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Travelling with a 6 month old -- alone. Looking for tips

I will be taking my 6 month old to Europe (Austria 4 days, Venice - 5 days, Florence - 5 days, Abruzzo - 5 days, Nice - 7 days, Paris - 5 days, England - 5 days). I am planning on renting apartments or doing farm stays. I get that I can't see everything -- just stuff I've missed on previous trips! Any recommendations for strollers and car seats? Do I need a car seat? I'm taking trains within Europe. I have friends in Vienna, Nice and England but would be happy to take transit to get to them rather than lug around a car seat. I am planning on taking a backpack and a smaller daypack/diaper bag and a stroller that can take the car seat if I bring it.

I'm open to suggestions! Thanks!

Posted by
3313 posts

We took our 5-month old to Europe but relied on a rental car. We took our car seat for that reason. Didn't worry about it for subways, buses or cabs. We used a Baby Bjorn. There's an earlier post here if you search about a collabsable car seat.

We wished we had brought a cheap umbrella stroller. We thought we could find one when we got there. But all we could find were expensive McClaren-style strollers.

Posted by
219 posts

I 2nd the umbrella stroller. They're generally inexpensive, & if it breaks --no guilt. In addition to the stroller, I also suggest thinking about a child carrier in addition to the stroller. Depending upon the brand, there's usually a pouch located underneath the baby where you can put his/her provisions. 1 brand would be Kelty.

Posted by
12154 posts

Umbrella stroller is best, light, folds up, baby's sleep comfortably in them. You can also put a daypack on the handles (better than diaper bag because it has two straps).

For a car seat, make sure it's FAA approved for use on planes. If it is, your child will be more comfortable and secure on the plane. Also great for train rides, not great for carrying around. I wouldn't plan on having the baby on your lap, get the extra seat.

Public transportation will be hard unless you first stow the majority of your stuff at a station or hotel. You may need a taxi sometimes.

When flying, plan your feedings so the baby is sucking from the time you start taxiing to when the pilot turns off the seatbelt sign. Also 30 minutes before landing to wheels down. These are the times when the cabin pressure changes and babies can get bad earaches. It's easier to keep your baby's ears clear by having them suck on something ahead of time than trying to catch up when they are in pain.

Posted by
51 posts

I highly recommed a baby carrier. You will mostly likely benefit from having both an umbrella type stroller and a carrier. You will probably find that in some places, (depending on if the streets are paved or cobblestoned) that a stroller might be a big pain.

Posted by
216 posts

I forgot to mention that I am used to carting the baby in a carrier and will definitely be taking one -- a wrap type one that is easy to pack. I thought about getting a more robust stroller that will hold my backpack as it will definitely weigh more than the baby! also one that will hold up to the cobbles and gravelly roads. I am planning on buying it on Craigslist and then relisting it when I am done.

Does anyone have specific brands and models for car seats and strollers? I need one that doesn't HAVE to have the base. I can then check whether it is CSA approved as I will be flying from Canada on Air Canada.

PS: I've heard all manner of horror stories of flying on AC with babies but the tickets are bought!

Posted by
2 posts

Here's my big tip for flying overseas with a young child. Make sure you put a spare shirt for YOU in the diaper bag you have on the plane. We always pack spare clothes for the baby, but my 2 year old once threw up all over me, one hour into a 10 hour flight from Paris to San Francisco. I had no choice but to wash out my shirt in the bathroom, then wear it wet (and still rather smelly) for the next eight hours!

Posted by
216 posts

Thanks, Carla! I am usually very lax about stuff like that but I have read that changes of clothing for both of us would be a good use of carry-on space!

Posted by
25 posts

You should be carrying a change of clothes even without a 6 mo old in tow in case your luggage gets misrouted.

Posted by
216 posts

touche. That's from Airline Travel 101, I guess. I'm pretty lax about that, too!