Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Fabulous website for traveling with children.

Sticky Fingers Travel Ltd is an Irish company dedicated to providing information to parents who wish to travel with their children. They are a company run by parents and all of their travel is researched by parents for parents. They provide independent and unbiased advice on family friendly holidays, accommodation, activities with children and things to do and see so that you can plan the perfect family holiday.

They have done the research for you on holidays in Ireland and abroad, hotels with kids clubs, adventure holidays, short breaks, self-catering and much more.

They also feature real parent’s experiences and reviews in Parent’s Travel Forum so that you can have your say, get tips from other parents and plan a family holiday that is enjoyable and relaxing for all of you. Children are only young for so long so travel now and enjoy the experience.

You will find lots of family friendly travel tips and advice in Sticky Fingers Travel research and advice section to help you book the right family holiday. You must check out their travel tip section - it is a fabulous on-line resource, regardless of where you are traveling to.

Visit Sticky Fingers Travel for more info.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

TSA announces Family Lanes at all airports

Just in time for the busy holiday travel season - the Transporation Security Administration has announced the installation of Family Lanes at all U.S. airports. The lanes allow families and individuals unfamiliar with air travel procedures and travelers with special needs to go through security at their own pace. This is especially helpful for families carrying formula, or individuals carrying medically necessary liquids, aerosols and gels in excess of three ounces.

For more information go to the TSA website.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Traveling across time zones with a baby

This blog comes to you from Bree, a JetSetBabies customer who recently traveled all the way to New Zealand with her baby. I wondered how the baby would handle the time zone changes and Bree was gracious enough to send us this story. I hope you enjoy it. If you have a great travel story to share with our readers, please contact me at patty@jetsetbabies.com. If we use your story, we'll send you a gift certificate to use on our website JetSetBabies.

From Bree:

We had a fantastic trip to New Zealand - it was everything we had hoped for and more. We really did love it there, and if it weren't so dang far away, we'd consider living there! we liked it that much. :)

As for the jet lag - interestingly, Logan did not seem to have an issue one bit on the way over. Our flight was pretty rough at first - he fell asleep on take off and slept for about 2.5-3 hrs, but then he woke up and just would not go back to sleep, for about another 3 hrs - I don't think it was due to any sort of jet lag at this point since we were still on our time here, and it was "in the middle of the night" for him. instead, I think he was just way too distracted with everything going on in the plane..... anyway, we finally got him back to sleep and then he slept for the majority of the remainder of the flight which was great.

When we arrived into Auckland, approx. 5am, we were all awake and met friends there -went out for breakfast and then walked around town to see some sights. We then hopped into our car and took a 2.5 hr drive to the cabins we were staying at for that night. Logan was fine the entire day - he took a couple naps, like he always does, but otherwise was fine. He didn't seem to notice the time change at all! He finally got super fussy and cranky while we were at a restaurant for dinner - but, it was about 8pm local time, which is when he normally starts getting tired anyway. He passed out on me, we took him back to our cabin and put him down for the night.

Throughout the trip, MOST nights he would wake up once in the middle of the night, take a bottle then go back to sleep. There were a few nights, usually when he had been more active the day before, where he'd sleep through the night. But, honestly, I'm not sure that had anything to do with the time change since that's how he's always been at home too.

On our flight back home, it was great. Our plane was delayed an hour or two - so we really wore him out playing and exercising and crawling, etc. in the airport. He passed out during take off and slept for 8 hrs!! he woke up for another 1-1.5 hrs and played at our feet and had a meal, then fell asleep again until we landed. We couldn't have had a more positive experience with the flight home.

The few days after we got home was another story entirely. It was a LOT harder to adjust back to "normal" life. Our schedule was really off those first few days back, since Logan seemed to be struggling with adjusting back to Pacific Time. But, more than that, I think he was also having a hard time adjusting to life without Mom and Dad 24x7 (since we both work so he goes to a daycare during the day). So, that probably was the MOST challenging part of the entire trip, was when we got home. He was very clingy, wanting me and only me, when he was super tired, exhausted and needed me to comfort him to put him to bed. He would also cry every time we dropped him off or picked him up from daycare (which he's NEVER done before), had a lot of trouble sleeping at night, often times crying WHILE he was sleeping (not sure how it's possible but he was doing it) but then the minute I'd pick him up to rock him he'd settle back down and snuggle into my shoulder fast asleep.

Each day was a tad bit better, but it took almost a full week before we started getting a full night's rest again and before he was doing better back at daycare. So, it's a good lesson learned for us. It won't stop us from traveling again, but it's good to know what challenges we may face when we get home *after* the next big trip. :)


Sunday, October 19, 2008

Breastfeeding while traveling

Traveling with a breastfed baby is an absolute treat!! I've traveled a lot with both a bottle fed baby and a breast fed baby and what a huge difference. With breastfeeding, no matter where you are, you have warm milk ready to feed baby with.

The trick is to have good nursing clothes (I am a huge fan of Motherwear and had a good supply of both summer and winter shirts) or bring along a good nursing cover as you will most likely be spending most of your vacation nursing in public places. The biggest challenge will be to find quiet, out of the way places, so baby can relax in order to nurse properly, but overall, the experience is so much easier than warming bottles.

Here is my breastfed baby travel story taken from the tips section of JetSetBabies:

Planning a trip with a breastfed baby? Lucky you.

When I found out I was pregnant and due in the month of July I vowed to make my summer of maternity leave a fun one for my five year old son soon starting kindergarten. We planned to spend every day at a beach or playground and thanks to the success of baby and my breastfeeding we did almost that! I never realized the ease of getting around with a breastfeeding baby since my first child had only nursed for five months and most of the time I had spent working from home. Appropriate nursing clothes made feeding away from home a breeze.

When we planned our first plane trip when Anna was seven months old, I just knew it would be an enjoyable one.

We flew to Phoenix, Arizona when Anna was just seven months old and not having to worry about making and heating bottles was a great relief for me. Our first flight was a short one, from Duluth to Chicago, so I nursed her during take off and then stopped after we were in the air. It was just enough to keep her satisfied and yet not full, so she was more than ready to nurse again when we started our descend into Chicago. Unfortunately, there was bad weather in the Midwest that day and we were forced to sit in the Chicago airport for over seven hours waiting for the storms to pass. Lucky for me I didn't have to worry about having enough formula on hand as the milk was always available. I had jars of baby food in my carry on and a banana and yogurt from the store were enough to get through the day. By the time we boarded our flight to Phoenix the kids were tired and nursing Anna during takeoff was enough to put her to sleep for the whole flight!

We had a great vacation and were never limited to planning around eating schedules. We nursed in restaurants, parks, playgrounds, museums, the zoo, and very often sitting in the car while the others enjoyed the attractions. The only time we had to put a crimp in our hectic schedule was when Anna became very fussy in the car and we had to pull over so I could remove her from the car seat to feed her.

We ate cereal mixed with fruit everyday for breakfast. Then I tossed enough jars of baby food in my diaper bag for the day and we would be off. By the time we were ready to leave Phoenix and head home, both my kids were very tired from the busy schedule we had kept, and they both slept all the way home. Our connections home worked out perfect and we arrived home with free tickets from the airline due to the delays we experienced. It didn't take long to start planning the next trip!

If you are breastfeeding your baby and planning a vacation, you have the best of both worlds, so relax and enjoy it!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Preparing your child for a plane trip

Help your trip go smoother by talking to your children about your upcoming trip. Even two year olds need to know what is going on. If this is your child's first time flying rent a library book about airplanes and airports and read it with your child. Better yet, purchase the Shae By Air DVD Toolkit
- and watch the DVD with your child. This DVD was made especially for toddlers and walks them through the entire process of packing, airport security, the boarding process, sitting in their seats and what to expect during the flight.

Make sure you explain the various security procedures. My daughter was only two when we traveled from Minnesota to Atlanta Georgia. On the return flight home our entire family was randomly chosen for search and she was absolutely terrified when we were all separated and searched. We made it through okay by my constantly talking to her throughout the process even though I was not allowed to go to her and touch her or help her out. Still, it would have helped a lot if we had practiced the procedure at home a few times before we left on the trip.

In fact, it will help if you role play the entire flight process. Pretend to drive to the airport, check your baggage, take off your shoes and put them on a pretend "moving belt", then line up your kitchen chairs in the living room and play boarding the airplane, buckling your seatbelts and then bouncing around on the airplane. Someone can even play steward and serve beverages! What a fun way to spend some time together and education the kids all at the same time.

Here are some good books to try reading with your child:

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Airlines child lap policy

Like many other moms, I was under the misconception that if flying with a child on your lap were considered unsafe then the airlines just would not allow it. Was I wrong. It took a close call with my daughter before I realized how wrong I was all along.

Like all women, I enjoy a good bargain and being able to avoid having to purchase a plane ticket for a child under two and save several hundred dollars only added to the excitement of traveling with a small child. My son and I took over half a dozen plane trips together all without incident and had a great time traveling around the U.S. when he was a baby. Six years later when my daughter Anna was born and we took our first flight together, we were in for a little surprise.

We were traveling from Duluth/Chicago/Phoenix. We had made it into Chicago and had about a two hour layover there for our connecting flight to Phoenix, when major thunderstorms began passing through the central U.S. Our flight was continually delayed as the afternoon went on and we did our best to stay entertained at the airport while staying close to our gate in case our flight should start to board. The delays lasted into the evening hours and at about 8:00 p.m. both my children (Aaron, then 7 and Anna, 7 months) fell asleep on my lap. They had only been sleeping for about 15-30 minutes when the started to board the flight. I hated to wake up both children and have them very crabby so I just say in my chair waiting until the last call to board.

As they got down to the last group of passengers they made an announcement that they had overbooked and were offering ticket exchange for giving up your seat. Since the kids were sleeping so soundly and had missed their naps, I was in the perfect position to give up our seats and take the "bump". With a lap child traveling and two free ticket vouchers I was as good as traveling free ! And little did I know that I had may a decision that would likely have ended up disasterous had we boarded that plane.

About an hour later another flight to Phoenix was on its way the children were starting to stir from their uncomfortable sleeping positions, so we boarded the next plane and we were off. There were still some small storms and turbulence on the flight and so the plane attempted to route around them as best as it could and still maintain some sort of time schedule (for me we were arriving about 10 hours late anyway). I had Anna on my lap the entire time and things were proceeding normally, when the captain announced some turbulence ahead. As we all buckled in, I wrapped my arms around Anna's tummy and held on to my wrists. It didn't take long before we hit a small bump and I was taken by complete surprise when that little bump took all my strength to keep her close to me. Her bottom lifted off my lap a good six inches and I was absolutely shocked at the force it took for me to keep her from hitting the roof! Luckily for us we had only that one small pocket of turbulence that we hit.

When we arrived in Phoenix, I learned that the original flight we had been booked on had hit a terrible storm and the jostling of the passengers caused 10 people to hospitalized. There is no doubt in my mind that Anna would have been one of them had we gotten on that flight. I was so thankful for the change in events that put us on a different plane, and have never again flown with a child in my lap.

For more information about how the airlines started allowing lap children and other people's stories, read Anya Clowers book "Jet with Kids".

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Airline seat assignments

Traveling as a family can be challenging, but even more so if you all arrive at the airport, survive the check in procedure and the bag search, only to find out you are not all seated together. Don't assume because you are flying as a family that you will be all seated near each other.

If you are buying your tickets from a travel agent make sure they do your seat assignments for you. If you purchase your tickets on-line or directly from the airport and they do not do the assignments at the time of buying the tickets, make sure you log into the airline website and do your seat assignments well in advance.

At the website SeatGuru you can find out the details about the aircraft you are flying on, including the seat width, legroom, and so forth. This site also contains contact information for the airlines.

According to the book Jet With Kids, by Anya Clowers, "There are only a certain number of seats that reservation and travel agents are able to book. The rest are blocked out for airport assignment on the day of departure or for online check-in 24 hours prior to the flight. However, unless you are booking at the last minute, it is usually possible for you to get something reserved, and seat selection can make a huge difference in your flight."

One myth is that if you are traveling with a small child the bulkhead seats are the best place to sit. This is not true. According the Clowers, "The added legroom gives a child the feeling of open space and the illusion that they can roam around. If you take the middle seat of another row and your child is in the window seat next to you, this area creates a "box" for your child to play in. They can play with the window shade, on the tray table, look out the window, and generally feel more secure since it is somewhat of a private area."

Plus all of your luggage will be in the overhead compartment as there is no storage under the seat. The tray tables are located in the armrest and can easily pinch fingers. So you may wish to reconsider this seating area.

I used the bulkhead seat once when traveling with my son and it really did not work out as he ended up out of his seat and playing on the floor, eventually falling asleep on the floor, which was not a very safe alternative when I look back on the situation. Being in tighter quarters and kept buckled into a seat is really the safest place for any child.

Thursday, August 7, 2008


Are you looking for that perfect emergency baby/toddler outfit? Well look no more. BabySpareWear is the perfect kit for you and we have them at JetSetBabies .

Each kit includes a pre-packed spare tee and play pant inside a hip and fun, zip-up travel case. In style, hip, and the most practical idea we have come across in a while! “Baby Spare Wear” - This is exactly what your little guy or gal needs, a spare outfit for all those "emergency" times!

babysparewear, inc. has the modern solution to the essential spare outfit for baby and toddler. We call it functional fashion: cozy cotton separates packed in ready-to-go travel kits. It's everything you need for those pint-sized "fashion emergencies."

babysparewear™ is the designated spare outfit for baby. The idea is simple yet sophisticated. It's the stylish evolution of the "emergency" spare outfit. Each kit is pre-packed in a chic travel case and designed to simplify on-the-go leaks and spills. babysparewear looks smart on baby—and even smarter on mom.

Several celebs are fans and users of Baby Sparewear. Christina Aguilera and Nicole Richie have the chic black 3-piece set. Jennifer Lopez & Marc Anthony have the same Fashion Fix kits in the Cordura Chic sky blue as well as the blush pink heart for their twins. Salma Hayek is also well prepared for jet setting with a pink and fuchia kit for little Valentina.

Keep a spare everywhere! In the baby bag, in the car, or at the sitter's, babysparewear prepares mom for the inevitable.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Beach time with baby

When traveling with your baby you need to keep in mind that your travels will be different now. More low-keyed so don't over schedule your days. Baby will need to eat and nap on schedule so plan accordingly. A great trip to take with babies and toddlers and even older kids, is a beach vacation. There is still plenty of beach time left in the year so plan your trip now.

A beach vacation can be a pleasure for every family member. It's a perfect mix of relaxation and enjoyment. The ocean is calming, the air invigorating, and everyone on the trip will be guaranteed a good night's sleep after a day at the beach.

When traveling to the beach make sure you have lounge chairs, a nice sturdy chair if you are nursing your baby and need to sit up, blankets or a Neat Sheet, plenty of towels, sunscreen (remember to reapply throughout the day), wide brimmed hats and sunglasses, sand pails, shovels, sieves, a pail with a cover for catching interesting beach wildlife (but make sure you return all creatures back to their natural habitat at the end of the day), swimming suits, plus a sweatshirt in case the weather turns, life jackets, and plenty of food and fresh water to keep well hydrated in the sun. Make sure you have enough baby supplies such as diapers, wipes, food, and formula, to last for your day at the beach. Also, bring along something to dispose of the used diapers - never leave a dirty diaper on the beach or in or near the water! If baby will be napping there, make sure you bring along a covered pack 'n play or portable tent so baby can sleep out of the sun.

There are many great beaches in the U.S.

California: If you are planning a trip to California, San Diego has some of the state's most pristine sandy beaches, with wide open shores. Try Coronado or Mission Bay for the best bets with families. Plus San Diego has lots of other family activities to engage in. Further North is Dana Point located in Orange County near San Juan has a Festival of Whales every March and is worth the trip. Mother's Beach is close to Venice Beach but is a tranquil and peaceful beach even on busy days. Monterey, 40 miles south of San Francisco is a family fun beach town. There are trails, a beautiful rocky shoreline, and views of the mountains. Families can rent kayaks, watch the seals, or visit the aquarium. Stinson Beach, near the Golden Gate bridge is 3 1/2 miles of sand for great swimming, surfing, and sunbathing.

Texas: South Padre Island is the best know Texas beach with 30 miles of beautiful beaches. This is a great family destination but make sure you time your trip around college spring break times.

Florida: With the entire state surrounded by ocean, there is sure to be plenty of great beaches. Two of the best beaches, Fort Myers Beach and the beach at Naples have been voted best family beaches and are known for their recreational opportunities and powdery sands. Vero Beach has miles of beach plus woodland pathways, turtle quests, surfing, kayaking and unique shopping. Crescent Beach offers miles of uncrowded beaches, dolphins swimming along the coast and other surprises. If you are planning a beach vacation to Florida with your children you must check out this website for the best information: Family Travel Files. When you get to their website click on Beaches and Florida. This site has very detailed information and is a great resource.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Baby proofing your hotel room

Baby proofing your hotel room does not need to be as extensive as your home, buy by taking a few simple steps can help your baby stay safe when on vacation.

Start by calling the hotel you are staying at and asking them what steps they can take ahead of time to baby proof your room. Some hotels will provide things like outlet plugs, toilet latches, drawer locks and other items.

Bring along a roll of blue painters tape, outlet plugs (if not provided by the hotel), a toilet latch and some twist ties. These few simple household items can baby proof in no time.

Upon arriving to your hotel, begin by removing anything dangerous that is in your child's reach. Also, check the television and stand and make sure its sturdy enough should baby pull himself/herself up on it. You can tape down electrical cords with the blue tape.

Look for small items that baby could put in his or her mouth - check under the bed, in drawers, and under all furniture.

Move drapery cords up out of baby's reach or tie them up using a twist tie.

Keep the bathroom door closed at all times, or else drape a towel over the top so the door doesn't slam shut on baby's fingers.

You can use the tape to tape shut any drawers you don't want baby to be able to open.

Close and lock all windows and doors, especially patio doors.

Use the blue tape to pad any sharp corners.

If the hotel has provided you with a crib, check it carefully for safety. Make sure the mattress fits tight. Never use a mattress in a pack 'n play as the stretchy sides allow for baby's head to get caught between the sides and the mattress. Check all the railings and bars and make sure everything is tight and in proper working order.

Finally, move any trash cans to the top of dressers or tables or in closets. It's easy to forget and throw something in the trash that your child can dig out and put in their mouth.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

New product - perfect for travel with baby

We recently had a customer special request this item and after doing a little bit of research - we decided to add it to our growing inventory of great travel products. It's called the Medela Quick Clean Micro Steam Bags and comes in a box containing 5 bags. You use the to clean breast pump parts and nipples or pacifiers by just adding a little bit of water and steaming in the microwave. Each bag can be reused up to 20 times. How convenient for traveling with your little ones - even for cleaning pacifiers that get dropped all over town. (When we traveled to New York City I wanted to Steam Clean my kids!)

I read reviews on other websites that sell this product and they were all glowing, so we've decided to add them. You can find them at JetSetBabies in the bottle section of our site.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Travel tip - family pre-boarding on the airplane

To pre-board or not pre-board? There are many stories on the web about the benefits of pre-boarding the plane when traveling with a baby or small child. The option of pre-boarding is a personal preference, but personally, I have never pre-boarded and try to be the one of the last people on the plane when I traveled with my young children.

I traveled quite frequently with both my children when they were between the ages of 6 months and two years old. Both my children were very active and curious, even as small babies. Being confined in a car seat or even on mom's lap never was the most exciting part of their day. They loved to move and explore. So whenever we traveled, we would walk all around the airport exploring and boarded the plane at the very last moment to avoid having to be seated in a confined space for too long. Even the slow walk up the aisle to our seats, has provided entertainment for the baby who enjoys people watching. By the time we find our seats and get situated the plane is usually ready for take off and we are on our way.

I alway brought along small toys and snacks for the plane ride. Whenever I traveled with my son, who was by far the more active of the two kids, I used to bring a empty wipes container filled with ordinary objects from around the house that would be new to him to explore. Things like cotton balls, popsicle sticks, rubber ducks, stacking cups or a ring of measuring spoons, helped keep his attention away from standing up and grabbing the hair of the person sitting in front of him! Most of the items we brought were inexpensive so if we lost them on the plane or anywhere on our trip, it was not an issue. My son once dropped his bottle on the plane during ascending, and the bottle rolled back about five rows before being stopped by someone's bag under the seat! We didn't get it back until after we were getting off the plane.

My choice of not pre-boarding would be different if we were traveling on an airline that didn't issue seating assignments, but I have been lucky to never have been in that situation.

Patty, owner JetSetBabies

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Kids Magical Wonder

Kids Magical Wonder is dedicated to bringing you quality boutique items, with the highest level of customer service. It is there goal to be your favorite internet boutique.

From fabulous nursery decor, to the posh crib bedding, its all there. Along with some of the hottest names in designer baby clothing, such as Baby Nay, Bossy Baby, and Sweet Peanut, just to name a few. Looking for a unique diaper bag? Check out the stylish collection from Clairebella and JP Lizzy.

If you are looking for a unique gift for the special child in your life, look no further. Kids Magical Wonder has a fabulous selection of toys, including doll houses, activity sets, kitchen sets, rockers and train tables.

Visit them today at http://www.kidsmagicalwonder.com/ .

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Introduction to JetSetBabies

JetSetBabies opened its "doors" for business on February 13, 2003...but the concept was born way before than. In March of 2001, I was taking a trip to Phoenix with my two children, Aaron, then 7, and Anna was just 7 months. While trying to figure out how I was going to pack and carry all my baby supplies by myself, I thought I could probably buy baby supplies on-line and ship them directly to my vacation destination. Well, I searched the web and couldn't find a company that specialized in providing that service, so instead, I bought some baby food, diapers, and other groceries at NetGrocer and sent them ahead. Needless to say, it was fabulous to have a huge box of supplies waiting for me when I arrived and not having had to carry them.

When I returned from my trip, I mentioned to a friend what I had done, and happened to say that I was surprised I couldn't find a company that did only that. She turned to me and said - "Why don't we do it". And so the company http://www.jetsetbabies.com/ was born. We spent several months building a website, choosing products, and finding a wholesaler, as well as all the paperwork that goes into starting a new business. We had the JetSetBabies site ready to launch and chose a start date of Oct. 1, 2001. However, in September of 2001, tragedy struck the U.S. and we were apprehensive about how the terrorist attacks would affect the travel industry. We agreed to wait a year before starting our new business. A year lasted a little longer than anticipated, but we turned on the site in February of 2003.

JetSetBabies has not only been a fun and exciting venture for us as business owners, but become a helping hand to traveling parents all over the world. If you've never used our services, we ship diapers, wipes, formula, baby food, and hundreds of other baby supplies that you use on a daily basis....directly to your vacation destination so it is waiting upon arrival. No more need to lug heavy suitcases, and pay overweight fees at the airport. No more finding a grocery store in a new city you've never been to before. What a lifesaver for the vacationing parents.

We ship all over the world and we also ship to places within the United States for people coming here from other places in the world.

We also do home delivery of all of our products. We even do home delivery to other parts of the world. Please check us out often.

Happy travels!