I'd love to hear anyone's experiences, or thoughts on what worked/didn't work, brought/wish you'd brought, etc. We're travelling with DD (3) and DS (will be 9 months). The longest flight will be about 9 hours, I believe.
Thanks in advance!
My DH and I took our DD (then 5 months) to India...was about 36 hrs door-to-door, longest flight maybe 12 or 15 hrs? We bought my ring sling specifically for the trip and oh my gosh was it a lifesaver. Babies get heavy fast in airport lines, and you need your hands to carry all their junk. (Other people had strollers and that seemed to work okay--my DD hates the stroller.)
We also brought all (ALL) of her medicine cabinet, from thermometer to tylenol to stuff we've never used (hydrocortizone cream, anyone?). I didn't want to have to go to a foreign store and try to figure out tylenol doses if, heaven forbid, she got sick. It turned out that she caught a little cold from the plane ride, so I was really really glad to have the thermometer and saline drops for her nose, and booger bulb thingy. Oh! And I called the pediatrician beforehand to verify that I could contact the night nurse from India if necessary. We didn't need to, but just knowing that I could made me feel so much better. If you're going someplace with fewer horrible tropical illnesses this may not concern you as much, but I was really happy that we had a nurse hotline and a bagful of all the medicines the pediatrician thought all parents ought to have on hand, with extras of the stuff we thought was most useful (suppository tylenol and saline nasal drops). (I feel like this makes me sound really not-crunchy--normally I try to avoid medicines--but it's scary when your baby is sick, and even scarier if you're someplace strange.)
You probably know this already, but make sure you nurse on ascent/descent. Babies can't get their ears to pop on their own so they need to be swallowing.
We brought a bunch of toys and books and didn't end up using most of them, but I'm glad we brought them just in case. DD was more interested in the people around us, but it was good to have a couple of books (she loves books) and a few of her favorite toys for her to chew on.
There were a lot of babies on the plane and everybody else's kids seemed to sleep through large portions of the flight and to not get jetlagged, but DD was reeeeeeally jetlagged. And she didn't sleep much at all (and when she did sleep, it was on my lap, not in the bassinet). Be prepared for no sleep. She was also really clingy and scared at first in India--the transition was pretty overwhelming for her after a long long trip. Once we got to my in-laws' house and they started grabbing her out of my and each others' arms and gabbling at her at the top of their lungs, she had a HUGE meltdown and we had to go cuddle and nurse in a dark room for a while--she was crying off and on for two hours, poor kid, and she almost never cries anymore. So be prepared for a meltdown, maybe. (On the way back she was fine.)
Can't think of anything else right now, but let me know if you have any questions! Good luck and hope you have a great time on your trip!
Mom to the wacky and wonderful Kalyani (August 2011)
I was planning on bringing my ring-sling, so that was good to hear. My DS also hates strollers.
Great idea on bringing medicines! I don't think I would have thought of that.
I'm not expecting much sleep from him, although he could surprise me. He's so darn distractible, though. If his sister speaks on the same floor he's on, poof, he's awake, so I can't imagine him sleeping much on a plane. We're doing an overnight layover, and have a hotel room in the airport that we've booked for, I think 16 hours, so hopefully we can all rest up, and then it's only a few hours more to go after that.
Good reminder that he'll be stressed and there will be lots of new stuff for him when we get there.
We're also visiting my in-laws, in Scandinavia. I'm looking forward to it, but getting there...not so much. We also have a 3 year old. I"m not as worried about her (maybe I should be!) because we will bring laptop/dvd's and activities, and she at least understands what's going on.
This might sound silly, but...tell me about changing diapers on the plane. My little guy is AWFUL with diaper changes, hates them. I typically change his diaper with him standing up, unless it's a really bad blow-out, when I get out a little mirror that I only use then, and that usually buys his cooperation for 30 seconds or so....So, I'm fully expecting a major blow-out on the plane. We've made this trip before, several times,but, in the days before children, so I have no idea what to expect.
I guess medicines aren't as vital when going to Scandinavia, but I think I'd still bring the tylenol, nasal drops and booger bulb just in case, and make sure you can get hold of the doctor from abroad! Just for peace of mind. :)
Diaper changes...the airplanes have fold-down changing tables in the bathrooms, but those bathrooms are tiny, and fold-down tables make me really nervous because my DD likes to roll. We had a bassinet for her on the plane (possibly your DS might be too big? I think the limit is 29" or something like 20 lbs, but it's worth asking for one anyway!)--it was just a little box that attaches to the bulkhead. So I put a waterproof pad in there and changed her in the bassinet, where she couldn't roll out. I am totally incompetent at sposies since we always use cloth, so we had a couple diaper leaks. Luckily I had a wetbag along for the icky clothes--bring a plastic bag at least! :) The airline we flew (Korean Air) gave out big old bags for diapers and general trash, so finding a place to dispose of the dirties wasn't a problem. (I believe they also had extra diapers available if you run out, but I always overpack so I didn't test that!)
If they won't give you a bassinet seat you might be able to request a bulkhead row and change your DS there (standing up). Or maybe you could go into the bathroom and change him standing up there, though space is so darned tight in there!
I was in awe of the parents on the plane who had two kids and managed them both with aplomb! I'm sure you'll do great and awe other first-timers like me who can't imagine chasing TWO of them! :)
Mom to the wacky and wonderful Kalyani (August 2011)
Good suggestions above. Will quickly add that I found that novel toys and books are very helpful. I also make sure I have Camomilla drops, non-alcoholic Rescue Remedy, and Valerian Root in my diaper bag. Practice doing diaper changes with the baby upright or in a tight spot (the backseat of your car is a good place to practice!)...in other words, have your diaper changing system down!
We are traveling in a few months when my second child will be 7 months old. For this trip, I am including some Thieves Oil wipes and hand sanitizer.
We traveled to Peru when my son was 9 months old. The trip itself wasn't too bad (only about 12 hrs in total, with the longest flight being 6 hrs) but while there, I did three 21 hr bus rides with him...alone. It was pretty rough! I second what Choose2Reuse said about taking along medications. I took tylenol with us, but when my son got a bad cough, we found ourselves navigating a very scary world of pharmacies and questionable medications. Bathroom diaper changes are definitely a skill--especially with a wiggly one! But if you generally change diapers standing up, you should do just fine! If you'll be traveling with your husband/partner, maybe he could hold your little guy on his lap while you change the diaper. Or have your hubby stand in the aisle while you use his seat as a changing table.
I found sanitizing wipes to be really helpful, and I brought along lots of "new" snacks and toys, as well as calm forte homeopathic pills and rescue remedy. In the end, my son enjoyed playing with the plastic drink cups and fold down tray tables more than anything else--but it never hurts to be prepared!
Have a wonderful trip!
single mama to dd (June 2011)
#2 due December 2014!
Thank you so much everyone!
Choose to Reuse: I don't know that I handle 2 with aplomb on the ground, but at least they'll be somewhat contained (by the airplane)!
gitanamama: Sanitizing wipes and homeopathic calms forte added to the list, check. Thank you!
Zippygirl: You know, this is my third, so I thought I had my diaper changing system down....but man, this guy can wiggle! Hand sanitizer, rescue remedy, and valerian root added to my list. Thank you! I'm going to google Thieves oil wipes now :)
azhie: I'm planning on the ring sling and mei tai, so I thnk I'll be good. I'd already told DH that he will be holding DS's head, DD will have his arms, and I will change the butt :) Thank you for mentioning snacks/water for me! I can totally see me forgetting that! And I eat like a ravenous wolf, so that could have gotten ugly- nursing mama on a rampage!