December 26, 2008

Christmas on the Move


It has been very fun to be overseas this year but of course at holiday time we were feeling a little homesick. We wanted to try and make this year as festive as possible for our little girl as it is her second year away from our families. We are currently in Singapore which is a fairly easy place to get sorted but not exactly cheap. So we had to do a bit of creative planning to get the presents under our 1 foot tree. We managed to get it all done and have a great year but like the old saying goes, there is no place like home!

November 11, 2008

Packing for overseas...like they have never heard of babies...

We have been traveling now for a year and a half but only the past two months have we been officially on the move. First Spain, now South Africa. We are lucky in that my husband's company ships one box for us wherever we go. Because my husbands sailing team is filled with young families- the big curiosity is: What did everyone put in their box?

Myself, being an overzealous type A personality- put one or more of everything. One Tylenol (paracetamol) and one of every other medicine a baby could ever need for every ailment that could come up. I also put in a few of everything required for our meals- bottles, plates, fork, knifes, spoon, cups, bowl, etc etc. And then the rest- one pair of scissors, one tape, one suntan lotion, one towel, one set of swimming floaters, and more- seriously one of everything.

Currently we are on our 2nd of 9 stops and all of the families pretty much agree- we don't even need what was in the ever so precious box. Reality check for me: other countries have children too! I have pulled out some of the stuff but of the 20+ books, we probably could get by with like 4 and by the way- it is fun to buy books and toys from other countries.

So if you are traveling abroad- first- take a deep breath. Almost everything (including the brands that you like) are found overseas. Economies of scale don't stop at the U.S. border. Unless you are doing some crazy cool trip to an exotic place that doesn't sell anything- then you are probably going to find what you need when you arrive. Of course we don't want to buy everything twice so we use our reusables- bottles and plates etc etc. But it is the "just in case" stuff that you may want to go without. Fortunately or unfortunately- Babies R Us has spread it's wings.

So tonight I am packing my box for Singapore and leaving it half empty. The local homeless shelter can use my "just in case" stuff today!

October 27, 2008

Home Sweet Home... in the bathroom?

Our energetic daughter is not really one for just calmly going to sleep in mom’s arms. In fact we can’t even put her to sleep if we are in the room. So on our resent 12 day trip along the Garden Route in South Africa we found a special place for her in all of our hotels- the bathroom. Her small crib fit perfectly in them all. The last bathroom was so big we were actually moving it around to decide where to put it.

The bathroom worked for her, and us. We often had to put a bit of padding around the crib and under to soften the sleeping and the escaping. I am pretty sure all of the cleaners along the way thought we were crazy. We would have used the closet but it was too small! Parents have to do whats necessary sometimes!

Has your little one slept in any creative places?

October 3, 2008

Movin' into the toddler seat- kind of


Our crazy 1.6 year old is struggling to stay put in the highchair these days, because she thinks she is 16 years old instead. She is much happier sitting at the table in a normal seat but the pint size nutter can't even see over the table. So I have found this nifty little folding toddler seat from JANE Baby Products. It comes with a removable tray (which I only use at home) and I just slide the little seat in the bottom of our stroller and we head out. Here in Spain, many of the restaurants don't have highchairs anyway- so it is not really an option. So far this has worked very well, and she thinks it is cool to sit in, in our hotel room. The seat is called the JANE MOVE HIGHCHAIR with Carrying Bag. Here is a picture. I couldn't easily find their website but it seems to be sold in a lot of places...

Baby Sitters in Foreign Countries

We are currently on mainland Spain living in a hotel for 4 weeks- it's actually going pretty well and we have our routine down now. I thought the adjustment from our home in the Canary Islands to here may be a problem but our little girl didn't even see it on her radar. So here we are and quite happy to be in a place of plentiful food products!

Because my husbands job requires some evening social activities- we are always trying to figure out how to get local babysitters. We are not required to go to events- but hey, they are fun and who doesn't like to go out once in awhile. I know the babysitting services can work but I would just prefer to have a recommendation from someone who actually has used the service. I usually ask around to some of the local people that are working with my husbands sailing team to see if they are interested or know someone good. But it is not easy. So far I have been lucky but things will get tougher as the language barrier becomes a problem. Next stop- South Africa....

If you have thoughts or recommendations on finding childcare overseas- send them our way...

August 25, 2008

Send in your thoughts on great vacations with little ones...

Do you have a favorite vacation spot with your little ones. Although we have traveled a lot with our little one- we haven't actually been to too many places just for vacation.... But we did take the little one car camping on the American River near Auburn, CA when she was 3 months old and had an amazing time. Loaded up the car with everything but the kitchen sink and off we went. We met up with two other families and just sat by the campfire and enjoyed sitting by the river. (And the mom's snuck away to raft down the river- it was mother's day!) If you have a favorite vacation spot- resort, country, city, activity - let us know about it....

August 7, 2008

Cheap, Easy, Practical

One of the more useful items that I have found is the Gerber Spill Proof Water Spout- a nifty little blue top that pops onto almost any water bottle (I use them in multiple countries!) and turns it into a kid friendly sippy cup. They are small, portable and cheap- and take up a lot less space then your normal cups. They can leak some but it is a heck of a lot better than pouring the whole bottle on their lap during take off.....

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July 26, 2008

And this was the crib I bragged about....

Don't know if it is the portable crib or the insanely determined baby, but either way- my husband and I now have a 25lb. problem on our hands...

Enjoy the clip....


video

Passports: Thank you Glenda...

So, as previously reported- I had sent my passports from Toronto to Houston TX for a Chinese Visa- and somehow on their journey they were lost. Let's see- the overnight Canadian company Puralator handed them off to DHL in the U.S., who proceeded to open them, put them in another envelope, and then put a new address on them to the wrong place- a family in West Virginia. Then, as a result of major layoffs DHL had that week, they handed them straight over to the U.S. Postal Service- Yes you read that right- $60.00 for overnight delivery turned into a regular old piece of mail. And consequently- no one could figure out where the passports were- because the tracking codes had changed so much. That was until I got a call from Glenda. Glenda works in the Houston Texas processing center for the U.S. Postal Service. She said- "honey, tell me your story" and I did, and she informed me she was on the case and would call me later that day. Well, miracles happen- she tracked the passports down- put them in her hot little hand- and made sure they were delivered that day.

All is resolved and we are now back in Europe with visions of attaching our passports to our body with a staple gun. It all worked out but I would say that lady Glenda luck was on my side this time!

July 11, 2008

Did I really send our passports away.....

We are currently in Canada and have devoted most of the past two weeks to trying to get my 16 month year old under control after so much travel. Just in case you are wondering- it's not really working but anyway-

I have been told that I need to get our visas for China done in the U.S. and since we aren't going to be back in North America again, I thought I would just Fed Ex the application and passports to a service in the U.S. (from Canada) and then they will take care of it, send them back and we would be good to go. We had 15 days to get this done.

WELL- Fed Ex from Canada takes about 5 days and I have been told customs can hold our passports for up to 5 WORKING days to verify them. So- now I am praying big time that they make it back here by the time we are suppose to leave or I will have one grumpy husband on my hands. Yikes. I will keep you posted on this one.

Can we file this under- what not to do??????

Reader Question about travel to Canada and Parent Letter

Melissa wrote the following question to us that I thought may be handy information for others:

I am wondering if you could tell me if I can use a birth certificate to take my baby to Canada by bus and also where I may go to get the letter notarized from the other parent not traveling with us. Thanks, Melissa.

The rules regarding bringing a child to Canada have been a little unclear the past year. I believe that parents now need a passport while babies can get by with a birth certificate but you should check on line with the US passport agency. Check this page for information: http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_1082.html To get the letter from another parent notarized, you can usually go to places like Mail Boxes Etc. and other places that ship packages . If you can't find something like that near you, you can ask any law office, accounting office, mortgage office, real estate office etc. if they can help. They often will for a small fee. Sometimes there are listings in the phone book yellow pages under Notary. Good luck!

June 30, 2008

The damn carseat on the plane-

Everytime I get on a plane- the whole carseat debate starts up again- and on our recent trip last week from Sweden to the States- it was no different. Because there is no consistency I hear different commands each time: "it has to be next to the window", "it can't be next to the window" "you have to buckle it in the back" " you have to buckle it on top" "it's too big" "it should be rear facing" (even though it is a forward facing seat) To be honest, I don't really care as long as I have it buckled in and the kid is safely in it. When I get the too big comment, I turn it over and show them the sticker to pacify them. And I try to pick my battles. So don't be alarmed if you get on the plane and you hear something completely different from your last trip (even on the same airline.) The worst thing that could happen is that you are not allowed to use it and that could make your trip extra long.

June 14, 2008

A must have when you are traveling: Adaptability (a note from Stockholm)

The munchkin and I arrived in Stockholm this week. We are just here for 8 days to visit my husband before heading back to Canada for a month. The "corporate" apartment that his company has found for us is teeny tiny but when we got here I thought- "it's fine, it's only a week". To put it in perspective, it is like a small hotel room, open the door and there is just a bed (no table, no couch, chairs)- but this is not a hotel room so you can't call room service or drop your laundry down at the desk. So it has been about 5 days now and I have decided the following-

First, to my surprise, the small size is not a problem- our little one seems to be perfectly happy running in circles, and I am not worried about what she is up to at anytime. So as I put clothes away she is busy pushing a little walker thing I bought into the wall and then turning it around to take 6 steps in the other direction before turning it around again. She thinks it is quite funny, and consequently, so do I.

And second- I have adjusted to not having a bath tub, washer dryer, high chair, kettle, and dishwasher but accordingly am counting the days til we leave. I realize now that it is easy to go without one or two of them, but all of them makes things a little unpleasant. There is the small voice in my head saying- "most of the world has none of this, and they are just fine, so grunt up!" but still- just one or two would make a huge difference. We came prepared- we brought our little chair that clips on any table- but the problem came when there was no table. So it was time to adapt- We have friends here so I managed a mid-trip laundry yesterday at their house and now that problem is solved. I also managed a long bath for the baby there so now I don't feel so bad for the 30 second showers she gets. We sit on the floor for a picnic most meals- and it is generally working or I wouldn't be changing so many diapers. And a little elbow grease on the bottles and dishes is not a bad thing. Honestly, we are managing just fine- this is Stockholm, not remote Nepal.

So, I am going with the flow (or the lack of flow I guess) and am reminding myself about that humor thing that always needs to be top of the packing list. Stockholm is an awesome city for babies and kids, and there are honestly playgrounds on most blocks. Public transportation is incredibly easy, and the restaurants and public bathrooms are ready for kids. It can be a tad bit expensive (especially for our declining U.S. dollar) but I found a fantastic second hand toy store here and we now have some fun little Swedish toys covering the one little empty spot in our room...

June 5, 2008

The Pea Pod- Handy Dandy when you are on the move....

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We originally got the Pea Pod from Kidco upon a recommendation from a friend. It is a small pop up tent that can also be a bed. It protects from sun and bugs and also comes with an inflatable matress and a comforter type sheet. We loved it-used it inside and out at the beach and the hotel. It is generally geared to younger babies because they will grow out of it- but it fits nicely in the bottom of a suitcase and pops up by itself. The Pea Pod takes a second to learn how to fold up- but after the first time, you will be a champ. It makes a great gift...



The Kidco website has a lot of good information about how to fold, size dimensions, uses, etc.

May 16, 2008

One month to go...

In one month from now, my husband and I, along with the 15 month old munchkin- will really start traveling. Over the next 13 months, as we start our trip around the world- we will get on at least 40 planes, 8 of which are "long haul" flights (over 6 hours) at least one train (from Gothenberg to Stockholm) and quite a few boats. Since the baby is now officially a "toddler" things should probably really get interesting. The glory of the first tantrum on the plane awaits me. My mind is racked with constant packing concerns- that's the gear head in me. Because of the number of stopovers, we were not able to get e-tickets- so along with the responsibility of making sure I have my kid, diapers, AND food- now I have to make sure I have these damn tickets- and that the little one doesn't eat them.

This should make for some good laughs and no doubt will lead to many a good stories for Baby Jetsetter....

April 28, 2008

Kelty Kid Carrier Backpack- Cool and functional for the aiport

I recently bought the Kelty Child Carrier so that I could capture my toddler in the airport and get on the plane with some order in place. I had decided that it gave me another option for containing her, once the stroller was gone and I had to carry my stuff on the plane. When she is not in it, the kid carrier cinches up small and it is just a normal backpack. When I need to trap her, I just uncinch the straps and slide her in. I get some great looks as I am boarding the plane- but it keeps my hands free so I can still hold passports and tickets and anything else I may have with me. http://www.kelty.com

TC 2.1 Front

My favorite feature is the mini-backpack that zips off the front. I put the babies "essentials" for the flight in there and then when I get to the seat- I just unzip the front pack, and throw everything else (except of course the kid) in the overhead compartment. It works well for me.

The cons are that it does become quite heavy and sticks out quite far when totally loaded. (It holds a maximum load of 40lbs- that's gear and kid combined.) Also, it doesn't really work as well as my framed backpack for carrying her around for a long day of sightseeing, etc. I gave it a go and it worked for about an hour. But in the airport- it's perfect.

Finally An Answer on Social Security Number for U.S. Passport

One reader left this comment for us about the question we were trying to resolve about whether or not you need a social security number to apply for a U.S. passport. Her answer confirms one point we have been making along the way- it seems the answer is a bit different depending on whether you apply in the U.S. or at an embassy....

I applied for my daughters US passport in February when she was only a few weeks old. I was confused as well and made a few calls as I needed that passport asap and I learned her social security number wouldn't come to us for another few months. But it turned out you do not need a social security number for your baby just fill in zero's. We applied for it in person in San Francisco and got it without any problems the same day. Not sure where you will apply for it, but at the moment I am in the process of getting her an Dutch passport as well. It turns out that 'the rules' are not the same of where you apply. Either in the country it self or at a consulate in another country. It even differs per consulate the paperwork and proof you need. Make contact with the place you are going to go to get the passport to make sure you got the right papers with you when you go in. Hope this helps.

April 16, 2008

Which car seats are approved for the plane?

There are about 15 other women that I know who will be traveling around the world for the upcoming sailboat race that my husband is participating in- and we are starting to get all of our ducks in a line as we leave in a few months. During a discussion today, it came up that it is very hard to know which car seats are FAA approved, or approved for the airplane or will even fit on an airplane. I had just gone through this myself while I was researching my car seat- the Graco Platinum Car Go (see my review under travel gear). For this group of moms, we will probably flying more than we are in a car, so the needs for the car seat are a bit different.

Here are some facts that I have learned about car seats on the plane.

  1. The car seat has to either go by the window or in the middle of the middle seats- basically not in the way of anyone exiting the plane.
  2. The car seats do not say FAA approved on them but instead they say something like- THIS CAR SEAT IS APPROVED FOR AIRCRAFT TRAVEL
  3. Most car seats will fit if they have a general set up, by this I mean there are some great car seats out there that are portable and small but require a top tether- and this is not approved for Aircraft travel
  4. There is no list of car seats approved for airplanes out there. When you buy, you should look at the box or model or call the company to confirm that it is approved.
  5. The airlines (usually the flight attendants or pursor) WILL check to see if the car seat is approved for aircraft travel.
  6. My sticker was almost impossible to find. It was not on the sides with all of the other safety information but instead on the very bottom kind of tucked away. I am glad I looked because on the plane with the kid strapped in, that could have become interesting. (She wouldn't like to be upside down for five minutes I don't think)
  7. To my understanding, the seat cannot be wider than 16 inches (40.64 cm's) . This is where things may get interesting. I am sure there are seats out there that are approved but that are a little wider and an airlines may give you a hard time about this. I don't know the maximum length for an infant car seat (between the seat in front of you) but I took my Graco Snug Ride on and it fit but just by a hair. If it had been bigger the seat in front of us would not have been able to recline.
  8. Regardless of whether or not your car seat is "aircraft approved" , you should check with the individual airlines to find out if they have specific regulations- I have read that some don't let car seats on that are over a certain age or that have certain types of straps.
This doesn't answer the all important question of which car seats are best for air travel but hopefully it will help clarify what you are looking for.

April 14, 2008

Review: Kaboost Baby Seat

We gave the Kaboost portable chair booster a try to see if it is the right product for us to take with us as we travel around the world. The Kaboost is a smart gadget that raises almost any chair high enough for a small child to comfortably sit at the table. You can see more about the Kaboost on their website:
www.kaboost.com

and for a really funny video check out: http://youtube.com/watch?v=Oqm5iIhFyDw

There is a place in this world for the Kaboost. It doesn't quite suit our needs right now because our daughter is too small- but my brother has a four year old girl and a two year old boy who have been battling over their Stokke Tripp Trapp, since the 4 year old has been claiming it as her own. Once we put the Kaboost on a chair for her, she felt like she had arrived. She is now sitting at the table with the grown ups while her brother is trapped in the Tripp Trapp. And the nice thing is the Kaboost can go wherever they go- which will be on a lot of road trips this summer. It can also fit pretty easily into a suitcase as well. I don't know if this is a must have item if you are doing some serious traveling, but it can surely be a big help on an easy road trip or just at home to get you through the years when your small child wants to sit in the big seat.

Reader Question: Time Zone Changes for Babies / Infants

Mary from the U.S. sent us the following question regarding time zone changes:

How do you/ does she cope with the time zone changes? We had only a 2-hour time difference and it was brutal. Our daughter never really settled into the new time zone- until the last night - and now that we are home her clock is all out of whack again! Any suggestions form your experience? Thanks!

For me, I have found that my one year old does pretty well with the time changes. She is so exhausted from our trips that usually I just let her stay up until she is tired that first night (sometimes she is tired early and sometimes she is wired so she stays up later- (that depends on what the time change is) and then she sleeps (hopefully) at night. I think that it is harder for me because I actually know what time it is and what time I think it should be. On our last trip, she did wake up at 5am the first few days but I just kept it dark and quiet and tried to keep it low key. That wasn't easy but I guess after the lack of sleep from pregnancy and her first year it didn't bother me too much and after three days she was into enough of a routine. I did not try to force the normal times for bed on her but I did follow the same routine when she was ready for bed. But this is just my experience so I went online to do a little more research and I can't say that I found anything earth shattering about helping babies / kids adjust to time changes. Some websites suggest to start adjusting the child's schedule a few days before they leave- i.e. if you are going back two hours, start putting them to bed a little later each night. This may work but it won't make a big difference if your time change is significant- say 5 or 6 hours. What I read the most and what I agree with the most- is that you just need to keep your children as hydrated and feed as necessary- pay attention to their moods- and do your same routine at bed time, whenever that is. And most say that it's the parents that have the hardest time- and I agree with that.

I would love to hear feedback from other parents who have been through time changes to learn what worked, what didn't and what you agree and don't agree with- so send it our way: babyjetsetter@gmail.com

Thanks for the question, Mary, and I hope that your daughter is back to sleeping her normal shedule.

April 10, 2008

Question from a reader- Do you need a Social Security number for a U.S. passport?

Today I received an email from one reader who mentioned that perhaps you do not need a social security number to get a U.S. childs passport. This question has come up before and the answer is not black and white. I looked on the U.S. State Departments website and although it is not that clear, it does mention 2 items on the general information page- the first is "Your Social Security Number does NOT prove your identity" but then at the bottom of the page, at the very end, it reads: "8. Provide a Social Security Number If you do not provide your Social Security Number, the Internal Revenue Service may impose a $500 penalty. If you have any questions please call your nearest IRS office." But what is not clear is whether that is the parents social security number or the childs. So further investigation is needed.

The strange thing is that you can use the child's passport as proof of identity to get the social security number- so does that mean you don't need the social security number? Is this a chicken and egg thing? I kept looking- the US Embassy for New Zealand lists the social security number as something you must provide to apply for a minors passport. But the U.S. embassy in Japan does not. So next I called a friend here in Spain who just applied for her son's U.S. passport and asked her the question- and she said she applied for them together and they came together. So maybe that is the answer. I looked online at the actual passport application http://travel.state.gov/passport/forms/ds11/ds11_842.html and it does show the social security number clearly needed, right at the beginning. But perhaps if you apply for them both at the same time then they take care of it?

Crazy and confusing so I am looking for other's input. Thanks for the question, anonymous poster and stay tuned....

March 28, 2008

Madrid Airport has a new international terminal- 2 hours away from the other terminals

I missed my connection in Madrid as I mentioned in my last post. They have opened a new international terminal there and I was not prepared to do the following when I got off the plane: Walk 10 minutes to passport control, wait 20 minutes for passport control, take 22 minute train ride to new terminal baggage claim (you did read that right, it is 22 minutes) wait 30 minutes for luggage, get on bus to Terminal 2 which is 10 minutes away. Total time, more than it takes to get to the next plane. Cost of new ticket for short two hour connecting flight- $500. Ouch......

Practice what you blog...

So the delay in my blogs was due to all the traveling the baby and I were doing this month. Eight flights in three weeks, two overseas. After writing this blog, I actually get a kick out of putting the words to practice and seeing what works. And I always break some of my own rules and regret it later- this trip was no different. Here are a few of my small sins committed that did not make life any easier while traveling alone with the baby...

- Carried a big book with me, yes everywhere and just so you know, I didn't read one word. Just in case I didn't have enough crap with me.
- Wore a belt and tough to remove shoes thru security, because baby, diaper bag, computer, carseat, stroller, and boarding passes in my hand were not enough work for me?
- Cut my connection to short, and consequently I missed my flight- and I paid $$$$ dearly!
-Didn't bring an extra shirt for myself. Actually I lucked out this time but my time is coming and I am going to be screwed!

After all the psychiatric care and back doctor care and dry cleaning maybe I will start to learn to optimize the travel system for once and for all- probably not.

A not-so-great gear review MacLaren Triumph

So I needed a new lightweight stroller, I did my research (obviously not good enough) and decided on the MacLaren Triumph. It gets great reviews so I went for it- and now I have to admit that I am not that happy with it. Here's why-

1) the seat does recline but not really that far
2) there is no foot rest which isn't a big deal
3) I don't find the break that easy although again not a big deal
4) The adjustable clip used to set the recline already fell off
5) I cant leave my relatively small diaper bag on the back or the whole thing topples over
6) The sun shade is short
7) And the basket, although large, doesn't really have a big open to put things in

I am being overly princess-ey here but I just expected a little more with all the hype. It is a good stroller- the wheels turn well (although no suspension) and it folds well. Most of the problems that I mention above are actually valid in an effort to make the stroller so lightweight, but basically I have to say that I wish I would have looked a little harder to find something that really fit my needs. The buzz is the Baby Jogger City is definitely worth checking out....

March 14, 2008

A great Car Seat for the Plane

On this past trip it was time to upgrade the little tyke from the infant carseat to the toddler carseat. I did my normal obsessive research and decided on the Grace Platinum Car Go seat. http://www.gracobaby.com It has everything that I need: it's lightweight, easy to move, FAA approved and safe in a car. Don't get me wrong, there seem to be some amazing carseats out there for toddlers but if you are going to be flying alot - this one is worth checking out. It only weighs 8 lbs and fits great on the plane. I had no problems carrying it myself in the airport (with the stroller, carryon, and oh yes, the kid.) and so far its been easy to install in 5 different vehicles (yes this baby has been on the move)

It's tough to pick a carseat that fits all of your needs, especially if you are moving around a lot. I suggest doing your research and picking one that works best for your needs- but if you are flying a lot, then definitely check this one out.

March 5, 2008

Protect Your Baby Gear from the Airlines

Here is a great article written by Richard Goore of Goore's baby store in Sacramento, CA. (Goore' is a great store www.goores.com if you need any baby gear). He addresses the issue of what to do when your baby gear is damaged when flying....

Don't let the airlines damage your car seat or stroller!

I received a call from one of my friends the other day telling me how frustrated he was with the airline they flew on for their recent summer trip. He went on to tell me that their new stroller they just got from Goore's is now damaged. It is still usable but the frame has a dent and the seat is dirtier than before. I was tempted to say I told you so (which I actually had done in the past) but I refrained. When they go on their next trip during the holiday season they will be using both a car seat and a stroller bag to protect their purchases.


The airline restrictions are not cut and dry. Most airlines have you sign a form stating that they are not liable for any damage they may cause to your stroller or car seat when it is checked (at the curb, counter or gate). Some do and some don't. Some simply forget for various reasons. Using travel bags for car seats and strollers will not only protect your purchases but also, in some cases, allow these items to be checked without signing a waiver. I am not sure if you will have a reliable argument should the airlines damage your merchandise but it certainly can't hurt. I just completed an extensive search to find what many of the leading airlines state on their websites regarding . For many there is not a clear cut and dry answer. The information is difficult to find if it is there at all. My suggestion is to call and find out where you can get it in writing. Here are a few of the websites I looked at.


American Airlines states"American is not responsible for damage to any stroller not properly packed in original packaging." That tells me unless it is in a box the hasn't been opened they are not responsible. They have info on car seats as well. For more precise information from American Airlines, Click here then scroll down to Infant Seat or Child Restraint Devices.

Southwest Airlines does not say anything specific on their website about waiving responsibility for damage but I know 1st hand they have you sign their waiver releasing them of responsibility for damage when checking your car seat or stroller. For information on these items when flying Southwest click here.


Continental does have a pretty clear explanation of responsibility when checking strollers, "Continental is not liable for damage to strollers." They do not mention that for car seats though. They count strollers and car seats as regular baggage which falls into the same size and weight restrictions. For more detailed information on Continental's guidelines click here.

These are just a few examples. It is advised to take the time to check the airline you are flying to completely understand their terms and conditions when checking car seats and strollers.


As recommended earlier, you should get a travel bag for your car seats and strollers when you check them. A number of stroller and car seat companies have their own versions that fit their specific products perfectly such as - Bob Joggers, Phil & Ted's E3 Sport Buggy, Bugaboo (Bee, Cameleon/Frog), Stokke Xplory, Sunshine Kids Radian & Compass Booster. If your stroller or car seat does not have a specifically designed bag don't worry. We have many great options for you. Here is a list of our favorites:

Car Seats

Strollers

There are other options as well but these are the best sellers. You may be done with your Summer travel but the holidays will creep up on you quickly. Make sure you protect your investments so you can continue to use them well into the future.

Richard Goore

March 1, 2008

Survived the trip...

Every trip with our little girl is a learning experience. As my previous post mentioned- I was nervous about this one, especially since the little one is now walking. So here is the basic lowdown.

We had two flights, a 2 hour flight on Sunday night, spent the night in a Madrid hotel, and then a 10 hour day flight on Monday. Someone was looking out for me on the 10 hour flight because I got three seats in a row (I had not bought a seat for the baby) , they let me put the carseat on, and the baby was relatively calm. So as my kiwi husband would say- "I had a blinder" (that means a good thing.) As always I learned a lot and here are the latest revelations:

- Madrid airport: My international flight required a 22 minute train ride from security to the gate, so two hours just got me there with no time to spare and no time for the baby to run around.

- They made me take the Baby Bjorn off thru security. This has never happened before and was my slam dunk method of getting thru security alone. The rules change not only from airport to airport, but from person to person.

- Carseat on board: 3 people said I couldn't take it on board (and on the first flight they didnt allow it), and then the flight attendent at the last minute said, "no problem", although the pursor did check it to make sure it was FAA approved. My suggestion is to carry it to the plane and if they won't let it on then check it at the door. I found that it was better than the bassinet (they let me chose between an aisle seat with the carseat next to me or a middle seat and the bassinet) because the little one was locked in. Having an aisle seat was key now that she was walking.

- Iberia was really nice about warming bottles, food, etc. The spanish are always so nice to babies!

- I used some of the suggested items that our readers sent in, including giving the baby a bag of new toys and that definitely helped. So if you need some tips, check out some of the previous posts from "On The Plane"

We have 6 more flights to go on this trip alone so I am sure there is more to learn and I will keep you posted....

February 18, 2008

On a personal note- Yikes!

Here I am blogging about how to travel with babies and from reading this you would think- no sweat. But the truth is- I leave Sunday to fly from Spain to the U.S. and am totally nervous. I am flying alone and although the little one has done a lot of traveling- the game has since changed. She is walking/running and has a whole new set of rules now. Gone are the days of when the engine turning on meant the eyes closed. Now it's all go, and just to spice things up- she is on my lap without a seat. We have reserved a bassinet and they seem to not be concerned that she is over their weight limit for it. But a flight attendant quite possibly could take one look at her chubby cheeks (and thighs) and say "no way". So stay tuned as I its quite possible that my post upon arrival will have some segment that will fall into the "horror story" category. Keep you posted....

February 12, 2008

Working parents traveling with Babies? CNN writes about it...

Tara from Atlanta sent us this article from CNN online about working parents traveling with babies. It seems more families are finding ways to bring the little ones along on work trips- which is great. Here is what CNN has to say....

Forget the babysitter, more parents taking kids on business trips

POSTED: 2001 GMT (0401 HKT), May 7, 2007 (AP) --
On a recent business trip to San Diego, California, Kurt Barrett took his family to Sea World.Between the banquet dinners and panel discussions on agricultural policy, he also took his 5-month-old daughter swimming for the first time in the hotel pool. Another day, they strolled through the humid botanical gardens in Balboa Park."It was like being at home. I got done with work, then enjoyed spending time with my wife and child," said Barrett, a 30-year-old general manager for a rice distributor in Williams, California."Work is very important, but there has to be a balance," Barrett said.

Traveling for work once meant sacrificing precious time away from home. But as the American workplace becomes more flexible about letting employees juggle their duties with family life, people like Barrett are finding it easier to bring their spouses and kids wherever their jobs may take them.

According to the National Business Travel Association, 62 percent of U.S. business travelers said they add a leisure component to at least one business trip per year. Among those travelers, two-thirds say they bring a family member or friend with them.

Pushing the trend is the growing number of single parents, women in executive ranks, two-income families, and those simply looking to save a buck by turning company-paid trips into working vacations. People are having kids later in life too, meaning they're more likely to be comfortable enough in their careers to blend work and family.

That blurring between office and family life represents a sea change from a generation or two ago, when children were told bothering their parents with a phone call at work could get mom or dad in trouble.

"That's not the case today. There's a realization that work has encroached so much on private time, that there needs to be some give and take," said Nancy Ahlrichs, president of EOC Strategies, a human resources consulting firm in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Have kids, will travel

Many business conventions today court attendees by trumpeting baby-sitting services and family outings. The trend became more pronounced after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, as the industry struggled to recover by offering more incentives to get people on the road again.Smart conference planners realized a good vacation spot could spur attendance, Ahlrichs said.Hotels are stepping up family friendly services too, at least in part to cater to the changing convention business -- a big moneymaker for the industry.When the Barretts arrived at the Loews Hotel in San Diego, they found waiting in their suite a crib, baby swing and CD full of lullabies for their infant daughter. The gear was made available through the hotel's partnership with Fisher Price Inc., launched this year.
"When you have very young kids, they require a tremendous amount of gear you have to bring along," said Emily Goldfischer, a spokeswoman for the New York-based hotel chain. "Here, they have a place to leave an infant in a swing or a play pen -- they don't have to worry about bringing all that along."The hotel, which generates about half its sales through conventions, also contracts with a baby-sitting agency and serves baby food at its restaurants. At check in, teens get backpacks filled with a water bottle and brochures. Younger kids are given a toy.
At Walt Disney Parks and Resorts in Orlando, Florida, kids can even enjoy a mock banquet with Disney characters while their parents attend the grown-up version in an adjoining hall.The company, which began dramatically expanding its convention business in the 1990s, now has six convention hotels at Disney World. That growth is being fueled by employees who increasingly see business trips as "opportunities to bring the family along," said George Aguel, senior vice president for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts."Everyone feels time starved, and we're only continuing to see that growing," Aguel said.Even Hyatt launched a kids' menu last year. Parents can also check kids into "Camp Hyatt," where children might make adobe art or go "coconut bowling," depending on the locale. The camp is often filled at the Hyatt resort just outside Austin, where many business conferences are held, said Scott Seed, a Hyatt Resorts spokesman.

Some companies encourage family travel

Policies on bringing family on business trips vary from company to company, said Caleb Tiller, spokesman for the National Business Travel Association, based in Alexandria, Virginia.Some companies encourage it -- even helping find accommodations for the family -- as a way to keep employees happy and productive.Others might allow it, but require employees to sign waivers releasing the company from liability in case anyone is injured during the trip, Tiller said. Many smaller companies may not have policies.But however welcoming and open a company may seem about family matters, it's always a good idea to let the boss know your plans ahead of time, said Peter Post, director of the Emily Post Institute and author of "Etiquette Advantage in Business.""If you do it surreptitiously, and the boss hears about it -- now all of a sudden you have to explain not only why you did it, but also why you didn't tell them," he said.
Setting boundaries between family and work on business trips is critical, Post said. Bringing a 7 year old into the conference room, for example, is never a good idea.For Kurt Barrett, bringing his daughter to San Diego, California, was easy, since his wife could watch her while he attended work functions.The conference even provided tickets to Sea World and organized family friendly events like picnics and volleyball games.The trip went so smoothly, the Barretts intend to bring their daughter along on Kurt's business trips as often as possible."It's a way to expose her to new experiences while keeping the family together," Kurt Barrett said.And his wife, Deanna Barrett, a 29-year-old homemaker, doesn't mind tagging along for the trips either."The next major conference is going to be in the Bahamas," she said. "I told him he needs to talk to the company about that one."

February 11, 2008

A reader shares her thoughts on Traveling through Europe with a Toddler....

We switch back and forth between being a resource for information about traveling with babies, and sharing the humor in the chaos we all face when bringing the little monsters along. One reader, Amy, sent us this story from her blog- Mediocre Mama....

Traveling through Europe with Toddlers and Other Fairly Stupid Ideas.

After traveling around Europe with the Captain over the last year, I've learned a thing or two. First, it often sucks. Second, you better be damn sure before you take it on. But if you're like me and the Dad, there is very little that can deter you from giving into that wanderlust. You may have the absolute worst time of your life, but pride and desire makes you believe "I think I can" and you don't care just how bad a time you might have. So I offer the following tips for anyone else out there who is stupid enough to try:

  1. There is no such thing as a high chair in Europe. If you want one, better lug along your own. I recommend this handy Eddie Bauer seat;

  2. Milk is a luxury in some places. If you are still bottle feeding your baby or even if you're on sippy or straw cups, bring a fresh bottle down to breakfast, fill er up at the cereal bar and put it in your room's mini-fridge. Bring small boxed milks (a la irradiated kind) and buy them at any market you find them along your travels. You would be shocked how hard they are to find;

  3. Strollers and ancient ruins do not mix well. I cannot stress this one enough;

  4. Watch out for ugly Americans. They are the only one's giving you dirty looks when your toddler is going bonkers;

  5. If you are able to, bring your own portable crib. You will be shocked at how many of these hotels put out death traps on wheels and how badly that can fuck up your night's sleep as you worry that Junior Mint won't make it out alive. Also, beware of hotels that charge you extra for the portable crib;

  6. Make your own cocktail hour! Inevitably you will discover that when all those fancy European-types are sitting at cafes and bars, you will be sitting in your hotel room giving Junior Mint some much needed playtime. Why be left out? Bring your own bottle opener, borrow some hotel wine glasses and get blitzed whilst the kiddo is tearing apart the Gideon bible;

  7. Tipping, it's not just for Americans anymore. Nothing can smooth over a really bad dinner out like a nice fat tip. It will also alleviate your embarrassment about all the food he's thrown on the floor;

  8. A solution to that toddler who pulls off his shoes...just bring a pair of dad's stinky socks. Chuck them over Junior's shoes. They will make it harder for him to get his shoes off and provide the proper level of embarrassment to Junior for his/her malfeasance;

  9. Invest in a white noise machine. Not only will it diminish the noises outside your hotel room it will provide some nice cover noise for Mama and Dad to get busy; and finally

  10. If all else fails and you find yourself losing your sanity, find a nice naval war museum and put him in front of a firing squad...
For more funny stories about their adventures, check out their website... http://mediocremama.blogspot.com


February 8, 2008

Vaccinations for Babies Traveling Overseas

The question of vaccinations these days can be controversial, of course it is up to the parents to decide what they think is best for each child- but there are some important things to know if you are traveling with a baby/infant, toddler, or child to a foreign country. Your physician will be able to help you figure out what is best for your situation, but here is some general information for vaccinations for foreign travel:

* Although vaccinations are generally a personal decision, some countries actually require vaccinations as part of their visa process or entry procedures.

* Generally, the high risk areas are in PARTS of Asia, Africa, and South America.

* The most common diseases to be vaccinated against (for foreign travel) are: Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Cholera, Japanese Encephalitus, Rabies, Typhoid Fever, and Yellow Fever. This is in addition to the common vaccination that babies receive.

* Other diseases to be aware of (and sometimes take medication to minimize risk for) include: Dengue Fever, Malaria, Meningococcal Meningitis, other Strains of hepatitis and of course HIV.

* The length of stay in a country can determine different immunization needs, i.e. if you are in a country for less than 2 weeks you may not need the same vaccinations then if you are there for 6 months.

I found two great articles to help get a better understanding and have referenced some of what I learned here:

http://parenting.ivillage.com/gs/gshealth/0,,3qgj,00.html

http://www.travelvaccination.com.au/

For US citizens, here is the link to the Center for Disease Control website which does have a lot of useful information:

http://www.cdc.gov/travel/travel.html]

U.K. Citizens can check out these websites:

www.doh.gov.uk/traveladvice, www.fco.gov.uk/travel, www.uclh.org, www.britishairways.com and www.fitfortravel.scot.nhs.uk

I am no expert on Travel Vaccinations for a baby, and am learning myself as we are leaving to go around the world in October. If you have any thoughts, comments or questions- leave us a comment or email babyjetsetter@gmail.com

February 1, 2008

Packing List for Baby On Board the Plane

I am absolutely convinced that you shouldn't over pack your carry-on when traveling on a plane with a baby / infant. There are so many things you can survive without, but you will collapse if you are carrying 50 lbs (22kg) of gear and a baby all day. (Check out my horror story post about traveling for 20 hours while holding my baby. ) So lay out your gear- and take out the extras, and remember that almost anywhere you go, you can get the essentials. (In a spacey moment I forgot diapers once when traveling 8 hours on two flights- I bought diapers at the newsstand at the airport that were for 30 lb babies, and mine was 10lb., but it was no big deal- you will survive!)

So here is my packing list of things to carry on board when you take a baby on the plane.

_DIAPERS & DIAPER PAD & WIPES- I read somewhere to pack 1-2 for every hour, which I thought was crazy- do you change your baby 12 times in 6 hours at home? Pack what you use in same amount of time at home and then add 2 more. If you found yourself in a total BM meltdown there are plenty of mothers that would be happy to help, I sure would. WIPES are great for cleaning plenty of things but if you do run out, you can use napkins, etc., so don't over do it.

_BLANKET- I also saw a list that said pack "plenty of blankets", again too much. Pack one mid-range blanket and then throw a beanie in your bag. 90% of our heat is lost through our head. If it happens to be very cold, you can put the beanie on the baby and the flight attendents can also give you a blanket. I wrap our daughter in my sling. You are often holding them so the body heat alone is usually plenty.

_PLASTIC BAGS- Compartmentalize everything into plastic bags to stay organized and then if you need bags for an emergency they are right there.

_PACIFIER- Take three, the one attached to the baby, the one that is handy and the secret one- because if you lose them all (and sometimes on the plane they aren't gone, just hard to reach three rows up) you may be in big trouble.

_SMALL HAND TOYS- I clip them all together with those colorful clips. Another reader suggested using diaper pins to attach them to the blanket. And my favorite idea, bring a few new ones that will keep them entertained- love the diversion tactics.

_ONE EXTRA OUTFIT, A SLEEPER- Put one sleeper with feet in a plastic bag. Save yourself from having to carry an extra shirt, pants, socks, shoes, sweater, etc. There is a good chance you won't even need it so save yourself the bulk.

_FOOD, UTENSIL, BIB, SNACKS- Try to bring FOOD that can be eaten out of a jar or by hand so you don't also need to carry plates and bowls. Bring ONE SPOON because if you need another you can wash it, or there are usually small coffee spoons that also do the trick. And last, bring either one small BIB or a disposable paper bib (Chicco makes great ones) that you can toss so you don't carry the dirty one around. SNACKS, like rice cakes, that seem to take a long time to eat and don't make too much of a mess, are good. Just remember, depending on your child's age, there are things at the airport that can get you through if you have a long layover.

_FORMULA / PUMPED MILK and 1 OR 2 BOTTLES if you need them. You can wash a bottle if you need to (see baby wash below). I kept two travel size formulas in my carry-on (Infamil sells them in the U.S. and HERO in Spain) even when my daughter was just breastfeeding just in case I found myself in a tough situation, but never used them.

_FOR MOM- Change of shirt, just in case you get totally thrashed by the little one, an energy bar (because eating on the plane can be a total luxury), bottle of water (to be bought after security), phone, wallet, passport, camera (because you shouldn't put it in your suitcase) and your Ipod (essential so you can watch a movie, listen to a book or music, even browse photos if you happen to get a free moment ) Things to forget- don't bring books, and mags if you have your IPOD, skip the heavy sweater/jacket- you will be sweating like a pack mule carrying the baby and holding her the whole time. Put your charging cords in your packed luggage.

_STROLLER, CAR SEAT, and SLING/BABY BJORN- Depending on your travel style, and how many people you are traveling with - you will probably bring some big gear. Your CAR SEAT can be great on-board if you bought a seat for the baby, but if you didn't, then you will have to check it as you board the plane if there is not an extra seat available. The TRAVEL STROLLER will carry your stuff and your baby and can usually be checked at the plane. Try to get one that you can fold with one hand and that fully reclines. The SLING or BABY BJORN works to get you through security, allows you to keep a baby or toddler strapped in while you get sorted and take off on the plane, and allows you to go places (like the bathroom)that you may not fit with your stroller. You probably don't need all three but remember that if you don't have your stroller with you, then you are carrying a baby, bag, and car seat.

_MEDICATION and LIQUIDS- Before you leave the house, put your liquids in one plastic bag to save you from having to pull everything out at the airport. (See the seperate post on GETTING THROUGH SECURITY for more details on the 3oz. rule for babies) I bring infant acetaminophen (also know as Tylenol in the U.S. and Parcetamol everywhere else) in case she starts to get sick, her thermometer, and baby wash which can wash a lot of things if we have a major accident. Other possible items- diaper rash cream if you need it, hand gel (but I think the babywash can help with that) and baby lotion but only if your baby has very dry skin. Remember that this is just for the plane ride and everything else can go in your checked luggage.

Traveling can be pretty crazy these days. Long delays, gate changes, and bad weather can lead to a long day of traveling. Do yourself the biggest favor and minimize the fluff as you scurry through the airport. My motto is to try and avoid looking like "Sandford and Son". Make a good mental note each time you travel of what you didn't need (or needed but didn't have) so next time you are even more efficient.

What is your essential on board item? Email babyjetsetter@gmail.com or leave us a comment

January 30, 2008

There is a story for your child in every culture

Since the spirit of Baby Jetsetter is to keep travel alive even after the little ones come along, I wanted to mention a sweet website called Mama Lisa. Mama Lisa is cool, she has stories and nursery rhymes from all over the world. So if you are going to a new place with your little one, or just want to teach them about their heritage, or someone else's, check it out: http://www.mamalisa.com

Enjoy! P.S. For older toddlers, this may be great plane entertainment.

January 27, 2008

British Airways Toddler Seat

A recent reader sent us this comment on our "Best Airlines" post:

BA won hands-down for the best service while traveling with a baby. Many airlines will only accommodate a baby until a certain age, and only first-come, first-serve. BA had a wonderful, comfortable reclinable bouncy-seat type of thing that was perfect for my then-14-month-old. All airlines should get that model! It also helps that the seats are more generous than those of other airlines we had used.- Mammemia

We thought that sounded great so we did a little research and found out that what British Airways is supplying is a Britax toddler seat. See the BA website page http://www.britishairways.com/travel/child/public/en_gb#infant for more information but apparently it is free of charge and easily works for children up to two. Sounds great!

January 26, 2008

Great Reader Input on Tips for Traveling with Babies, Toddlers, and Kids- Thanks!

Wow, you guys are awesome. Baby Jetsetter is just a month old and is growing like a weed (sound familiar) In the past few weeks I received some great feedback from parent/baby travel warriors- and here are just a few things you added-

Shane from Crystal Bay, NV:I’ve flown several times with my baby, Liam, who is now 15 months. Although I always try to change his diaper before the flight, he inevitably needs a new one in flight. When it is just wet, no big deal, but when it is #2, it is trickier. Basically, I thought my only choice was to change the diaper while holding him, but as he got older, this became next to impossible. On a particularly difficult flight, the bathroom was a mess and there was no way I could have changed it alone in there. The flight attendant was nice enough to offer to help by giving me a blanket and letting me change him up front, around the corner where no one could see. She then put the blanket in with the dirty ones. It is nice to know this is an option if you are really stuck, at least with some flight attendants!

Wendi from Miami, Fl: When you have multiple kids (3) there's always so much stuff, so i try to limit it as much as possible. I have a bag with some art supplies there are so many things you can do with some paper,crayons, glue, etc. & it doesn't take up too much room.

Julie from Lake Tahoe: A lollipop / sucker can keep a child happy for a long time on a plane, but make sure to pack wipes to go with it.

Carrie from Toronto:I live in Canada now (originally from Atlanta), but have lived in 4 different countries & 10 different cities in the last 9 years. I am married to a professional hockey player.
I have a 5.5 and 2.5 year old (both born in Germany) the best advice I can give about traveling with a baby /toddler is:
(1) Don’t let anyone tell you that you cannot travel with a newborn. Both my children travelled at the age of 2 weeks old, across the ocean, on an 8 hour flight. Doctor’s say there is no risk. Just nurse/feed the baby during take –off so their ears do not “pop.” These were the best flights of their lives! Everyone wants to hold them, nobody cares if they cry, and they sleep most of the time!
(2) Almost all airlines have 2 bassinets on the plane. They are located in the bulkhead row and are first come first book. They hook on to the wall in front of your seat. I HIGHLY recommend this, as once the baby falls asleep, your hands are FREE!!! There is a weight limit, but I had my daughter in a bassinet when she was 1… it makes the trip SO MUCH more enjoyable for mom.
(3) Especially if taking a cross country/international flight, try to book long flights at night!!!! The kids sleep! Need I say more!
(4) When you are flying with a toddler, try to book the bulkhead. Then you will not have anyone in front of you and you will not have to stress out when your child kicks the seat/wall in front of you! You also have more floor space in case your child wants to play on the floor.
(5) Best tip… food, food & more food!
(6) Get some toys/treats at the dollar store. You can even wrap them if you want. And let the kids open them throughout the trip.
(7) Portable DVD players with headphones are KEY!!!!!!
(8) Book the end/aisle seat if you have children that will want to get out to go to the bathroom/walk around often. Then you will not have to worry about bothering/waking anyone else up!
(9) Lots of toddlers like to play with scotch tape. Buy a roll and let them go to town!
(10)Tip for Mom… when it comes to the flight, try to take the least amount of stuff with you as possible… you have enough stuff to worry about and keep up with!
(11)I actually really like it when my husband and I have to sit in separate rows… we take turns sitting with the kids… I relish my time off & read!!!

Keep sending your tips to babyjetsetter@gmail.com or leave a comment here....

January 21, 2008

A baby traveling with only one parent across an international border

These days, it is important to be prepared if you are going to cross an international border (including Canada) with a baby and only one parent. Whether you are a single parent, parent with custody or without, grandparents, or if you are a two parent family but your spouse is not with you- you need to be ready for questions from immigration. To help fight child abductions, customs in many countries are cracking down. To be honest, I have flown to 9 different countries with our daughter (and without my husband) and have not yet been questioned- but I do believe it is very important to be prepared when it does come up. It is simple to be prepared, just have the following paperwork with you:

1) Proper I.D.'s for you and your child. This is obvious, (and there is another post below on how to apply for a baby passport) but keep copies of both of your passports in case you lose one. I have scanned our passports and emailed them to myself so I can print them out from any computer anywhere in the world.

2) A notarized letter from the other parent (or both parents if grandparents are traveling with the children) giving permission for the other to take the child out of the country. It doesn't have to be too formal or lengthy- just something that says: "I, John Smith, father of Baby Smith, do hereby give full permission for my wife, Jane Smith, to travel to Canada with Baby Smith for two weeks from August 15- August 30, 2008. If you should have any questions, please contact me at email XXXX or mobile phone XXXX. " Then just head down to your local Mailboxes Etc. or other closest notary and get it notarized. You can put more information, if you would like, on the letter explaining why you are going but it is not necessary to write something too detailed.

3) Full itinerary and contact info for everywhere you are going. Put it on a spreadsheet or document so you don't have to carry too much paperwork (and email it to yourself in case you lose your copy)

This should take care of traveling internationally with only one parent. Not being prepared can lead to a domino nightmare effect- for example- being stuck in customs and missing a connecting flight which then makes you miss your cruise, etc.

If you have questions or thoughts on traveling internationally with a baby and only one parent- send us a comment or email babyjetsetter@gmail.com

January 16, 2008

A Stinky Lesson Learned

Tina from Truckee, California wrote to us about the time she was flying to Mexico with her young son, Wyatt. Turns out that right after take off, he had a diaper blowout, which included blowing out on her. Mortified, she tried to clean the mess up but with out an extra shirt for herself, there wasn't much she could do. To add to her humiliation, the flight attendents continually walked by her spraying room deodorizer. Pretty obvious moral to this story- we'll put "an extra shirt for mom" on our carry on packing list.

January 14, 2008

Getting Your Baby a Passport

With all of the craziness going on with passport requirements these days, my advice is this- get your baby a passport as soon as possible. You never know when you will need it and you might as well get the process going. Here is the procedure for those of you from the U.S.-

The first thing you need is a birth certificate and a social security number. Some hospitals are automatically applying for social security numbers. Check with your hospital or plan on a trip to the S.S. office.

Next you will need to get passport photos done. Although many of the U.S. post offices will do this for you these days, I recommend getting passport photos done at a local photo store. Mostly because they are experts at getting a correct photo and they are patient. The employees at the Post office are not prepared to work with you for 45 minutes to get a shot with the baby's eyes open and looking at the camera. Also, get extras- I have found that I need them for other things as well.

Go to the website and fill out the application. Here is the official website and the answers to many of the questions that most people have- http://travel.state.gov/passport/get/minors/minors_834.html

Take the application to your local post office (not all of them are doing passports so check here to see if yours does- http://www.switchboard.com/usps.1355/dir/6_0/index.htm?cid=3034 )
or the local passport office.

If you are in a hurry, you can order a rush passport either thru the official site or using a private expedite service.

Our passport took 3 months to arrive in the mail.

If you have further questions, or comments on getting passports for your baby- send us an email at http://www.blogger.com/babyjetsetter@gmail.com or post a comment here.

January 12, 2008

Tips for Getting Through the Plane Ride with a baby / toddler

You can't have too many ideas on how to get through a long plane ride with a baby or toddler. As we all know, what works for some kids, doesn't work for others. As the tips come in, we'll add them.

* TIP- Have a small bag (I use a disposable plastic bag) handy in your diaper bag to put just the things you need to have in your seat with the baby. In my small bag, I put one diaper, wipes, toys, my earphones in case the baby happens to go to sleep, maybe my book (wishful thinking?) a bottle for the baby, and maybe some crackers. I put the rest of my things in the overhead to give me as much space as possible. - Stephanie

*TIP- Leave the lap baby (one year old) in the Baby Bjorn until after take off and keep them there as long as possible before they are ready to start the aisle strut. - Tara

*TIP- Attach all little toys to a blanket with daiper pins to keep them flying all over. - Tara

*TIP- Happy Meal toys worked great on our recent airplane trip as they are small, cheap and I didn't care much if they got destroyed or lost. - Anonymous Post

We are looking for more tips on keeping a baby occupied on a plane. Send your thoughts to babyjetsetter@gmail.com or leave us a comment here. Thanks.

January 4, 2008

On a ferry with a baby? No problem

Ferry's are a great way for babies to travel. There is usually enough room to spread out-and they love being in the fresh air. Most ferries don't charge a fee for babies which is once again a plus. If you have luggage, it sometimes is taken away before hand as you board. Be sure not to leave valuables in there as security is fairly week. Food and beverage is usually available. Check with the ferry for changing facilities.

Do you have an insight you want to add on being on a ferry with a baby? Leave us a comment or email babyjetsetter@gmail.com

January 1, 2008

Email question about carseats overseas in taxis and rental cars...

Christy from Virginia wants to know more about dealing with the carseat issue in taxis and cars in foreign countries- "Do taxis have carseats? " "How do you know which countries have which requirements?" "What about rental cars?"

Safety is always the most important factor for all parents, and to be safe when traveling with a little tot often takes planning. As we travel around the world, we have decided to haul our carseat with us and use it when we can.

TAXIS
There are countries, like Sweden that have strict rules about car seats. Many of the taxis do have carseats in their taxis, but they are not required to carry them, so if you do not have your own, you will have to wait for a taxi that has one (and even then, they are often more like booster seats), and often drivers in Sweden won't let you in without one. London also has taxis with carseats but it best to call for those taxis in advance. However, other countries like Spain, don't worry as much about the carseat issue. Although the occasional taxi will have a carseat, most don't. In other countries, such as Thailand and China, cars may not even have seatbelts in the backseats which makes the car seat installation impossible. So you just have to do your best and assess the area you are going to. A lot of places will be shocked that you even have a carseat. For our family our rule is, if we have the carseat with us and we can fit it, then we use it. If the car rides are longer than 15-20 minutes, we try and make a plan so the carseat can be used. That doesn't always work but it gives us a basis to start from.

RENTAL CARS
Rental cars are often a great way to go. You can put your carseat in and leave it, you know that it fits from the beginning, and most major rental companies have car seats available for a small fee. Always make sure to check ahead of time, but we have found this to be a good option for us.

The carseat thing can be tricky. I think the best thing to bring is your street smarts- if you cant use a carseat, try to pick a safe driver, etc. etc. I have seen comments that you should not put seatbelts around the parent and child as this can be very dangerous. I have been told that it is best to put them in the Baby Bjorn and then put the seatbelt just around the parent. I have also seen portable carseats and seatbelt extensions available for sale. Of course none of this is recommended as the liability is too high- but

Do you have information about carseats overseas that you want to share, or other questions concerning this topic, send an email to babyjetsetter@gmail.com or leave a comment on this post.