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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello mamas,

I've also posted this question on my due-date club board, but I thought maybe you international mamas could give me some advice.

About 2.5 months after the bean will be born we have a wedding in the US to attend. Not just any wedding, the wedding of one of my best friends ever, who I've known since WE were infants and who was in my wedding. I'm supposed to be part of the wedding party.

Going to this wedding means flying 12 hours with a layover in Amsterdam, then arriving in Minneapolis and driving a further 5 hours to a tiny resort town. We'd be staying in cabins with no hot water, too. (This is not a big deal, just additional info...)

Am I crazy for considering this? International travel is exhausting as it is, how much harder will it be with a tiny infant? Any advice / experiences you want to share with me is more than welcome. I spoke to my friend yesterday to tell her about my pregnancy. She knows that we might not come, but I think she feels it's a very doable trip (although she doesn't have any children herself, ftr.)

Please share your experiences with me!!
 

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I fly from Paris to MN once a year with my DD. Our first trip was when she was 9 months old, so I don't have much advice about flying with a tiny baby but...

Avoid Amsterdam airport if at all you can. Seriously. The walk between European flight gates to the gates for flights to MN is really LONG and the waiting areas near the gates are really uncomfortable.

Where are you starting from? That will make a difference. DD and I both deal much better with longest flight then shortest flight going.

Since you're going to MN, could you fly via Detroit? You come out of customs fairly close to where you'd need to get on the plane to MN. Also, that way you deal with customs a little earlier, when you're not *quite* as exhausted. Plus, just on the off chance that you miss your connecting flight for some strange reason, there are more flights per day to MN from within the US than there are per day to the US from Europe.

Finally, I would really recommend that you make arrangements to go one day earlier and stay in a hotel near the airport the first night (and do the same the night before your flights home). There is NO way I could handle a 5-hour car trip after so much time in an airplane, let alone DD.

Good luck with whatever you decide.

PS It is exhausting, but it isn't all that bad. Honest. And could really be worth it. It might be easier for you with a tiny baby, than it was/is for me with DD.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Wow, Ione, this is really great advice, thanks.

In looking for tickets, I've only seen so far Paris-Amsterdam-Minn, but I think you are right about it being easier taking the long flight first. I'll check into Paris-Detroit-Minn. (or maybe even Chicago...)

And I was thinking that we would definitely need to spend the night in a hotel before continuing on with a five hour drive.

Thanks for the VERY useful details about the airports! I really appreciate it.
 

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If you have trouble getting tix that don't go through Amsterdam from here, try going through a US travel agency (rather than a European travel agency). You can have them send you e-tickets and pick them up at the airport in Paris (did that once) or mail them to you (if you reserve long enough in advance). That's what we do.

Oh, and if you do find a nice travel agent... when making seat reservations try to get a "your first seat then an "empty"/someone else's seat then your second seat" IN THE SAME ROW configuration. If the flight isn't full the person stuck between you two will definately move to another empty seat, giving you three seats for the price of two. If the flight is full, they will (99.9% sure) gratefully exchange seats with one of you so you can sit together.

If you can afford to buy three seats straight out, DO IT.

The seat for the baby is a godsend even if they are still in-arms. The changing tables are useless on the airplanes and you have room for stuff, burp cloths, etc. And, you can put your dinner on the tray in front of the empty seat and reach across to eat, rather than having to juggle baby, tray, hot dinner, all in the five square inches that coach class now gives each passenger. Etc.
 

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hiya

we flew from paris to boston in september, when ds was 6 months old. i had read a long blog post from a former air hostess and mommy about what to do on the plane.

the best pieces of advice were to pack a smaller bag in the carry on bag with nappies/wipes/protective cloth/outfit for baby. this way when changing the baby (i found the changing table grand for a big squirmy 6 month old) you have everything with you.

the other thing she mentioned was to change baby into warm jammies when you get on the flight. this was great too. i met other mamas on the plane who had chilly babies (there were like 10 babies on our plane, it was mad) but our little guy was warm and fine.

the other thing is nursing. nursing makes flying sooo much easier. on a big plane babies don't really get the popping from going up and down, but on a smaller plane, it makes a big difference (we flew to ireland a couple of weeks ago).

oh! they might not have changing facilities on the smaller plane so make sure to change baby before the little plane flight. by little plane i mean under a 747/airbus...

gotta run, baby is trying to crawl around kitchen.


have a great flight!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Raeinparis, excellent advice! Boy, this thread has gotten me some really useful information. I'm feeling a lot more positive about the whole thing.

I'm currently thinking that our best bet would be a Paris-Detroit flight. We have family in Detroit, so we could stay there for a couple of days before heading on to Minnesota. Then on the way back we could also spend a few days in Detroit.

Now I just have to convince DH! (The good news is that the family in Detroit is HIS family, so it just might convince him!)

Big thanks to you both!
 

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Hi,
I flew with a 3.5 month old the summer before last on Air France...
We were lucky as we were able to get that front row, where they have the bassinette attached to the wall....some guy was annoyed because he wanted one of those for his family, but couldn't get one and wondered how we managed it- they just gave it to us. There were at least 6 babies on the flight, so it wasn't as nice as it could have been...definately better if you can nurse, which means you have less to carry as well!
Anyhow, little babies are pretty good, it's when they can walk or crawl and don't want to stay still, that they are a challenge!!
One thing I was a bit upset about, was some bad turbulence. But we survived.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks, bougivalbaby! LOL, it always seems to me when I make an international flight that there are AT LEAST six very young infants, so I know that lots of people travel with young babies!

I saw one of those bassinette things the last time I was on Air France, it's a nice feature.

Well, the consensus seems to be that travelling with an infant is doable. I'm concerned about messing up schedules and routines and just the huge personal fatigue, but we still have lots of time to make a decision. I think we'll buy tix in January, and if we decide not to go, well, we'll use the tickets later for something else.
 
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