Y.P. asks from Tempe, AZ on August 26, 2010
Anyone Travel Transatlantic Flight with a 4 Month Old?
Looking for advice on traveling with a 4 month old baby on a flight to Europe. We have a bassinet seat and will not have an extra seat for the baby's car seat, so she will either be in our laps or in the bassinet. We are in business class and it's an 11 hour flight.
What do you do with the baby's car seat and stroller? Can you bring them through security and gate check them? If so, how do they scan it when it can't fit through the machine?
I want to put the car seat in a padded bag, are we allowed to gate check that?
Does anyone have any tips on the best stroller/car seat combo that is very light and portable. We currently have a bugaboo and it's NOT convenient for air travel although it has a padded airline bag, too big and bulky and not a one piece fold.
Has anyone used the bassinet option on the plane? Did your baby sleep well in it or did he/she just end up on your lap the entire time?
Has anyone used a soft sling? Were you able to sleep with the soft sling on?
If anyone has any tips for flying overseas with an infant I'd love to hear them!
G.A. answers from Phoenix on August 27, 2010
I am not sure what to tell you about transatlantic flight but as for flying with a baby. I have used a soft sling and both of us slept fine.
D.B. answers from Phoenix on August 30, 2010
When taking off or landing, FEED the baby, bottle or nurse. It will help the baby equalize the pressure in the ears. I would check with your airline on the stroller/carseat issue. They can tell you better than anyone what is allowed. If there is any place to change the baby besides your lap, I recommend you use it, Your fellow passengers will appreciate it. Just remember to feed the baby something on take offs and landings.
L.E. answers from Tucson on August 27, 2010
Our daughter was born in England and we moved back to AZ when she was 9 months old. When we lived in England, we had a 3 wheel stroller with small bicycle like tires. We never really used it much, mostly because she didn't like to ride in it. It's cold and damp there most the time, so I wore her everywhere in the front carrier, or my hubby did, and I would zip my coat up around her to make sure she kept warm. Most the stores there don't have big aisles like stores here do, so shopping was so much easier without a stroller.
Like everyone has said, you can gate check both, but remember you'll be juggling your own carry-ons, diaper bag, stroller and car seat, through customs, and any lay-overs. I'd make it easy on yourselves and take either the soft sling or a front carrier, check the car seat, and buy a cheap stroller when you're there, if you find you need one.
Super important to feed DURING take off AND landing like someone else mentioned to keep those ears open.
M.G. answers from Washington DC on August 27, 2010
I used the snap and go when my daughter was in an infant car seat and it was lighter than her regular stroller. We used that on one flight. But after we got a car seat/stroller combo, we stuck to that.
I have the Lilly Gold Sit 'N' Stroll 5 in 1 Car Seat & Stroller Combination and we have flown over 8 times with it. No separate car seat or stroller. Plus, if the baby is asleep, we could take her in/out the car and covert the car seat into the stroller without taking her out. Now, at age 3, it is harder to do because she is heavier, but my husband and I can still do it together. I actually got that tip from a mom on Mamapedia when it was still Mamasource.
The only down side is that if you visit a park or attraction that requires you to leave the stroller outside, it will get soaked because it is padded and not waterproof. But we covered it with a poncho when we went to disneyland and it helped.
We do have a padded bag for it. It fit in the security machine with the bag on. But some security people made us take them out, some didn't. We gate checked our car seat with the bag on.
My daughter slept on my lap the whole time when she was a baby and it was convenient to nurse/feed during take off/landing. It helps with the ears.
Now that she's 3, we checked in the car seat the last 2 times. Both times, the bag was damaged. The first time, it was so bad, we had to replace the bag because the zipper was torn. The second time, we got a stronger bag and the bag had a small hole. But both times, the car seat was not damaged.
I did talk to a parent who said that the airport replaced their car seats when they were damaged. I'm not sure everyone is that generous though even though I can see how that would be a legal issue.
You're not supposed to sleep with the baby in a soft sling. It is a suffocation hazard so I couldn't do that. There's been a few news stories about that issue.
Hope this helps!
E.N. answers from Sacramento on August 26, 2010
All airlines are usually pretty good when it comes to taking the stroller, car seat, etc. You actually get to board first. The main advice I can give you is to make sure your baby either has a bottle or a pacifier when going up and coming down because they're ears are super sensitive-
I.G. answers from Seattle on August 26, 2010
I did. Bring the car seat and the stroller through security and gate check them. They will fit through the machine (mine did), you just have to collapse the stroller. If it won't fit (or in my case my daughter was asleep and they were nice enough not to require for me to take her out - this was in London). If you want to make it easy on yourself get just a carseat stroller.. it's light weight and cheap, so you won't mind if it gets banged up.
We did use the bassinet on one of our later flights, and OMG was it nice. First time around I took the car seat on board and she ended up in my lap/nursing almost the entire time (when she was not screaming - it was not a happy experience for her). I think she would have done better in the bassinet. When we actually had the bassinet, she slept in it for quite a stretch. It was so nice.
If you nurse, wear something comfortable that is easy to nurse in. That was the only way how I could keep my daughter comforted during the flight at that age.
I also had a soft carrier and while I could not sit down with it on, it really helped while I was walking up an down the aisle with her.
Good luck and remember, it only a few hours and then you get to enjoy your vacation!
K.U. answers from Santa Fe on August 27, 2010
I don't know where you will be in Europe, but we ended up not using a stroller very much in and around Paris for three months, due to the cobblestones, the stairs in the Metro (as well in the London Tube) and the narrow busy sidewalks. Cobblestones will destroy your standard stroller and it is really hard to push on. We decided a stroller should be required to pass the 'Versailles' test in order to be on the market!!! Our little girl was 3months - 6 months during that time. I carried her in a 'baby bjorn' everyday, everywhere, as it was so much easier. But I have to say my posture has suffered for the rest of my life, as it does take a toll on your shoulders!
If you are to be there for a good while, you might shop for a stroller over there as they are designed for local conditions. They have the 3-wheel kind that can spin on a dime.
Have fun on your trip! If a french person calls your baby poopy, (poupee) it means 'doll' :)
V.T. answers from Dallas on August 26, 2010
I just did a transatlantic flight with a 16 month old with the bassinet. The bassinet saved us. Even though she didn't sleep much, she had her own space in the bassinet and loved playing in it. She did sleep over 1 hour in it, but the flight was in the middle of the day, so she would of been awake anyway. I would think with a 4 month old she will still sleep most of the flight. Do you need the car seat overseas? We didn't use a car seat when we went to Austria, so we were able to take a nice umbrella stroller with us. If you do need the car seat, you can take it through security with you and gate check it, but I would just check it at the ticket counter so you don't have to lug it around, and check your stroller at the gate. You may want to buy a snap and go for the infant seat. They are around $70 and pretty light weight. Also, we travelled a lot with our daughter when she was young, and our pediatrician said to not worry about feeding too much. She told us to give our daughter as much milk as she wanted and to cluster feed if we needed to to keep her calm. Don't forget to feed on take off and landing to help with the ear popping. Usually we put the stroller and car seat through the conveyer belt, but when it didn't fit through they pulled it aside and scanned it separate. It took an extra 5 minutes, no big deal.