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Long haul with a 6month old - ALL advice greatly received!

(9 Posts)
dappleton Mon 22-Aug-11 13:54:43

I'm going to be travelling soon with my DS who will be 6mnths. We live abroad and we're returning to the UK to visit family, the flight is 12hours - plus 1 hour travalling at either end and 2 hour check-in. The airport we depart from is small and does not have a chemist or anywhere that I could buy pre-made formula after security.
DS is currently on a mix of formula & BF.
I will be relying on formula as the seats we've booked are a bit odd and to get a bassinet I will be seated next to a stranger not DH therefore BF won't be a comfortable option (unless massive delays in which case I will have no option!), my questions are:

1) Is it possible for the cabin crew to make up the formula on the flight i.e. is the water they use for tea/coffee suitable for babies bottles?

2) If not what other options do I have? I've seen those Thermos style bottle warmers in shops but will they keep the water at the correct temperature for 12hours 'ish'??

3)Does anyone have any idea if it's possible to sterilize a bottle on a plane, and if so how? or do I need to pack 4-5 ready sterilized for all the feeds?

Sorry for what will seem stupid questions to many of you but i'm really confused as to how this is going to work!

Any advice really, really welcome.

AttilaTheMeerkat Mon 22-Aug-11 17:11:06

Which airline are you using?.

1. Crew can give you some hot water for baby's bottle BUT they often bring it back too hot. Tea and coffee served on aircraft is already made.

2. From what I understand you can take enough formula feed anyway on board to last the duration of the flight. Can you just take powder on board and ask crew to gently heat up water for bottle (again bearing in mind the warning in the first part of my reply).

3. No to being able to sterilise bottles on a plane (they'll probably cite health and safety reasons).

MaggieW Mon 22-Aug-11 19:06:32

I was anxious about this when flying for 24 hours with my DS and DD when they were babies. However, it was fine. I do remember neither of them drank as much as they normally would do, but it was nothing to panic about. They made up for it on arrival!

You can always ask the crew if there's somewhere you can BF ie a seat in a quiet part of the galley, the crew rest area or elsewhere, partic when they're on a rest period and the crew areas are quiet.

Alternatively, you can buy disposable sterile bottles to take on the flight. I did try DS on them a few days before we left so that he wasn't fazed by them as the teat was slightly different. With DD, I didn't sterilise, I just washed the bottles thoroughly, and again, it was fine.

I also got both used to taking milk at room temperature so that I could feed them any hour of the day and night and not have to worry about heating the milk up. Worth considering as it worked brilliantly.

I would second what ATM said about the hot water sometimes being too hot, so be careful. From memory I took the mini sachets of sma gold, or similar, which made 4oz at a time and again, that meant minimal packing and worked well.

Have a great visit.

dappleton Tue 23-Aug-11 09:54:23

Thank you both for your tips.The disposable bottles sound a good idea, i'll see if I can get hold of some to start trying out. And i'll keep in mind how hot the water will probably be if they warm the bottles up for me - i'll have to get organised and not wait until DS is so hungry he can't wait for everything to be prepared and cooled down!

gregssausageroll Tue 23-Aug-11 21:22:07

buy presterilised bottles that you can throw away and get cartons of formula. Single serve and chuck away. Other than that, ask cabin crewe for hot water about 30-40 minutes before feed to mix powder.

BraveGirl Sun 28-Aug-11 08:35:02

When you get on board ask the stranger in the seat next to you if they'd consider swopping seats with DH - invariably they will say yes as they won't want to be sat next to a small child!

Off2CtheWorld Sun 28-Aug-11 11:07:49

We've just flown for 33 hrs, plus to and from end airports, with DS 5 1/2 months. It all went surprisingly well. smile

Tips:
Pack everything you have to show at security in one of your hand luggage, together in one bag (eg light fabric tote). Computers, ipads, liquids etc. Then only one of you has to faff getting it out and packing it away, while the other has the baby.

Pack everything you want with you in your seat in a tote inside your hand luggage. Easy to get out and put at your feet as you get on the plane (or if you're in the bulkhead/bassinette seat, after take off). And easy to access and keep together in the open top tote.

Not sure why you think BF won't work next to a stranger. Worried DC will kick, or prefer not to show anything yourself? It is so much more convenient, not having to worry about bottles, sterilising, temperature, security checks, etc. Take a shawl or cover and go for it. If they're uncomfortable, hopefully they'll ask to move and you get more space or DH can come and take that seat. I'd be exploding if I waited that long...

DS is exclusively BF - but I had two single serve cartons liquid formula and a squeeze pack smoothie in hand luggage- just in case. Showed at security - no questions asked in all three airports (ARN, LHR, SIN).

DS was good for descent on first flight, fussed on second and third. Tried BF-he wasn't interested. We alternated dummy, finger and bottle of water to suck on. Bottle was a success - he only drank about 10ml, but it seemed to be what he wanted.

For mixing formula / heating, I suggest the cleanest water you can get (bottled if avail, otherwise the cold drinking water on the plane). Then use their super-hot stuff in a container around the bottle just to heat it. Less chance it will be too hot, and you avoid any concentration of minerals etc from their water heaters, which are probably never really emptied.

Read some of the other posts here about strollers and airports. Depends where you are - what is possible.
(eg: www.mumsnet.com/Talk/general_advice_tips/1278504-Help-We-need-your-tips-please-on-surviving-airports-with-babies-and-children, www.mumsnet.com/Talk/general_advice_tips/1284952-Want-your-buggy-delivered-to-the-gate-when-your-flight-lands)

Quiet toys - possibly new so they're still interesting. Taggy toys work great for us.

Take a blanket (we used a sarong) to put on the floor and let DC have a kick, roll around, in the boarding lounge.

Good luck! Sure it will be fine. smile

dappleton Fri 02-Sep-11 19:19:02

Thanks so much off2ctheworld - that's really great advice, I'm starting to have hope that all will be fine after all! smile

lp77 Sat 03-Sep-11 23:23:54

where you flying from and to? we flew to oz with 3 young kids and you will be fine, we had the disposable bottles and ready made formula on one trip, it was ok, bottles collapsed, could you sterilise bottles before you go and either fill with water and take powder or just take the premade cartons. We had flat mat for our baby gym and it was great in sirports even just to let them roll around and get some time to play. wee books/ things to chew/ open. also remember medicine sachets just in case...
good luck
singapore airlines were fab and emirates were good

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