International travel with a baby?

AmnerisAmneris Posts: 15,117Registered Users
So I have been discussing with my husband and with my family the idea of taking the baby to Trinidad within the first year of his/her life so s/he can meet the family. If we go there, then we should also go to Grenada to see my husband's family, much as I'd rather not.

My understanding is you don't pay/buy a seat for a baby and just hold it in your arms on the plane, right?

But my concern is this: in Trinidad, we always go out either in my relatives' cars or in private taxis/limos, so wouldn't I need a car seat? (They aren't big on that there... they just hold the babies in their arms for the most part though that is starting to change.) Traffic is terrible there and there are lots of accidents. And while they usually just sleep in their bed with the baby, I'm more comfortable with some kind of co-sleeper/crib/bassinet in the parents' room. And if we do this when the baby is closer to a year, won't s/he be in a stroller, so I'll need that too? And won't the house where we stay need to be babyproofed at that age? So, unless I can borrow all that stuff from family (which they probably do not own) I have to bring it all... and how will I travel with all that? Ship it ahead of me?

Then, in Grenada, my husband's family tend to get around in taxi buses that are crowded, loud and driven very unsafely through hills with no guard rails and I am not really comfortable with that myself, never mind with a baby, but they'd probably think I was totally crazy for worrying since everyone else does that. My husband's family is kind of dysfunctional, so they never come to visit - he has always had to go visit them, each family unit individually, which means taking the bus, then climbing steep hills. Some of them do not have running water or reliable, consistent electricity and there is always a lot of tension/arguing.

My mama took us all to Trinidad as babies without car seats and all that and my mother in law took her kids to Grenada as babies and they lived life like the rest of her family, so am I being too westernized to be concerned? What solution is there other than skipping Grenada altogether and just trying to make Trinidad work?
Get used to me. Black, confident, cocky; my name, not yours; my religion, not yours; my goals, my own; get used to me. -Muhammad Ali


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Comments

  • DarkAngelDarkAngel Posts: 2,671Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    I can't answer most of your questions but I have been looking at international travel recently and I believe that you have to purchase a seat for a baby on international flights. That would solve your carseat problem since you will need it anyway. If I am wrong, you could buy a cheap carseat or borrow one to use at your destination. I did that when I flew with Xander but didn't buy him a seat.

    I lied. I can answer more of your questions. You can take a pack and play with you for the baby to sleep in. They have some that fold up pretty well for travel and you can check it. As for baby proofing, a house doesn't have to be 100% baby proofed. Depending on how old and mobile your baby is at the time, it might not be an issue. I am only just now running into problems with Xander touching things that he should not.

    You may or may not need the stroller. I always travel with mine just for ease but you can also have the option of slinging the baby if you like. If you do decide to travel with the stroller, you can plane side check it or have it checked for underplane. Just take a stroller that you aren't in love with because the airlines aren't gentle.
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  • RedCatWavesRedCatWaves Posts: 31,259Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    Please buy the baby his/her own seat on the airplane. It's the only safe way to travel. If you hit turbulance, you will not be able to hold the baby from hitting it's head on the ceiling or flying across the plane. Some people say to just ask for an extra seat, but you really can't rely on that. A lot of flights these days are packed, and there are no extra seats. The only way to assure a seat, is to pay for it.

    This carseat/stroller will answer your travel needs:

    http://www.sitnstroll.com/

    It converts easily from a stroller to a carseat (either forward or rear facing). It fits down the aisle of the plane, so you can just roll baby right to your seat, fold up the wheels and handle and buckle it in, and not have to lug anything else. It's a good stroller too...nice push and very sturdy. And you can use it as a carseat in cabs, buses and cars when you're at your destination...as long as there are seatbelts. If there are no seatbelts...well...not much you can do but hope you don't crash I guess.

    I wouldn't bother with taking or shipping a crib or porta-crib. I'd just sleep with baby or make up a pallet on the floor with blankets.
  • RedCatWavesRedCatWaves Posts: 31,259Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    Forgot to comment on babyproofing:

    I never bothered much with babyproofing. I found that putting those plug things in outlets just attracted the child all the more, and you can never make anything 100% safe, so it's a false sense of security. Sure, I got rid of obvious sharp objects and locked poisons away, but, other than that, I just did something that most parents should do: I watched my child.
  • shellibeanshellibean Posts: 4,500Registered Users
    On my my last flight from Japan, the lady next to me had her baby (1 yr old) sitting on her lap and her mom's lap the whole time. No extra seat and no car seat. He slept most od the time and it wasn't a problem at all. During take off and landing, she had to fasten the belt across them both. I would take a carseat with you and either check it or try to do it as carry on but they can store stuff like strollers and carseats and wheelchairs seperatly so that thye are there as soon as you exit the plane. I forget what it's called. I have seen that many times. I wouldn't do a playpen or anything- by one yr, the baby should be fine to sleep with y'all on special occasions like a vacation. Bring lots of toys, snacks for the plane though b/c when the baby next to me was awake, he was soooo bored. Be sure to walk around a lot.
    A closed mind is a wonderful thing to lose.

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  • RedCatWavesRedCatWaves Posts: 31,259Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    During take off and landing, she had to fasten the belt across them both.


    Bad idea. That offers no protection to the child, and in fact, puts them more at risk for injury than flying across the airplane unbelted.
  • shellibeanshellibean Posts: 4,500Registered Users
    The flight attendent instructed her to.
    A closed mind is a wonderful thing to lose.

    "...you could have a turd on your head and no one would notice."~Subbrock

    "I had an imaginary puppy, but my grandpa ate him."~Bailey
  • RedCatWavesRedCatWaves Posts: 31,259Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    The flight attendent instructed her to.


    I wouldn't have done it.
  • shellibeanshellibean Posts: 4,500Registered Users
    Why would it be more dangerous to have them belted down in your lap than free to fly across the cabin?
    A closed mind is a wonderful thing to lose.

    "...you could have a turd on your head and no one would notice."~Subbrock

    "I had an imaginary puppy, but my grandpa ate him."~Bailey
  • RedCatWavesRedCatWaves Posts: 31,259Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    Why would it be more dangerous to have them belted down in your lap than free to fly across the cabin?


    Because the average adult weighs 150 pounds. Babies weigh 20 pounds. Squish.
  • curly_keltiecurly_keltie Posts: 791Registered Users
    I think each airline is different for international travel. I think with Air Canada, for international travel, you do have to pay for an infant to fly but I think it is a percentage of the full fare. I'm not 100% sure.

    You will be able to gate check your stroller.

    Also, don't forget to make sure your baby's immunizations are up-to-date.
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  • deezee02deezee02 Posts: 1,509Registered Users
    I would get a pack and play and check it, we use ours ALL THE TIME at home and when we go to visit my parents b/c they haven't gotten a crib yet, plus they want to make one fo the extra rooms into a kids room, and since he is little, it is easier to have him sleep in the guest room on the main floor with us rather than on teh second floor.

    I agree on getting a seat and bringing a car seat, they have these which are great, when we get the Ok to travel with S, this is the first thing we will be buying.

    I would just get this and then bring a sling to carry him around places in rather than a stroller...You and DH can take turns and it is less combersom to take him in and out, especially if you are going to be sightseeing.

    SitnStrollOpenandClosed400-300.jpg

    They have many different brands very simmilar, you can find this one at babies r us, it is the sit n stroll.

    Pack and extra set of clothes for you, baby and DH, you never know when a baby is going to spit up (even at 1 year old) so that way you all have c;ean clothes if anything gets on either of you.

    I would also make sure your LO has all its immunizations, and do not paln anything until you get the OK from your pediatrician.

    This web site has TONS of stuff, you will get a whole bunch of sites if you google baby travel..

    http://www.flyingwithkids.com/travel_tips.htm

    Some websites have places you were you can buy baby gear and they will ship it to you, like diapers/wipes/formula...if not, I would make sure to pack 2 or 3 of all the essentials, like binkies.

    http://www.babiestravellite.com/

    My mom gave us triaminic at lift off and landing to help with ear pressure...i still take it for long international flights...Check with your pedi (i believe 1 year is too young but i am not sure)


    Redcatwaves...every country has different rules on how to secure a child during take off and landing, from www.flyingwithkids.com. you have to comply with local laws.

    In Europe, Asia, and Australasia you will be asked to secure your child on your lap using a lap or belly belt. You may also use a Baby B'Air travel vest during the main flight section of your journey, but you will be asked to use the lap belt in addition during turbulence.

    In North America and Canada lap-held children under two years of age must be held on your lap or in the burping position without any form of harness. You may only use a Baby B'Air travel vest during the main flight part of your journey, but not during take-off or landing.
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  • shellibeanshellibean Posts: 4,500Registered Users
    That sit-N-stroll looks so freakin' handy! I think I may need one of those!
    A closed mind is a wonderful thing to lose.

    "...you could have a turd on your head and no one would notice."~Subbrock

    "I had an imaginary puppy, but my grandpa ate him."~Bailey
  • RedCatWavesRedCatWaves Posts: 31,259Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    Redcatwaves...every country has different rules on how to secure a child during take off and landing, from www.flyingwithkids.com. you have to comply with local laws.

    In Europe, Asia, and Australasia you will be asked to secure your child on your lap using a lap or belly belt. You may also use a Baby B'Air travel vest during the main flight section of your journey, but you will be asked to use the lap belt in addition during turbulence.


    Every country will allow a seat to be purchased for a child on a plane. Just because airlines allow people to travel with infants/toddlers on laps, doesn't make it safe. It doesn't make their rules about doubling up with lap belts safe either. I would not do it.
  • deezee02deezee02 Posts: 1,509Registered Users
    The flight attendent instructed her to.


    I wouldn't have done it.

    i was commenting on this...If you do not buy a seat you HAVE to strap the child in the seat with you in certain countries.
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  • RedCatWavesRedCatWaves Posts: 31,259Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    i was commenting on this...If you do not buy a seat you HAVE to strap the child in the seat with you in certain countries.


    It's moot then...because I would never travel on a plane with a lap baby, whether locally or internationally. It's just not very safe. I'm in charge of bringing my children to adulthood as healthy and whole as possible, and I take that responsibility very seriously.
  • deezee02deezee02 Posts: 1,509Registered Users
    I never said you did not take that responsibility seriously, i was just informing of the laws
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  • RedCatWavesRedCatWaves Posts: 31,259Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    One can get around those unsafe laws, by buying the baby his/her own seat. That was my point. You don't "HAVE" to do something as unsafe as doubling up on seatbelts.
  • deezee02deezee02 Posts: 1,509Registered Users
    yes they can...but just in case they feel they do not need a seat, they also need to be aware of the local laws.
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  • mad scientistmad scientist Posts: 3,530Registered Users
    I also buy a seat for my baby whenever I fly. He's a PITA to keep in my lap for any time longer than, oh, 15 minutes. And when he's strapped into the carseat he seems to understand that "this is not run around time" and will chill out and nap.

    When I held him (and flew without a seat for him once), I was instructed by flight crew to NOT strap the seat belt around him when I held him for the reason RCW mentioned.

    With regards to the car seat - honestly, its a tricky situation in developing countries. Do all of the cars even have reliable seat belts? If not, then the car seat is going to just end up being an expensive and bulky piece of luggage. Are you going to be doing a lot of driving around while there?
  • AmnerisAmneris Posts: 15,117Registered Users
    I also buy a seat for my baby whenever I fly. He's a PITA to keep in my lap for any time longer than, oh, 15 minutes. And when he's strapped into the carseat he seems to understand that "this is not run around time" and will chill out and nap.

    When I held him (and flew without a seat for him once), I was instructed by flight crew to NOT strap the seat belt around him when I held him for the reason RCW mentioned.

    With regards to the car seat - honestly, its a tricky situation in developing countries. Do all of the cars even have reliable seat belts? If not, then the car seat is going to just end up being an expensive and bulky piece of luggage. Are you going to be doing a lot of driving around while there?

    In Trinidad, probably - if we want to go to the beach or visit some other relatives that's the only way to get there. I know it is tricky and no, not all the cars have reliable seatbelts, so that could be a problem.

    I was talking about it with my mama today and realized I'm going to need to look into adding the baby to my passport as soon as it is born.
    Get used to me. Black, confident, cocky; my name, not yours; my religion, not yours; my goals, my own; get used to me. -Muhammad Ali


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  • mad scientistmad scientist Posts: 3,530Registered Users
    Oh I totally forgot about the passport issue: get one for your baby.
    I don't think you can add a baby onto the mother's passport anymore - but I don't know for sure.

    The first time we flew (from US to Canada) was when Karan was 3 months and it was completely unexpected trip. Thankfully we had his birth certificate (we had paid extra to have it expedited) and that was all we needed. We got him his own passport as soon as we got back to the US and that's what we've used ever since.

    Anmeris, most people I know who travel overseas have ended up doing without the car seat.
  • curly_keltiecurly_keltie Posts: 791Registered Users
    Oh I totally forgot about the passport issue: get one for your baby.
    I don't think you can add a baby onto the mother's passport anymore - but I don't know for sure.

    The first time we flew (from US to Canada) was when Karan was 3 months and it was completely unexpected trip. Thankfully we had his birth certificate (we had paid extra to have it expedited) and that was all we needed. We got him his own passport as soon as we got back to the US and that's what we've used ever since.

    Anmeris, most people I know who travel overseas have ended up doing without the car seat.

    You can't add your baby to your passport anymore. They have to have their own. It doesn't cost as much as an adult passport because - for obvious reasons - they aren't valid for as long. I think they cost about $30...but I'm not 100% sure.

    Which airline would you be flying to Trinidad? I would also highly recommend a sling or other carrier for your baby. You can even get ones that are specially made for going in the water.
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  • mad scientistmad scientist Posts: 3,530Registered Users

    You can't add your baby to your passport anymore. They have to have their own. It doesn't cost as much as an adult passport because - for obvious reasons - they aren't valid for as long. I think they cost about $30...but I'm not 100% sure.

    Which airline would you be flying to Trinidad? I would also highly recommend a sling or other carrier for your baby. You can even get ones that are specially made for going in the water.

    I just pulled out Karan's Cdn passport application (I started a while back but decided to hold off with the huge backlog right now). For 3 year olds and under its $37 for a 3 year passport. And I know that if you apply in person, the baby doesn't have to be with you. However you do need a birth certificate so if its possible in Canada, make sure you pay extra to get it expedited or else the whole process can take a few months.
  • shellibeanshellibean Posts: 4,500Registered Users
    As soon as our baby is born, paperwork will be in the works for a passport so we can travel back to the states to visit and of course when we move back for good. We prob. wont be able to afford to buy a ticket for the baby, so he will most likely be sitting with us. I don't really feel that it is unsafe and there is no way I am gonna buy a $1500 ticket for a seat that he will more than likely not even sit in during the flight!
    A closed mind is a wonderful thing to lose.

    "...you could have a turd on your head and no one would notice."~Subbrock

    "I had an imaginary puppy, but my grandpa ate him."~Bailey
  • AmnerisAmneris Posts: 15,117Registered Users
    Oh I totally forgot about the passport issue: get one for your baby.
    I don't think you can add a baby onto the mother's passport anymore - but I don't know for sure.

    The first time we flew (from US to Canada) was when Karan was 3 months and it was completely unexpected trip. Thankfully we had his birth certificate (we had paid extra to have it expedited) and that was all we needed. We got him his own passport as soon as we got back to the US and that's what we've used ever since.

    Anmeris, most people I know who travel overseas have ended up doing without the car seat.

    You can't add your baby to your passport anymore. They have to have their own. It doesn't cost as much as an adult passport because - for obvious reasons - they aren't valid for as long. I think they cost about $30...but I'm not 100% sure.

    Which airline would you be flying to Trinidad? I would also highly recommend a sling or other carrier for your baby. You can even get ones that are specially made for going in the water.

    Most likely Air Canada but possibly BWIA (British West Indian airlines aka Better Walk If Able or Big Wait in Airport...)

    Oh, I will definitely be using slings all the time with the baby. My sister sent me some beautiful ones from when they were in Nigeria that I can't wait to use. A waterproof one is a fantastic idea, though - I didn't know anything about those! Great tips on this thread so far from everyone - thanks!

    I didn't know that about the passport either - as soon as we get home from the hospital, I'll be applying for that! We want to go to Cuba after Christmas regardless of when we do this Trinidad trip, which is 5 months after baby is due.
    Get used to me. Black, confident, cocky; my name, not yours; my religion, not yours; my goals, my own; get used to me. -Muhammad Ali


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  • AmnerisAmneris Posts: 15,117Registered Users
    shelli wrote:
    As soon as our baby is born, paperwork will be in the works for a passport so we can travel back to the states to visit and of course when we move back for good. We prob. wont be able to afford to buy a ticket for the baby, so he will most likely be sitting with us. I don't really feel that it is unsafe and there is no way I am gonna buy a $1500 ticket for a seat that he will more than likely not even sit in during the flight!

    Shelli, that was my thinking, too. If they let you hold your baby and our baby is small/calm enough, then why not?
    Get used to me. Black, confident, cocky; my name, not yours; my religion, not yours; my goals, my own; get used to me. -Muhammad Ali


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  • CGNYCCGNYC Posts: 4,938Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    A waterproof one is a fantastic idea, though - I didn't know anything about those! Great tips on this thread so far from everyone - thanks!

    They are mesh so the water flows through. Very cool.

    As for getting the extra seat, I'd wait to rule that out till you've actually had to hold a squirmy baby on your lap for a few hours. The extra room will be very welcome.
  • AmnerisAmneris Posts: 15,117Registered Users
    Yikes! I looked into the passport thing and it could take quite a while to get one because we need to register the birth and get a birth certificate, take a photo, get a letter that there are no custody disputes..... so I don't think we'd be able to go any earlier than Christmas. I also want to register baby as an EU citizen.

    Air Canada's regulations on line say for both Canada/US and international travel, up to 2 years a child sits on the parents' lap and pays $0. Car seats are not allowed in executive class at all.

    I was offered a gig in DC about 7 weeks after my due date and it looks like I'll have to turn it down because I may not have baby's passport and I wouldn't travel without him/her at that age. Shoot.
    Get used to me. Black, confident, cocky; my name, not yours; my religion, not yours; my goals, my own; get used to me. -Muhammad Ali


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  • geekygeeky Posts: 4,995Registered Users
    Amneris wrote:
    I was offered a gig in DC about 7 weeks after my due date and it looks like I'll have to turn it down because I may not have baby's passport and I wouldn't travel without him/her at that age. Shoot.

    I'd say at 7 weeks after the EDD you may not be ready for a gig, passport or not. You could go past your EDD, in which case it could be only 5 weeks post partum. You are likely to still be totally sleep deprived. The baby may have colic, you never know what will be going on. Try not to make any very strenuous plans for the first couple of months.
    To Trenell, MizKerri and geeky:
    I pray none of you ever has to live in a communist state.

    Geeky is my hero. She's the true badass. The badass who doesn't even need to be a badass. There aren't enough O's in cool to describe her.
  • picklesgirlpicklesgirl Posts: 1,955Registered Users
    Just thought I'd add that I've seen these baby backpack carrier things that have wheels that come down on the bottom and a handle that pops out the top and turns into a stroller. I think that would be pretty handy.

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