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richev

Trip back to the UK with 5 month old - recommendations, cautions?

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My wife and I are planning a trip back to the UK later this year with our recently born son, who will be 5 months old when we travel. We're both Aussie PR, and he is dual UK/Australian (with both passports).

Our current plan is to fly Vietnam Airlines premium economy, in a bulkhead row with bassinet, with a few hours hotel layover in Vietnam each way for a bit of relaxation and recuperation. We've flown a similar itinerary with Vietnam Airlines before, albeit when it was just the two of us!

At the moment our son is exclusively breast fed, but we may have added a few formula feeds to his daily routine by the time we travel. To date he's been a pretty good sleeper. The longest journey we've taken him on so far was a night away in the Blue Mountains (we're in Sydney) which was a lot harder than we expected.

I'm really interested to hear anyone else's stories of traveling back to the UK with young babies, along with any recommendations or cautions you might have from your experiences!

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1 hour ago, richev said:

My wife and I are planning a trip back to the UK later this year with our recently born son, who will be 5 months old when we travel. We're both Aussie PR, and he is dual UK/Australian (with both passports).

Our current plan is to fly Vietnam Airlines premium economy, in a bulkhead row with bassinet, with a few hours hotel layover in Vietnam each way for a bit of relaxation and recuperation. We've flown a similar itinerary with Vietnam Airlines before, albeit when it was just the two of us!

At the moment our son is exclusively breast fed, but we may have added a few formula feeds to his daily routine by the time we travel. To date he's been a pretty good sleeper. The longest journey we've taken him on so far was a night away in the Blue Mountains (we're in Sydney) which was a lot harder than we expected.

I'm really interested to hear anyone else's stories of traveling back to the UK with young babies, along with any recommendations or cautions you might have from your experiences!

We did uk to Tasmania with our son when he was 7 months

It was better than we thought, we did shifts holding him whilst he slept leaving the other to watch tv or sleep or simply to have some time away from childcare.

the critical difference though is that we selected airlines that flew the A380 because it has so many areas where you can take the baby away from the other parent for a break

I guess you will be flying A350 or 787? not sure how many areas there are to leave the seating?

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Very interested in this, as we are planning on flying back to Uk in September with what will then be a 3 month old baby. 

We were not planning on travelling so soon but a wedding has come up which we don't want to miss. 

Friends have advised that it's better to fly when baby less than 6 months as they will sleep more. Hoping this is the reality! 😃

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Flew to UK on my own with a 12 week old baby and back when he was 5 months - and with a 3 yr old in tow as well. Looking back I still  can't believe I did it but it wasn't that bad while I was doing it - apart from my altercation with a BA bimbo flight attendant who took 45 minutes to bring me a cup of tea in the middle of the night because she was chatting up a bloke further down the cabin and then tried to blame my sleeping 3 yr old for turning the call light on. 

My tips are to travel as light as possible, you don't need the kitchen sink. We never had a stroller for the kids anyway but the sling I used was invaluable on the plane - much better if you need to stand /walk to be able to pop them in the carrier and keep your hands free. If you're BF then it's a doddle (and don't be afraid to get up and demand a cup of tea before you start!), never used bottles so no idea how that works but if you take the basics the cabin crew are usually good at helping out. The loos have a pull  down  change table which works well and now that everyone uses disposable nappies is a hell of a lot easier than when we flew to Australia the very first time with DS1 at 6 months before they'd been invented! 

If there are two of you it's much easier to tag team so that one of you can sleep at a time but otherwise it's a case of "when baby sleeps we all sleep " but don't be afraid to walk the aisles, that's preferable to having a screaming kid for all concerned. 

Feed on take off and landing - swallowing equalises ear pressures otherwise you'll have a kid with hurting ears - and that's easy because the baby is strapped to your seat belt with an extension.

Bottom line though, have faith in your parenting, it's just like dealing with the bub on the ground. Book your bassinet ahead of time and with kids under 6 months you'll be prioritised and they're generally fine for the kids to sleep in but if your child is a co-sleeper you'll need to get them used to sleeping alone before you fly (one of my granddaughters struggled with that when she flew as my d-i-l was an earth mother kinda gal and thought co-sleep was the thing to do.)

Biggest problem you're likely to have is jet lag - theirs, not so much yours. They will have just got into some kind of waking/sleeping rhythm and you will totally screw that up and it took a long time for my son to change - we were still disrupted well over a week from memory. Then he got disrupted again on the way back to Aus poor kid.

Good luck, it'll be fine just don't  stress about it too much.

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No first hand experience personally but I can share some experience aircraft wise.  I agree with the above, you could look out for A350 / 787 (these generally are quieter and have a higher cabin pressure meaning less upset because of ears hurting during take off and landing), and A380 is good for the sheer space.  The ambient temperature on the 747s is generally quite hot and on the 777s it's generally quite breezy/cold.

Obvs call up to reserve a bassinet seat, airlines are used to baby travellers in those seats so relax.  Sometimes there's a choice between a day or night flight (eg Cathay), have a think about if one would be better based on your little one's current personality.

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On 26/03/2019 at 06:13, Quoll said:

Flew to UK on my own with a 12 week old baby and back when he was 5 months - and with a 3 yr old in tow as well. Looking back I still  can't believe I did it but it wasn't that bad while I was doing it - apart from my altercation with a BA bimbo flight attendant who took 45 minutes to bring me a cup of tea in the middle of the night because she was chatting up a bloke further down the cabin and then tried to blame my sleeping 3 yr old for turning the call light on. 

My tips are to travel as light as possible, you don't need the kitchen sink. We never had a stroller for the kids anyway but the sling I used was invaluable on the plane - much better if you need to stand /walk to be able to pop them in the carrier and keep your hands free. If you're BF then it's a doddle (and don't be afraid to get up and demand a cup of tea before you start!), never used bottles so no idea how that works but if you take the basics the cabin crew are usually good at helping out. The loos have a pull  down  change table which works well and now that everyone uses disposable nappies is a hell of a lot easier than when we flew to Australia the very first time with DS1 at 6 months before they'd been invented! 

If there are two of you it's much easier to tag team so that one of you can sleep at a time but otherwise it's a case of "when baby sleeps we all sleep " but don't be afraid to walk the aisles, that's preferable to having a screaming kid for all concerned. 

Feed on take off and landing - swallowing equalises ear pressures otherwise you'll have a kid with hurting ears - and that's easy because the baby is strapped to your seat belt with an extension.

Bottom line though, have faith in your parenting, it's just like dealing with the bub on the ground. Book your bassinet ahead of time and with kids under 6 months you'll be prioritised and they're generally fine for the kids to sleep in but if your child is a co-sleeper you'll need to get them used to sleeping alone before you fly (one of my granddaughters struggled with that when she flew as my d-i-l was an earth mother kinda gal and thought co-sleep was the thing to do.)

Biggest problem you're likely to have is jet lag - theirs, not so much yours. They will have just got into some kind of waking/sleeping rhythm and you will totally screw that up and it took a long time for my son to change - we were still disrupted well over a week from memory. Then he got disrupted again on the way back to Aus poor kid.

Good luck, it'll be fine just don't  stress about it too much.

Excellent advice. Unless necessary I would avoid adding formula until you return home as that’s a whole load more stuff you would have to take! Travelling with an infant is easier than you think. Much easier than with a toddler anyway 😂 Enjoy your trip 😊

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