Mumsnet Logo
Please
or
to access all these features

Welcome to Mumsnet's holiday forum. Discuss all international travel here, including both shorthaul and longhaul trips. Related topics: UK holidays & day trips, skiing, camping & campervans.

Holidays

Help! any tips for air travelling with a 9m old?

28 replies

Chandra · 22/12/2003 15:38

I'm going to visit my family soon and I have to fly for 15 hours plus wait for 2 conections. Do you have any tips that you can share to help me to keep the baby distracted and calm? he is very placid but doesn't like to be carried for long... Please help!!!

OP posts:
Please
or
to access all these features

TinselDragon · 22/12/2003 15:43

Book a sky cot. Even if they don't sleep in it, it's invaluable for keeping a baby entertained as they can see over the back of your seat all the way down the plane.

Small snacks and toys.

For emergencies only: Medised or similar.

9 months is a reasonably easy age to travel with them. DS2 did 8 hours to Florida at 7 months and it was a breeze. He didn't need much entertaining beyond the plastic spoon from a meal and the sky cot for a prime flirting position!

Please
or
to access all these features

eidsvold · 27/12/2003 11:31

sky cots are a must - I just keep calling every few days to make sure we had one... if you are flying with just you and child - stress that and ask for assistance with all legs of the journey...

We flew to aus and dd slept most of the way - we were travelling at night... the skycot was brilliant - we just put her in her jammies and sleeping bag and off she went - 13 hours to Singapore - woke just on landing and then slept the 7 hours to Aus..... although she had a turn about an hour or so after landing - which we think was her adjusting to the flight and arriving both in aus and the UK.

Please
or
to access all these features

crystaltips · 27/12/2003 11:45

Bottles / dummies etc for the ascent and descent as sometimes the ears can hurt ... sucking releives the pressure in the ears

Please
or
to access all these features

popsycal · 27/12/2003 13:08

raisins, raisins and more raisins
oh and nappies for when it explodes!!!
pull up nappies as changing on a plane is a nightmare!!!!

Please
or
to access all these features

Chandra · 27/12/2003 16:50

Thanks for your messages I still have some questions -sorry first time in such a lon trip with baby-. How do you sorted out the bottles? how did you warm them and how long did it take, where you able to get the pushchair inside the cabin (I have a very short time for connections so, I can't wait for it to be taken out of the luggage cabin but in the other hand, I need it to run from one terminal to the other...). What sort of baby food do they provide? (we are cooking all his meals but I think that taking frozen food in such a long trip it's a recipe for disaster...)

OP posts:
Please
or
to access all these features

eidsvold · 27/12/2003 17:30

i was a nightmare in that I wanted to be self sufficient and so took all that dd would need. I did order a baby meal anyway... they tend to be jar food ...

singapore airlines provided us with a few nappies and wipes and bibs. Although I did have my own wipes, nappies etc although the travel size ones they gave us were brilliant and I put them away to use at home and just used the big pack I had taken.

You should have them organise someone to meet you when you have to change terminals etc..... make sure you ask for assistance... I think it depends on the airline whether you can take the buggy on board.

For dd's formula I took the premixed carton ones... and used that. On the way back from aus - I had premeasured formula and just used evian water - dd was pretty used to drinking milk at room tempature - even cold so she was fine there.....I also got steri bottles that I could jettison as I went. they are plastic one use disaposable bottles - tesco/boots sell them.

I did see the cabin crew heating bottles for other people.

hth

Please
or
to access all these features

popsycal · 27/12/2003 20:36

premixed cartons were our godsend too
on one flight, we were allowed a little stroller type buggy in the aircraft
i thikn you should maybe ring the airline with your conerns

Please
or
to access all these features

popsycal · 27/12/2003 20:38

also, if you are still sterilising, you can get sterilising bags made by lindam which you can use to sterilise bottles in a microwave (if there is one) - brilliant, tiny to transport...
i can do you a link if you want to know more
let me know

Please
or
to access all these features

chloeb2002 · 27/12/2003 20:39

Also traveled many times with DD on my own back and forth to sydney from 6 weeks to nine months... 3 times now! and not fun not easy! but it depends on your baby! my Dd was walking at 9 months and i litrally walked from manchester to sydney twice! no strollers on planes anymore and ive tried lots! sky cots are great assuming you have only booked one seat? otherwise take your car seat for the second seat. Nappies, wipes given to you so honestly dont bother taking any. as long as jnr will eat jar food normally its heinz.. and fine for 24 hours. the less you carry the easier it is to get from a to b. buy a baby carrier if you dont allready have one! Dd was quite happy last flight to sit in the basket on the luggae trolley. the following flight will know you have a connection so trist me dont panic! they will not fly without you. if your first flight is delayed they will normally inform your connection that you are late and get you there if they possiblly can . Our last flight had a detour to dehli as a woman had a heart attack on boaerd so we were 2 hours late and they held all the connections. the on board computers for the crew tell them exactly where you are going next! dont know who you have booked with but i again can recomend singapore i now allways fly with them but have also gone emirates, malaysia with junior all were fine! just prefered singapore in transit. Pack light, ypu will be able to keep your stroller till you get to the gate. and they will offer to get it off for you in transit. i did find it was more hassel than it was worth, since i have now had mine just checked right through that way if they get it off the plane, which is allways done before anyone gets off!, i can choose to take it or leave it. take spare clothes for jnr in case they are sick... not nice at 10000 feet! cabin crew will heat milk for you. and will look after jnr whilst you sleep and eat etc... let them .... it really helps!
have a good trip!

Please
or
to access all these features

StarryStressyHead · 27/12/2003 22:41

Chandra I have an unopened pack of Lindam sterilising bags that I don't need. If you want them, mail me your address though mumsnet and I'll post them to you.

Please
or
to access all these features

StarryStressyHead · 27/12/2003 22:45

Chandra I have an unopened pack of Lindam sterilising bags that I don't need. If you want them, mail me your address though mumsnet and I'll post them to you.

Please
or
to access all these features

Chandra · 27/12/2003 22:52

I was already thinking of getting a baby carrier, I saw one that even had wheels but I'm afraid they have been disconitinued. I have self sterilising bottles so, as long as they have a microwave onboard I will be fine. Does anybody knows if American Airlines offer the same facilities mentioned by EidsVold and Chloeb? I'm ringing American Airlines in a couple of days, does anybody have a suggestion of things I may be forgetting that I should ask about? Thank you very much for your help

OP posts:
Please
or
to access all these features

Chandra · 27/12/2003 22:57

SSS Thank you very much, you are really kind. As long as they have a microwave onboard the bottles I have should suffice, but thank you

OP posts:
Please
or
to access all these features

Chandra · 27/12/2003 22:59

Sorry, I meant SSH

OP posts:
Please
or
to access all these features

bobthebaby · 28/12/2003 00:26

I'm pretty sure that planes don't have microwaves because of the navigation systems. They stand bottles in hot water and then bring them to you. I breastfed so I'm not entirely sure of all the details, but the lady next to me had trained hers to accept room temp. milk as sometimes by the time the crew get your bottle to you the baby has had a complete hunger meltdown. Also there may be turbulance and they can't stand up during that and you would just have to wait.

Letting you take on a stroller is at discretion of cabin crew so you only need to strike one unhelpful one or a very full plane and you will not see your stroller again. (possibly ever if my experience is typical). A baby carrier is essential, but ask for assistance anyway. Some airports only provide wheelchair assistance. No problem - simply get the wheelchair and sit in it yourself with your baby on your knee.

When you first get on the plane make sure the head cabin crew person knows that you require assitance at the next airport and they can radio ahead and remind them during the flight. Do not get off the plane unless your assistance has arrived, once you cross the line with no-one to help you you are on your own.

Do not assume that because you have booked your baby and given a name they will make the radical leap and have reserved a basinette or suitable food. Ring a couple of days before to check again, and if you change anything (or if they do) even the date then rebook the cot and the food again as they do not move with the flight IYSWIM.

Please
or
to access all these features

bobthebaby · 28/12/2003 00:27

Oh, and take a dummy even if your baby has never ever used one and you hate them with a passion. I've been on a plane that hung at the earpopping altitude for my ds for 2 hours. He would have been through to the bone of my finger!

Please
or
to access all these features

eidsvold · 28/12/2003 16:07

on take off and landing we just gave dd some water in a bottle and she was fine with that.

It was just easier having dd accept cold/room temp milk than to worry about trying to get it heated.

I would try and use the steri bottles and leave the self sterilising for when you arrive. That way you at least jettison some of the carry on that you start with. Very very handy. Use them a couple of times before you go to get the hang of putting the top on otherwise it does not seal properly. I just used evian water to mix the formula - made life a lot easier of I did not have to rely on cabin crew for that.

Order a baby meal too - even if that baby does not want it at that point in time - easy to pull out at a later date than again try to get the crew to get it out for you.

Other thing we did - bought travel spoons - come in their own handy container from boots... five spoons (?) very cheap but very handy - still use them now.

However I would make sure you let American know you are travelling with babe alone and need assistance. Having said that - every time I have flown American Airlines - they have been brilliant- although that was not with a babe.

Please
or
to access all these features

Chandra · 29/12/2003 03:03

Yes American is great, I always try to use it even if other airlines are sometimes cheaper, maybe because it's the only airline which provides enough room for my long legs and, most of the times I have a very long stopover in Chicago that allows me to pay a visit to the Art Institute before getting in the next plane...not this time tough... I am concerned enough with exchanging terminals with DS as to try get a long stopover and take a train to the city... Oh my God!!! what has happened to me, how is it that I didn't mind to take a train while doing a stopover in an unknown city and that I'm panicking now just because I have to exchange terminals with a baby in a very short time????

OP posts:
Please
or
to access all these features

chloeb2002 · 29/12/2003 19:58

If your looking for a baby carrier, try ebay? i bought a fab no sorry awesome kelty kids carrier that isnt availible yet in the uk but had been imported by someone! even has four wheels so you never know, but the two wheel push alongs were in abundance when i looked. when you check in try and give soemone else the carrier and put in on to get through the initial departure gate as it is on your back they shouldnt count it as your hand luggae! a pull along little case is best. last journey i had to virtually empty my hand luggage in sydney as they were being real strickt about weight so id advise that you pack essentials in the bottom and would likes above. im trying to remember the weight think it was 7 kg??? when most bags weigh a couple it didnt give me much one last thing id avoid doing the milk on take off! water may be better im afraid after being 'icked on 3 times i gave up and opted for the dummy option! if your in a huury between terminals, and it makes you feel better, then plan to make your own way! if you can? the airlines can leave you hanging around as you wont be a priority passenger. the stress of waiting may not be worth in! Im sure AA will be great. the only assistance ive asked for is to not be removed from the plane on non aircraft exchange transits, and never had a problem with it! some entertaining conversations with the nearest disabled passengers and the cabin cleaners tho! hope that helps! have a good trip! oh yeah just though they have loads of blankets and pillows etc so dont pack them on board. the staff will wash bottles out for you in boiling water, depends how fastidious you are with steralising still? again i got them to fill 2 bottles at a time so that i had one on the go and one just water which Dd will drink at room temp. solves the turbulance prob. also if you have a real problem the cabin crew will get up in turbulance! spent some time in first class a few trips back and trust me they dont disapear from there untill its really bumpy!!!

Please
or
to access all these features

Gem13 · 29/12/2003 20:03

Not much time to read through and only a tiny tip but a great toy that kept my 9 month old amused for practically all of the 2/3 hours to Italy was a half full Coke bottle. He banged it and shook it and was really happy.

Might pass some of the time.

Please
or
to access all these features

mistletoes · 29/12/2003 20:11

Hi Chandra, I haven't read all the advice here, but I took a similar - 14 hour trip when my DD was only 9 months old. If it hasn't been suggested yet, you may want to 'gate check' your push chair since you have 2 connections. They will have your push chair waiting for you at each of your connection sites - but you must be sure to get a special tag from the check in people.

Please
or
to access all these features

buzzybee · 30/12/2003 01:02

If you are unlucky and don't manage to secure a skycot (sometimes there is a surplus of babies and they prioritise younger babies first so a 9 mo would be down the pecking order) ask them to "block" the seat next to you. This means that they will only seat someone there if the plane is absolutely full. y do let you take the buggy on the plane it will only be an "umbrella" type one.
Pre-mixed formula is absolutely fab.
I travelled to NZ with dd at 8 months and we didn't get a skycot for the first leg to LA so I spent a large amount of time down the back of tha plane letting her crawl around. Very dirty floor and the aircrew weren't very enthusastic (walkways are supposed to be kept clear) but it was the only way we got through the trip. Asked them to phone ahead to book us a skycot from LA to Akld and thankfully got one!!

Please
or
to access all these features

philippat · 30/12/2003 09:23

We took dd to San Francisco when she was 10 months old via Newark with Continental.

I was HUGELY glad I'd booked an extra seat for her (it's not as pricey as an adult seat). We took her car seat and she slept a good portion of the way there and pretty much all the way back (night flight).

They wouldn't let us have a skycot for babies over 6 months, don't know if this really is FAA rules, but that's what they told us.

They certainly didn't offer us nappies, wipes, or to help look after dd! (or the person next to us who was on her own with baby twins...). Even more important for you to ask them if you have more than one seat is to seat you together! Believe it or not this woman with twins had 2 seats between the 3 of them and she had to fight to get them together!!! I'd recommend asking for the bulkhead, although not everyone likes it, as it gives the baby room to crawl at your feet.

We went summer 2002 so they were still rather post 9/11-y and hopefully things are better now. However, certainly no buggies on board. Neither were they available gateside - not until we had gone through immigration WHICH TOOK TWO HOURS! If you're a US citizen it should take less time but do be aware of this if you have a short connection time.

Finally, don't get too hung up on it all going perfectly! Go with the flow and it'll be fine...

Please
or
to access all these features

Chandra · 30/12/2003 19:34

Philipat? you are right, have just contacted AA and they don?t offer sky cots to over 6m, no food either, and would allow me to use the baby?s car seat without buying him a seat (which is 50% of the price) provided the plane is not full or there?s no body sitting beside us. I

I will take the suggestion of asking them to block a seat just in case and will try to get a buggy/carrier, as my pushchair might not be allowed in the cabin. Does anybody out there could recommend a baby carrier with wheels? I have seen one by Urban Detour but don?t know where to get it or if they are a good investment (are they pricey?)

Thank you all

OP posts:
Please
or
to access all these features

littlerach · 31/12/2003 15:54

We flew to LA when dd was 7 months old, 2 weeks after 9/11 with AA or UA, can't remember! Though it was a stressful time due to the recent events, the flight was amazing. The cabin crew were wonderful, nad helped out with bottles etc. They warmed them. Took own jars. We were given a complimentary seat for dd on both journeys, as there were spare seats, even though this meant moving other passengers. DD slept a lot, but was sick a couple of times. Changing their nappies is hard. We were also prioritised in queues, eg getting off the plane and at US Customs and passport control. We could take the buggy or car seat up to the plane and there were so many kind people who offered to help us. And the crew even presented us with a bottle of champagne as we left the plane. I can honestly say that there were no problems and that they did all they could to make our journey a great one.
On the other hand, DH travelled a lot with another huge airline with other kids, and they were appalling - lost car seat, no cot etc.
HTH,XXX

Please
or
to access all these features
Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Sign up to continue reading

Mumsnet's better when you're logged in. You can customise your experience and access way more features like messaging, watch and hide threads, voting and much more.

Already signed up?