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Thread: When to start traveling with a baby/child?

  1. #81
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    This is a bit late but seeing that we will be taking our kid on a year long traveling experience, I have to say that conditioning is key. Both my wife are avid travellers and have been even before we got together. We both lived abroad for several years and have traveled a lot in that time as well as for a couple of months each summer. That being said, when we decided to have a kid, we wanted to try and give the little guy the passion to travel by exposing him early. His first trip was out to Halifax when he was several months old to visit the in-laws and that was actually not as bad as we thought. He is 4 now and has been on a plane something like 25 times or something already and just gets in and has no qualms or issues (knock on wood) other than always claiming the bloody window seat! We fly out that way at least once to two times a year.

    Our first major haul (as if 6 hours to Halifax weren't long enough) was to Europe when he was 1. We were there for almost 2 months and went to the UK, France, Portugal and Spain. At 1, it was a lot of carrying him around and visiting spots that he could crawl/walk around and eat. We were pretty flexible with his sleeping/eating routines and it dictated our day to day activities quite a bit but we were still quite flexible and stayed out past dark many times. It did mess with his sleep schedule but we were able to get him back on track. We still did what we wanted and visited many of the popular attractions but the biggest difference for me was that I was not as hammered as I used to be on trips!

    On his 3rd birthday, we headed back to Europe for about a month a half but headed to Turkey, Hungary, Belgium and the Czech Republic. Once again, the same type of trip was expected and he was a lot more fun. He slept when he was tired and that was sometimes when we were in the middle of a tour or traveling from tourist site to tourist site. Again, we were very flexible and abandoned some of this routines but again, made them up when we got home.

    His 2nd and 4th birthday were trips to Halifax and when he turns 5 in July, we will be off on our year-long world travel starting in South America, heading to Africa, then Asia, NZ/Australia and then back to Europe where my wife wants to really hone her French speaking as well as expose him to some of his own learning. Our trip is not yet set in stone and we will most likely make some adjustments but like I said, the conditioning to travel started early even when we are taking trains, planes, cabs or walking, he has been pretty good. Waiting in line as well as delays, he's managing them quite well like when we were in the Toronto airport and our flight was delayed for 4 hours, he was awesome!
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  2. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by cjblair View Post
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    Right. Ours is rated for airplane use. Maybe I should be more specific. The Hawaii-Vancouver flight on the way home is a red-eye (only option), so I'm trying to figure out which seat she'd be more comfortable sleeping in. She likes her own space, so laying down/sleeping on our laps might not work all that well, so I'm trying to picture her sleeping in an adult sized plane seat vs her car seat... does that change your answer at all? I don't plan on keeping her up all night feeding her snacks haha.
    My 2 is cancel her seat and she will sleep on alternating parents. Enjoy the freebies while she's <2. If you keep her seat, I think you'll hate putting her in her car seat and dragging that around.

  3. #83
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    Maybe i'll add our experience here as we just took our 7 month old to Europe.

    - We took the evening flight to Paris. Standard economy seats as all the ones with the bassinet were taken ( we were too cheap to book one ahead of time). We held and fed her during take off, then just lay a thick blanket across our laps and she slept for a good 5-6 hours like that. When she was awake we just put her in the carrier and either walk around with her or just let her hang out. She didn't cry once on the way there. No issue at all.

    - Not sure if it's because she responses to light, but we just put her to sleep in the evening when we got to Paris following her normal schedule but in Paris time, and she slept through the night immediately. Woke up at 8am as per usual. No jet lag. The first AirBNB we used a crib that was already provided, the other 2 AirBnbs we used our own pack and play. She seem to have no preference and slept just as well in either cribs.

    - During the day we predominately used the travel stroller and she was able to take long ish naps (30 to 90 mins) in the stroller while we are out and about, so we didn't really have to go back to the AirBnb for her to nap.

    - There were many nights where we stayed out way past her bedtime (e.g dinner reso at 8pm and didn't finish until 1030pm). Most of the restaurants were so small we couldn't use the stroller for her to nap, so when she got tired we just put her in the carrier and walked around outside until she falls asleep, then we continued to eat while she's asleep in the carrier. Makes it a little bit challenging to eat but she slept right through the restaurant noises.

    - On our 3 hour train ride from Paris to Bordeaux she just slept between my wife and I on the seat. No issue

    - On our 2 hour flight from Barcelona to Paris we just held her the whole time and fed her or played with her. No issue.

    - On our way back to Calgary from Paris she didn't sleep as much and cried a little, but we were able to just walk around with her in the carrier and get her to take ~30-45mins naps here and there.

    - When we came back she got back to the Calgary time zone right away and slept through the night. No jet lag.

    Overall we have no issues traveling with her at all on this 2 week trip to Europe across 3 cities. It didn't impact or limit our schedule beside not being able to go out at 11pm to drink at a local bar, or to join a winery tour, or take an Uber. Overall we would easily do it again, and already planning what the next international trip with her will be before she turns 2.
    Last edited by RX_EVOLV; 11-26-2019 at 06:26 PM.

  4. #84
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    ^
    Rubbing it in pretty good there. No issues on trans-atlantic flight, train rides, zero jet lag while staying out late for dinners while she sleeps thru the noise...what a dream.

    Just so other parents can get an idea for somewhere near the other end of the spectrum our little guy felt like a ticking time bomb at times. He never really slept well at home to begin with and had started crawling before going on our trip so he got bored easily whenever he was confined to a stroller for longer periods and did plenty of fussing and crying during flights and drives. We had to pull over a few times because the crying had become unbearable. The parents who told us its great traveling with infant because they mostly just sleep are very lucky to have good sleepers without realizing it. Our little guy never slept more than 3 or 4 hours at a time under perfect conditions at home in the first 8 months.

    We had booked hotel suites and airbnb homes so we'd have some separation at night but we're both light sleepers and we'd get woken up pretty frequently. Felt like zombies many of the days. Coming home felt like a big relief after our trip.

    Based on anecdotal experience of a small sample of friends with babies it seems like daughters tend to be much easier sleepers and less fussy as babies.

  5. #85
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    When my girl was under 2, we didn't book her a separate seat... instead, we would gamble and select the aisle and window in a row towards the back. In 5 or 6 trips both ways, nobody ever booked the seat between us, so we were able to put her down to nap in the middle seat, but we were prepared to ask the person to swap for either the window or aisle seat if the flight was full.

    After 2, and even now at 4 years old, I always shlepped her 30lb car seat on board since she's petite and I feel like the lap belt will do nothing for her. I've looked into the CARES harness, but haven't found a definitive answer as to whether they're permitted on flights/airlines in Canada.
    Originally posted by max_boost
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  6. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strider View Post
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    When my girl was under 2, we didn't book her a separate seat... instead, we would gamble and select the aisle and window in a row towards the back. In 5 or 6 trips both ways, nobody ever booked the seat between us, so we were able to put her down to nap in the middle seat, but we were prepared to ask the person to swap for either the window or aisle seat if the flight was full.

    After 2, and even now at 4 years old, I always shlepped her 30lb car seat on board since she's petite and I feel like the lap belt will do nothing for her. I've looked into the CARES harness, but haven't found a definitive answer as to whether they're permitted on flights/airlines in Canada.
    Flew last year with my 3 year old to Orlando and they let us use the harness both ways.
    It was through Air Canada.
    Last edited by chongkee_; 11-27-2019 at 05:24 PM.

  7. #87
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strider View Post
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    When my girl was under 2, we didn't book her a separate seat... instead, we would gamble and select the aisle and window in a row towards the back. In 5 or 6 trips both ways, nobody ever booked the seat between us, so we were able to put her down to nap in the middle seat, but we were prepared to ask the person to swap for either the window or aisle seat if the flight was full.

    After 2, and even now at 4 years old, I always shlepped her 30lb car seat on board since she's petite and I feel like the lap belt will do nothing for her. I've looked into the CARES harness, but haven't found a definitive answer as to whether they're permitted on flights/airlines in Canada.
    They're allowed in Canada, subject to discretion of airlines (source: https://travel.gc.ca/travelling/chil...ren-on-a-plane). Kinda risky though, since the flight staff will have final say, and who knows if they know their own corporate policies.

    Whether we book the seat for her or not isn't a point of contention; it's done, we booked it. We go to Hawaii every year sometime between christmas and Feb, and every time the flights are full (or only a couple open seats), so the gamble likely wouldn't work. It is a good strategy though if you're going at the right time... my parents fly down beginning of dec, and home end of april, and they do the gamble. It's worked nearly every time for them over the last ~10 years.

    Anyways, I think we'll take the advice of one of the guys above, going to strap in the car seat on the way down and how well that goes over will indicate whether we do it on the way home, or just let her float around in her seat. I'm pretty excited to bring her down there, she's going to love the wildlife and flowers. Hopefully the time change goes over ok.

  8. #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strider View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    When my girl was under 2, we didn't book her a separate seat... instead, we would gamble and select the aisle and window in a row towards the back. In 5 or 6 trips both ways, nobody ever booked the seat between us, so we were able to put her down to nap in the middle seat, but we were prepared to ask the person to swap for either the window or aisle seat if the flight was full.

    After 2, and even now at 4 years old, I always shlepped her 30lb car seat on board since she's petite and I feel like the lap belt will do nothing for her. I've looked into the CARES harness, but haven't found a definitive answer as to whether they're permitted on flights/airlines in Canada.
    This tricked worked once in my last 4 years of plane travel and the once that work it was a pretty empty plane from San Diego to Seattle anyway. In the days of overbooking, I think this will be very rare.

  9. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by cjblair View Post
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    I'm leaning towards putting the carseat in the plane (some familiarity for her), but interested in any other experiences.
    We brought ours for the same reason and plus we would need it at our destination anyways. Car seat and Blankie is my kids sweet spot for trips

    Quote Originally Posted by taemo View Post
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    We have a 12 hour flight to the Philippines in December and didn't book her a seat since this will probably be her last free flight before she turns 2. But she can sleep in our arms no problem.
    We took full advantage of my kids flying free too but it was no longer than 5 hours. We did our first long haul this summer(12 hours Van-HK) youngest is 5 and it wasnt as bad as we thought but i couldnt imagine doing it with an 18 month old. I'm no Bballer so it was econo for us and trying to sleep was brutal with my own seat.
    EDit: My bad if this has been mentioned but it might be worth to ask if your flight has the seat where they can provide a bassinet for you. Its the first row behind the wall and the airline has this bassinet that they can attach to the wall for you. Even if shes too big for the bassinet the extra leg room will be nice for her to walk a bit
    Last edited by Rocket1k78; 11-29-2019 at 11:25 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mitsu3000gt View Post
    and I did not have the only say in the matter (most people just want it done ASAP and don't care about quality).
    Quote Originally Posted by Mitsu3000gt View Post
    If anything we made a better decision because we had a consensus and were all on the same page.

  10. #90
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    Saw this on sale at the CrossIron Chapters store for 36$
    Anyone have something like this for their kid?

    Thinking it might be a good travel case for them so that they can play and sit easily at the airport, even though we are already bringing a light travel stroller with us

    https://brightbeantoys.com/products/...he-gogo-woofer


  11. #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by taemo View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    Saw this on sale at the CrossIron Chapters store for 36$
    Anyone have something like this for their kid?

    Thinking it might be a good travel case for them so that they can play and sit easily at the airport, even though we are already bringing a light travel stroller with us

    https://brightbeantoys.com/products/...he-gogo-woofer

    Good luck when you want to start actually moving. My rule of thumb for younger kids is they should only carry things that you can also carry while carrying them. Everything else gets checked in. My kids have a backpack that fits an iPad and headphones, and maybe some small toys and snacks.

    That thing would be a nightmare. Kid gets tired playing on it, now you're carrying them and kicking the fucking thing through the airport. Won't happen every time, but that one time it does, you're going to be fucking pissed haha.
    Originally posted by SEANBANERJEE
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    Quote Originally Posted by rage2 View Post
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    Good luck when you want to start actually moving. My rule of thumb for younger kids is they should only carry things that you can also carry while carrying them. Everything else gets checked in. My kids have a backpack that fits an iPad and headphones, and maybe some small toys and snacks.

    That thing would be a nightmare. Kid gets tired playing on it, now you're carrying them and kicking the fucking thing through the airport. Won't happen every time, but that one time it does, you're going to be fucking pissed haha.
    Same for us, each kid has a back pack with their essentials and thats it. That ride on suit case would a nightmare for sure lol
    Quote Originally Posted by Mitsu3000gt View Post
    and I did not have the only say in the matter (most people just want it done ASAP and don't care about quality).
    Quote Originally Posted by Mitsu3000gt View Post
    If anything we made a better decision because we had a consensus and were all on the same page.

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