i am terrified. flying to new york with 9 month and 2 year old alone(48 Posts)
can i get the crew to help me? what do i do with baby while helping toddler to the loo? how do i entertain them both for 8 hours?
please send advice
My advice is do not do this trip alone. In fact do not do it at all - unless you have to because you are moving there.... Surely you are not taking a nine month and 2 year old sight seeing in New York....
Who are you flying with? It helps. It can be done you just need to be organised,
If you can pay for a seat for the baby as well as the space will help. Suggest baby in sling or baby bjorn so you have hands free. Take buggy to the gate so you can push 2 yr old get a rucksack trolly you can hook over handles of the buggy and a smaller rucksack for 2 yr old. In your bag have plastic bags of different colours so you know, orange nappies / wipes, blue toys, white snacks etc, red change of clothes.
When you go to the loo ask the hostess to hold the baby outside the door. If then say they can't for H&S oly happened to me once a passenger held the baby , you and a 2 yr old can fit in the loo. Otherwise I always found the crew to be superhelpful. I asked when they were serving the meal to advise 10/20 mins before so took smaller one to the loo. If baby sleeps make a bed on the floor with blankets and pillows . I could go on and on but lots of people have done it. The worst bit I found was waiting to do immigration but I had a buggy the size of hand luggage so had toddler in that......
I have to take the trip. not sight seeing. visiting family. its a long story. tickets already purchased. cant afford a seat for the baby.
wasnt planning on bringing a buggy. toddler can walk and baby in carrier. family on the other end has a buggy for me.
I like the idea of making a bed on the floor.
It may well have been far easier for your family to visit you instead but its done now.
Would organise yourself properly in terms on what to bring as well as passports and airline e-tickets beforehand. Know where it all is; have it all to hand.
Which airline and airport are you using?.
Do not rely on the airline to fully provide the children re meals; bring along foodstuffs that they like. Also a change of clothes for them and you if either are sick.
I would ask fellow passengers to assist you. Do not be afraid to ask for help.
Crew may or may not be helpful; depends very much on the person. Some may cite health and safety issues re holding child whilst you go to the toilet.
You will not be able to make a bed on the floor due to risk of turbulence. Baby will have to stay on your lap for the duration.
It can be a long walk to immigration from the plane's jetway, you may well have to keep stopping and starting. For that reason I would reconsider not bringing your own buggy (you will receive that at the jetway).
Depending on your airline you maybe able to request assistance moving in & around the airport as travelling with two small ones.
Under no circumstances will you be able to let babe sleep on floor - you will be made to pick them up even if they are asleep.
Some airlines provide "car seats" or additional support aids to perhaps put the other DC in?
As mentioned crew can only do so much due to H&S and other duties but I'm sure they will do their upmost to assist you ( as will other kind pax around you I'm sure!)
Hope it goes well
Both mine slept on the floor at various times - Nobody said a thing . When the seatbelt sign came on I picked her up and strapped her in . When they were at the just standing I sware dd1 bounced, pulled herself up and down floor / seat / floor / seat ( not climbing on it ) just standing and bouncing , toys were on the seat the entire way over the atlantic, again nobody said a thing . WHen there was turbulence - picked her up and strapped her in . THis was with Virgin .
I flew single handed to Sidney with DD when she was just 11 months. This was with BA and the staff were very helpful.
The people over the aisle from me had a 2yo boy and they made a bed for him on the floor and again, noone said a word.
IME the most helpful fellow passengers were all Germans!
I flew to Australia on my own when mine had just turned 2&5. It wasn't a barrel of laughs but it was ok.
The worst bit was in the airport for me. How did I think I was going to push a buggy and my luggage
I had a sling on the plane so I could have a rest and know where the little one was.
I said yes a lot. Can I watch tv? Can I have an apple? Can you read me a story?
Someone will hold your baby while you go to the loo. Just ask someone.
ok. airline has said they will give me special assistance in airport...have no idea what that involves.
baby cot is booked although my baby is 0.1 kilo under the max weight?...
how can i even fit enough food and toys in my carry on?? plus nappy and changes of clothes for everyone???
Just take the bare minimum that you need for the journey.
Ask family to collect thrift store/ borrowed/ any old clothes plus nappies, toiletries and food along with buggy so that when they meet you you can all have a good clean up.
Really think you need a buggy. WE took our 2 to US when dd was 11 months and ds 2.5 - he ended up in the buggy going through immigration because he was utterly shattered. The wait for immigration can be around 1 hour sometimes (other times you can walk right through..special help might mean they will fast track you through it but wouldn't like to guarantee it.
Take a light change of clothes for yourself in case you get thrown up on.
Take an iPad and plenty of toddler game apps and films.
Don't do the trip. Far too difficult looking after two children by yourself. I wouldn't even dream of doing the trip alone with one baby never mind two.
"ok. airline has said they will give me special assistance in airport...have no idea what that involves".
You need to ascertain what they will provide in terms of help well ahead of time. They may well direct you to the family line if its Terminal 5 at Heathrow but otherwise you may well expected to get to the gate in good time.
I get special assistance when I fly to Aus on my own with 2. Last time I went they were 3.5 and 9months so it's not easy.
In Singapore/Sydney they greet me off the plane, escort me through security/customs/passport quickly, carry my bags, etc. V helpful when I had a huge wheelie bag, 1 baby in the buggy and a 3 year old wanting to run around like mad.
The 2 year old will have their own seat/be glued to tv surely.
It's seriously not that hard. You just have to expect to be up and down a bit.
Perhaps look at sky nannies, there might be someone flying who can help.
I did this trip back and forth about six times when we lived in the US. I only had one child at the time, which made it easier. This is what I took:
1 large wheeled suitcase
Buggy - essential in airport in case you're delayed or there's a long distance to walk. Get an 'umbrella' style. Very compact, lightweight, but functional.
Shoulder bag with your stuff in it and all your travel docs, wallet, etc
Bag with all baby stuff in it. Spare clothes, bottles, snacks, toys, blankets. I had a canvas beach bag from Gap that was enormous (a nappy bag will not be big enough). No one ever said a word!
You can buy baby food and formula in Boots once you get through to departures. Take extra nappies - some babies get upset tummies on planes. Take plenty of muslins/wipes too and dummies if your DC like them. They soothe little ears on take off and landing (as does feeding).
How do you walk with all this sh*t? Child in buggy, baby in carrier, one carry on bag over each shoulder, wheelie suitcase dragged behind you. It's doable - just. I usually found someone to help me though. Good luck!
This is the bag I have, but in a different colour:
Gap Tote Bag
Re: the stroller thing. I know you don't want to take one, but remember that when you land in the US it's probably going to be late night. Your 2-year-old will be EXHAUSTED and she won't want to walk. You won't be able to carry her, the baby and everything else, so please take a stroller. I speak from experience!
P.S. US customs can be brutal - the queue is usually really long - and you will have to stand in it the same as everyone else. If you're on a big plane (which you will be - and you'll be slow walking to join the line so you'll be near the back), it can take anything from 10 mins to an hour or more to reach the front and get your passport stamped. You need to take a stroller. Really!
Take a small buggy. The journeythrough the airport with your luggage/bags etc will be long and painful if you don't.
I have done it to Canada and back with two connecting flights. It's very hard but feasable. Be very organised, have an entire bag full of little toys.
Also, but that's off the record, I gave both my children calpol before the flight. Children's ears are more sensitive than ours and calpol takes away some of the pain from air pressure.
I used to fly between the US and UK regularly with my 3 DC on my own. I had the pleasure of flying with a 4month old, a two year old and a three year old.
I can't say it was the most enjoyable thing in the world but it always seemed to work out OK. TBH they quite often slept and it is not that long a trip to New York. I mainly flew Virgin or BA. I found that I liked to be totally self sufficient and I would always have all the kids food with me. I also didn't like to use the assisted passengers services as I just liked to dash off the plane as soon as possible rather than have to wait around for someone to assist me.
I usually found the staff in the airport and in the air to be very helpful but it's best not to rely on them in case they are too busy.
Going to the loo was never a problem although nappy changing was a bit of a pain. I used to take ziplock bags with a change of cloths in for each DC then, if I had to change them I could pop the dirty cloths back inthe ziplock bag. I used to take a change of clothes for myself too. You really don't need to take toys on the flight apart from the very basics, perhaps a teddy and some colOuring stuff.
I also took lollipop to stuff into the older DC's mouths when we landed to stop them from whinging. I also made sure I had sick bags to hand as they sometimes felt a bit nauseous from jet lag.
My final tip would be to talk to your DR about giving the DCs (or at least the older one) something to help them sleep and to stop air sickness. I always carried some phenergan with me and used it with great success from time to time.
Whenthey were little I carried as little as possible with me, just one carry on with changes of clothes, nappies and food plus our documents.
I also used a bare bones umbrella stroller but did insist on it being carried in the cabin. I managed to put the two older DCs on it and I would carry the baby. Not easy but not impossible.
I also got the DC's checked over by their DR before we flew if I thought there was a chance of them having ear infections. I learnt that one from experience!
Good luck, I am sure it will be ok.
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