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anaaleman Jan 9th, 2007 11:31 AM

Amsterdam and Paris with baby
This May I am traveling to Amsterdam for some speaking engagements, a few days of sightseeing and then the train to Paris for a week of relaxation. My son, age 26, will come along as will my 21 month old baby. She suffers from Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and so appears much younger than her true age. I will bring information with me about her medical condition as I can envision Immigration people questioning her age-- looks about ten months old. Anyone think this disparity between passport age and appearance will present a problem??

Flying Continental from Honduras to Amsterdam, returning from Paris. Owl Hotel in Amsterdam and BW Jardin de Cluny in Paris. Both hotels have been great about communicating with us and both will have a crib in the room for the baby. My son will have his own room in both cities so we should be fine as far as space goes.

Baby is just 14 pounds right now and due to her syndrome grows very slowly so we are planning on using a Snugli type pouch to carry her about. However, for the plane ride, we will use a car seat that can also convert to a stroller. Sit N'Stroll was recommended. Anyone have experience with this??

Food issues for the baby: Will we be allowed to carry on Gerber jars for her? Powdered formula? Once we are in Amsterdam, we will buy the milk and food for her there as she has no trouble adjusting to different foods but for the plane ride (three hours from here to Houston, then a 7 hour wait till the flight to Amsterdam), I will need to have food for her. Coming home from Paris we will get some food to bring along as well as formula. The return trip involves an overnight stay in Houston so a long voyage for the baby. Due to her syndrome, she has attachment disorder and cannot be left with friends here.

I really enjoy reading Fodor's and all the wealth of information has made planning this trip so much easier. Don't know if any of you have any advice for my situation but if so, thanks in advance. Ana

lawchick Jan 10th, 2007 02:24 AM

The food for your baby should be no problem. Just read carefully the European rules on liquids just in case.

W9London Jan 10th, 2007 03:13 AM

Re: baby formula and food, you can bring jarred baby food onboard, though most likely you'll be asked to open them and taste some. The same with liquid formula. So just bring the amount you'll need for the flight so that the opened food won't spoil. I usually have one bottle of made-up formula, and use powdered formula for the remainder. I also bring banana and cooked small pasta shapes which work fine with my kids.

(Also, I recommend taking extra nappies and a spare change of clothing, just in case of lost luggage/flight delay). Haven't used sit and stroll so cannot comment on this one. Just make sure it's not too heavy to carry with the baby--you'll need to use stairs on Paris Metro--though I suspect your son can help carry the stroller.

You should be able to get most of the baby-related stuff (food, formula, nappies) locally. You'll find Nestle, Pampers, Huggies & co. French do a good job on older-baby meals, though some dessert/fruit preparations have sugar.

Expect your baby would take longer to get adjusted to jet lag. Also having a foldable changing mat (just a small sheet with plastic lining) was helpful as you might be in a situation when you have to change the nappy without a changing table.

ira Jan 10th, 2007 04:33 AM

Hi lawchick,

Please take your long URLs to and turn them into short ones.

Long URLs mess up the formatting.


ira Jan 10th, 2007 04:37 AM

Hi A,

The US TSA will permit you to bring baby food and formula in carryon.



anaaleman Jan 10th, 2007 09:57 AM

Thanks for the links. I feel more confident now and can plan our trip...even though 4 months away, I am getting very eager! US Consulate here has been helpful about documentation needed so I think we should be OK. I still worry though about encountering problems in the Houston airport when leaving for Europe. Just want to make sure I have all I will need to assure authorities that the baby is "mine" and I have the right to take her with us. Hopefully the US visa and letter from Judge will suffice. Thanks for the help. Ana

anaaleman Jan 10th, 2007 12:48 PM

Thanks for the information and links. I feel much calmer now about taking food for the baby. Just heard from the US consulate here about the papers needed for traveling with her so things are looking pretty set. Also friends in the US bought the Sit N'Stroll and are bringing that here next month. Thanks as always to Fodor people for helping out. Ana

anaaleman Jan 15th, 2007 05:26 AM

I have posted two responses to this and never seem to see them again so will try once more....thank you so much for the help. I now feel much more confident about the food issues for Maria and will plan accordingly. We are already excited about the upcoming trip. Thanks to all who helped with this. Ana

anaaleman Jan 23rd, 2007 09:28 AM

Have posted three replies to this and never seem to get on...will try again. Just wanted to thank those of you who responded. The information shared has helped calm my concerns about baby food. Baby now has her passport and I booked her flight, hotels have confirmed a crib in my room, and everything looks good to go. Just got a request yesterday from another group that wants me to come and speak in Norway after Amsterdam!! With now 5 engagements in Amsterdam, I am going to pass on Norway and stick to the Paris week to relax. Next trip we can do Norway and time it to see the Northern Lights! Got a good fare from Honduras to Amsterdam, returning from Paris on Continental...$1100 per person and only half that for the baby. Not bad. First time I have booked hotels and airlines independent from a service like expedia. Found better rates than they offered and thanks to the advice of Fodor's, felt I had the knowledge to do this on my own. Thanks to all. Ana

where2 Jan 23rd, 2007 10:22 AM


I advise you to reconsider the Sit N Stroll for several reasons. Please note that I do not own one but I have considered purchasing one and decided against it.

1. They ride very close to the ground. Your child may not like being so close to the ground - or it may scare her.

2. The wheels are very very small and they are very bulky. You would have difficulty with any kind of terrain outside of the airport. I think you would find the stroller unusable outside of the airport and difficult to deal with on the train.

3. I have heard that sometimes they don't "stroll" down the airplane aisle because they are too wide. Then you are stuck in a line of people trying to figure out how to get the darn thing to your seat when the child is strapped in it.

4. I think the seat is FAA approved but I don't know about the regulations flying from Honduras to Europe. It would be a shame if you got on the flight and they wouldn't let you use the stroller/seat.

Read some reviews on the sit n stroll. I think you should bring a regular stroller.

I, too, have flown to Europe from the USA and from London with car seats for use ONLY in the airplane. And while it is not ideal, I think you would be better off putting her in a seat she is familiar with and carrying the seat around. I have stored seats at the airport left luggage but you are flying in and out of different airports so you can't do that. I can adjust the straps of both my Britax Roundabout and my GRACO booster to wear as a backpack when travelling through the airport or to/from trains. Also, I have hung the straps on the handlebars of a single stroller with handles (Peg Perego Pliko) and I have clipped them upside-down to the handlebars of my Mountain Buggy strollers which have just one bar going across. Since you have a 26 year old man to help you, I think you should be able to manage. Then you will have a usable stroller to put her in when walking around the city if need be. You can gate-check the stroller at the plane and get it right back at the gate when you land.

With just one baby we travelled with a the Pliko and have now changed to Mountain Buggy doubles and a single. You will need something better than a cheapie umbrella stroller IMO if you are going to hang the car seat off of it, use it for storage, expect it to not break. . . I do think if you use only a snugly on a child with physical qualities of a 10 month old it will get very tiring.

I would practice with the car seat.

Also - as long as she looks like her passport picture you shouldn't have a problem with immigration IMO. I agree with other posters that I have travelled with food for my 4 year old and 2 year old and they let me on the plane as it is "baby food" and it really is not. I think most checkers give you a lot of leeway.

Don't forget to put the cans of powdered formula in plastic ziplock bags. I have had a formula can explode inside my suitcase and trust me it is a disgusting mess. I always brought the formula I needed (I did have picky kids) but you will NOT find the brands that you use at home.

I am sure you will do well with your baby. Have a great trip!

anaaleman Jan 24th, 2007 07:33 AM

Thanks for the informative post about the sit n stoller... a friend already bought this for us though so we will use it. My plan is to use it in the Houston airport during our 7 hour layover and then really just use the backpack for the baby when out and about in the cities. Friends in Holland have strollers for our use when there if we decide we want to put her in one. However, the baby is very easily frightened and much prefers to be in my arms, even when we are home and just shopping. She is just 14 pounds and my son is a very strong young man so I think between the two of us, having her in a Snuggli will work. We won't be doing the normal all day sightseeing in either Paris or Amsterdam as I will have speaking engagements and we will tour with friends who live there. Thanks for the advice on exploding formula cans! Hadn't thought of that. Hard planning these things from Honduras as we don't have access to many items so friends in the US have to buy us strollers, snugglis, etc nnd bring them here when they visit. But all is looking good for the trip. I have letters from the Court explaining I am legally allowed to travel with the baby as well as documents attesting to her condition and explaining her size. (Paperwork involved takes up as much room as baby!) Thanks so much.

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