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Advice please-8hr flight with 4mnth old

(20 Posts)
Gbnewbie Thu 20-Jun-13 16:50:10

Thanks mrsm. Great tip re the calpol. grin

mrsmortis Thu 20-Jun-13 11:04:09

Even if you don't take formula take a bottle with you. The air on the plane is very dry and babe may need a drink of water. Buy a large bottle of Evian airside to fill the bottle with and to drink yourself. I was always told that of all the mineral waters available Evian was safe for babe based on the levels of minerals and salts in. Not all mineral waters are.

If you are taking food through security be aware that you will be asked to taste some of it. I have sometimes had to try every second packet. Given the lack of refrigeration that means that you may have to bin everything you taste (or at least some of it) so take enough with you to cover this eventuality.

I second taking a baby carrier with you. As well as ensuring that you can get through the airport if needed, it also means that you can push a luggage trolley through customs while carry babe. I would also recommend that you use a rucksack for hand baggage as this leaves your hands free for other things.

For calpol you can get around the 100ml rule by buying it in sachets. But pack a bottle in your hold bags as the sachets are fiddly.

Gbnewbie Wed 19-Jun-13 10:37:28

Calpol-brilliant! I had thought if that and then promptly forgot!! Thankfully the sling I've got I can still manage him in for short bouts.
I really hope it's a doddle!! Thanks gringrin

ChippingInWiredOnCoffee Wed 19-Jun-13 04:22:33

Oh and calpol - is that on your list? Just in case of sore ears! But if you time your feeds for take off and landing it should be fine.

ChippingInWiredOnCoffee Wed 19-Jun-13 04:21:34

Don't spend money on a sling until you have asked around your friends etc - people normally have more than one or have one they don't use - it's only for a few weeks smile

I love the idea of saving this thread (in some format you can read on the plane!) to get you through any tricky moments - but really, it should be a doddle! wink

Gbnewbie Tue 18-Jun-13 22:10:56

Thanks Chipping smile
A sling is on the list too! I'm also going to save this thread and have it with me so can re read the bits that are encouraging and to remind me that not every passenger will be gunning for me if lo decides to kick up a fuss!
Taking some formula in case he refuses the boob which he does now and then. I usually have a supply of expressed milk when it happens. winethanks!!

ChippingInWiredOnCoffee Tue 18-Jun-13 19:03:16

Honestly - try to relax and look forward to your trip, travelling with a baby that age isn't bad at all then tell family you aren't going again until s/he's at least 7 grin

Breastfeeding and flying are a great combination - so I wouldn't worry about taking formula etc.

Wear thin layers - it can be very hot when you have a small baby on your knee.

Sling is invaluable to take some of the 'weight/holding', even if you don't normally use one.

Don't imagine everyone is glaring at you if the baby cries - mostly they are thinking 'Thank god it's not me!!'

If any of the crew offer to take the baby for a bit - let them - they can't go anywhere grin

Take some snacks for you because eating airline food can be a bit tricky.

Don't hesitate to use the 'call' button when you need a drink or anything else.

Mostly, don't forget your camera & have a bloody good time!! smile

Gbnewbie Tue 18-Jun-13 18:52:51

Thank you again. With any bit of new information or advice my panic lessens smile
I'll definitely take a nappy for each hour and a handful more (just in case). Will also order some premixed formula as back up too! thanks And or winefor each of you.

whatsagoodusername Tue 18-Jun-13 16:35:10

I think you would be able to take expressed milk. You will definitely need to taste it at security. However, be prepared for the possibility of having to bin it.

Same for food. Probably all right, you will need to taste it, and be prepared for the possibility of being forced to bin it.

I have generally found security staff at the family-friendly lane to be laid-back (within reason) with stuff that is obviously for babies when you obviously have a baby with you, but you could always get the one who is in a bad mood/recently reprimanded/rulebook-following drone who will NOT compromise and will make you throw everything away. Equally if there is a heightened security level that day, which you can't really anticipate, the chances you would need to bin it would go up. I'm not sure expressed milk would be worth the trouble, but I mix-fed both my boys, so don't have strong feelings on whether or not formula is as good as breastmilk.

If you pre-order things at Heathrow, by the way, you don't pay for it until you pick it up, so no harm in doing so. If you don't, they just put it on the shelf after your flight.

spondulix Tue 18-Jun-13 16:06:28

I'm pretty sure you can take expressed milk as long as you taste it at security. BUT definitely check first with your airline or the airport.

Homemade food - yes, shouldn't be a problem. I have done it myself.

The advice I was given re: nappies was to take one for each hour. I had a 32 hour trip so I took 30 nappies. A few people scoffed at me but I had a couple of minor delays and ended up getting through about 23!

fedupwithdeployment Tue 18-Jun-13 15:25:00

I don't think you'd be allowed to take expressed milk. I flew with both boys when they were about that age and the fact they were bf made it a lot easier. Just slipped them onto the boob when required.

In fact, that reminds me - we got to Gatwick when DS2 was about 3 months old, and the drop bag queue was horrendous. BA lady said about 45 minutes. I said, "That's fine, I'll just get my boobs out here then." Worked a treat...she grabbed the bags from me grin

Gbnewbie Tue 18-Jun-13 15:09:07

Wow!!! thanks Whatsa and Sponsulix!! More wonderfully helpful info!
Several people have said its much easier when they're very young hence going now!
I wanted to take some home made food and expressed milk, do you know if I can take those?

spondulix Tue 18-Jun-13 14:20:29

My advice is to take more formula and nappies than you think you need. When DD was five months old I took her from the UK to Australia on my own (two 12 hour flights, back to back - I was dreading it!). Because of the dry air on the plane, she drank constantly, and therefore went through loads of nappies.

She stayed awake most of the time but was very well behaved. It's much, MUCH harder now that she's two and wants to run/jump/climb/shriek instead of stay in one place.

whatsagoodusername Tue 18-Jun-13 13:26:07

You can pre-order formula at Heathrow (Reserve & Collect), and baby food if you are at that stage, and collect it from Boots Airside. It will save you the trouble of getting it through security and it will be there, ready and waiting for you. I think it may also be slightly cheaper than buying it landside. And get more than you think you might need. Worst that happens is you waste a pound. You can abandon it on the plane if you don't want to take it with you.

Try to feed your DS at take-off and landing. It will help with the change of altitude. Dummy if he takes them and isn't hungry. One of your fingers if he doesn't like dummies.

If naptime is near to your flight time and DS is agreeable to having naptime shifted a bit, see if you can keep him awake until you are on the plane, then let him pass out once in the air (and in a skycot if possible). It's not worth it if he will be hysterical, though.

BA also do bouncy chairs (similar to this) in the bulkhead seats, in addition to the bassinets, which might be better for a 4mo. Ask for it as soon as you get on board and stake your claim - they may not have enough for every bulkhead seat and they are definitely worth having.

Pack every set of spare clothing (including spare clothes for you) into their own plastic bags. Then when you need to change clothes, you have a plastic bag handy to put the soiled ones into.

Don't take DS out of the skycot automatically when the seatbelt sign turns on if it's not noticeably bumpy. Sometimes they turn it on when they just want everyone to sit down (usually when they are coming through with trolleys) and don't mind if the babies aren't in your lap. Depends on the flight crew and always be pleasant with them. They can make things much easier for you.

Take at least twice as many nappies as you think you could possibly ever use. Change nappies just before boarding, whether or not he needs it.

Don't get stressed (if possible) if the baby is crying. Other passengers might not like it (they won't, but some are spectacularly sympathetic), but getting stressed about their reactions is only going to make you tense, which your DS will pick up on.

If he is nicely settled in the skycot, leave him alone! Read a book, watch a film, SLEEP! I was once on a flight where the mother and grandmother fussed and fussed over their LO, who was fine, happy, sleeping, and was fussed at into being fussy. If they had left her alone until she started fussing, they all would have enjoyed the flight more.

Give yourself lots of time. If you think you are running late for your flight once in the airport, enlist help from airport staff. Tell them what flight you're on, get them to tell the crew you are on your way, and see if you can get in one of those cars that people with mobility problems get ferried around in.

Get on the plane early and see if there is a friendly flight attendant who would love to cuddle a baby while you arrange your things. Get off last and take your time to get sorted. Always take help when offered. If it's not offered, ASK.

Take a baby carrier with you onto the plane, just in case you don't get your pushchair back at the gate. You probably will, and you probably should, but you don't want to find out after 8 hours flying that they have sent it to baggage claim and then have to carry a baby and all of your things. Actually, if you put DS in the carrier in the airport, you can use your pushchair to carry all your hand luggage. grin

I'm jealous, if you can believe it. We are going to the US on Saturday with two very active toddlers. It was much easier when they were babies!

Gbnewbie Tue 18-Jun-13 10:14:44

Pawan and Attilla thank you so much for the advice and my apologies for taking so long to pass on my thanks blush
I'm going to start packing today. Managed to book a bulk head seat for both journeys. Still very nervous sad.

Thanks again! thanksthanks

AttilaTheMeerkat Fri 31-May-13 15:09:31

Anything that will potentially make things easier for you is fine. BTW T5 have a family line for security.

BA for their US flights use T5. Ensure that you leave enough time to get to the gate; you will use either B or C gates. B and C gates will require you to use their transit train (there are two large lifts in the main terminal which will take you down to the level of the transit train). It can take around 10 minutes to get to these gates. There are lifts at both B and C gate areas when you leave the transit train.

You will need to board a daytime hours flight to the US. It will be an overnight flight on your return to the UK arriving there the next day.

Gbnewbie Fri 31-May-13 07:29:56

Thank you both for the info. Travelling with British airways to the US. Should be getting a lift to the airport and picked up by family (who I'm stating with).
I'm bf'ing but wondering whether it would be sensible to take a ready mixed carton of formula so he can have a big feed which may settle him for longer?

AttilaTheMeerkat Fri 31-May-13 07:02:58

Where are you intending to travel to and with which airline?. I ask that as flights to the USA leave these shores during daytime hours. Flights heading east tend to leave the UK late afternoon and evening.

Some things to think about:-
Decide how you are going to arrive at the airport; taxi?.
Write flight details and hotel address and leave this on top of your clothing in your suitcase. This makes it easier for your bag to be reunited with you in the event the bag has a little holiday of its own!.
You can take enough milk for the flight, be careful if you ask the crew to heat up any milk though because it can return very hot.
Passport for child as well as yourself
Change child's nappy before boarding
Change of clothes for both you and child in case of air sickness
Accept any and all offers of assistance
You should be able to take the pushchair up to the gate area
Check size of bassinet with airline, not all are suitable for use
Give yourselves enough time to arrive at the gate area particularly if you are leaving from somewhere like Heathrow.

Pawan Fri 31-May-13 00:18:26

We've travelled with our children at 5 months old, 11 months old, 18 months old, and then every year since, upto 6 years - always for a 10 hour flight.

I have to say, younger was easier; 5 months old was definitely the easiest!!

For us, it didn't make any difference day or night, our little ones tended to stay awake during check in etc (bright lights, lots of noise) - but as babies they did sleep a little bit on the plane. From toddlers onwards, they rarely slept, regardless of time. It is hard work keeping them occupied without them troubling other passengers, or making too much noise!


- have a bag with everything you need for baby for at least 1 or 2 days - in case for any reason luggage goes missing. lots of spare nappies and clothes
- also, have a spare change of clothes for you if baby throws up on you - you don't want to spend a whole flight smelling of baby sick
- if bottle feeding, take plenty of extra milk powder
- check current restrictions on food/liquids on airport you are flying out of; I was once forced at Heathrow to open every single jar of baby food I had bought with me - meaning that it then couldn't be used for DS; and I had to buy a whole pile more at our destination (india, which wasn't easy to do immediately)
- for take off and landing, be ready to give baby something to suck (dummy, milk bottle) to help with pressure in ears
- if anyone offers to help, then accept it!
- if baby is sleeping, then you can try to rest too
- for long haul flights, you can sometimes request a "sky cot" - no guarantee usually that you will get one, but worth trying - allows baby to sleep on cot fastened to bulkhead in front of your seat, - we did this twice, and it was worth doing
-if you are taking pushchair, keep it with you till you get on the plane if possible, (where it is usually put in the hold) and then hopefully you get it back straight away at the other end. If you're not taking a pushchair, then a baby sling might be worthwhile.

hope that helps.

Gbnewbie Thu 30-May-13 23:05:22


Can anyone offer me any advice? I'll be travelling alone with my lo and am getting really nervous. I'm starting to wish I hadn't agreed to the trip!

Would it be better to travel during the day or would it be better to fly at night or doesn't it make any difference? Are there any tips which might help?
Any advice will be gratefully received!

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