Preparing to fly a baby transatlantic 

It’s time to fly! Aviana has received both her passports now -US and British- and she has conditional approval for global entry (just need to get her to an enrollment centrefir an ‘interview’, photo and fingerprints-ha, really???!!!). She is ready to travel the world!!!

But am I ready to travel the world with her? Ummmm not really! I consider myself an experienced frequent flier, but traveling with a 3 month old baby, I find myself a little nervous! Especially as my return flight to the US I will be alone.

Here are some things I’ve considered but don’t know much about and hoping it all works out…

Infants can fly on your lap. Infants under two years old can fly on your lap, this means you can save on buying a seat. BUT depending on the airline and where you are traveling there still may be a price to pay. I booked my ticket before Aviana was born using my air miles, so Last week I had to call American Airlines to add her to my reservation. Because I’m flying internationally I have to pay 20% fee. Which is not so simple because I paid for my ticket with air miles. It ended up being about $250. It gets a bit complicated in terms of baggage and hand luggage allowances. But for this flight I get a one bag allowance for Aviana, but not extra hand baggage. But I can take a diaper bag. Hmmmm. Confusing! I guess it simply means I can’t take two small air cabin sized suitcases. But that’s fine because I wouldn’t be able to carry that all by myself anyway. 

Get an infant friendly seat with bassinet. When I booked my ticket I chose the seat which allows me to use the airline’s bassinet (only available on long distance certain flights). I was able to do that though because I have platinum status. BUT if you don’t have status you do not need to pay extra to select this seat. When you add an infant to your reservation they will put you in the infant friendly seat….but only if it is available. So my advice is book early to avoid disappointment! OR prepare to negotiate with the people sat in those seats when you board the plane. Which they will probably be reluctant to do if they had to pay extra for that specific seat. I’ve seen that happen before. Bassinets can only be used in the air and if there is turbulence you have to take the baby out and put them on your lap. So must be prepared to have baby on me for long periods of time!

Traveling alone as a single parent? Get a notarized letter from your partner saying they give you permission to take your baby out of country and permission to give medical treatment as necessary. This might not be necessary and border staff may not ask for it, but in case they do I have it ready.  

Traveling with a car seat and stroller. This is my biggest worry. I have bought ‘gate check bags’ to put the stroller and car seat in when I get to the gate. These are non padded bags – you can get padded ones but they are bulky and I will be using the car seat to click into the stroller. I’m nervous about them getting damaged, especially the car seat. I’m also nervous about handling a baby and all these bags by myself. I will have a baby carrier with me so I can be hands free…but what if she is screaming blue murder? I hate it when people look at me as if I am torturing my baby!!!! And the faces of horror when they see a screaming baby get on the plane. I don’t care that much about what people think, it’s just that moment in time I would probably feel flustered and stressed.

Packing to prepare for delays. What if my flight is delayed or I miss my connection? will I have to have enough supplies to last me 24 hours? I usually do that for myself, but I now have to consider baby!! I’m glad I don’t have to worry about food because I’m breastfeeding. Although I will take some formula with me just in case something happens like my boobs dry up for some reason! 

How to carry everything through security, customs and to the gate. How the hell am I going to carry/push stroller, car seat, diaper bag, carry on hand luggage and when I come back to the US, pick up my checked bags and recheck after going through customs? I’ve figured my carry on bag should probably be a rucksack. Ideally my suitcase would be on four wheels, but I don’t have one of those, just a two wheeler. This means I can’t push it in any direction, only bi-directionally. Which is fine, it just could be easier! I’m hoping there might be a nice friendly person who might be able to help me out when I collect my bags. 

Arriving at the airport, tired, jet lagged and getting to my final destination by car. This will involve fitting the car seat base into a car I don’t know with a tired mummy and perhaps a grumpy baby in tow. And it will probably be cold knowing the UK weather!!!

Packing enough stuff for baby. Blankets, muslins, burp cloths, bibs, sleep suits, swaddles, hats, socks, clothes, coats, toys, pacifiers, sound machine, baby carrier wrap….what else have I forgotten? Diapers, wipes, baby toiletries, nappy rash cream, baby towel, bath sling…anything else??? If I have forgotten anything else I can always buy it when I get there or if I don’t have enough of something I can always wash it. Sometimes when I travel I can barely organize enough stuff for me let alone a baby!!!! Or I have the opposite problem – I take too much stuff!

OK so what else have I forgotten in my preparations? Do you have any travel tips flying with a 3 month old baby??

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10 thoughts on “Preparing to fly a baby transatlantic 

  1. Amy M. says:

    I can’t imagine flying with an infant! I know there are people that do it all the time, but I feel like I would be so stressed!! We’re going to NC for a week next month, and when I think about it I already get stressed out about forgetting something! I feel like I need to start a running list of things I need to take, as I use things every day I should write them down. Of course not like there won’t be stores there, and we will have a washer & dryer in our unit we’re staying in, but still! I hope you make it through your travels without too much stress!

    Liked by 1 person

      • Amy M. says:

        We drove to NY to see my mom last weekend, and she did great. It’s a 6 1/2-ish hour drive, and she slept most of the time. Obviously it’ll take longer to get down to NC, but we’ll make more stops to get her out and feed her lol!

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  2. My Perfect Breakdown says:

    Oh, flying with an infant. Our 3 flights when Baby MPB was under 1 month old were by far easier then once he was 3 months old. That said, make sure your able to feed during take off and landing, it can really help with the pressure change. And a carrier on the flight is critical because you can have your arms free during the flight. And if you can get a seat with a few extra inches of space, it’s worth every single penny because it’s hard to move in those tiny spaces with a baby attached to you. Also, open formula close to the ground incase it explodes, other passengers don’t like getting covered in formula (which I don’t think is a problem for you and a lesson I wish we didn’t have to learn the hard way). Check your car seat and stoller at the gate, not at check in. You can use the stroller to carry extra stuff and its less likely to go missing if checked at the gate. And pack light, you’ll be surprised at how many things you don’t need – for example you can easily use a wet town and sink for baths when your travelling, no need to bring a specific baby bath. And bring a few toys, but baby will survive with only a few. Pack small toys and small books. And you can always buy some while travelling if you feel like she needs more. Also, I was petrified that my earphone cord would somehow end up strangling baby mpb if I fell asleep and didn’t notice him playing with it. So it was either no music/tv of no sleep So if your slightly crazy with worry put your head phone cord up the back of your shirt before you sit down with Baby so you don’t have to worry about it.
    If I think of anything else from our experiences flying I’ll let you know.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dani says:

      Thank you for sharing!!! I didn’t think about the earphone cords!!! Good tip! I usually fly with noise canceling headphones…may be not such a good idea anyway if I can’t hear her cry and everyone else can!!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. EmilyMaine says:

    My main too is to try not to pack more than you can carry onto the plane for hand luggage plus diaper bag etc. I have struggled to carry both plus the baby without being too wobbly when I’ve gotten a bit over excited packing. 🙂 Good luck! The younger they are the easier it is as they are happy to just lay in you. Good age for travel.

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  4. Sanibel says:

    My best friend lives in England (Kenilworth) and my hubby and I normally fly over quite a bit but have yet to make the flight with the little one. We did a flight within the US but both of us went. What helped us a million times over was carrying her in the carrier and using a back pack as a diaper bag. We also had our stroller and carrier carseat that we basically used as a trolley:) We used the gate check bags as well and our stuff came out on the other end just fine and more importantly, not covered in dirt or banged up. Getting them in and out of the gate check bags was a hassle though and I don’t know if I could have done it on my own! Best of luck!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dani says:

      I gave up with the gate check bags because it was too much to do on my own 🙄 when I got to London they told me my stroller and car seat was stuck behind cargo that needed a special lift – which meant I had to pick them up from baggage carousel. Luckily I had my mai dei carrier otherwise I would have been screwed! Which reminds me I need to write a letter of complaint about that whole situation and how it was poorly handled!

      Like

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