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Flying to Australia with an 8 month old baby - petrified!

(19 Posts)
leannac Wed 21-Sep-11 19:07:51

My husband is Australian so we are flying Virgin via Hong Kong in December to introduce our daughter to her Aussie family. I'm quite nervous about flying for such a long distance with her and wondered if anyone has any tips? Will I need to take 27 hrs worth of food with me on the plane?? Will they actually let me take that much formula etc through security? We've booked a bassinet as we can't afford her own seat but also wondered whether anyone has used the bassinet. Are they hard plastic and so I'll need to take a mattress or something for her to lie on or are they ready to be used?

Any advice gratefully received!

lillypie Wed 21-Sep-11 19:28:04

Hi there the first time I took dd to Australia she was 8 months and it was fine.
Bassinet was really useful (you won't need extra padding)

I had no problems taking formula and baby food through security but you can always ring Virgin to check what they have on board.(our airline had baby food and nappies)

Mt DD slept a huge part of the way and taking her at 8 months was much easier than taking her at 3!

The most useful piece of equipment I took with me was a sling as on one of our changes we didn't get our buggy.

Don't worry it will be fine smile

BoattoBolivia Wed 21-Sep-11 19:33:51

They won't let you take anything liquid in open packets or anything over 100ml through security but if you ring boots airside, you can pre order it and collect once you are through. We did this with formula cartons when ds was 8 months and took bananas and organix snack things. Mind you, we were only going to switzerland!

lillypie Thu 29-Sep-11 07:44:19

They let me take milk cartons through but they did make me decant one carton into a bottle and taste

dumdedah Wed 09-Nov-11 22:49:17

Just remember that however it goes, in 24hrs it will all be over!
A while ago now we flew there when our DS was 7mo and back when he was 9mo. The way there was a torment. I was so tense and worried about him disturbing people. I'm sure he felt it and barely slept, but did cry a lot. On the way back I was thinking 'stuff it, if he needs to cry for 10 minutes to burn off steam before sleeping for a few hours, then so be it'. But of course, didn't get a peep from him the whole journey! Moral being, try and relax as much as you can. And remember that passengers can always plug in their headsets and watch a movie or listen to music if they need to zone out.
For practical tips...
-bibs and bobs from the meal trays, entertainment controls etc are all good 'toys' for a 9mo.
- pack a mini-bag for the flight; 1 nappy, small pack wipes, 1 bib, 1 snack, 1 toy etc. They can make you store your carry-on in the overhead locker if you're in the bulkhead aisle, but you can usually get away with a small pack (behind your feet or in the magazine bit). It is much easier to manage a small kit when needs arise, and you can then do a top up from your main kit at leisure.
- you might want to check the airline's policy on bassinet allocation, to make sure you wont get bumped for a younger baby (or are at least prepared for it)
- muslins and pegs (or tape) may come in handy if the bassinet is under a light and your dd is sensitive.
As Lillypie says, it will all be fine. And once you're there, you'll have relies adoring your DD, and probably lots of babysitting offers too! (take them!!! and sleep smile)

snowwombat Fri 11-Nov-11 21:38:54

-Take extra nappies;
-nice big muslin to throw over the basinette, helps to block out the peering over the basinette from well meaning passengers when you are trying to get DD to sleep
-Grobag etc if she normally sleeps in one
-easy Snacks like mini breadsticks/rice cakes
-Disposable bibs
Don't worry too much about toys

Security at heathrow have been fine the majority of the time when I have had mountains of formula and pouches of food. Usually have a bottle ready and they ask me to taste that rather than open anything else. If they have got a little over zealous, I show them the tamper proof seals on the food, that is usually enough. Your other option is to pre-order and pick up the formula airside.

It will be fine. Worst case,she screams a lot. There are two of you to share that. And you never have to see the other passengers again grin

Shenanagins Tue 22-Nov-11 17:45:27

Sorry to hi-jack on someone else's thread, but thought this might be appropriate seeing as it is related (aplogies to the original poster).

In similiar position with 8 month old but just wondering what to do on the return leg re formula. Will arrange to pre-book formula cartons at boots for going out (thanks for the tip) but what about on the return let, will airlines provide boiled water or should I take enough cartons for this - worried that I could get the same issues regarding fluid restrictions and make me decant the lot.

gregssausageroll Thu 24-Nov-11 07:59:41

The airline will give you boiled wated but it is roasting hot so time it that you request early enough for it to cool down. You can buy cartons in Australia. I have not had a problem coming back through security in Australia or Singapore but I have always had issues through security in the UK - particularly T5 at heathrow. My tip would be to pre order at boots airside and collect. Just so you don't get pissed off if they do confiscate from you.

What are you feeding solids wise? I took plums meals with me when DS was that age. They don't have to be kept cool etc. I gave hima few over the few weeks prior to our first trip just to see that he liked them.

Just remember to ditch every piece of food before you get to Australia or you will need to declare the lot - that said, our first long trip to Aus I took a couple of tubs of aptamil with me and mixed it in with Australian stuff to avoid tummy upsets.

stealthsquiggle Mon 09-Jan-12 17:42:55

I moved DS onto a formula which came in "stick packs" before we went to Aus with him at a similar age. Bassinet was OK but at 8mo DS was really too long for it, so he didn't use it much. I would take a blanket or muslin or something that smells of home to line it, but if you need extra padding just ask for some more blankets. We bought Aus formula once we got there and saved the last of the stick packs for the return journey.

I would second the fact that it was easier than I thought - DS slept for ~18 of the 24 hours, crawled the length of the airport on the stopover, and went back to sleep on takeoff on the next leg. I would rather do that again than do it now (DC are 9 & 5)

Somersaults Sun 15-Jan-12 22:02:44

I'm hijacking this thread too - all this is gladly reassuring me that I'm not crazy to take a 3mo to Australia and back! All the tips and advice are great so far and I'm bf so won't have to worry about getting formula through security or anything like that. Thank you everyone and any more top tips would be greatly appreciated smile

OlivesIncubator Wed 25-Jan-12 21:06:34

Me too! Me too! Flying to Oz on Sunday with 3 month old on Virgin. Any advice please?!

OlivesIncubator Wed 25-Jan-12 21:09:25

Love the mini bag idea, btw. Stealing it.

paperscissorsstonelizzardspock Wed 25-Jan-12 21:15:11

Hi the best advise i can give is calpol or similar!! allowing them to feed during take off and landing and be aware that when the seat belt sign comes on some airlines make you take them out of the bassinet! in terms of food i ordered a fruit platter and dc enjoyed that, it's not going to be the best day of your life but you'll get there!!!

PatriciaHolm Fri 27-Jan-12 22:34:50

Change of clothes for you as well as them. DD vomited all over me 2 hours into return from Sydney resulted in me doing the rest of the journey - including 3 hours in HK - in rather natty Virgin Atlantic pyjamas....

kiwidreamer Sat 28-Jan-12 13:24:11

I've just completed the UK-NZ round trip with a 7mth old and it was hard going at times but we survived, and I must say it was easier in some ways than when I did the trip with my 2.5yr old. I flew out with my folks but back to the UK on my own. Trip down was shocking for sleep, poor baby just couldnt stay asleep with all the noise, such a nosey miss!!! She slept 5hrs over 30... yeah it was pretty awful at times but it didnt kill us. As the flight back approached I was a little concerned at having to do it on my own with her as she learnt to crawl in the three weeks we were in NZ, so I ended up buying some Phenergan (antihystime sedative) at the pharmacy. Wasnt 100% sure I was going to use it and didnt on the first 10hr leg (2 x 45min naps) but when we got on the plane in Singapore and pilot said hours delay on top of 14hr leg I cracked open the bottle (half dose 2.5ml)and it was a blardy godsend!!! She slept 7hrs and then up for 2hrs and down for another hour, completely manageable and happy the whole time.

Bring your own baby food in pouches (by second leg we were basically squirting the pouch contents direct into her mouth as spoon feeding such a faff), ask for sandwiches as snacks to share with bubs, save your breakfast yogurt, make sure sippy cup is full of water all the time and offer often to bubs, if you can handle it let bubs sleep on you as when seat belt lights go on you will have to get baby out of basinette, take a baby change mat wallet thingy and replace nappy directly after each nappy change (easy to store under your seat and everything is at hand quickly), at least two changes of clothes for bubs and clean top for you, plastic bags for messy clothes, unless you NEED a buggy at other end use a sling/carrier for plane/airports (can you borrow one at destination??), calpol sachets smile

gallifrey Sun 29-Jan-12 21:19:04

this is brilliant thank you, we are going to Australia in May with our baby who will be 13 months old when we go. We have a night flight going out there, stopping off at Singapore for 3 hours then another plane to Brisbane. My MIL is coming so there will be 5 of us altogether, me, dh, mil, dd (8) and the baby.
We have prebooked our seats and have a bassinette with the whole row. She is a good sleeper so I'm hoping she will sleep most of the way there, but at least there is going to be 3 adults that can take it in turns to look after her if she doesn't!

TeuchterInTheCity Sun 29-Jan-12 21:30:52

Take some new toys as a treat for baby.

Make sure you definitely get a bassinet, we flew with Emirates and I phoned monthly to check booking and arrived v early for check in to ensure bulkhead seats and bassinet.

If there is a max weight for bassinet and baby is over that, lie lie lie wink

I kept my watch on UK time and DH put his on Oz time to give us an idea of feeding/sleeping times but in reality DD grazed pretty much the entire journey and slept on random bursts.

Don't expect to get much sleep - DD preferred to sleep on me (sweaty/uncomfortable) and I worried she'd fall out of bassinet while in there do couldn't really sleep or concentrate on a film.

Bassinet excellent to sit baby in to feed, play etc and they love to have a good nosey at other passengers.

Accept all offers of help from staff and other passengers.

Try and get back into normal routine as soon as you arrive, DD was fab, we were not!

Enjoy the trip, travelling with babies is a doddle compared to toddlers...!

travelswithbear Mon 13-Feb-12 21:46:17

Just done 12 hour flight with 11mo (not quite as far as you!). Blogged about it here.

carrioke Sun 23-Sep-12 16:44:18

Hi there, I'm an ex flight attendant and a mummy who travel a lot with our little one including South Africa, Thailand and Oz... I always get asked similar questions so I started a blog www.flyingwithababy.com. I've compiled them in a quick easy to read format as I know we are all busy. :-) but my tips include:-)
Airline policies
Best seats
Info on bassinets
Which airlines/airports provide complimentary strollers to use?
Best toys to take to entertain.
Information on baby food and milk.
What to pack in your hand luggage?

and much much more.
Hope it helps somebody. :-)

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