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Long haul flight, just me, toddler and baby. Am I being insane?

(63 Posts)
CeilingThomas Sun 09-Aug-15 09:22:26

I have family in New Zealand and we're planning a family Christmas out there this year. My parents and other sister and her family have booked their flights, and we're looking into options that would work for us.

I'm likely to have to fly out with my 3.9yr old DS and 8month old DD alone because my husband doesn't have much holiday left so will fly out at a later date and fly back with me and the kids. The reason I'm thinking of going earlier is because it'll be much cheaper. Something we need to think about as I'm on mat leave and not bringing in much money at all.

Anyone have experience travelling alone with two kids of similar age? Is this a really bad idea?

Thanks in advance!

BullshitS70 Sun 09-Aug-15 09:27:59

Well just think - no one is going to die, you will all arrive in one piece. Erm....those are the posetives!

Its do able, but very hard for you potentially, but in your shoes I would do it to save the money

OwlinaTree Sun 09-Aug-15 09:29:58

If you breast feed and the 8 month old is non mobile and can go in the bassinet you should be OK. We flew with a nine month old and this was the case. Even if you don't breast feed they provide milk and stuff. I think you will be OK with those ages.

OwlinaTree Sun 09-Aug-15 09:31:14

Yes to bullshit. Keep reminding yourself 'it's public transport!'

OwlinaTree Sun 09-Aug-15 09:31:52

We flew to nz.

Mia1415 Sun 09-Aug-15 09:32:53

I'd do it! Expect it to be horrendous though & then anything less than this will be a pleasant surprise :-) I've heard flight crew are especially helpful to people travelling alone with small children. Have a great holiday

2littlefishes Sun 09-Aug-15 09:33:59

Do it!!

I'l bet it's not half as bad as your thinking it'll be smile take lots of activities for your oldest and even if your don't use one currently, I'd take a sling for your baby so u can manage toilet trips ect and have your hands free.

At least your husbands travelling back with you. So even if the flight was dreadful, you won't have to do it again wink

CarriesBucketOfBlood Sun 09-Aug-15 09:34:17

I think it will be wearing, but I would just keep reminding yourself that you have paid to be there, and that you will never have to see the other people on the plane again so they can suck up a crying baby and any other difficulties that you encounter.

Then again, I am one of those people who reclines on a short haul flight and doesn't give a fuck about the person behind them so maybe I will be shot down!

OwlinaTree Sun 09-Aug-15 09:35:41

Your 3.9yo will be good with the films etc I expect?

purplemurple1 Sun 09-Aug-15 09:37:40

I'm planing a 12 trip (inc two flights) with a 10 month and 2 and a bit yr old.
Have you looked at booking assistance at the airports?
Also some airlines let you take an umbrella pushchair on the flight which should be useful.

PosterEh Sun 09-Aug-15 09:39:47

I've flown to LA with a just 2yr old and a 4 month old and it was fine. I always had a more exciting treat held back as backup in case the shit really hit the fan.
Worst part was that I had smugly got them to have a nap almost immediately and then there was a tiny bit of turbulence and they told me I had to take baby out from bassinet (they later changed their mind frustratingly) which woke everyone up and they didn't sleep again for the whole flight! I did sit next to a lovely woman who asked to hold the baby and I practically threw him at her I was so grateful.
I'd do it again though.

ChasedByBees Sun 09-Aug-15 09:43:13

I would try and get someone to meet you either side of the flight and then you only have beyond security and the flight to deal with.

On the flight, they're not exactly going to get lost! Take tons of toys, maybe a DVD player and headphones. I'd do it.

WhyCantIuseTheNameIWant Sun 09-Aug-15 09:54:08

Buy or rent a cares belt.
It turns the lap belt into a shoulder harness.
Buy bottles of drink for the toddler, after security.
It will be awful, for you and them. But worth it. It's only few hours...
Serious consideration...
How do you usually manage if they are both crying and you are alone with them?
How do they cope on other long journeys? Car/train...
If they are usually ok, and you are normally relaxed, it will be easier!

mysteryfairy Sun 09-Aug-15 10:00:01

If your parents and sister have booked flights any hope you could go on the same one as them?

Bullshitbingo Sun 09-Aug-15 10:02:21

Sorry but you couldn't pay me to take this sort of trip. I have a 3 yr old and a 9 month old, it would be hell! But then my 9 mth old is no longer breast fed and very mobile, he would scream the whole flight if he wasn't allowed to get on the floor and crawl around. I hope it works out for you, but it makes me feel a bit nauseous just thinking about it! Also with two little ones, you won't get any sleep the whole trip, including getting to airports, stopoffs etc, you could be looking at 30-40 hrs no sleep, can you handle that and still be on the ball with the kids? I know I'd be a mess.

AnotherTimeMaybe Sun 09-Aug-15 10:12:50

Get an iPad with preloaded videos, lots of snacks, an antibacterial gel and pray for the best!
I d probably do it, you ll find many crew that will want to hold the baby! I had to grab mine from a couple of them, they were all over him

Don't give your DS sugar though !

PinPon Sun 09-Aug-15 10:16:56

I've done a similar trip to visit family and would definitely go for it. It is challenging but worth it. The trip is a finite length and you'll have family to help on both ends. You'll just be doing the airport and flights without other adult help. Not insane at all.

ArendelleQueen Sun 09-Aug-15 10:22:02

It's a bit insane wink but I'd go for it. It's only one day and it will pass. Take lots of activities and snacks. I'm sure some seasoned expert parents on here will be able to advise you on how to manage it.

avocadotoast Sun 09-Aug-15 10:29:47

This could be quite useful for you to read, has some tips on the practicalities: craftedsisterhood.com/cs-contributor-amy-mataczynski-long-haul-flights-baby-style-did-i-mention-they-have-free-wine

GrinAndTonic Sun 09-Aug-15 10:35:00

Some airlines will not let you fly with two small children if you are the only adult. The reasoning is if the plane has issues you can't look after yourself and two children safely. I'd check that first.

MagicMojito Sun 09-Aug-15 12:36:39

Wow, you people are making me feel bad! I Haven't even ventured out of my own town with my dds on my own (they are 1and3.5) blushshock

If you think it won't be too traumatic if things do go wrong, and if you believe you are capable of handling any situations that might arise then absolutely go for it!

Personally you couldn't pay me to even attempt it I do realise I'm spectacularly crap though grin

CeilingThomas Sun 09-Aug-15 12:51:20

Thanks all for you messages and support. I really appreciate it. I'm planning to keep breast feeding going as it would be easier on the flight.
The point about what would I do if they're both crying - that's my worst fear. I'd have to stick a boob in the baby's mouth and distract toddler with toys/chocolate/videos and the chances of them both being asleep so I can get a bit of kip are negligible.

The food thing is also a worry, I'll be a couple of months into weaning the baby but could buy a stack of pouches at the airport, and would have to stock up food for toddler I case he won't eat the meals. Doable with planning I think.

My sister is travelling from Australia where she lives but travelling with my parents who are in the UK is a great idea! I'll look into that (sure they'll be delighted haha!)

Very good point re checking if airline will let me take two. If they don't we'll have to think of something else.

Congrats on a successful LA trip!! My toddler is very gentle in character and not at all demanding and very rarely has tantrums so he might well be ok. It might be an adventure for him (at first!).

Would a stop over help do you think or best to just get there? Better to have as fewer stops as possible or a couple to break up the journey and have a change of scene?

Thanks so much!!

NotInGuatemalaNowDrRopata Sun 09-Aug-15 13:31:10

Yes, I've done London - NZ many times. It's awful but if you go in with the mindset that you'll never get that 26 hours back you'll be fine. Things I've learnt:
Take more nappies than you think you'll need.
Take a change of clothes for all 3 of you, or pjs to change into on the plane.
Don't take shed loads of toys and crap - it's heavy and you've already got your hands full.
There is enough entertainment onboard - kids TV and movies, colouring in stuff they hand out.
You can take a stroller to the door and they'll get it to you on your stopover/transit.
Take an empty drink bottle for your toddler. The air hostesses will fill it for you with milk/water/juice.
If you go via Singapore, there is a transit hotel that you an book in blocks of a few hours at a time. You can have a sleep and a shower (you will prob need it).
If you get a bassinet, be wary - my DS flung himself out of it.
Don't bother taking any books or magazines for yourself (again, heavy and you won't get to look at them) if you do have some downtime there are magazines onboard and loads to watch on the screen.
An air hostess will gladly sit in your seat for you if you need to pee. Don't even try taking them both at the same time - the loo is tiny and it's very hard to pee with a baby on your lap.

NotInGuatemalaNowDrRopata Sun 09-Aug-15 13:33:40

Sorry, cross posted. I tried a stopover once in LA when I was on my own with DSs and it was awful - we were too jet lagged to function and I just wished I'd gone straight through.

Givemecoffeeplease Sun 09-Aug-15 13:54:01

I sat next to a mum doing this flight and she had kids like yours (I had a 7mo old and my husband). She totally nailed it, was relaxed, her kids were ace. Me and my DH had an awful flight and she made it look so simple. You can absolutely do it, and the staff are fab. We flew Singapore as they have a rep for being excellent with children and they really were - free toys, lots of help. And an inflight cocktail and nice wine too even in economy. Good luck

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