Flying alone with a baby and a toddler

We have flown twice just the three of us: Liam, Mika and I. Every time I get several times the same question “are you flying alone?” yes, I’m flying alone with a baby and a toddler. Then I get THE look “OMG, you must be crazy!”. Well, I’m not crazy, but there’re two choices, either I fly with the two little ones without Paul and visit my family or have some holidays, or I stay at home. But how is flying alone with a baby and a toddler?

travelling with toddler and babyFor our first flight, we got what I call the jackpot: 3 hours delay! Until the moment of boarding everything went very smooth: I breastfeed Mika just before leaving home, he sleept on the ride from home to the airport and even after I put him in the ringsling, he was still sleeping. The security let me go through without taking him out of it and Liam was happy walking with his suitcase to the (right) gate. Too good to be true, right? Just 15 min before boarding the time was changed to almost three hours later 🙁

travelling alone

I didn’t have any food with me, as with KLM you get a warm snack on board, I decided to go back to the restaurants area. With our 5€ voucher we bought some drinks and snacks at the burger king and Liam spent the time in a play area. We went back to the gate and we have the first “why am I doing this alone?” moment: Mika was in the ringsling and I had to change the diaper of Liam. No so much of an issue, if the toilets weren’t have been downstairs. I asked the stewardess at the gate to watch our luggage and that wasn’t a problem. Fine! While changing the diaper, Mika started to cry and within seconds I had three women offering some help. Should I let a stranger change my son’s poo diaper? You bet I did.

Once in the airplane, we were all tired and the two little ones felt soon asleep. I used the ringsling as a blanket as it was pretty cold. We landed at 23:15 in Madrid and I was afraid Liam wouldn’t want to wake up and walk to the exit, fortunately I didn’t have to show my (not yet so good) double carry skills (I had second carrier for him) as he woke up when the stewardess gave him cookies. We had a long day, but we arrived fine!

travelling with toddler and baby 2
flying alone with a baby and a toddler: we use our ringsling also us a blanket

The flight back left on time, however we had “poo alarm” just before taking off. So I hurry up to change Liam (I handed Mika to one stewardess) and in the moment I was back to my seat, Mika decided to poo as well. Puff!! one more time to the toilet. And you’re not going to believe it, but as soon as I sat again, he had to poo again!! By that time the airplane was starting its way to the runaway, so I had to wait to be in the air in order to change him again (I try to avoid this as you don’t know when you will get turbulences). I think the woman sitting in the aisle wasn’t amused with all the times she and I had to stand up 😀

TIP for those travelling without children: ask to be seated somewhere else if there’s any free seat. On all the other flights, we didn’t have anyone sitting next to us.

Our third flight (Amsterdam – Madrid) was sooo easy in comparison with the previous time. No delays and two sleeping children as soon as we took off.

travelling with toddler and baby 3
flying alone with a baby and a toddler

The flight back was a hard one as it took off at 6am!! I know it’s my own guilt and I shouldn’t have bought such an early flight. I packed everything the night before and I put children to sleep with the cloths they will wear on the plane (I always do this when we have to leave really early). My alarm clock was set at 4:15 am and we were at the airport just before 5am. I was afraid that I would have two sleepy babies, but the were awake in the airport and felt asleep in the airplane again. The funny part of this flight was that Mika had a poo explosion and I was finishing changing his cloths when the plane started its way to the runaway. We made it back to our seat just in time to fasten the seat belt 🙂

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And here are my takeaway from flying alone with a baby and a toddler:

  • take only hand luggage and as less as possible
  • you can take a child luggage like the Trunki Ride-On and use it to carry your toddler through the airport
  • bring an ergonomic baby carrier (also if you take a stroller), you can use it to wear the baby and also as a blanket. If you don’t have one, you can buy an amazonas ringsling which it’s quite cheap.
  • avoid too early or too late flights
  • take some snacks with you
  • bring a lot of patience

Have you ever flown alone with your children? What are your takeaways?

3 Comments

  1. I remember those days, although I don’t think I flew alone with my girls until they were a bit older – at 2 and at 4. Sounds like it was a success overall. Too bad about the delay, and as for the stranger changing the diaper – I am not sure what I would have done, but lately I have been surprising myself all the time with decisions I make.

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