July 2016 Moms
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Infant Travel

I couldn't find a thread for this. Hope I didn't miss anything...

Just some questions for you STM's that have traveled with an infant - Any tips and tricks you can share to make things easier? What do you recommend bringing from home and/or buying on location? My husband and a few family members are planning to fly from CA to Hawaii during the Thanksgiving holiday. Our plan is to rent a house/condo, so we'll have a kitchen available. I'm aware we'll need the travel system for the rental car and getting around. What about the pack n play? My boss acted like I should be able to get something through the rental agency. Any advice would be helpful!

Re: Infant Travel

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    Oh and I only checked the car seat which should be free for any airline. But double check that. And I packed light for me and baby and used a small carry on which was ideal. Understanding that you will have help (I was traveling with just me and baby) and will be traveling a longer distance, you might not have that same flexibility, but if you can, I'd do it. 
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    BettyRuBettyRu member
    The "Car Seat for the Littles" facebook group is very clear that the safest way to fly is to get baby their own plane seat and to bring the carseat on the plane.  If you are going that way, I suggest you join the facebook group and ask some advice.  They can help with airline regulations, etc...

    I personally, want to try to take a trip with my toddler who has outgrown her pack n play before baby comes, but I have no idea where she will sleep :)

    Good luck!!!
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    juliagulia38juliagulia38 member
    edited May 2016
    I would try and wear the baby through the airport. I did that and a stoller and wearing was much, much easier. I also didn't get a seat for the baby, I just held them and kept them entertained. I would bring a pack n play. It also depends on how much walking/sight seeing you plan on doing. If baby likes being worn, I'd go that rought, if not take a stroller. Also maybe use a back pack instead of a diaper bag so you can be a little more hands free. I would probably check the car seat at the gate, that way you have no risk of it getting lost. The pack n play is great for the beach too, they can take naps in there if you plan on staying all day at the beach. I've never flown with breast milk, I always used formula. They will check the water and make sure it's water. I personally would try and bring everything that I needed, but I'm cheap! ;) I've flown with DS a couple times and then drove to the beach last summer with DS and DD(who was 6 months) if you need any more advice, you can PM me. :)
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    When I traveled with DD, we specifically rented a house through AirBNB that had a crib, so we didn't need to worry about bringing a pack'n'play. I wore DD in my Boba through the airport, but we had the stroller with car seat and backpacks on top and gate checked those. We buckled the car seat into the rental car, so we were able to leave the base at home. I knew I was going to be with DD the whole time and could BF the whole time, so I didn't even pack a pump, bottles, etc.

    If you are going to be gone for a long time, buy diapers there so you don't have to pack as many. Also, if there is a washer, you don't have to pack as many clothes! 

    Make sure and wear comfortable layers (you and baby) for the plane. It can get cold!  Also feed baby on take off and landing to help her ears. 
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    bring enough diapers for a couple days with you (not in checked luggage) in case you get stuck at the airport with flight issues! Have a change of clothes for the baby in case of a poopsplosion (this happened to me! Thank God I had the foresight to bring extra clothes!)

    Baby wear + bring your carseat and stroller. They can either take them at the ticket counter or at the gate for no charge (that's what I've experienced, check with your airline).

    Pacifier or boob to help baby's ears for take-off and landing.

    Airport staff has always been really sensitive when I'm traveling with a baby (moved to front of security line in some instances! yay!)

    I've always gone base-less with the carseat for taxi rides or traveling with baby in rental. One less thing to have to worry about.

    If the lodging doesn't have a PNP, you can buy one for cheap $30-ish from Amazon. You could always donate it before you leave and keep the receipt for a tax write-off. Might be more economical than a rental fee if they offer a PNP/Crib. Plus you know it's not full of germs ;)

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    Also, if you have older kids that still require a convertible carseat, you can request an Uber with one. So as @quartz02 said, you can skip the base for the baby but still have the convertible for your older kid. 
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    hmmm I guess I don't completely understand why people are recommending to go without the car seat base?  I guess I understand short taxi rides but otherwise I would bring it -- you should be able to check it for free with most airlines.
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    MrsRo731MrsRo731 member
    edited May 2016
    rnyland1 said:
    hmmm I guess I don't completely understand why people are recommending to go without the car seat base?  I guess I understand short taxi rides but otherwise I would bring it -- you should be able to check it for free with most airlines.
    @rnyland1 - Some carseats can go without; for example, the Britax B-Safe which is what we have. It specifically states it can be used without a base.
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    1) Bring an extra outfit with you.  I feel like every friend of mine has a story about a poop explosion on an airplane.

    2) When I traveled with my son at 4 months old we did not use his car seat.  Keep in mind you would have to buy a seat on the airplane to be able to use your own car seat.  We checked his car seat when we arrived to the airport.  I never felt comfortable using a rental seat since I didn't know whether the seat had been involved in an accident or how old it was. 

    3) I mostly wore him through the airport.  However, we did have his stroller and check it at the gate.  The stroller was used more as a way to move our many accessories through the airport conveniently.  You can buy stroller bags very cheaply.  Follow this link: https://www.toysrus.com/product/index.jsp?productId=17199316&cp=&parentPage=search

    The stroller will be waiting for you when you land.  This was a god send.

    4) On the plane I used a flyebaby.  It was a life saver.  It's about $50 and allowed me to be handsfree. 

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    rnyland1 said:
    hmmm I guess I don't completely understand why people are recommending to go without the car seat base?  I guess I understand short taxi rides but otherwise I would bring it -- you should be able to check it for free with most airlines.
    Because it's one less thing to carry and worry about. I didn't use one with my first very often. Most car seats and just be buckled in. I actually find it easier then using the base. 
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    @rnyland1 - my infant seat can be installed just as safely in the car with seat belts vs the base. I used the base at home because it is quicker. However, traveling I wanted 1 less thing to carry. Without the base, I could have my car seat on my stroller and not need a 2nd hand to carry the base. Here is what a car seat installed with seat belts should look like:



    I 2nd that you need to make sure and have extra clothes for you too on the airplane in case baby poops on you, throws up or you spill coffee on yourself (did that when DD was in DH's arms). 
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    We flew from CA to Albuquerque when my son was five months and from CA  to Hawaii when he was one and both flights were actually pretty easy. Once they can move around more it gets a lot harder plus everyone at the airport was super nice to us. I would say if you are planning to have them as a lap baby ask when you get to check-in if there are free seats available. If the flight isn't full they sometimes let you bring your car seat with you and you can set it in a spare seat for free. It is nice to have a place to set them and a lot of babies will just sleep in their carseat the whole time, plus you can strap it in so it's safer. 
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    This is all great advice!! Thank you!! I will definitely stash a few outfits for travel accidents and I like all the tips on wearing baby through airport. I'll have my mom and husband, so between the three of us, we should have enough hands to maneuver around.

    I LOVE the Amazon cheapy pack and play idea. I'm more concerned about the things I might need from home while away. I figure baby needs a place to sleep, so we better plan that out. I'm cheap, so I'll bring what I can for diapers, but I'm thinking buying the majority while there might be best. The home should be equipped with a laundry machine so we should be good for washing dirty clothes. Good to know about the car seat base, too. We'll have the Britax B-Safe. What about bathing? That may be a dumb question....guessing you just do a bath with either mom/dad in the tub? I can't imagine anyone hauls those baby bathtubs via plane. 
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    @TiffRox81 - I would think the sink would work just fine for baby's bath :smile: 

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    @TiffRox81 - our condo didn't have a tub but had a big shower. I just held DD and had DH right there to help dry her off and dress her. 

    Bring a sound machine!  There might be noisy neighbors or in our case grandparents that talk loudly. The sound machine covered it up. 
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    Good to know, @holly142!! We have a sound machine. That's a great idea.
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    IB113IB113 member
    How early have folks flown with babies? We are considering visiting family abroad before our baby has the two month shots. Does anyone have experience with this or information about it?
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    BettyRuBettyRu member
    also, little babies can use a compact co-sleeper that you put in bed with you vs a pack-n-play.  You may want to look a few of those up.  They are outgrown fast, but I borrowed one from a friend and it worked well for my swaddled, non-rolling infant.
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    @IB113 - I personally don't like the idea of flying before 3 months, after they've gotten so many of their shots. However, just my personal preference. 
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    The first time we flew with DD she was 3 months old.
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    IB113IB113 member
    Thanks @quartz02 and @holly142

    I have similar thoughts, but it depends on dates and what DH can make work too, so we will wait and see and talk to the pediatrician.

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    @IB113 I obviously have no experience in this, but my doctor did tell me at my last appointment she doesn't recommend taking baby too many places before 2-3 months. Baby will be about 5 months for this trip, so I guess that's safe?
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    I agree with the white noise for sleep, super helpful! DD was not an easy going baby, although take offs and landings did not seem to bother her. She fell asleep taxiing to take off and I was very worried she would wake up screaming and she didn't. She's an odd one though, no complaints ever with teething, but screamed bloody murder if we sat down while holding her (or worse dared to set her down) before about 3 or 4 months. We didn't fly until she was about 8 months though. She only napped about 30 minutes at a time. We brought a lot of Cheerios to pass the time, but not a good option at 5 months.
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