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travelling with baby

(5 Posts)
bigbabysteps Thu 13-Oct-11 22:23:51

Hi,
I am studying design and am looking into travelling with young children for my current project. It would be great to hear of any problems people have when they are out and about. What problem's do you encounter when on a long flight? How do you carry essentials/ heat up food? Where does your child sleep, if at all?

Thanks

diyvspse Fri 14-Oct-11 13:38:15

On a long flight problems on the plane are largely space related. Most airlines provide a cot or carseat type seat (BA) for babies to sleep in - however, only very young babies will fit into the cot. Not all babies will sleep in the carseat & only BA provide them I think. The size of the cots differ slightly from airline to airline, and the level of comfort/security also varies. The BA cot is relatively short. Also there's no point putting a baby who can sit up in a cot, as they're likely to fall out if you are asleep. There should be some kind of strap or seat belt option perhaps.

Babies under 2 fly free (or for a small charge), but once they are 2, you must buy them a seat. If they're under 2 but too big for a cot & there's no carseat option, then they're on your lap THE WHOLE TIME.
If you want to make some serious cash - please invent some kind of comfortable sling thing that you can wear when sitting down in a plane seat so that your baby is attached to you/sleeping on you, without you physically holding them. These do exist, but not sure whether they are any good.

If you're breastfeeding you escape the problems of storing/carrying/heating up milk - but the stewards will heat up bottles (they typically overheat them). Security is a hassle when travelling with pre-made cartons of formula or baby food. I have been told I have to open HALF of all the different kinds of food/formula - which not only means waste, but if you don't anticipate it, you will run short on the flight. Once you've opened it, you can't store it - so you have to throw it out.

Changing baby on a flight is unpleasant - there's little room in the loos as you know, but it's not impossible.

Carrying essentials? Well, I carry my nappy bag - overloaded with stuff - a backpack would be better.

onlylivinggirl Fri 14-Oct-11 13:53:09

Agree re the space thing- it really becomes a problem at meal time as there is no space unless you are travelling with someone and can take it in turns to eat.
some airline are great at giving people travelling with children spare seats if they have any which is very helpful - although there aren't really appropriate straps or restraints. This is helpful for sleeping - even if the baby will sleep in your arms it is very cramped - I think the basinet type thing is only really appropriate for small babies
Some airlines give the baby a meal -other don't.
We heated baby food (or rather the stewards did) using a bowl of hotwaer (no microwaves on planes we have used).
Attitude to food security seems to vary- I have had to taste baby milk but not food - even when it is in a pouch/semi liquid.
Changing baby was ok in that there were actually baby changing tables (fold out)in the toilets but a bit cramped.
Pushchairs - it is a bit of a pain that you can take the pushchair to the plane but have to pick it up from the baggage area - which can be quite a trek.
Have bag with food/nappies/clothes and toys/books in for baby ~(again not sure whether airline rules vary on whether infant without own seat has baggage allowance)

Entertaining the baby in an enclosed space is the biggest problem - especially when they are walking and just want to run up and down. You have to take your own entertainment (DVD player is great) as there is little provided (no cbeebies!) -DS liked the galley area but I was worried about the risks there.
It was also a pain when the meals were out as the trays stayed out for ages ( we ended up taking them back) and bits seemed to go everywhere.

bigbabysteps Mon 17-Oct-11 19:28:27

Thanks, that is a great help. Will have a think about what I can do.

dramatrauma Mon 17-Oct-11 19:46:36

I found the biggest problem to be randomness.

All airlines have different policies, which also vary between countries. (In the US, under-2s on laps do NOT use a belt loop as its considered unsafe. In the UK, they must use one. What's up with that??) Some have cots that will fit up to 6 months, some only to 3 months, some don't have cots at all, and none will guarantee you a bulkhead seat where you can use it. Some have carseat-type contraptions that will fit toddlers, but most don't. Most airlines were frankly unsure of their seating policies while selling me tickets. (Can the whole family sit together at the bulkhead? Is that up to fate at check-in??)

I never minded the discomforts involved in travelling 10+ hours with babies. What I minded was the cluelessness and lack of standard best practice. What is the safest way to travel? If it's a carseat up to a certain age, then why don't the airlines provide them?

And the trays of food - that's just bad customer service. The flight staff want to keep everyone penned into their seats for as long as possible. A policy of wandering through the cabin to pick up the trays from parents of young children would go a long way.

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