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Childhood-diseases

Question
Posted by: Jane | 2007/02/25

Q.

Overseas flight with New Baby?

I am not yet a mom and do not know exactly what to expect when the baby arrives but I am excited and looking forward to having a little family.
My question is, we are planning to visit family overseas (UK) when the baby arrives - hoping to go December January this year and baby will be three months.
I know that it is a long flight and I am worried it may be dangerous for the ear drums and then there is also the cold weather. We are not going to be sight seeing and touring around - We will just be spending time with the family indoors.
Do you have any advice for taking a tiny baby on a long flight?
Am I being crazy? Will I harm my baby?

Expert's Reply

A.

Paediatrician

Your baby should be able to travel by 3 months. The essential thing is to feed your baby during take offs and landings. The problems of coughs and colds at that time of the year in the Northern Hemisphere countries is a real worry.

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1
user comments

C.

Posted by: Purple | 2007/02/26

Hi,

Lots of people travel with young babies. I have a friend who flew to sweden when her baby was a month old and a friend who moved here from Geneva when her baby was 10 weeks old. I flew when my son was 5 weeks old - but just JHB to DBN.

The pressure on the ear drums is at take off and landing - with landing being worse than take off. To help with this give baby a breast / bottle or dummy during these times. If your baby has a cold, get some illiadin peadiatric spray prescribed and give a squirt when you get on the plane, and again about half an hour before you land (my paed told me to do this when I flew with my son when he was around 5 months old and had a runny nose - but check with your paed before doing so).

When reserving your seat with the travel agent, make sure they book you a seat with a baby sleeping place (they are the seats just behind busienss class and I think they call it a sky cot or soemthing like that). The airline staff are extremely helpful when you travel with a baby. Phone baby lite (or look on w w w dot babylite dot co dot za) and see if you can reserve a car seat and pram for when you get there so that you don't have to travel with these. However, airlines don't charge extra for these items so you can take them with you. They will allow the pram on as carry on baggage (though they will keep it for you and have it waiting as you land - they unfold it for you and help you get baby in too). They prefer that you use an umbrella fold type of pram (either a stroller like the McLaren or any stroller really, or if its a big pram, I think only peg perego folds like a stroller) I have a Graco and they didn't complain about that.
I found it easiest to carry my baby in a pouch at the airport though and only took his stroller when he was a toddler.

Make sure your baby's innoculations are up to date, ask your peadiatric nurse for advice on any others baby may need and check which of our schedule baby can have overseas so that you don't fall behind.

If you are breastfeeding you won't have too much stuff to cart around. If you formula feed I'd suggest you use a brand that is available overseas so that you need only take one tin with you and buy the rest overseas. buy disposable bottles if you can (Avent have them - they are a shell that you use packets in - they are meant for stored expressed breast milk but I'm sure you could make formula in them too), you would have to takes lots of teats and sterilising equipment with you too.
Also, just take one pack of nappies and get the rest in the UK. Both pampers and huggies are available in most countries across the planet (though they sometimes look a bit different). Same with wet wipes.

While on the plane, don't use the loop for baby - these have been proved to be less safe than just holding your baby on your lap (not ideal but you have to book a whole seat if you want to use your car seat on the plane and the car seats don't work with the lap belts unless you take the base along with you (and not all brands even have a base), but some airlines still use the loops for children.

Being in the cold won't harm you child at all. Just dress it warmly - but don't over dress baby as overheating is very dangerous. Feel down the back of baby's neck and on her back to see if she is too hot or cold. Touching her hands or feet won't help as they will always feel cold as baby's circulation is ppoor in the early months. Oh, and despite what your granny and mother will tell you, your baby is able to regulate its temperature within days of birth so doesn't need to be wrapped uup warmly in warm weather. If baby is put on your tummy immediately after the birth, it will warm up and begin regulating its temperature even sooner.

Enjoy the trip.

Reply to Purple

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