dreadful, mainly because I was so upset for the other upper class passengers, who had forked out thousands of pounds, and then had a screaming baby for most of it. I cursed myself for not being cautious and instead thinking that because my baby slept so well at home, flying wold be a breeze.

We flew premium economy on the way back and it was so so much better, mainly because the cabin was larger, less intense, less luxurious and less high expectations. People know the score in economy, they do not expect to have a delightful flying experience, they have not paid multiple thousands of pounds. Consequently, I relaxed and it made the ordeal so much more manageable.

As for those ofnyou who say, bugger the other passengers, I just find that mentality just so, well nasty if I am honest. Kind of attitude I would expect from a 14 yr old London yoof on a bus! Not a mother. Is that the attitude you are passingn to your children. If it suits me, then bugger everyone else.

It is called business class. So the airline hasn't exactly been sneaky with it's naming of this class. Pretty obvious for me that it is the equivalent of one of the 'quiet carriages' on a train... For people who need to work. Perhaps like my husband, they have a 14 hour business class flIght, and then straight into work.

Nothing wrong with being considerate, and as a mother of a toddler and soon to be newborn, I will always try to be considerate, and if that means a bit more discomfort for me (not for my baby, as if the baby is going to see the difference between business and economy!), then I will suck up the discomfort.

Spuddybean Sun 14-Oct-12 10:00:16

bbface - thanks for that perspective. i do appreciate it.

I would point out tho my thoughts on going business class were to have more space so therefore make it less likely to have a crying baby and that there would be fewer people in business, so fewer people to disturb. It never occurred to me to equate how much the seat cost to how aurally protected they should be. I find it irrelevant what people have paid for there ticket in relation to how much they deserve to be bothered.

I think the amount paid would need to be compared to earnings as to whether it was more expensive for someone or not. Therefore i suspect those in business class probably earn way more than those in economy, so in proportion their ticket may actually be cheaper iyswim. Also everyone i know who travels business class for work has their company pay for it, therefore to them the ticket is even cheaper to someone in economy.

I would completely accept someone saying it is unreasonable to fly full stop, but find it impossible to agree with flying is okay but don't bother the rich passengers opinion.

Also bbface, as a Londoner (who was once 14 and regularly used the bus) i find your comparison to selfish anti social behaviour a bit off. We Londoners, young or old, are on the whole friendly, lovely people smile

ComradeJing Sun 14-Oct-12 11:06:09

I agree. DH often has to work straight after a flight but business class is hardly just for those with busy days ahead of them. It's for anyone who can pay (regardless of whether you have used points, cash, or company paying for you) or who the airline feel deserves an upgrade.

On that note Cathay once upgraded dd and I because they had forgotten to load the bassinets. So airlines themselves obviously don't care about kids in business!

I second whoever said that people don't mind a bit of noise as long as you're being proactive with cooing, feeding, entertaining etc.

Try to relax too, dd always fed off my anxiety when I was stressed. Also feed during take off and landing. Always. Even if its not their usual feed time.

Spuddybean Sun 14-Oct-12 11:56:11

Agree with you Comrade and Visionary, the times i have flown and been bothered by a child has always been when the parents are just happily ignoring them - once when the dad got up and sat 4 rows back and tuned into a movie whilst his toddler screamed and the mum put her earphones on and snoozed shock . It was left to other passengers and crew to try to distract the child and our annoyance was with the parents not the little girl.

I have been on planes when a baby has been crying but the parents have been making herculean efforts to calm them. In those cases i have never been bothered and only felt sympathy for them.

Thank you for all your advice.

angeltulips Sun 14-Oct-12 12:40:55

For day flights it's totally fine to go business - no need to worry about sleeping adults

I must say that I didnt take DD business on night flights, having had a couple of awful experiences back before I had her, when I was flying overnight & had to go straight into the office, and then had a screaming baby next to me the whole time - I was in tears once at the thought of how much work I would have to do on zero sleep.

We have to go between oz and the uk a lot, so we tended to get 1x biz class seat and 1x economy + bassinet. DH and I would swap depending on who was snoozing and who was looking after DD. Worked well.

bbface Sun 14-Oct-12 13:12:56

Spuddy... I am a Londoner for heavens sakes!!

It stressed me out because I could see people working, there was a honeymoon couple to our right, and I just thought of both the expectation of what the fworth would be along with the money spent, andwhat made me think that having my baby here was appropriate. Unfair to all concerned. As I said, 'BUSINESS'class, kind of indicates to me that a baby is not perhaps best placed there.

By the sounds of it, you have pretty thick skin, so go for it.

HollyMadison Sun 14-Oct-12 13:19:32

Three months is a good time to travel and 7 hours isn't too bad. My best tip is to book a night flight out of the uk (I'm presuming you're in the uk) and baby will hopefully sleep the whole way or only wake for sleepy feeding. If you need to use bottles you need to check with the airline as to the best way of doing things (taking lots of bottles and own sterile water or letting them sterilize and/or provide boiling water - sorry I don't know as I BFed when traveling when DS was young).

bbface Sun 14-Oct-12 13:19:34

Spuddy, as a Londoner my experience of buses (which is a lot!) is groups of teens in the back playing their music whilst everyone else sits there quietly. If you are a Londoner, and use the buses, then you will know this is true and the attitude of them is fairly similar to some of the posters on this thread suggesting you do not give the other passengers another thought and just concentrate on yourself and your baby. Seriously, no need to get all London cheesy patriot-y on me. makes me wonder whether you are indeed a Londoner or were in your yoof but now moved out. Because that level of touchiness is not the trait of a Londoner!

RichManPoorManBeggarmanThief Sun 14-Oct-12 13:34:30

I also really recommend BA. Even though I've said I will never fly with them again about 10 times now, the layout of their business class really works with kids, because you get the two "middle seats" with the bassinet in front of you. Dont request the upper deck as that is where you are likely to find the genuine business passengers, and also not much space for pacing up and down if you need to.

Cathay is great generally, but they have a herringbone layout (known as "the coffins") which make travelling with a baby harder.

I would book a night flight if the baby will be 3 mo by then as sleep patterns will (hopefully) have changed by the time you fly so the all day sleeping likely to be a thing of the past.

To be fair, unless the baby is by nature a non-stop screamer, they are unlikely to really kick off on the plane- usually you find the white noise zonks them out.

RichManPoorManBeggarmanThief Sun 14-Oct-12 13:38:19

ps DH says now that if there's a baby crying in business class, his first reaction is "Not my kid. Excellent. More wine please." whereas before he had kids it was "Bloody children!"

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