NZ on my own with 3 month old - stroller or sling?

(20 Posts)
greymanu Thu 03-Jan-13 22:59:13

I'm off to New Zealand soon with our 3 month old (DH is about to have unforeseen surgery and won't be cleared to fly in time). Am freaking out a bit about flying on my own, though at least I'll have Mum waiting for me at the other end!

I'll try to travel light iro hand luggage, however DS is on formula now so I'll be lugging lots of bottles plus nappies, clothes etc to cover the 35 hour journey.

My question is: stroller or sling for getting around the airport? I'm debating whether to buy a lie flat, collapsible stroller and have it loaded at the gate (not taking our Bugaboo as don't trust the baggage handlers!) or just tote him around in my Baby Bjorn (no extra expense but too heavy with bags too?). I'm borrowing a proper buggy in NZ so that's not an issue.

Anyone been in a similar situation? What worked (or didn't work...) for you? I have a bassinet confirmed which I am very relieved about. it's worth knowing Singapore Airlines are one of the few airlines that will confirm a bassinet in advance, most airlines only allocate them at check in.

Lamby80 Thu 03-Jan-13 23:09:46

Hi
I have flown shorthaul with my son and i would recommend using your sling. We took the stroller and we had to take baby out to go through security, pop him in after and it made him quite miserable, not good before a flight. Not sure whether you would need to take baby out of the sling. Also, when we have flown long haul pre-parenthood, parents were walking around with baby in sling to soothe them, a great idea! And for your stopover, you may not get the stroller back for the time you are there. Picking up luggage and wheeling the trolley will be a lot easier without a stroller. This is all opinion of course but i think a sling is the way to go.
I hope you have an amazing time, i LOVE NZ!

JassyRadlett Thu 03-Jan-13 23:38:48

I did Australia with DS when he was six months and I definitely say sling/carrier. He slept for ages in the Moby in Singapore and coming through Customs, was a very easy way to get through the airport - still hands free so fine for a small wheely bag etc.

greymanu Fri 04-Jan-13 15:20:51

Thanks for the advice on slings, I think that's the way to go. I'll pull the Kari Me sling out of the too hard basket and try to figure out how to tie the thing! The Baby Bjorn is great for toting but not so much for soothing (hadn't thought of that, thanks for the tip).

notfarmingatthemo Fri 04-Jan-13 16:34:52

you may be able to hire a pushchair at changi airport. Had a quick look. (We are flying in early march but my dds are older) Found this info on baby rooms

HuffleWitch Fri 04-Jan-13 16:41:06

No need to hire a pushchair, changi have loan strollers. They are a bit like the capsules small babies lie in on shopping trolleys. There's a picture here: http://sohcool.blogspot.se/2011/04/sia-and-changi-airport.html?m=1

They are easy to find, near most incoming gates.

I would say yes to having a stroller if you're changing flights anywhere else and have any length of time in the airport. LOs get heavy quickly, especially when you've had no sleep and are carting around all your longhaul hand luggage, and the baby's.

notfarmingatthemo Sat 05-Jan-13 11:24:10

@ Hufflewitch my girls are 7 and 11 are all the play areas going to be to babyish for them. Thinking of taking them swimming to get rid of energy.

HuffleWitch Sat 05-Jan-13 14:34:42

Hmm. I can't answer for all the play areas, having only seen one small one - enough for the kids with me at the time (2.11, 0.11, 0.5, not all mine!)

What I saw were small slides etc on some soft flooring. Not much for bigger kids. Swimming sounds great: fun, wear off energy, get clean and fresh at the same time!

I normally try to shower on my longhaul plane changes. So kind of the same thing. smile

beachavendrea Wed 09-Jan-13 14:21:09

no stroller/sling solution but I would double- triple check about the cot. we flew singapore and i double confirmed the baby cot got to check in and they couldn't give us one. in the end they gave us an extra seat but couldn't confirm that for each leg. very stressful, i think i cried.
Dont want to stress you out further but would just be good to check especially if you are by yourself.
Also changi airport is great for kids and mums.

greymanu Thu 10-Jan-13 11:23:54

Thanks for the heads up, Beachavendrea. My travel agent has been on the case for me and I've got seat numbers assigned but I'm going to get to the airport early just to make sure they don't run out!

Sunshineandscrabbled Fri 11-Jan-13 14:13:17

I flew UK to NZ & back twice, first time with my husband when baby was 3 months, second time on my own when baby was 5 months. I was dreading the first trip but don't worry, both trips were completely fine and other passengers are far more kind and understanding than I had ever expected. In fact the trip went much faster as I was busy with baby and for the first time ever I managed to sleep thanks to baby's sleep training of me!

Highly, highly, highly recommend taking a sling - it absolutely saved me on the flights. It was essential when baby got overtired, couldn't get to sleep and was screaming - we popped her in the sling walked up and down for 5 minutes and she was asleep just like magic much to our relief. Yes, it's also significantly easier for getting through customs etc (don't think I had to take her out, I think they just waved their wand over us but not sure). When in transit through the airport I didn't miss the stroller as I found a good, quiet spot, popped a rug on the floor for baby and stayed there for the wait. Also, you can never be absolutely certain you'll get your stroller back in transit no matter what the airline policy is. Plus they can be slow to reappear at the baggage collection on arrival when you just want to get out to your mum.

Good luck and enjoy your trip!

takeaway2 Fri 11-Jan-13 14:19:56

Take sling. I did that with a 4 month old and a 3 year old alone. It was fine

Also because you are flying Singapore airlines you can request for free assistance upon check in. Someone will escort you (like they do with unaccompanied minors) through immigration all the way to the lounge. That person helped immensely with carrying bags etc. all I had to do was carry my baby in sling and hold my other child's hand. smile

JetlagandMayhem Fri 11-Jan-13 14:21:18

Hi there
I live in Hong Kong but am from UK to so am regularly flying long-haul with my kids. My advice is to take both sling & stroller through airport. Normally they will let you take the stroller straight to the gate. This way you have the option i.e.
- V. useful to have baby in the stroller when you need the loo!
- If you think your baby needing to sleep and you want to get them in the sling whilst you're walking around airport, use your stroller to carry your hand luggage!

Don't be nervous, flying with 3 mth old is actually great time to fly as they'll spend much of the flight asleep and at least they fit in the bassinet!
All the best
Nicola

spatchcock Fri 18-Jan-13 18:11:19

Hello, I second everyone on the sling, it was so useful on the flight.

Can I just add that you might need to check about taking formula with you to the airport? I flew Heathrow - Auckland a couple of years ago with a small baby and at that time they advised me to buy the formula at the airport after I'd gone through security. I emailed them ahead and they put a whole load of formula aside for me to pick up.

If you need the email address PM me.

greymanu Fri 18-Jan-13 22:18:23

Thanks all for your tips. I'm feeling much more chilled about the flights now. Saw another thread on MN which recommended taking a few pairs of ear plugs to fling at anyone unwise enough to complain about a crying baby, love it!

Alligatorpie Wed 23-Jan-13 06:05:01

I agree with taking both. I flew long haul last week with my seven month old and 6 year old and this i time I was lucky enough to get my stroller back for our five hour stopover (although it was damaged) When she was 2.5 months, despite being told I would get it, it was checked through to our final destination. Luckily dh was with me that time.

It has handy having the stroller when dd1 and I went to eat, go to the bathroom etc, but it was a bit of a pain going through customs. I use an ergo so I am used to carrying her for hours at a time, but I did appreciate being able to put her down when I wanted a break.

Also, in case you don't have one, remeber to get your dh to write a note saying he is aware you are travelling with your dc. I do not always get asked for them, but it can save a lot of hassle at immigration.

Zara1984 Fri 01-Feb-13 05:07:43

Not sure if you've done your trip already OP, but I would recommend Baby Bjorn for around airport (or whatever sling you're comfortable with - not a Moby style one though as it's too much fabric and faff).

I checked in my stroller and just used Baby Bjorn when I did that same trip to NZ just before Christmas when DS was 4 weeks old. I will be doing the same tomorrow when I fly back home with now 14 week old DS! grin

If you are bf then you will be sweet, but if you want advice on how to sort out formula on the plane PM me, or search for a thread I started on this topic a wee while back. Order your cartons from Boots to pick up after security at Heathrow, but pack in your checked luggage enough cartons for return trip as they don't sell pre-made formula in NZ.

When you get to Auckland collar one of the Air NZ ground crew (lime green koru design) and get them to take you through customs as priority and help you through baggage and MAF. They will help you as you're travelling on Star Alliance network.

It is honestly a piece of cake, easiest longhaul I've ever done!

Zara1984 Fri 01-Feb-13 05:11:18

Just re-read your post, I see your DS is on formula. Get thee a Milton Solo Travel Steriliser!!

HollyMadison Fri 01-Feb-13 05:46:09

Agree with needing both stroller and sling. But don't worry if you don't get your stroller back in transit as Changi have some you can use. I think I recall having to put both my sling and my folded up stroller on the security belt - which was a dreadful hassle as I had no-one to help so had to put DS on floor then carry him through scanner in my arms!! Security may have been a bit OTT at that time.

thelittlestkiwi Fri 01-Feb-13 06:34:52

I travelled on my own with DD when she was 4 months- only on one short part of our NZ>UK trip. I'd recommend a buggy if you can steer it with one hand as well as a sling which is handy for actually getting on the plane when you need to carry baby, hand luggage and be able to present your tickets. I also had a hand luggage sized wheelie bag with four wheels so I could steer it with the other hand.

Good luck. We found Singapore Airlines great. I'll always remember getting on the plane with 4 month old DD and the air hostesses were all lined up to greet everyone. There was a chorus of 'AHhhh!!!' I've flown with a few airlines since and they are by far the best with babies/kids.

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