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Need advice on traveling w/ infant to Europe

Need advice on traveling w/ infant to Europe

Jun 19th, 2001, 08:30 AM
Tiffan Yamen
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Need advice on traveling w/ infant to Europe

I will be taking our 5 mo old infant to Paris and Sweden this summer. I'd love any advice/tips on traveling with an infant. I also have a few questions:
1. Do car rental companies in Europe offer car seats equivalent to US-made models or should I take our car seat?
2. Can I buy infant formula in France and Sweden (Enfamil)?
3. Do european countries sell disposable diapers similar to Huggies or Pampers?

Any ideas/advice would be appreciated!!!
Jun 19th, 2001, 10:51 AM
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Tiffan, I hope you do not get the usual posters who reply to threads like this.., but I may be able to offer you some advice. I have traveled quite extensively with my family. I can't help with your any of your exact questions, since we have always taken trains and/or public transportation while in our destinations. We also did not need formula since we werebreast feeding. And lastly, diapers are light enought to pack and do not take up that much room. Also, it leaves more room for the way home! My main advice is to slow down and take your time.., you are not going to be able to see everything. We have traveled using a Baby Bjorn carrier, that either myslef or my husband would where..., since you are bringing an infant, I highly recommend this. If you have a light weight umbrella stroller, you can also bring that. I do not recommend bringing your large stroller (if you have one) it weights too much and you will never want to lug it around. I have plenty of other tips I have learned.., and if you would like I will e-mail you. Let me know! If not have a wonderful trip! The memories you will have of these trips will last forever!!
Jun 19th, 2001, 11:17 AM
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Car rental companies - call the company you are planning on using and ask them about the car seat.

One thing that you can do is when booking your airline tickets ask the reservation agent if they can put a courtesy seat (I think that's what it's called) in between you and whomever you are traveling with. This will make the seat not as desirable when the agents are looking for seats. Most people want a window or aisle seat and the middle seat is the one of the last to sell. If the flight isn't full the seat will remain empty and then you can use it free of charge and put the baby seat in it.

We did this a couple of time when my kids were infants and I always wound up with the seat empty. I always checked at check in to make sure that the seat was still empty so I knew whether to bring the seat or check it in.

Jun 19th, 2001, 11:51 AM
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I did this last year with a 6 month old. Assuming you are traveling from the US, please, please, please ... buy a seat for your child! My experience is that international flights are now booked full. Don't play games with whether you'll get a free seat, and you will want an extra seat for the child. You will need an FAA-approved child safety seat. This will help protect your child, but more practically will just give him/her a chance to sleep (without you holding the child the 6-10 hour flight, while you are trying to sleep). You will be happier and your neighboring travelers will thank you, b/c your child will be happier. Dawn has a lot of good info, but I disagree w/ the umbrella stroller comment for a 5 month old: We took the big one (with shocks, that reclines). Yes it is bulky, but the infant can sleep better at any time, and there is a basket underneath for storeage. Plus, w/ the shocks it traveled so much better on cobblestones. We packed diapers in, and made room for souvinirs (sp?) as we used them. However, I believe we found that we could buy them abroad. We also packed in dry formula and one of those little travel water heater/teapots (w/converters and plugs) to boil water in.
Jun 19th, 2001, 12:22 PM
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I traveled to Europe for years with infants and small children. Yes, car rental companies will provide a car seat if you ask, and for a fee, but take your own anyway - you'll want to have it on the plane (where you should either pay for a seat for your infant or request a bulkhead seat and lodge the carseat there with the infant in it).

Infant formula is widely available in Europe, but if you are completed wedded to a certain type, you might want to at least bring enough of yours for the first few days.

Huggies, Pampers, and all kinds of equivalents are available everywhere.

Bring a lightweight, collapsible stroller and peraps also a backpack for the baby. You'll want to be able to park him/her while you eat, and a stroller is perfect for that. Also for maneuvering in the metro in Paris.

Good luck..don't worry..did this for years and never regretted it.

Jun 19th, 2001, 12:30 PM
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Just to add a bit more to the above postings. Yes you can get Pampers in almost every country on the face of this earth. You could even call Proctor & Gamble to ask them the brand name of their product in Franch, etc. I always took enough to get us throug hteh first few days - neven knowthe hours, location, etc. of the pharmacy, supermarket. If you take fomula (which I have done) and it has a metal pull up top, with a plastic cover (understand I hope1) make sure to put it into a plastics bag or even into a Rubbermaid container - my popped open in our suitcase on-route due to the airplane pressure. Also, if you do give your child milk, check the ingredient list. I have found some "childrens" milk contains sugar and/or honey.

I have never gotten an extra seat for my child, but have always been lucky enough to get either the bulk head seat and used the bassinet or gotten an extra seat beside me (however, I have flown to Europe during high season).

Jun 20th, 2001, 08:46 AM
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A few notes about flights: a full-size carseat will almost never fit properly in a bulkhead-row seat because the armrests don't lift. If you are still using an infant seat, that probably will fit. If you are flying a US carrier, FAA regulations require that the carseat be placed in a window location. Tell the airline that you will be using it, because there are some rows on the aircraft where carseats are not allowed. There is no way on this earth that I would do without a carseat on a transatlantic flight with a baby; 7-10 hours of sitting in a tight seat and trying to sleep with a baby in your arms would be horribly uncomfortable, to say nothing of the safety risk if you hit turbulence.

You should not use a non-reclining stroller for a 5 mo. old no matter where you are; too much strain on the back for a baby that cannot yet sit up. I recommend a super-umbrella buggy style, such as are the norm all over Europe (their strollers are much better designed than ours for public transport.) However, an American reclining umbrella stroller will do OK. If the baby is small enough, a carrier or sling will also come in handy for places where there are lots of stairs.

You can buy formula anywhere, but your child's system may react slightly to the differences in the way it is made. If you use special formula, such as soy, be aware that those are harder to find overseas. Disposable diapers are everywhere, but the weight is shown metric; be sure to know your child's weight in kilograms. Carry small bottles of any OTC medicines you use for your child; they are available in Europe, but you don't want the hassle of trying to find them when your child is miserable. I recommend packets of powder Kao-Lectrolyte in case of minor tummy troubles.
Jun 20th, 2001, 09:43 AM
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Please buy a seat for your child on the plane. It is the safest way to travel and the most comfortable. Check with the airline to see if they offer 1/2 price fares for infants. We actually have installed a full-size carseat (Britax Roundabout) in a bulkhead seat with little difficulty. If you opt not to purchase a seat, I would still bring your own seat along. I don't know how European companies take care of their products, but I know I would never trust a car seat provided by car rental company in the U.S. Besides the cleanliness of it, you never know what kind of condition the seat will be in; it could have things like hairline cracks which could compromise the safety of the seat. Regarding strollers, you can purchase a travel stroller (if you think you will be doing a lot of travelling with baby). The Combi Travel Savvy has served us well. It reclines and is lightweight. Remember, when travelling with the baby, just take it easy. You may feel the need to see and do everything, but don't. Good luck and have a great trip!

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