Travelling with Newborn

me with kiddos on board
We were going to visit  Finland and spend christmas there. Niina was so excited as she had been waiting Christmas came and expecting to get her present from Santa and enjoying the white christmas with snow especially she was so excited to learn how to skate lately. But for me this was a bit nervous trip as Niilo's first time being on board in his nearly 3 months old and it would be a long trip. So our flight was night flight started from Hanoi - Hongkong - Helsinki - Oulu which was took 18 hours including transit (3 hours in Hongkong International airport and 2nd was 55 minutes in Helsinki airport)

I did search and browse about flying with baby, what to prepare etc. And here is our experience to share.
  1. Passport,
    this document has been prepared earlier as we're staying abroad to make his visa when he just born and because he is Finnish citizen so he doesn't require to have visa to entry Finland. Make sure that you have visa if its required for the destination country.

  2. Nursery bag,
    important to have everthing inside your nursery bag. I filled mine with at least 6 diapers (we have about 18 hours flight including transit), disposal bag, nursing pads, wet tissue, tissue, disinfectant, nursing napkins, some linens, changing lining, some changing clothes including socks gloves hat etc, blanket. Some more changing clothes for parents and siblings also more diapers be stored in the travel bag.

  3. Ticket,
    he doesn't need to have own seat as infant when purchasing the ticket (for infant/under 2 years old). But might be some parent would like to bring the carseat for their infant so they should purchase own seat

  4. Stroller,
    tag/label on stroller

    we brought our graco travel system (without the carseat) which is quiet big, it doesn't fit in the cabin but we're allowed to have it during transit. We had it with us and during on board the crew took it on gate before departure, wrapped it in plastic bag (as its 2 pieces, the separated but at the end they decided to attached as one because its more convenient) put it in the baggage and we got it again after landed. Make sure that the stroller has tag/labelled from the check in desk (i saw a passeger had a problem during boarding because the stroller doens't have a tag). If you have really big stroller, its possible to put it with check in luggage and free of charge (it might be different in every airlines)

  5. Bassinet/Baby cot
    Niilo is on his bassinet

    we fly with Chatay Pacific and Finnair and had transits in Hongkong International airport and Helsinki. For intercontinent flight (Finnair), we reserved baby cot /baby bassinet in manage my booking. We reserved bulkhead seat where we can have the place for the baby bassinet. The bassinet has length about 70cm and for the baby should be less than 6 months old. We travel during night time, so it helps Niilo being calm on night sleep in his bassinet and allowed us to have some rest

  6. Nursery corner on board and in the airport,
    changing table on board

    changing diaper is important to make Niilo comfortable during the flight. While transit before boarding, i made sure that Niilo has dry diaper so at least it doesn't need to be changed shortest after take off during on board. Inside the plane, there is toilet which has changing table even though its not comfort so i use kind of mat as changing lining. As sometimes turbulence comes without notice, don't say "i'll do diaper change later". We had once when i was changing Niilo's diaper and the safety belt sign on. It wasn't safe with baby laying down in the changing table while turbulence happened.

  7. Take off and landing,
    I did breastfeeding during take off and landing to reduce uncomfortable ear pressure for Niilo. Bottle feeding has the same purpose during the take off and landing.

  8. During the flight,
    its important to make Niilo being comfortable. I gave him milk as much as he needed and has dry napkins. He was quiet calm but a bit more awake but still being nice on trip.

  9. During transits,
    i did make Niilo stayed awake during the transit time so he will be easily felt asleep when we get inside the plane. First transit was only 2 hours in Hongkong International airport. We have him on his stroller during our movement from gate to gate. The 2nd transit was in Helsinki airport which was only 50 minutes so we didn't take our stroller (it was straight to Oulu as our final destination)

  10. Extra,
    bring medicines and clothes suitable for the destination weather. Bring the medicine or first aid with you will be good choice as well (i did bring some paracetamol only). We travelled during the winter, so i brought some jackets for us but it wasn't proper winter clothes (Hanoi winter was 16 degrees while Finnish winter about minus degrees), luckily my parent in-law brought us winter clothes.
It was quiet easy trip at the end, as long as the kids healthy and we're calm. Enjoy the trip, make sure enough drink as you need to breastfeed your baby. Jet-lag is another things to deal with your baby, it takes a whole week for our Niilo and Niina to back in local tie routine. The darkness and coldness Finnish weather make me want to stay longer in bed, not the jet-lag issue :D

Hopefully it will be easy also our trip back to Hanoi next year, i mean after couple of weeks.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2018

Update January 18, 2018
Me and Niilo were boarding in Bangkok
On our flight back to Hanoi was a bit disappointed because when we were doing baggage check in in Oulu airport, they didn't let me to have the stroller during our transit in Helsinki and Bangkok airport even though it was about 3 hours transit. While our first light was allowed to have the stroller in Hongkong airport, but not in Helsinki as it was really short transit. No stroller for long transit wasn't really easy as there is no flat space to put Niilo laying back during waiting especially the waiting chairs in the airport are not flat so we tried to be in the restaurant or lounge to resting Niilo's back. 

Some links might help to prepare our trip:
1. Finnair bassinet and stroller/pushchair
2. Airlines policy (travel with baby)
3. Travel with newborn


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