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Cross Country Travel - Advice Needed!

753 Views 6 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  StacyL
Hi Mamas,
I am flying to New Hampshire on June 24 to spend 10 days with my inlaws (ugh). We leave at like 11am and have a layover in Ohio before we land in Manchester, NH at like 9:30pm. This makes for a looooooooong day with an 11 month old.

I was hoping for suggestions on what to pack and how to cope. We've flown with him a couple times before and he was pretty easy but he was also a lot younger (under 6 mos). These days he is super active and busy and wants to explore everything!

I am bringing a Kozy Carrier and a Blanketless Mei Tai wrap from so that I have baby wearing options. Do you think something like this is worth having:

Do you have a diaper bag you particularly love when traveling?

We will have to do at least one meal of solids en route if not two. What would be easiest to do? He's getting the hang of fingerfoods but its still pretty messy.

I am hoping for suggestions on how to make this as painless as possible for all of us.

Thanks mamas!
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Hi there... I know that sleep and nap times are a major priority for me and so the wraps you are going to bring sound absolutely essential. NOt only will you have the option to carry your baby (as opposed to strollering or whatever) but my baby naps very well in them especially when I walk. So you can maybe get your babe to nap while walking up and down the hallway.

Also, depending on your sleep schedule I would make sure my inlaws in NH knew that arriving that late meant we might go straight to bed!

When on the go I feed my baby fruit... she is 9 months old and can hold them herself (while biting them) then I hold it while she chews and swallows and plays... then she comes back for another bite. I do this with apples, plums, bananas, peaches. Also, I put real food in baby jars and have plastic spoons. Everythink can be resealed or thrown away. I don't know about non-messy babies. It seems there is always at least something to clean up. I carry washclothes (for dripping fruit juices) and clean up and of coarse diaper wipes for hand cleaning. - sticky hands on airport carpet or chairs - ick. Also of coarse there is the old reliable cheerios type finger food. Although I don't like my baby to eat too many of them... I think for traveling they are essential.

Good luck.
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I don't know how outdoorsy you or your inlaws are, but we just got back from a week in NY/NH and the big thing to bring is a bug net! We have a hiking backpack and put one of those stroller bug nets over it for hikes.

For the plane I found a window seat to be somewhat essential for 10 mo. baby distraction as well as a bag of toys and books. Ours was a short flight though and I was able to just stick with a bottle, some animal crackers and water. Seems like you'd want finger food that won't be too juicy, won't crumble, and will entertain. Diced vegetables?

Changing baby on plane is VERY DIFFICULT in the bathroom, but be sure you have something to lay him on in there if needs be.

We went ahead and bought an umbrella stroller for the trip because it was easier in the airport. You can just check them at the gate and it makes moving around the airport easier. We're usually baby wearers but you also have to deal with the diaper bag, whatever bag you have your own stuff in, lines, a potential long haul to get to your gate...

Have fun, NH is beautiful.

edited to say check in early at the gate and they can potentially give you a row with an open seat between the two of you for him to nap in. We just reserved a window and an aisle hoping that no one would be in the middle. Worked great on the way there, didn't work on the way back and it was much more difficult when he didn't have his own seat.
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I'd love to read more replies from you experienced mamas as we are getting ready for a very similar trip. DD (10.5 months) HATES staying in one place very long. Is it feasible for us to walk with her up and down the aisle of the plane? I've never seen anyone do that before but she is going to go bonkers sitting still for 2 hours.

Also, what toys work best?
We're travelling x-country too, so it seems many of us are in need of some info! Let me see what I remember reading in the past....

Someone once suggested bringing a new toy - or a toy that your child hasn't seen in a while - to keep him/her occupied.

Another idea I thought was great (especially for those cheerios or animal crackers) is to buy a sectioned pill carrier that has a section for each day of the week. Put a few cheerios or a cracker in each compartment and let your dc open the doors to see what's inside. That one sounded pretty ingenious! I think we'll be doing that.

I also believe that walking your child up and down the aisle is preferable to having them scream in their seat for hours. Provided they're not smacking anyone in the knees or interfering with the service cart (do they even have these anymore anyway???) let 'em roam. It'll tire them out so maybe they'll nap.

And speaking of napping, it's my hope (albeit a pipe dream kind of hope) that my dd sleeps on the plane for at least a little while. All that white noise...

I eagerly anticipate other's suggestions! And I wish us all well in our travels!!

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Hi! I'm also travelling soon - we're actually making 2 round trips in the next month, one of which will be me alone with me 9 month old and 3 year old. (The other I'll have some family with me - whew!) I'm also a child safety advocate (and certified child passenger safety technician), so I have a slightly different perspective that I hope will help.

First, it sounds like you did not buy a seat for your babe. Even so, bring the carseat with you - you do NOT want to rent one, where the quality and condition is unknown, and you will, of course, need one for both the trip to the airport and any driving at your destination. If there is room on the plane, the airline will allow you to bring the seat on the plane and give you an extra seat to install it in (they'll rearrange to make sure they're all together! :LOL). If there are no extra seats, you can "gate check" the seat, which will allow you to pick it up again at the gate. The gate checked items are handled less and treated more gently than those checked traditionally. They can also give you extra time at boarding to install the carseat (I'll be needing lots of time to install TWO in just a couple of days!)

Second, baby carriers sound GREAT for all that airport time!
I plan to carry my baby on my back in the Ergo while I tote carseats in a stroller and have my 3yo walk. Whew.
BUT - you won't be able to use carriers on the plane. It's a major danger to your baby to be strapped to you, in the event of a crash, or even turbulence. If he were attached, and the plane stopped suddenly, your upper body would be thrown into the seat in front of you (even when you're belted, in an airplane your upper body is unrestrained). The baby becomes a "baby airbag" and can be crushed to death. It's happened many times and is absolutely tragic - so preventable! The airlines recommend that you hold baby ONLY in your arms, so that in that scenario, baby falls to the floor and is not crushed. (Certainly, he could sustain injuries, but is less likely to be killed.) The "baby b'air" is not permitted during take-off and landing, due to this potential. There are no regulations for that type of product, so any claims they make of "meeting standards" are bogus - there are no standards to meet! That thing really infuriates me.

So, if you take your car seat, you may be able to use it to keep your baby safe, as well as give yourself a little extra space. I love the advantage of having my babe in a separate seat, as it makes playing, feeding (except BFing!), getting up to the bathroom, etc., easier.

I definitely second the idea of new toys. We just got some Folkmanis finger puppets from a co-op and I've got them tucked away for the plane rides! I'll probably bring some other small toys that are favorites of my 9mo's, as well as activities for my 3yo. One thing I've seen recommended that works well is to have a certain number of activities, even simple things like threading cherrios on a q-tip, and rotate every 5 minutes or so. I modified that idea a bit and it worked great when my DS was about 18 months!

Especially at your babe's age, definitely bring lots of snacks, and plenty of fluids. It's easy to get dehydrated on a plane, and you can always play with food even if you don't eat it. :LOL

I would plan to change diapers just before boarding and then on the plane only as necessary. When my DS was young enough, I also changed him on the seat tray, rather than squeezing into the bathroom. Most new planes do have "changing tables" above the toilet - though my DH has had a hard time finding them. :LOL

I'm sure you've heard of the benefits of swallowing (nursing or drinking) during take off and landing. I think landing is harder on them. I still have to figure out what to do with my 9mo as he doesn't like to take bottles, isn't drinking water, and I want him in his seat during takeoff. I guess I may be stretching myself over his seat. :LOL

One encouragement - the worst plane flight we had, when we didn't have a seat for DS and he was MISERABLE the whole time (I resorted to dipping a pacifier in apple juice!
: ), I was certain the whole plane heard him and was upset. In the walkway, someone commented on my little guy, and said they didn't even know he was on the plane! So, the sounds of the engines really do drown out a lot. Don't worry too much - not EVERYONE is hearing the fussing. :LOL

Good luck!
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I'm buying an Ergo carrier for our upcoming trip (I've wanted one for awhile and now I have an excuse to spend the $$). My dh said, "Ergoes my money!" :LOL I thought this might be good for the in-the-airport walking (on dh's back, of course!
) And I will have my Hotsling for on the plane.

We are having our inlaws buy a cheap umbrella stroller for use while we are there too.

I got a "snack trap" for Cheerios from One Step Ahead that I thought would be good on the plane.
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