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Travelling alone with a 4 month old and a 2 year old - tips please!

21 replies

Arcticlife · 19/11/2021 05:49

Currently living abroad and on maternity leave, so have the opportunity for an extended trip home (DH can't take time off). Therefore I'm toying with the idea of flying with both DC on my own. I would have support at the start and finish of the journey, but would have to entertain them both for 2 shortish flights, with associated airport wait in the middle. I've made this journey with one child alone before. Currently thinking it probably be OK with both, as the 2 year old would have their own seat, and baby would sit on my lap. Has anyone got any top tips? Can you take a double buggy on in the same way as a single? I've always just used a baby carrier, so have never taken a buggy on a plane. Also I was thinking about a Trunkie...(the ride on suitcase)? Thanks in advance!

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Arcticlife · 19/11/2021 17:30

Bump

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ChannelJackieWeaver · 19/11/2021 17:37

The trunkie would be a lot to manage (you pulling it or carrying it etc) with a baby too. Maybe better the 2 year old has a small backpack with snacks and toys.
I would take a lightweight single buggy for 2 year old, baby in sling and large backpack with plenty wipes/change of clothes etc.

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LakeShoreD · 19/11/2021 17:45

I’d take the double buggy up to aircraft doors, presuming you’re allowed- does it fold into one piece? Changing bag and a big rucksack for stuff you’ll need in flight. Load the iPad with cartoons for the 2YO, make sure they have headphones and practice with them before you go. Take favourite snacks. Pack the sling just in case you don’t get the buggy back at the other end for any reason. The Trunkie is a shockingly bad idea because the only way it will get through the airport is with you dragging it.

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littlelordfuckleroy · 19/11/2021 17:45

Grit your teeth

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isurvived3under2 · 19/11/2021 17:45

Yep you can take a double buggy. Do it, it won't be that bad. Lots of toys, snacks and an iPad are your friends. Carrier for the baby and with a bit of luck baby will sleep. You can buy a seat for the baby so you have more space for the 3 of you and it means you don't have to share your row with anyone else - sometimes a child fare is cheaper than an instant fare.

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isurvived3under2 · 19/11/2021 17:45

Infant, not instant, sorry.

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InTheLabyrinth · 19/11/2021 17:58

Dont take a double buggy if you are doing connecting flights. There is no guarantee you will get it back in the middle.
Get a pushchair that folds small enough for the overhead lockers for the toddler, front carry the baby, and rucksac for the stuff.
Do not, ever, consider a trunki again. They are more trouble than they are worth.
We had carseats that lived at my parents. Mum didnt trust herself to put them in, so she would put them in the boot and I'd deal with setting them up in the airport carpark. Ditto for a (second hand) double buggy, unless you can get a single to live at your parents for days when there are 2 adults, and carry the baby if you go out alone?

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grey12 · 19/11/2021 18:06

@ChannelJackieWeaver

The trunkie would be a lot to manage (you pulling it or carrying it etc) with a baby too. Maybe better the 2 year old has a small backpack with snacks and toys.
I would take a lightweight single buggy for 2 year old, baby in sling and large backpack with plenty wipes/change of clothes etc.

This!

Big tip!! Take a small bag with absolute essentials to have with you in the plane. I'll explain: you usually sit in the front row if lucky so there is no space to put a bag. If it doesn't fit in the little pocket it's not with you...... so something that will "kind of" fit is good. That way you have water, small snacks (squeezy ones are good or bars, it has to be something they will definitely eat! Like a treat-ish), wet wipes, paracetamol (🤷🏻‍♀️), small toy.
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Arcticlife · 19/11/2021 18:24

@littlelordfuckleroy

Grit your teeth

Hahaha exactly!! I think I might have to buy an i pad just for this adventure Gin
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Arcticlife · 19/11/2021 18:28

@InTheLabyrinth

Dont take a double buggy if you are doing connecting flights. There is no guarantee you will get it back in the middle.
Get a pushchair that folds small enough for the overhead lockers for the toddler, front carry the baby, and rucksac for the stuff.
Do not, ever, consider a trunki again. They are more trouble than they are worth.
We had carseats that lived at my parents. Mum didnt trust herself to put them in, so she would put them in the boot and I'd deal with setting them up in the airport carpark. Ditto for a (second hand) double buggy, unless you can get a single to live at your parents for days when there are 2 adults, and carry the baby if you go out alone?

Loud and clear on the Trunki! Yes, we have car seats and buggy and I actually have my own clothes and stuff all there, so hopefully would be able to travel pretty light. Love slings and carriers, use them all the time. Could I have a sling with baby on the front and ergo carrier with 2 year old on the back? Or would I look like a seaside donkey? Grin
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negomi90 · 19/11/2021 18:33

If you had baby on front and toddler on back - how would you carry your stuff?
Get a cheapo push chair which will fit in the overhead lockers. Or failing that - your toddler can walk, make it a game and be carried on a hip in an emergency. Leave your back for a back pack.

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InTheLabyrinth · 19/11/2021 18:34

Trouble with double carrying (and to some extent heavish rucksac and sling) is getting a combination where all straps are in a comfortable position! I love donkeys!
I wouldnt do a rucksac for the 2 year old. It will just be one more thing for you to carry!

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Arcticlife · 19/11/2021 21:12

@InTheLabyrinth

Trouble with double carrying (and to some extent heavish rucksac and sling) is getting a combination where all straps are in a comfortable position! I love donkeys!
I wouldnt do a rucksac for the 2 year old. It will just be one more thing for you to carry!

Good point!
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ancientgran · 19/11/2021 21:23

It is useful that you can travel light. When I travelled with two of mine when they were young managing the luggage was the worst bit. I was going to suggest sending stuff on so you only had hand luggage to worry about but it doesn't sound like that will be needed.

The other problem was going to the loo, two kids and bags made it tricky but I imagine lots of airports will have family loos now, I hope so anyway.

I found lots of snacks and drinks were a good distraction but that might be because the two concerned liked eating and I'm not above a bit of bribery and corruption.

I think the ipad and headphones is a good idea I'd certainly have used it if they existed back then.

Good luck, have a wonderful time.

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grey12 · 20/11/2021 10:13

This is my airplane little bag, hand for size comparison Wink it's not that small but can be fit (kind of, shoved) in the pocket and that's all that matters for the flight attendant

Travelling alone with a 4 month old and a 2 year old - tips please!
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ShortDaze · 20/11/2021 10:22

Check if the airports concerned have buggies you can borrow. Last time I flew I was surprised to see a row of them available near the gate. If they both do, then I’d do sling in a front carry, handbag (passports etc), backpack, hold 2yo’s hand until you get the airport buggy.

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grey12 · 20/11/2021 12:15

@ShortDaze

Check if the airports concerned have buggies you can borrow. Last time I flew I was surprised to see a row of them available near the gate. If they both do, then I’d do sling in a front carry, handbag (passports etc), backpack, hold 2yo’s hand until you get the airport buggy.

If you are in a real pickle (and there are many available) you can pick up a wheelchair Blush especially if you know the queues for passport control are hours long Confused
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Arcticlife · 20/11/2021 17:17

Thanks everyone, some great tips there. I feel braver now to get booking!

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ancientgran · 20/11/2021 20:39

Just wanted to add if someone offers help don't be afraid to accept. When my mother was in her 70s she flew for the first time to see one of my siblings who lived abroad. She was terrified. On the journey coming back she got chatting to a young mum at the airport, she was nervous as well. They ended up sitting together and my mother had the young woman's baby to give her a break, helped with the baby while mum sorted out the buggy etc. I think it was such a help to both of them.

Have a great trip.

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Hoptoit1 · 20/11/2021 20:47

I've had one in a sling before and toddler on reins on a flight (toddler in lightweight pushchair in airport). Toddler could then get down out of seat but not go very far.
Be aware every time I've taken mine abroad on my own I've had pushchair swabbed and even little one searched. Toddler also has a little rucksack with toys, books, colouring and snacks (I also have an emergency new toy in my bag just incase).

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grey12 · 20/11/2021 21:28

@Hoptoit1

I've had one in a sling before and toddler on reins on a flight (toddler in lightweight pushchair in airport). Toddler could then get down out of seat but not go very far.
Be aware every time I've taken mine abroad on my own I've had pushchair swabbed and even little one searched. Toddler also has a little rucksack with toys, books, colouring and snacks (I also have an emergency new toy in my bag just incase).

Ohh the memories!! Always been stopped for extra searches Confused they really pick on parents with small kids and pregnant ladies........
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