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One parent flying with toddler and baby

9 replies

MumsKnitters · 04/11/2019 21:19

My daughter is wanting to come over from the States to visit with a just turning 2 year old, and 3 month old. They'll have two seats for the three of them, and we're not sure how best to manage this. Baby in car seat? Baby in sling? Which one on the knee? Both are breastfed, so need to be fed on her lap at some point.

She can't be the first to do this - advice gratefully received!

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feliciabirthgiver · 04/11/2019 21:28

I honestly would book three seats, and also request sky cot seats (the bassinet is great for sleeping baby, plonking toddler in and storing books/toys etc.

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ColdRainAgain · 04/11/2019 21:35

Honestly? I'd wait til the oldest is over 2.
That removes the need for carseats on the plane, resolves issues at takeoff, turbulence and landing. She will have enough stuff to cart around the airport without adding a carseat to the mix.
Be warned that babies in slings need to be forward facing (so, not chest to chest in the sling) when the seatbelt is in.

That said, have a look at a cares harness. I've never seen one used, but have heard lots if people talk about them - mainly stateside.

Other things to think about - how much stuff can you get this end - cots, highchair, carseats. She will probably need to bring the pushchair (nb, if you transit at an airport, you may well not get the pushchair back - it tends to go to final destination). Nappies could also help. Dont underestimate juggling everything at the airport - luggage drop and security were hard going.

Of course its possible. Be prepared for an exhausted daughter to arrive tho!

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dementedpixie · 04/11/2019 21:39

Better check the airline rules especially if both are under 2 as she might need an adult lap for each child

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ArfArfBarf · 04/11/2019 21:39

I flew alone with dd and ds at similar ages from London to LA. I got a bassinet position and non-sleeping baby ds actually really seemed to like it. Only problem was having to remove him when we hit turbulence which woke him up and ruined the miracle.

The real difficulties were using the toilet - I was lucky that the couple next to me were really friendly and offered to watch ds.

Also that difficult bit between getting all my bags and getting through arrivals. I did manage to drag it all through but it is impossible to push a luggage trolley and a pushchair and by that point dd was done walking.

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Waterdropsdown · 04/11/2019 21:40

When I looked at something similar to this the airline I was going to fly with told me it was not possible for one adult to fly with 2 under 2. The reason being safety - the under 2 y/o has to sit on the adults lap for take off and landing and be belted to that adult. Makes sense when you think about it.
Is there someone who can fly with the mother?

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newmumwithquestions · 04/11/2019 21:52

Having flown (short haul) with a toddling 1 year old and fully mobile potty training 2 year old I disagree with PP suggesting waiting until they’re older. A baby and a toddler would have been so much easier than 2 that were on the move.

Definitely get a bassinet seat. They’re pretty good, well great if baby sleeps. Where I’ve seen this is a bassinet in from of a normal seat, so doesn’t use an extra seat (ie 2 seats are fine). You can’t use them for take off/landing - best to feed baby then so the pressure change is less likely to affect their ears.

Like most things it depends on luck on the day. Whilst the baby might cry the 2 year old has more capacity to cause havoc.

Pushchairs can be kept until the gate on departing but even when prearranged in advance do not necessarily meet you at the gate on arrival. Tell her to have baby in a sling so it’s not the end of the world if there’s no pushchair on arrival.
I wouldn’t take car seats and would pack as light as possible. But have loads and loads of snacks for the flight.
Any screen rules are off for the journey - get headphones for the older one so they can stare at the screen.

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ColdRainAgain · 04/11/2019 22:01

newmumwithquestions you cant do 2 under 2 without a carseat with only one adult. You either need a method of securing an under 2 in a plane seat (carseat), an extra adult- usually in a different row, as most planes dont have infant oxygen masks in all rows, and never have 2 masks in one block, or wait til there is only one under the age of 2.

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Jeleste · 04/11/2019 22:07

I travel lots with my kids, sometimes with DH and so.etimes without. Its been like this since they were born because we live far from family (flights are usually 11h - transit - 10h).

From what i remember, travelling with a small baby is much easier than now when both my kids are toddlers.
The baby will get a basket and if youre lucky it will just sleep in there. With DS this worked really well. Like that the older child can have a seat and the mother has the other. DD was a bit harder. She had to be rocked to sleep, so i would just hold her while DS was on his own seat next to me and once the plane was in the air i would walk up and down the isle rocking her until she slept. I could never put her in the basket, because she would always wake up right away, so i just held her the entire flight. Luckily DS is easy on the plane, so i got to focus on DD most of the time.

The 2 year old will probably be the bigger issue. At that age they are too small to watch ipad for too long (mine lost interest really fast at that age) and they want to be entertained constantly. But it really depends in the kids. DS would just sleep as soon as we took off, DD was hard work.
Pack a lot of snacks and some books.
And maybe when your daughter arrives, take the kids off her so she can catch up on sleep, because theres no way she will get any on the flight ;)

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MumsKnitters · 05/11/2019 21:24

Thank you so much everybody! I really appreciate the tips! ColdRainAgain, I didn't know that you can't fly two under 2 without a car seat if there is only one adult, but it makes perfect sense that that is the case. The toddler is due to turn 2 the day after the outward flight (only a few hours after take off!).

But we may need to start again with tickets anyway. My ex-husband kindly bought her a ticket back the last time she visited in the summer so she just needed a single. Because he bought it over here, and the cost of a return was not much he booked the return part for the day before my grandson would be 2 and two seats would be needed, in case she wanted to visit again. Might need to abandon that ticket if it makes it harder though.One day later and she doesn't need a car seat.

In terms of equipment, I can borrow everything I need that I don't already have, so packing light (apart from spare clothes and snacks!) seems to be the way to go. I will look into a sky cot seat. Thanks everyone!

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