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Going to Italy with a 10 month old. Could use tips!

Going to Italy with a 10 month old. Could use tips!

Old Mar 24, 16, 7:43 pm
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Going to Italy with a 10 month old. Could use tips!

Hi, first time parents making a trip over to Italy to see some family there. Flying EWR-FCO and then MXP-EWR home on United. Fortunately we will be traveling with a few other family members who can help us out, but we have so many questions.

The flight - we're traveling as 6 people plus a lap child without a seat. We're booked in the center section which has 3 seats, and we selected the 2 aisle seats in each row. Hoping at least one is empty where we could bring a car seat for her to sleep.

We requested a bassinet for the flight, but I think the baby will probably be too big for it. Should we just cancel?

Time zones - this is the first time the baby will be out of her timezone, and I hope it doesn't get crazy. Any ideas on how to deal?

Stuff to bring - she still might be in her infant seat, so do we bring her regular stroller / car seat combo? Or do we bring an umbrella stroller and a travel car seat? How about toys? Diapers, other essentials, etc.

Should we bring a pack n play for her to sleep in? Whats the consensus on the best travel one to get?

Any other thoughts/tips for the terrified new parents? Thanks.
drdavidge is offline  
Old Mar 24, 16, 11:33 pm
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Traveling with kids overseas is scary but totally doable. And Italians love babies almost as much as they love new moms. You'll do great. That said, the points guy has a number of great articles on this. To many to post here, but start with this one and then get lost in the rabbit hole.

http://thepointsguy.com/2015/08/7-things-to-pack-for-family-travel/

My first Italy trip was at 8 months. My nephew's was too. I can only speak anecdotally, but he was a total dream.
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Old Mar 25, 16, 10:28 am
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Hey there,

we have travelled with our baby a few times now and here's my point of view on some of your questions:

1) Bassinet
If your kid is not too big, I would always recommend it. According to United they are designed for children who weigh 22 pounds or less, so you pretty much know exactly when your kid will be too big. However, our son was never weighed by flight attentands, so if he or she is 1 or 2 pounds over it's not a big deal either

2) Time Zone
We have made the observation that babies tend to get used to new time zones a lot faster than adults. Maybe an extra nap will be required after landing, but we never had any major drama (getting up to play at 2am or something like that) with our son

3) Car seat and stroller
If you have a car seat / stroller combo and want to use that in Italy, I don't see why you shouldn't be able to bring that along. However, I would ask United first if they will transport the car seat for free. Since you didn't buy a seat for the baby, you might not be able to bring it on board with you.

4) stuff
Definitely bring some of your babies favorite toys with you. We have often wrapped some toys in wrapping paper. It's exciting and fun to unwrap. Also bring a 2nd set of clothes along (just in case there is an accident) and enough diapers and wet wipes.

5) personal advice
I can just speak for us, but letting the baby drink during take off and landing seemed to relieve ear pressure. Also, better leave a couple minutes early to the airport and make sure you don't have to rush through the airport. That'll save you a lot of stress.

If you have any other questions please just ask.

Safe travels!

Peter
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Old Mar 26, 16, 2:20 pm
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You will have great time. We brought a "child backpack" instead of the stroller which made it much easier to walk around and do museums etc.
At restaurants it seemed she always ended coming out of the kitchen with spaghetti

cf: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss...ac%2Caps%2C156
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Old Mar 26, 16, 2:51 pm
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Bring twice the diapers and wipes onboard than you think you will need. Baby will drink more and pee more. I do not know why but it is a thing.

Make sure the babies carry on has everything you might need for emergencies. Medications abroad are not what you are used to, so bring the basics for fevers, colds head bonks etc. That way if your checked bag gets lost you will have all the basics for a few days.

In the airport and getting about some kind of soft sling or carrier can be incredibly useful. Some places strollers are just too big to use.

Agree about Italians and babies, they love family.
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Old Mar 26, 16, 4:49 pm
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The further south and east you go in the EU/Schengen area, and the more you go out to explore outside the cities or to check out older historical sites, the more you'll come to appreciate a baby carrier (like the Becco or Bjorn ones) as perhaps superior to, or as a supplement for, traveling with the stroller.

The in-flight bassinet for a baby is useful in some ways; but when seatbelt sign goes on, the infant's may have to come out of the bassinet.

Also, the bassinet's max. weight and length allowance for the child varies -- it varies not only by carrier but also at least by plane type. So whether or not a child can use a bassinet is a function of the child's length and width dimensions and the child's weight.

Also, even if you get the bulkhead seats with bassinet allowance, it's not guaranteed that the airline will actually have a functioning bassinet even assuming you request it in advance (as you should).

If you want to keep all the infant's supplies accessible at all times during your time on the plane, the bassinet-capable rows are not a great option as there is no floor storage allowed during take off and landing.

Just some things to keep in mind even as having a bassinet for a child to sleep in can sometimes make a flight go over much better than without it.

Carry enough nutritional/feeding items, diapers, replacement clothes and entertainment for the infant (and for yourself) on the flight, keeping in mind delays and diversions, and you'll probably end up coming off thinking you carried on board more than you needed to do but at least the trip went well.
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Old Mar 26, 16, 6:30 pm
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We did JFK-TLV in February with our then 7.5 month old on DL (10.5 hour flight, 7 hr time change).

Bassinet: our baby just wouldn't stay in one, we assumed that going in, based on her preferences, but we booked a seat anyway

Carseat on plane: because we booked a seat we brought on, our baby spent a total of 30 seconds in it - too curious about stuff around her. Also, beware of car seats actually fitting into the seat space with room for recline (if not bulkhead row)... our experience was that it was impossible to have rear facing (your infant "bucket" seat is not designed to be forward facing).

Theres a difference between 7.5 months and 10 months - 10 months babies want to explore and are certainly much more wiggly, if not mobile. I think bulkhead seat, even without the bassinet will allow you a little more freedom/flexibility (assuming seat light off) and not have to worry about baby hitting person in front of you/person in front of you reclining into your "air space" for the baby.

Re: pack and play - if you are staying in hotels, perhaps email ahead and ask about pack n plays/cribs? That will save you from travelling with that.

Set expectations way low, and you will exceed them - and have a blast.

See our experience with more detail/gear links, etc: http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/trave...ces-recap.html
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Old Mar 27, 16, 1:46 am
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Often enough the biggest hassle when traveling with an infant is the dealing with the stuff to carry in the airport, from before check-in, all the way to the plane seat, and from the plane seat to your destination on arrival. Backpacks and anything else that frees hands is something to consider. And giving yourself additional time at the airport to do everything makes sense. And when it comes to international flights, if a lap-child ticket is involved, then adding additional time for ticket problems and seat issues can make sense.

What time of the year are you going? If it's coat season still, a collapsible duffel to toss in all the coats (and stuff like that) for transport in the airport and through security can be useful.

Just don't stress out over the circumstances, for then these trips are even more likely to go better than expected.
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Old Mar 27, 16, 4:43 am
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Originally Posted by levilevi View Post
.. our experience was that it was impossible to have rear facing (your infant "bucket" seat is not designed to be forward facing).
There are "a lot" of wrong ideas about being allowed to use a rear-facing car seat on a plane. And yes, the person who can't recline will yell. Too bad. All US airlines and the FAA state that car seats should be used as they are designed - including rear facing for infants.

There is a site here that discusses that. Best idea. eg: if you are flying Delta, bring a copy of both Delta's and the FAA rules re: car seats; if flying United, Uniteds and so on. You should also bring a copy of the official TSA rules regarding formula or breast milk.
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Old Mar 28, 16, 4:55 pm
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I'd buy an umbrella stroller and take that instead of taking full size travel system, much easier, I don't know United's policy but fewer and fewer airlines are taking responsibility now for damaged pushchairs even if it was in their care
On travel cot, could family over there sort one for you, probably easier if you don't have to carry that with you!
Your child will probably cope with the time zone issues better than you! Lucky that you're travelling with other people
Take spare clothes for baby and for yourself, just because you never know
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Old Mar 29, 16, 12:32 am
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Originally Posted by fredandgingermad View Post
I'd buy an umbrella stroller and take that instead of taking full size travel system, much easier, I don't know United's policy but fewer and fewer airlines are taking responsibility now for damaged pushchairs even if it was in their care
On travel cot, could family over there sort one for you, probably easier if you don't have to carry that with you!
Your child will probably cope with the time zone issues better than you! Lucky that you're travelling with other people
Take spare clothes for baby and for yourself, just because you never know
For travel covered by the relevant Montreal Convention, if the airline accepted to check it in, then the airline is subject to liability for the stroller under the terms of the Convention even if the airline claims an exclusion from liability due to nature of the goods and/or type of packing.

US DOT had to warn airlines in the US that the airlines' electronics exclusion for checked luggage liability doesn't apply to such Convention-covered trips.
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