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Firstly, thanks for visiting my blog! Secondly, I should explain the logic behind the posts. Some posts I'm doing 'on the fly' while others are posts relating to past experiences. I'll try to title them accordingly or you can search using tags.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Are you about to travel with a baby? Some answers to common questions.

In response to some common questions about traveling with a 6-12 month old baby (or even older) I have written some tips:

1) strollers (of all sizes) fit on planes so BRING A GOOD ONE. We brought the cheapest stroller of all time but it worked for us. Keep in mind that we had back packs. If you travel alone and you have luggage that rolls then you'll have trouble pushing a stroller. I wrote a blog post on Airports & strollers. Every airline has NO restrictions on checking a child stroller.

2) baby carrier is a must -- for places that strollers don't fit. They are very light weight and compressible so it's worth it. We have had up to 4 different types but the one we brought was called ERGO BABY -, purchased at a store on Bank street in Ottawa. It's big enough for me & Vicky to wear comfortably (front, back OR side). It has good head support for when baby sleeps. Rather expensive though, especially if you opt for the 'organic' material (which we did for some reason).

3) TOTSEAT - For 15$ at SuperStore this is a no-brainer. We actually thought of inventing something like it while we traveled. It allows baby to sit on ANY chair without risk of falling off. Absolutely perfect for restaurants that have dangerous high chairs (or none at all). In Argentina, only 50% of restaurants have a high chair, 5% are actually safe (no kidding). Our alternative was to use a long sleeve shirt to tie the baby to the seat or leave him in the stroller.

4) DIAPERS & WIPES - bring the absolute minimum as they are probably available EVERYWHERE and because the diapers take a lot of space. Wipes can be used to clean your hands as well so you don't need hand sanitizer ;-).

5) FOOD & FORMULA - baby food was gross in Argentina & Uruguay, so Jack ate what we ate. He wouldn't eat the crap baby food. However, baby formula was available everywhere and it's the same as here. Everywhere else in the world may be different but I wouldn't suspect any problems, even in underdeveloped countries. There is almost always a road between 'the beaten path' and the middle of nowhere... just don't be afraid to ask questions and prepare accordingly.

Perhaps the most important thing to be aware of is HOW PAINFUL it CAN BE to fly with a baby on your lap for any flight longer than 3 hours. Do absolutely everything possible to get a row with an extra seat. Spare no expense/effort to find good neck pillows, back supports, something to rest your feet on and even something soft to sit on. I thought my 24 hours of flying Ottawa-->Tokyo --> Bangkok was dreadful... 13 hours from Montevideo-->Miami with a baby on me took me to a new level of pain. I didn't mention that I drank 2 glasses of wine, 3 extra strength Tylenol, and 2 sleeping pills. I couldn't feel my ass after 90 minutes. I have pain on a good day so you might actually be fine... just beware. Google for solutions just in case you don't get the empty seat next to you. If you do get the extra seat, use the TOTseat mentioned above to let the baby sleep in a sitting position because he/she won't fit laying down on the seat (even with 2 empty seats it can be challenging with the gap/armrest. Almost forgot... good luck eating food with a baby on you... the tray won't have room to come down. Hopefully you have a friendly neighbor or you're traveling with your spouse.

Please leave me your comments!!! I want to know if there are any more solutions for our next baby!

Totally unrelated to travel:

If formula feeding: Costco saved us a few hundred dollars because their Kirkland brand is really cheap and has all the same stuff in it as the other brands (practically identical). Don't waste money on formula with Omega-3, -6; it's a scam (same with every other food as well). Practically the same amount of linoleic/linolenic acid (3 & 6) are in both option but you won't pay twice the price.  Funny, when traveling in South America they've either made this scam illegal or they haven't figured it out yet.

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