A question for the parents of little ones...

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by Dad to GO, Oct 25, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. Dad to GO

    Dad to GO Silver Member

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    My wife and I are going to be traveling to Europe on British Airways F with our (what should be) 5 month old next May. In order for us to get to the airport where our BA flight originates from we have to take a short 1 hour Southwest airlines flight. My question is would you fly the night before with the baby so that he will have time to relax and rest in a hotel before jumping on a 9 hour flight to Europe... or do you think it would be fine to take that short Southwest flight the same day meaning it would be an hour flight... 4 hour layover and then a 9 hour flight to Europe.

    Thanks for the input!
     
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  2. LarryInNYC

    LarryInNYC Gold Member

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    A five month old really doesn't care, or know much, where he or she is. I'm sure your baby won't differentiate between a hotel room and an airport lounge.

    It's really about you and whether doing the two flights on the same day would stress you out to a sufficient degree that you won't have the attention necessary to take care of the child. If you can handle it, I'd stay at home the night before since an extra change of location is unlikely to make the baby any happier.
     
  3. guberif

    guberif Silver Member

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    I'm a dad of two little ones under 3. My only thought it that babies are particularly fussy during takeoff and landing (because the pressure hurts their ears). You can help that by feeding them during those times, but it still bothers most infants.

    Also, if you stack the flights, and the little one falls asleep for a big nap during the 1st flight, you're probably gonna have to wake them up.

    So, if you have the time, I'd do the overnight in between. Just my $.02
     
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  4. viguera
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    viguera Gold Member

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    I've always done stops between flights, but usually it's because the positioning / first flight is long. If it's just a short 1 hour hop then your only concern would be the ears bothering the baby, but as was mentioned you can sort-of mitigate that with well-timed drinks.

    I'd say if the longer flight is scheduled somewhere around nap time or bedtime, then go for it in one shot. Chances are the first flight might be a nuisance, but even if it is it's just a short hop. I'd be more concerned about making sure the baby has a good time during the second flight, since that's the long haul.
     
  5. Dad to GO

    Dad to GO Silver Member

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    This was my thought process as well. Since the flight is a night flight we're hoping that the baby will at least be on somewhat of a schedule and can sleep some of the long flight. The staying in a hotel overnight is not a big deal at all. Since it will be our first big trip with the baby I figure having a little more time and not being rushed will help my wife and myself from not feeling rushed/panicked... which could then stress the baby out.
     
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  6. jaw_24
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    jaw_24 Silver Member

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    If it were my kids, we would actually get a worse night of sleep in a hotel room - my kids always had a hard time adjusting or calming down to new surroundings, especially when they knew Mom and Dad were in the room with them. This may not matter depending on their normal sleeping arrangement (in your bedroom vs. their own, for example).

    Ironically, I have the opposite mindset - I try to wear the kids out by keeping him/her awake before a long flight, so the extra hour flight would probably aid in this. But each kid reacted a little differently to this method - one of them ends up cranky and never sleeping if we're not careful.
     
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  7. Randy Petersen
    Original Member

    Randy Petersen Founder

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    paging ... MommyPoints.
     
  8. ConsultingChris

    ConsultingChris Silver Member

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    I would do the overnight. For some reason our little one seems to sleep better in hotel cribs than he does in his own crib or pack and play, so it would help us be better rested for a long flight the next day.

    If this is your first, your brain might still be recovering from being turned into jello during the first three months and you will need the overnight to recover from the first flight.
     
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  9. MLW20
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    MLW20 Gold Member

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    I think it's really just a personal choice for you. If it was me, I'd do all of the flying in one day. I don't see the flying being much of an issue for the baby- it's more of a comfort decision for you and your wife. I'd get all of the flights done as quickly as possible. My son is a little over 9 months old and he has flown over 30,000 miles by 8 months old.
    If you could fly the one hour flight, check your bags and then get on the next flight without leaving the airport I think you are better off.
     
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  10. WilCo
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    WilCo Silver Member

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    I'll choose door C.

    We travel between USA and Europe regularly, though normally in coach. The stressful part for us is security and manhandling luggage. The flights are easy in comparison. For that reason, I would recommend flying someone other than southwest so you can check bags through the whole way (as I recall, Southwest doesn't interline so you can't check bags through). So do it all in same day, but don't use southwest when connecting to another airline.
     
  11. estnet
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    estnet Gold Member

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    You've answered your own question. Do what makes you and your wife most relaxed :)
    Hint -if your baby is a pacifier baby bring some sugar packets - if the baby has ear problems (more likely on descent than ascent) and doesn't want to drink or just suck on the pacifier, dipping it I sugar usually elicits rapid sucking which should help with ears. Note DO NOT USE HONEY.
     
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  12. guberif

    guberif Silver Member

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    Was thinking the same thing! MP needs some way to "tag" people in posts....
     
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  13. mommypoints

    mommypoints Gold Member

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    This is a good news/bad news situation. The good news is, since you are thinking this through and planning so well in advance it will end up being fine either way. The bad news is you aren't going to actually know which way is best until you meet your infant and get to know their habits/personality/etc. Many kids do not sleep as well in a hotel room and away from their crib, their routine, etc. So it is quite possible that starting the trip off with a night in a hotel room will set you up for a journey where you are all extra tired from the beginning.

    It is also possible that your kid will be laid back and won't care where he is sleeping, and going the night before will be a great decision. There is just no way to accurately guess ahead of time, so the best thing to do is what others said. Do what makes you two feel more comfortable. If the two of your are calm, patient, and flexible then all three of you will be fine either way.

    Congrats on your impending arrival!
     
  14. hulagrrl210
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    hulagrrl210 Gold Member

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    I would say at 5 months it doesn't matter either way. If anything I'd be worried about the long layover, but if you guys are traveling internationally, you will probably be to the airport almost that early anyway if you do spend the night, so I'd go for the flight day of, because that will probably be easier for you guys.

    We took my little guy on his first trip at 3 months and again at 5 and 6 months- On the 5 month trip we got stuck at LAX for 5 hours on the way to Hawaii. Coming home we missed our connection and had to stay in a hotel at SFO. He was fine. I think you'll be surprised by how resilient the little guys are. My best advice is make sure you keep his/her feeding schedule. I wouldn't worry about too much about the sleep schedule because it is going to get a little messed up, especially with a time change.

    My son never had any trouble with his ears, but we always give him a bottle or binky during takeoff and landing just in case when he was awake, and there have been time when he just slept through it all and we didn't disturb him. Our doctor also gave us some ear numbing drops which we've never had to use but not a bad thing to have in the diaper bag just in case. Finally, we've always bought a seat for the kiddo and installed his infant carrier (and now a big car seat), and I recommend doing the same. It will provide a familiar environment and if they sleep in the car, they'll sleep on the plane just fine too. Good luck and congrats!
     
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  15. Dad to GO

    Dad to GO Silver Member

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    The reason for traveling with Southwest is that I plan on having the companion pass at that point so I figured I might as well utilize it and only 4600 points for both of us. You do bring up a good point about checking the bags through. I could always use Avios to travel the short haul on AA and have them link the itineraries since they are partners. Am I right in thinking this?
     
  16. WilCo
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    WilCo Silver Member

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    Don't think they even need to be linked. Just provide both confirmation numbers when you check your bags and they should be able to check them all the way through that way.
     
  17. LauraPDX

    LauraPDX Silver Member

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    why don't you wait and decide when to do the positioning flight until after the baby is born? That way you will have an idea what type of pattern he/she develops (usually by 3 months old) and how the two of you are handling things.
     
  18. whkento
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    whkento Gold Member

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    Most important suggestions are already covered, so I'll just add my experience.

    I've travelled Japan -- east coast USA with both of my kids at least once a year starting at 6 months old. (They're 5 and 6 yo now.) Total travel time 24-26 hours. The kids always hold up better than I do. They often sleep much of the trip. Up to 2 years old (IIRC) the baby can use the airline's bassinet. My kids slept very well in the bassinets. Since you're flying in F, I expect you'll have plenty of room and help with anything you need.

    For me, the hotel stay would simply lengthen the trip and make me more weary. I'd definitely go for the AA flight so you can interline and not worry about your bags (other than AA destroying them). ;)

    Be sure to heed the previous suggestions re. the ears.
     
  19. MrLincoln

    MrLincoln Gold Member

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    True this. JrLincoln went with us from DC to Bogota at ten weeks old, and DC to Delhi at twelve weeks. (Mom's a diplomat.) Both flights were fine: he slept for a couple hours, woke up, ate, went back to sleep. His mom fed him on ascent and descent, and that seemed to obviate any ear-clearing issues.

    DC to Bogota was five hours to Panama, then an hour to Bogota. DC to Delhi was seven hours to Frankfurt, then seven hours to Delhi. For the latter trip, we had the better part of eight hours in FRA at the LH first class terminal -- which afforded mom an opportunity to sleep in one of the day rooms with JrLincoln while I abused people by email. For a longer trip like that one, and as others have said, I'd break it up for the benefit of the adults -- JrLincoln didn't even really understand the rubber ducky I was squeaking at him.
     
  20. filelover

    filelover Silver Member

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    We traveled a lot with our older when (Close to 53K miles Year 1 and 85K miles Year 2) she was a new born. I and others can give you a lot of advise but a lot will depend on your kid's personality.

    My kids were great travelers (but maybe because I started them young) but a friend of mine who loves traveling has sworn off trips till his kids get older (3 year old and 1 year old).

    It also depends on the flight times. If an early AM departure (not common) to Europe then flying in the night before is less stressful. If a late afternoon/early evening departure then it might just get boring sitting all day in the hotel - unless you are up to doing a day trip in the city you are transiting in.

    From an on-board perspective the best tactic is to let the baby just drink their milk - it is amazing how great it works.


     
  21. Steven Schwartz
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    Steven Schwartz Gold Member

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    I guess I'll be the nasty one and say I'm grateful I'm not going to be in BA F for that flight! But I'm old enough that when we flew with out little ones, we found out that a little bit of Dimetapp went a long way! Nowadays, I think we would be reported to DYFUS!
     

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