Days of our lives with #littleciuf – First Flight

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RO
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Am asteptat cu sufletul la gura primul zbor cu bebelusul si trebuie sa recunoastem ca a calatori cu un copil atat de mic e ca si cum ai lua totul de la zero πŸ™‚ Tot ce stiam despre calatorit, aeroporturi, rezervari de bilete, alegerea locurilor in avion, bagaje si zbor in sine s-a sters cu buretele, pentru ca zburatul cu un bebelus este o experienta complet noua si total diferita. Si daca tot ne ingrijoram noi ca am pierdut statutul de frequent flyer care ne aducea cateva beneficii in aeroport, ei bine, bebelusul (sau caruciorul lui mai corect :D) ni l-a readus. Gluma-i gluma, insa mai peste tot in lume familiile cu copii mici, indeosebi bebelusi, au prioritate. Oriunde. Oricand. Oricum πŸ˜€ Astfel ca desi in dimineata plecarii catre Munchen aeroportul Otopeni era efectiv ticsit de lume (coada de la controlul de securitate din terminalul nou se intindea pana aproape de terminalul vechi), totul a decurs foarte repede pentru noi. Dar sa incepem cu inceputul πŸ™‚

 

ActeΒ 

Ca sa piata zbura cu avionul (sau pur si simplu ca sa iasa din tara – da, inclusiv pentru o fuga in Bulgaria), bebelusul are nevoie de pasaport. Poate parea la mintea cocosului insa am avut surpriza de a gasi persoane carora nu le era clar acest lucru. Asadar nu se poate calatori cu bebelusul doar pe baza certificatului de nastere, el trebuie sa aiba, la fel ca orice adult, un pasaport. Este valabil trei ani iar procedura de obtinere este aceeasi pentru toata lumea – la fel si costul (234 ron). Stat la coada pentru depunerea actelor (si aici bebelusii au prioritate si parintii pot sari cozile interminabile), pozat (mama tine bebelusul la poza pana cand iese un cadru decent in care sa i se vada fata cat mai clar), si apoi ridicat pasaportul dupa doua saptamani. Evident, daca nu i se greseste numele in pasaport cum am patit noi (a trebuit sa mai asteptam o saptamana pana la noua eliberare). Deci facut din timp pasaportul, asa ar fi cel mai indicat, iar daca este posibil, de evitat vara cand e perioada concediilor, prin urmare foarte aglomerat. Toate informatiile necesare pentru eliberarea pasaportului se gasesc aici.

 

Bilet de avion infant

Pentru a cumpara bilete de avion pentru bebelus, acesta trebuie sa fie inclus pe rezervarea unui adult. Nu se poate cumpara un bilet de infant (copil pana in doi ani) separat de parinte. Costurile sunt extrem de mici pana in doi ani, insa nu se zboara gratuit asa cum am crezut initial (de fapt si de drept, foarte rar biletele sunt complet gratuite, in general pe zborurile domestice). In general, companiile taxeaza 10% din valoarea unui bilet de adult pentru infant (ceea ce oricum e foarte putin), alteori insa exista un cost fix. Pentru biletul bebelusului catre Munchen am platit 7 euro, in vreme ce biletul de adult a fost 150 euro. Nu exista o limita minima de varsta pentru bebelusi, insa se recomanda sa se zboare cu ei cand au cel putin 2 saptamani. Bineinteles, daca medicul care urmareste evolutia copilului confirma acest lucru. A, si sa nu uitam. In pretul biletului de infant nu este inclus un loc separat, deci bebelusul trebuie sa calatoreasca in bratele mamei. Daca parintii vor insa sa calatoreasca cu scoica iar copilul sa stea in ea pe parcursul zborului, trebuie platit un bilet separat pentru el (de cele mai multe ori costa la fel de mult ca biletul de adult, uneori insa exista si mici discounturi).

 

Caruciorul copilului

Nu am avut bagaje la cala, doar doua trolere de cabina, caruciorul si cate un ghiozdan in spate, insa a fost nevoie sa facem un check-in al caruciorului, intrucat bineinteles, acesta nu poate fi luat in avion. I se pune eticheta asemeni bagajelor la cala, apoi se preia la urcarea in avion si se returneaza fie la aterizare, la iesirea din avion sau pe banda de bagaje. Nici nu a fost nevoie sa ne asezam la coada de check-in pentru ca toti pasagerii ne-au indrumat sa mergem in fata, la ghiseu, pentru a primi eticheta.Β Treaba cu caruciorul unui nou nascut e destul de complicata, pentru ca de regula folosesc carucioare sisteme 3 in 1 (landou, parte sport si scoica). Sub nicio forma nu pot fi luate toate in zbor, cel putin nu fara cost suplimentar. In biletul de infant se permite un carucior de tip sport SAU un landou SAU o scoica. De fapt, regulile difera de la o compane la alta, unele sunt mai permisive, altele mai putin. Noi am zburat cu Lufthansa, care nu permite intregul sistem 3 in 1. Am gasit insa lista aceasta cu regulile pentru mai multe companii, poate fi utila.Β  Landoul l-am exclus din start pentru ca este efectiv o cutie uriasa pe care nu am fi putut sa o folosim fara sa o atasam cadrului. In plus, bebelusul nostru abia mai incape in landou, planuim sa renuntam cat de curand la el, chiar daca nu a implinit inca varsta de sase luni, pana la care se recomanda folosirea landoului (complet orizontal, pentru a proteja coloana). Asa ca am ales partea sport a caruciorului Mutsy Nio, care se face complet orizontala (cu titlu de exceptie pentru ca nu aveam alta varianta). Am mai fi putut lua scoica cu noi in avion, iar copilul sa doarma in ea, insa trebuia achitat un bilet separat (sau bagata la cala in locul caruciorului). Lesne de inteles ca la destinatie, in Munchen, am gasit caruciorul trantit, dezmembrat si zgariat, intocmai cum se intampla cu toate bagajele de cala (si lasat in ploaie pe deasupra). Cu alte cuvinte, daca aveti un carucior pretios si nu il vreti distrus, e de evitat de luat pe zboruri. Stim de variantele speciale de travel, care incap in compartimentul de sus din cabina, insa pentru moment noi nu le putem folosi, bebelusul este inca prea mic (pentru viitor insa cu siguranta vom alege un model dintr-acela care se face cat o servieta).

Bagaj

Pentru ca am fost plecati doar trei zile, am ales sa nu cumparam bagaj de cala la cei de la Lufthansa, asa ca ne-am descurcat (onorabil chiar!) cu doua trolere mici de cabina si cate un ghiozdan. Nu am avut nevoie de intreaga casa, asa cum am fost avertizati, ba dimpotriva, am tinut mortis sa keep it low. Am luat scutece pentru trei zile (15 adica), servetele, doua aleze, hainute cat sa il schimbam de doua ori pe zi in caz ca era nevoie (nu a fost), medicamente (in principal pentru febra si raceala – nu a fost cazul) si doua jucarii. Mult prea geniala Sophie La Giraffe si alta jucarie pentru dentitie pe care o adora bebelusul. Abia acum am realizat ce mana cereasca este alaptatul! Nu biberoane, nu sterilizator, nu pompa, nimic. Este totul atat de flexibil si usor in primele sase luni de viata, cand bebelusul este alaptat exclusiv! Cei care calatoresc cu bebelusii cu siguranta sunt de acord πŸ˜€ In ceea ce priveste bagajele noastre, ale parintilor, ei bine, a fost nevoie sa minimizam totul pe cat posibil si sa luam doar strictul necesar.

 

Zborul

Zborul in sine a fost ideal, nesperat de bine. Ni s-a spus insa ca nu va fi mereu asa, pe masura ce cresc, bebelusii devin tot mai demanding. Insa pentru primul sau zbor, bebe Alexei a dormit bustean (zgomotul motoarelor este un fel de white noise pentru bebelusi, ii relaxeaza si ii ajuta sa doarma linistiti), inca dinainte de urcarea in avion, lucru de care ne temeam, gandindu-ne ca il vor durea urechile. Inainte de plecare am fost la pediatru la un control de rutina, pentru a ne confirma ca totul este in regula cu micutul, apoi o scurta vizita la ORL, pentru a-i verifica timpanul. Ne gandeam ca ar putea sa il deranjeze presiunea de la decolare si aterizare, insa atat pediatrul cat si medicul ORL ne-au explicat ca daca este sanatos, timpanul curat iar copilul nu are vreo urma de raceala, nu ar trebui sa fie probleme. Cum insa si noi adultii simtim ca ni se infunda urechile si avem nevoie sa inghitim sau mestecam ceva, asa si bebelusii ar trebui pusi la san (o suzeta ar trebui sa rezolve si ea problema, insa bebelusul nostru nu o accepta). Bun, deci la decolare a dormit bustean in bratele mele, prins in centura speciala de bebelusi. Am ales locul de la geam, desi initial ne gandeam la cel de la culoar, pentru a ne fi usor sa iesim cu el in caz de plansete sau mers la baie. Am realizat apoi ca e destul de riscant, mai ales cand mai trec pasagerii pe culoar in drum spre baie, personalul de cabina cu servirea mesei/bauturilor sau de ce nu, exista si riscul ca un bagaj din compartimentul de bagaje de deasupra sa cada (been there, done that). In plus, locul de la geam a fost foarte potrivit si pentru alaptat, fiind mai dosit. Am avut insa grija sa nu merg la baie (pentru a nu trezi copilul), insa pentru un zbor de o ora si jumatate nu a fost asa mare lucru. Si nici nu am comandat bauturi, ca sa nu existe nici risc de varsare. Bineinteles, a calatori cu un bebelus atat de mic nu este atat de dificil, insa suntem constienti ca pe masura ce va trece timpul vor aparea alte provocari. Se va plictisi, va trebui tinut ocupat, va trebui sa dezvoltam tot felul de tehnici pentru a-l tine cuminte, strategii de intrat in avion, de iesit, jucarii surpriza si multe altele. Insa pentru moment, pentur zboruri scurte de pana in doua ore, este foarte usor. Motiv pentru care vom profita de aceste prime luni de viata πŸ™‚

 

Challenge-uriΒ 

Acum, dupa aceste prime doua zboruri, avem inca ceva nelamuriri. Si principala temere este calatoria mamei singura cu bebelusul. Stim ca in aeroportul din Bucuresti este nevoie de procura din partea tatalui cum ca este de acord cu faptul ca cel mic va fi scos din tara de catre mama, insa am observat ca in alte tari nu prea se solicita acest lucru. Daca avem mamici pe blog care au calatorit singure cu bebelusii, cum ati procedat? De asemenea, ce faceti daca sunteti singure si trebuie sa mergeti la baie? Sau sa schimbati bebelusii? Cum v-ati descurcat singure cu carucioarele? Nu avem deloc experienta in ceea ce priveste calatoritul cu bebelusul insa vrem sa fim cat mai bine documentati pentru urmatoarele zboruri!

 

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EN
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We’ve waited for so long this first flight with our baby but we truly have to admit that traveling with such a young baby is like taking over from scratch J Anything that we knew about traveling, airports, booking tickets, choosing seats in the airplane, luggage and the flight itself is long gone, because flying with a baby is completely new and different experience. We were worried that we have lost our frequent flyer status that brought us some benefits in the airport, but hey, the baby (or his stroller to be more precise) brought it back πŸ˜€ Jokes aside, but almost anywhere in the world families with children, especially babies, have priority. Everywhere. Anytime. Anyhow πŸ˜€ So even though the airport in Bucharest was packed with people (the line from the security control from the new terminal reached the old terminal), but everything was very fast for us. But let’s start with the beginning πŸ™‚

Documents

In order to fly with a baby (or to travel abroad by any means – yup, including a short trip to Bulgaria), he needs a passport. This might seem obvious but we were surprised to see that some people did not know that. So you cannot travel with the baby just with his birth certificate, he needs to have, as well as any adult, a passport. It is valid for three years and the procedure to obtain it is the same for everyone – as well as the cost (234 ron). Staying in the lines to hand in the documents (the babies have priority in lines so the parents can skip the huge lines), taking the picture (the mother needs to hold the baby until a decent photo is taken and the face is clearly seen), and then the passport is ready in two weeks. Of course, if the name is not mistaken in the passport as it happened to us (we had to wait one more week for the new passport). So it would be advisable to make the passport in time, and if possible to avoid the summer periods, when it is very crowded. All the necessary information can be found here.

Infant Airplane Ticket

In order to buy an infant airplane ticket, the baby needs to be included on an adult reservation. You cannot buy an infant ticket (children below 2 years) on their own. The costs for the tickets are very low when the kids are under 2 years, but they are not for free, as we used to think (actually, there are free flights, but extremely rare – usually on domestic routes). In general, the companies have a 10% fee from the adult ticket for the infant’s ticket (which is very cheap), but sometimes there is a fixed cost. For the airplane ticket to Munich we payed 7 euros, while the adult ticket was 150 euros. There is no minimum age for babies to travel, however doctors recommend to fly with them when they are at least 2 weeks old. That’s of course, if the doctor that follows their evolution confirms that everything is ok. Oh and let’s not forget. The infant ticket does not include a separate seat in the airplane, so the baby needs to travel in his mother’s arms. If the parents want to travel with the car seat and the child will stay in it during the flight, a full ticket needs to be bought for the baby (most of the time it costs as well as the adult ticket, but sometimes there are some discounts).

Baby Stroller

We did not have hold luggage, just two small cabin trolleys, the stroller and a bag packΒ for each of us, but we did have to check-in the stroller because of course, this cannot be taken in the overhead compartment. It is labeled as well as any hold luggage, then it is taken when boarding in the plane and returned after landing, at the airplane exit or on the luggage belt. It wasn’t even necessary to stay in line as all the passengers guided us in the front to get the label for the stroller. The thing with a newborn stroller is a bit complicated because those are usually 3 in 1 systems (travel cot, push chair and car seat). Under no circumstance all of this can be taken in the plane, at least not without an additional cost. The infant ticket only allows the push chair OR the travel cot OR the car seat. Actually, the rules are different from company to company, some of them allow more pieces of the stroller, some of them don’t. We flew with Lufthansa and they don’t allow the entire 3 in 1 system. But we found this list with the rules for more companies, it can be useful. We excluded the travel cot from the beginning as this is simply a huge box that we couldn’t use without attaching it to the frame. And then, our baby is barely fitting in the travel cot at this time, so we are planning to go to the push chair soon, even though the baby is not yet six months old, the recommended age to use the travel cot (it has the completely horizontal position that protects their back). So we have chosen the sport part of the Mutsy Nio stroller, that has a completely horizontal position as well (as an exception as we had no other choice). We could have taken the car seat with us in the airplane, and the baby could have slept in it, but we had to buy a separate ticket (or put in the hold luggage area instead of the stroller). It is self explanatory that in Munich, at the destination, we found our stroller thrown, broken and scratched, exactly as it happens with all the hold luggage (not to mention the fact that they left it in the rain). In other words, if you have a precious stroller and don’t want it destroyed, you should avoid taking it in the trips. We know about the especially designed for travel strollers, that fit into the overhead compartment but for the moment we cannot use those, as the baby is too small (in the future we will for sure chose one of those models that becomes as big as a suitcase when folded).

Luggage

Because we only left for three days we have chosen not to buy the additional hold luggage at Lufthansa, so we managed to fit everything in only two cabin trolleys and two back packs. We did not need the entire house, as we were warned, on the contrary, we wanted to keep it low. We have taken diapers for three days (15 pieces), napkins, clothes to change the baby two times per day if needed (this was not the case), meds (especially for fever and cold – it was not the case) and two toys. The genius Sophie La Giraffe and another dentition toy that the baby adores. And now we realized what a godsend breastfeeding is! No bottles, no sterilizer, no pump, no nothing. Everything seems to be so flexible and easy in the first six months of life, when the baby is exclusively breastfed! People that travel with their babies for sure agree πŸ™‚ In what concerns our luggage, the parents, oh well, we definitely had to minimizeΒ asΒ much as possible and only take what was truly necessary.

The flight

The flight itself was ideal, we could not hope for better. We’ve been told that this will not always be the case, as while they are growing, the babies become more and more demanding. But for a first flight, baby Alexei slept all the way (the noise from the engines is like a white noise for babies, it relaxes them and helps them to sleep), even before we got into the plane – and we were quite afraid of this, thinking that his ears will hurt. Before the trip we’ve been to the pediatrician for a random check up to confirm that everything is ok with the little guy, then a short visit to theΒ Otolaryngologist to check his eardrum. We were concerned that the pressure from takeoff and landing might bother him, but both doctors explained us that if he’s healthy, the eardrum is clean and the baby has no cold, there should not be any problem. But as ell as we, the adults, feel some pressure and feel the need to swallow or chew something, the babies should also be breastfed during takeoff and landing (a pacifier should to the trick also, but our baby does not accept it). OK, so he slept all the way to the destination, in my arms, caught in the baby seat belt. I have chosen the window seat, even though initially we were thinking that the aisle one might be better, in order to easily get out if he were to cry or if we needed to go to the bathroom. We then realized that this might be a bit too dangerous, especially when the passengers pass by on the aisle, or when the cabin crew brings the food and drinks in their trolleys or why not, there can be a risk of fallen suitcases from the overhead department (been there, done that). In addition, the window seat is a bit more private, suitable for breastfeeding. I was careful not to go to the bathroom (as I did not want to wake up the baby), but for one and a half hour flight that wasn’t such a big deal. I haven’t ordered any drinks, so that I will not spill anything on him. Of course, travelling with such a young baby is not that difficult, but we are aware of the fact that it will become more and more challenging. He will get bored, he will need different activities, we will have to develop all kind of techniquesΒ to keep him tranquil, strategies to bard the plane, to get out of the plane, surprise toys and so many others. But for now, for short flights, it is extremely easy. And this is exactly why we would like to take advantage of these first months of life πŸ™‚Β 

Challenges

Now after these two first flights, we still have a couple of concerns. And our main fear is th mother travelling alone with the baby. We know that in the airport from Bucharest there is a document needed from the father that needs to agree with the fact that the baby will be taken abroad by the mother, but we’ve noticed that other countries do not have this. Do we have here mothers that have traveled alone with their babies, how did you do it? And then, what do you do if you are alone and need to go to the bathroom? Or change your babies? How did you manage to deal with the strollers on your own? We do not have much experience with travelling with a baby so we want to be as documented as possible for our next flights!Β