travelling to US w/ 11month old. tips please

31 Replies

I am traveling to the US via Lufthansa. Any parents out there who have made long haul flights recently with a baby? Were you allowed to bring the baby powder formula on the plane? could you bring other sealed foods onto the plane and not made to open and then eat/try them?Are the plane staff helpful and give you water when you need it so you can make bottles? Does the plane have a changing table in bathroom? Do they mind if you do it on the floor? Really looking for up to date info with all the new regulations in place and what you did or what happened. all experiences and tips welcome. Thanxs

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vavisitor 1171381936

Leslie, See the link below for up to date information as to what you can take on board and how it should be packed. You should be OK with baby formula powder and if you notify LH in advance, they will supply baby food in jars on board. Creams must be in tubes containing less than 100ml. The staff on board will be very helpful when it comes to water for the formula. Changing the baby needs to be done in the aircraft toilet - they have tables in many of them and there is a sign on the door signifying baby changing facilities. Do not change the baby in the cabin unless you want to feel the ire of your fellow travellers! With LH, you should be able to take your baby buggy to the plane door, and they will give it back to you at the door as you leave (assuming it is not huge). Make sure that you have a bottle ready for take off and landing just in case the pressure changes hurt the baby's ears - sucking the bottle will release the pressure. If you arrange it early, you can probably get bulkhead seating and LH will supply a basinette for the baby to sleep in. That's about all.....

Zeynep-183200 1171382239

One little tip: Forget about the routine and the food discipline and just give your little one lots of little bits of deserts, juices, milk, etc. It will take her mind away from the boredom :-)

Good luck!

chrissiet 1171442707

when i travelled on lufthansa years ago they provided me a seat in the middle of the plane where they were able to attach a small crib to the wall in front of my seat and my baby slept most of the trip there and back....yes, there is a changing area in the toilet and of course the plane staff was helpful in regards to preparing the formula...this is nothing to be stressed about is 2007 ....

MikeP-180526 1171443477

I used to travel a lot on LH to and from South Africa with my son when he was a baby and they were always particularly helpful. As already said, the aircraft have changing facilities and the crew will always be willing to heat up and prepare food for a baby.

They should have automatically in your booking requested a BBML (baby meal), you must advise them if he has any allergies or intolerances, and a BSCT which is the bassinet which goes between your seat and the compartment bulkhead. There are special seats allocated for people travelling with infants. I'm assuming that he is under 2 and falls into the airline definition of infant. You might want to call the airline or travel agent to check the reservation and confirm that all this has been done.

The only downside to travelling with Lufthansa is having to change at Frankfurt, it is a massive and disjointed airport with huge distances between gates and many security checkpoints and queues, especially when you change from Schengen to non Schengen and vv. so be prepared for that. The facilities are good though. If you are lucky, you will be travelling via Munich which is far better.

leslie-179832 1171451007

It may be 2007, but people are still rude and unhelpful on airplanes. I do not wish to go into reasons why.

Fortunately, yes I have booked the bassenet and ordered child meal. I unfortunately do go via frankfurt, but have arranged for a cart to get us and transport us to next gate etc...

I mostly just want to make sure in advance i know all the obstacles to make for a more pleasant trip.

thank you to all who have helped me.


LisaD-206782 1171452446

Just a tip from experience: you should have the bottle or food heated at a café in the airport before boarding the plane if your baby needs to be fed before/shortly after take-off. Sometimes the flight attendants ask you to wait until take-off to have it done, and this could often be delayed. Also, bear in mind that everything will be heated in a jug of hot (not boiling)water, which takes much longer than a microwave oven!

The bassinet is possible on all long-haul Lufthansa flights, and is a life-saver!

All the best.


jivebaby-189615 1171453179


You sound very much like the ideal travelling parent.

A crying infant is a very distressing sound which is designed specifically to agonise adults and literally tug at your heart strings. I am mildly aspergic and find the sound of a crying child on a plane extremely disturbing to the extent that I am very uncomfortable. That's my problem and usually it passes. I physically wince although I know that I shouldn't.

Sometimes parents just stick the headphones in and by default let the cries radiate throughout the plane - I hate that, as the baby trapped in an unfamiliar brightly lit environment is well out of it's normal comfort zone, so it's not surprising that they sometimes want to scream the house down. In these (not unexpected) circumstances your planning will comfort your child and make the whole experience a much happier for all.

I wished they were all like you!


ameri-cannes 1171455164

Hi Leslie. All of the obvious suggestions have already been made. Another good idea would be to bring a few of the baby's favorite toys, stuffed animal, etc, to make him/her feel more comfortable in the chaotic atmosphere of the plane, airports, etc. If you read to the baby regularly, which I assume you probably do, then taking some of her favorite stories might help pass the time.

Just wondering if you are aware Air France/Delta has non-stop flights to US. I used this for our last USA trip with my infant (she was 3 months at the time) and it was SO MUCH easier than the stress of connecting flights. The fee was only slightly higher (about $100 for 3 passengers). Well worth it, in my opinion.

Good luck and I hope you have a happy, stress-free holiday!!! (I am SO jealous!)


ameri-cannes 1171455891

BTW, if you're familiar with USA, you know how expensive over-the-counter medications are. It would prob be a good idea to stock up on anything the baby might need if she were to develop a cold. I don't know exactly where you're going in US, but my Mom (in CT) is experiencing an ice storm at the moment! Just for a small bottle of pedia cough syrup you'll pay nearly $10.

Just a thought.


leslie-179832 1171456594

Again, many thanks for tips, and the compliment!

yes, Ameri-cannes, I am aware of the flying options, but unfortunately they do not apply to me anymore. ( they did when I lived in NYC and went home to visit)I am having to travel to the other side of the moon, New Mexico, where my parents have recently moved, thus the three plane journey. Again, bad luck, the Nice Atlanta flight is not running at the time of my travels.


juliealx 1171458458

I went in October with my 3 month old, alone, as my husband couldn't get 5 weeks off work. We flew Air Canada to Montreal as it is the closest big airport to where I'm from in New England. Much has been said by others already, but I can think of a few tips perhaps: one thing that snuck up on me going to the bathroom when NOT on the plane! You have to bring the baby into the stall with you, and--well, you get it, it's just hard!
My advice is this - whatever carryon stuff you take with you, make sure it is the minimum you need, and keep it as lightweight as possible. Even if you've got a cart to help you connect between flights - well, the less you are lugging, while carrying or pushing your baby, the better. I had my daughter in a "scarf" and that saved me during the connection because I had my hands free.
Wear pants with pockets so you can easily access cash if you need to buy something. If your cellphone won't work internationally, have an international phone card so that if there are flight difficulties you can make the phone calls you need to quickly.
Stuff a few empty plastic bags into your carryon stuff, for messy clothes or the bib that gets all wet.
If your baby uses pacifiers, have a couple stashed where you can get them quickly because even if you have them on a cord so they can't fall, they will invariably touch surfaces and get dirty.
I had the bassinet on the wall and it was fabulous. But there are only so many per plane, and on Air Canada it was "reserved" but not "guaranteed", meaning I guess if there was too much demand somebody wouldn't get one? I worried about that all the way up to the flights and it was never a problem. But they won't set it up until you have reached cruising altitute, and by the same token they will ask to remove it well before you land, so be prepared to hold your baby for the first 30 mins at least, same with the end.
I am a breastfeeder and brought bottles of my own expressed milk with me because I had heard that sometimes you are so squished in the seats it's hard to get comfortable enough to nurse the baby. This was sometimes true and I was happy to have those bottles, which the staff kept cold for me and heated when necessary. I did get a lot of questioning about it when going thru security. At CDG they made me put my finger in and lick it to prove it wasn't something else.
Also the bassinet had seen better days - had a few stains here and there - bring a (lightweight) blanket or even a little sheet to lay in it so your baby isn't on....whatever...!
Ask for help from people at every step, just to give yourself mini-breaks. It was very tiring, I'll admit, but it is all worth it once you get there! Good luck.

The Pigtails-195986 1171461591

Juliealx has given some great advice, I too used a baby carrier to help keep hands free between changes,heavy after a while but really practical & I used a cart to make my connections easier! I had reserved a bassinet & so had another couple, we were the lucky couple to get it & had to sit watching the other couple (in the row next to us!!) struggle with their baby & the 8 hour flight, it was horrible I felt so guilty, but we had reserved it first apparently? first come first served basis!! so beware of that! good luck with it all & remember at worst its only a flight, it will be over eventually! Regards Pigtails

Stay happy, stay in love..........

ameri-cannes 1171461645

WOW, that's quite a long haul! Just out of curiosity, how many hours travel time from Nice to NM? I'd be surprised if it's within 24 hours!


SJ-190944 1171462374

If your baby is too heavy at 11 months to carry in a sling or scarf, I highly recommend a backpack carrier. You can even manage to go to the bathroom with this on at the airport, if necessary. Get one with pockets in it for carrying extra baby things.

leslie-179832 1171465603


the journey is about 20 hours long. we leave at 7am in the morning and arrive in el passo at 6:45, then a 45 minute drive from texas Las Cruces N.M. I am sure it will take longer with delays etc...

Again thanks to all for ideas and tips!

I am now horrified and scared that I will not get a bassenet. They did not tell me they were first come first serve and I am paying 200 euros for the pleasure of bringing my baby on board, so I better get one or someones head will be staying behind under the wheel of the plane!

ameri-cannes 1171466928

I'm sure if you call the airline, you can find out if the seat you've been given is one of the seats where the basinette is used. When I used it, it was bolted to the wall directly under the movie screen. You may also ask them how many infants are scheduled to be on your flight. I'll keep my fingers crossed for you!

BTW, on my flight to USA, I had this seat designated, but not on the way back. However, they gave it to me anyway. Call the airline and find out, if only for your own peace of mind. Best of luck!


MikeP-180526 1171467099

The information you have been given about the BSCT being on a first come first served basis is wrong. Check your reservation details on the itinerary and next to the BSCT code or word Bassinet/Crib it should show : OK or HK. If it says On Request or HN then there may be a problem.

You should also have a seat number confirmed, and if you check the a/c seat map on the airline's website you will see it is a Bulkhead seat.

If you are not satisfied that it has been done correctly send me a private email through the link and I will tell you exactly how to have it rectified.

The Pigtails-195986 1171467756

Sorry I didn't mean to scare anyone, I travelled with Delta? if that's different perhaps? I never questioned if it was a sure thing or not, & its was only because the other couple blew up in the airport in front of us in the queue that we heard about it at all!? Handy to know that's its possible to guarantee that bassinet! I heard you could only reserve your seats when through an agency & not possible on-line? is this true? I'm planning our next trip now & want to be well informed this time!!

Stay happy, stay in love..........

Twizzel-185350 1171470108

it seems to depend on the airline although Delta is the only one I have come across that refuses to guarantee a bassinette. Be aware also that there are diffrent types of bassinette on some airlines depending on the weight of the child one being like the transat chairs you have at home so that the child can either be laid flat on can sit up, very useful for feeding and lets them be able to look around the plane a bit more.

SJ-190944 1171471630

While the option of a bassinet is wonderful, be aware that you may end up having difficulties making your baby stay in it, especially at 11 months when they can sit up and crawl. I know my son wouldn't stay in his and refused to sleep pretty much all the way from Istanbul to Boston and he was already quite a seasoned traveller by that stage! He finally fell asleep on descent, as usual, something to do with sound of the plane and the pressure changes. Sorry to scare you, but it is a possibility... Mobile babies want to spend their time crawling up and down the aisles, so hopefully you will find a sympathetic "assistant" or two in the form of other passengers.

susanaiwase-204471 1171475132

My daughter never liked the bassinet and the bulk head seats were almost always fully booked so there was never a spare seat next to us - I learned my lesson and booked a seat in the very back of the plane so we almost always ended up with an empty seat or two next to us (I just kept a hand (and belt) on her while she slept sideways next to me seated). This worked very well for us on several long haul trips between age 7 months and 2 years. More than anything, you'll need ROOM for a baby that age because they want to move a lot (unless you are really lucky and they sleep the whole way which was not the case with me). I tried business class with my daughter once and regretted it as I got nasty stares from other passengers who, I guess, decided babies are unwelcome in that part of the plane. Anyway, hope that helps!

Susana I Hanson
Auribeau sur Siagne

steph75-182837 1171476527

Switch your baby to the pull up diapers if he/she can stand already as it is easier to change them when they are standing up. They can have fun standing up on the change table in the tiny toilet and explore the compartments while you change them. I even did this at my seat if it was just a wet diaper.

Bring along a separate change bag for your trips to the toilet rather than lug a huge bag there.

Luththansa even serve Organic baby jar food which was good. Bring snacks like rice cakes and biscuits to keep your baby occupied.

Have a safe and pleasant flight !

steph75-182837 1171477311

Did not use the baby bassinet provided as it was too shallow and my son is a baby that stands up straightaway once he wakes so did not dare take the risk of him falling out and I was sleeping so he just slept in my arms and I too was able to get some sleep too that way.

No problems at Nice or Frankfurt airport with regards to the powdered milk and baby food I brought along. One look at my baby and they waved us past even though they can see from their scan that there's liquid in my bag.

cannesniceazur-215344 1171492871

I travelled while being pregnant(3 months) with my little one ( 24 months) from,

Izmir to Munich and from Munich to Nice...

I was alone with my son because my husband stayed behind to take care of some last things. We had to leave Turkey suddenly because of Military reasons.. My heart was broken and there i was all alone with my son on the Lufthansa flight...towards destination unknown.

But i can tell you one thing the staff was so friendly especially towards my child! They came to him with all sorts of things, little books, crayons, etc.

I think you booked a great airline, to travel with your kid.

Mischief 1171496456

I'm like jivebaby. In fact I could scream louder than a baby if I was in an airplane withscreaming babies longer than about 20 seconds. When I had a baby we never took the plane. Well, first it was to expensive and then again I was always worried I'd upset everyone else or kids would have ear proble,s. Glad you can get advice. Far better to ask how to deal with babies ears though. Teach them to yawn, or wait until they're old enough to understand what a yawn is. Get them to Yawn and they'll never cry

SJ-190944 1171531877

Good point about the ears. Make sure you save a bottle (even of water or diluted juice - anything that he will want to gulp down) or give your baby a pacifier (if he uses one) after take off and before landing. As long as he is swallowing, he should be okay.

leslie-179832 1171542158

well I have just found out the plane we are taking is a super airbus, double decker! lots of room there for my daughter to run around in. also found out that the bassenets that Lufthansa has are for up to 6 months, so now where will she sleep??? maybe the plane will not be booked and we will have an empty seat next to us, or someone will move to allow us one!


George F 1171543875

I don't think that it will be an Airbus A380, it has not been delivered to any airlines yet and is not due to be part of Lufthansa's fleet until 2009 at the earliest. This is their current fleet:

LisaD-206782 1171547895

While my son has always been quite tall for his age, and it was a tight fit, he slept in Lufthansa's bassinet at 18 months. Of course, he was only put in it when just about to fall asleep, but it really gave us a needed break during sleep/naptime on a long flight. It was also a US flight, and no age restriction was mentioned or imposed.


leslie-179832 1171550912

anyway, i looked at the fleet, and the plane is an airbus double decker. perhaps not the new super duper one, but a double decker all the same!

MikeP-180526 1171551618

There is no such thing as an Airbus double decker in commercial passenger operation, and there won't be until the A-380, and as someone has already said, that won't be in service with Lufthansa for about 2 years.

If it is a double decker, it is a Boeing 747. The top deck is First Class and the seat numbers are in the 80's range.

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