December 31, 2007

Best Airlines for Babies

I have found that most of the airlines have been good with their baby programs but there are some websites out there that offer up better details. Our favorite so far has been Malaysia Airlines but we have had good experiences on United, KLM, SpanAir, SAS, Continential and Air Canada. If you have specific needs, you should contact the airlines specifically as soon as you book your ticket (bassinets/cots can be first come first serve).

Customer service for babies on airplanes include: bassinets/cots, pre-boarding, baby food, food and bottle warming, bibs, toys/crayons.

What have airlines have you had good and bad experiences while traveling on an airplane with a baby? Send us your thoughts, questions and stories to or leave a comment here.

December 29, 2007

Our Favorite (& Tested) Travel Gear

There are a million products out there these days, but after 7 months straight on the road, these are our favorite tried and true baby products:

1) TRAVEL CRIB LIGHT BY Baby Bjorn- Hands down the best travel bed out there, great mattress, only 5 kg, easy to check-in at the airport and can be set up in 10 seconds with one hand. This is available now in the U.S.- check out The Portable

2) SACK-N-SEAT- A great tool when you are going to a restaurant or home without a highchair. Our baby is a squirmer and holding her while she eats would be a disaster. This does the trick and fits right in the diaper bag. Not sure if it can be found in the U.S.

3) HOTSLING- Now that our baby is 10 months, she is a bit old to be carried around all day in her sling, but up until month 7, I didn't leave home without it. It is much smaller than a front pack and fits right in the diaper bag (along with the Sack-N-Seat!) People were always inquiring to me where I got it...

4) THE PEA POD- I loved this product when our baby was younger- up to 8 months. Its a little tent that pops open with one hands and then has a nice pad to go on the bottom. You can open it with one hand- key when the little one is to young to sit up and you can't put her down. It zips up nicely so they are protected but still get fresh air, and it packs down small so you can put it in the bottom of your suitcase. They can also sleep in it. I took it to the beach, friends houses, hotel rooms, etc.,5

What is your "can't live without travel" product? Send us an email at or leave us a comment here.

My travel horror story...

I was traveling alone with our 5 month old, from Stockholm to Toronto thru Amsterdam. As mentioned in another post, Stockholm makes you check your stroller at the front desk. My connection was delayed 7 (yes Seven) hours and all I had was the sling to hold her in. I was surviving, barely, when we boarded the plane. I was seated in the middle seat, middle row next to a very sick, hacking woman who spoke no English on one side, and a 2 year old boy on the other. I put the baby's toys in my seat and took her to the back to change her and when I came back, the sick woman, thinking she was doing me a favor, picked up all of the toys up so I could sit down. So I now take the baby and all of the toys back to the toilet again to disinfect. When I came back the second time, the 2 year old next to me, with his back facing his mother, was peeing on the sling which I had left on the floor. This is before the 8 hour flight even took off. Once we got to Toronto, after 17 hours of travel, the luggage all got mixed up, and the very last thing to come off of all three planes that landed at the same time- was my stroller. Luckily the baby didn't cry because I did three times as my arms were falling off.

Do you have a "traveling with baby" horror story? email us at or post a comment here!

All Aboard- Train rides with babies

Trains are a great way to travel with an infant. There are certain trains which are often put aside for quiet areas only, meaning prefer no crying babies, so be sure to check what cabin you want when you buy your ticket (if your train does assigned seating) It is certainly easy to walk around on a train and often some food (no baby products) are available in the dining cars. There is often a charge for a baby but it is usually very nominal, nothing like a plane ticket fare. Often that fee reserves a seat for the baby so putting a car seat in the empty seat is a great way to go if it fits. Otherwise if you get at a table, you could slide the car seat under the table. Lastly, there is usually some place to park strollers but make sure not to leave anything valuable in them.

If you have questions, comments, or thoughts on taking a baby on a train, send them to or leave a comment here.

Best Airports for Babies /Toddlers

Airports are getting better at finding ways to keep children occupied. The European airports seem to be catching on fairly quickly. Send us your thoughts on airports that are good or bad for baby travel. Here are just a few:

GREAT- Amsterdam Schiphol has a new state of the art nursery that is dark and quiet with beautiful cribs and leather couches for parents.

GREAT- Madrid Barajas has cribs and two playgrounds- one for younger children and one for older children. They are also happy to look after your children if you would like to leave them there- not sure about that one but it is there none the less.

BAD- Stockholm Arlanda does not allow strollers passed security and although their new terminal finally has good changing facilities, the stroller issue poses real problem if you are changing over at another stop- or maybe even two. You are without a stroller for the rest of your trip. Strange coming from arguably the most family friendly country in the world.

Send your list of dreaded or loved airports for babies and toddlers to- or leave us a comment.

To buy the extra seat or not

Babies younger than 2 years old can either sit on a parents lap or have a seat purchased for them. The misconceptions often are that flying with a lap baby is free and buying a baby seat is cheap...

Infant in your lap still means that a baby needs to pay the tax that you paid for your ticket. Call your airline ahead of time to tell them the baby will be there. Some US domestic flights do not charge this but all international flights do. Regardless, save yourself a lot of time by adding the lap infant to your reservation ahead of time. You can take the risk of carrying your car seat on even if you don't have a seat as if there is an empty one, you can put the baby in there. Also, if flying overseas, RESERVE A COT/BASSINET as soon as you book your ticket. These are beds they connect to the bulkheads that are free and allow a baby to sleep through the flight. It is first come first serve but it can be a life saver. This is usually reserved for very small infants although every airlines has different weight/size restrictions. I could put my 5 month old in there for 7 hours and sleep or watch movies.

Buying a seat is no longer inexpensive. Generally the fare is at least 75% of your ticket price. Even if you buy a ticket, I still recommend reserving a cot/bassinet on overnight flights as it a godsend!

Do you have thoughts, questions or comments on whether to buy a seat? Email u at or leave a comment on this post.

5 Tips for Getting thru Security with a baby

Airport Security is a nightmare these days especially if you are traveling with a baby, and ESPECIALLY when you are traveling without another parent... try these tip to make life easier-

5) Put all of your liquid items, diaper rash cream, Tylenol, sunscreen, baby food, and anything else in one bag before you leave the house- and remember that you are only allowed 3 oz. of each (some will make an exception for milk and baby food but it's different everytime.)
4) For yourself- wear shoes that are easy to get on and off, and skip a belt if you can. It's a hassle while you are holding a child. Also, don't layer sweaters and jackets that you may have to take off. Dress simply (doesn't have to mean frumpy)
3) Don't put shoes on your babies feet- not kidding on this one. San Francisco and Washington Dulles made me take off the 2 month old baby shoes
2) Get an umbrella stroller you can fold with one hand
1) Don't be afraid to ask for help- many people offer

GOT MORE TIPS?- Send them our way and we'll add them to the list! Email us at or leave us a comment on this post.

P.S. The official word from TSA on baby food/formula is this:

Medications, baby formula and food, breast milk, and juice are allowed in reasonable quantities exceeding three ounces and are not required to be in the zip-top bag. Declare these items for inspection at the checkpoint.

Ready for Take off...

When my husband was offered a job that would take him around the world for two years, we knew it was an offer we couldn't refuse- and what an opportunity for my then 3 month old- woohoo- here we go.. until it was time to pack, book tickets, etc. etc. etc.

Traveling with a baby is awesome- this blog is meant to exchange ideas for planes, trains, and automobiles. It can be a forum for horror stories of what not to do, (that we can laugh at now- since all parents know that the best thing to travel with is a sense of humor!) and a place to tell of the little surprises that worked out like a charm. Whatever your thoughts- send them our way so we can all enjoy the trip together. Cheers, Sidgul.