help! flying on my own with my 6 month old on a 11 hour flight!

Discussion in 'Baby Club' started by charima, Apr 5, 2011.

  1. charima

    charima Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2010
    Messages:
    193
    Likes Received:
    0
    hello ladies!

    after reading a fellow member's post I realized that Im probably taking too much stuff with me through security. im taking a maclaren stroller a huge car seat (the ones that work from 9kg onwards), plus hand lugagge, backpack and changing. since nobody will be there to help me, what can i do?
     
  2. PepsiChic

    PepsiChic mummy of 2 boys!

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2010
    Messages:
    5,566
    Likes Received:
    0
    i flew by myself with a 3 month old.

    if your LO is having her own seat then you need the car seat, otherwise get it checked in as luggage (thats what i did as Lo was in my lap for the flight)

    if you do get the car seat check you should manage witht he stroller fine...if you need the car seat id say put the stroller through as luggage, LO can sit in the carseat as you have to carry it around anyway.

    or if you dont mind just carrying LO (which is what i did) put both the car seat ANd stroller through as checked luggage.

    try to avoid taking the backback and fit what you need int he changing bag - ie essentials for baby, passports, wallet, money, phone, 1 book. try not to take laptops, ipods, etc. keep it to a minimum because after a while bags WILL get heavy and the more you have the longer it'll take to x-ray them and they may ask you to take everything apart to get a good look.

    if you take bottles for LO, check with your airlines guidelines, generally your safe to take 3oz in a bottle and put the bottle in a clear ziplock bag...if you take more then 3oz you must carry it on you out of the changing bag during security, show it to the security officers who will probably ask you to taste it. - bare in mind formula only lasts 2 hours at room temp!

    - basically i took, LO and changing bag - wipes, diapers, 3oz bottle EBM (i BF at the time, so the bottle was for emergencies, 2 rattles, 2 blankets for LO (planes can be a bit chilly at 40,000 feet), and change of clothes for LO. i didnt wear any jewelery except my wedding ring, didnt wear a belt, and made sure i wore shoes i could just slip on and off for security.

    also with regards to LO' outfits, make them as EASY as possible, changing diapers on a plane is a PITA. you dont want to try putting on layers of clothes while the plane is banking. i just put LO in a sleepsuit. and brought a spare one with me.
     
  3. Sazzoire

    Sazzoire Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2009
    Messages:
    2,082
    Likes Received:
    0
    WSS^

    plus... make sure you get a bassinet seat. Call your airline asap and make the request. It was a godsend on my recent flight.

    We used milk cartons (pre-made formula) for the flight (and whilst abroad) for ease.

    Don't worry too much about baby crying.... the noise onboard kinda drowns out baby.

    We took our stroller to the aircraft doors which was great BUT, it wasn't waiting for us at the door when we landed. We had to carry Lucy all the way through security and to the baggage carousel. At some airports, this can be quite a long way. Consider a sling.

    xx
     
  4. lobogirl

    lobogirl Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2009
    Messages:
    483
    Likes Received:
    0
    take a couple of extra diapers. when we flew with LO 3 months she had a dirty diaper and trying to change it in the airplane was horror. i ended up getting the new diaper dirty twice before i finally got LO changed. glad I had the extra diapers.

    also buy things when you get there, diapers, wipes, things like that don't try to pack enough.
     
  5. Peardrop

    Peardrop Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2009
    Messages:
    842
    Likes Received:
    0
    Have lots tips as just flown LHR to Sydney by myself but will post tomorrow as middle if the night here. Are you going to/from Heathrow or somewhere else?
     
  6. charima

    charima Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2010
    Messages:
    193
    Likes Received:
    0
    From Heathrow, I've requested the bassinet already. I would really appreciate your insight on this as I don't know what to expect :flower:
     
  7. QTPie

    QTPie Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2009
    Messages:
    4,536
    Likes Received:
    0
    Try and keep hand luggage down to a backpack (including all the baby/changing stuff) and a hand bag.

    Do you really need to take the carseat with you? Hiring a car there or being picked up by relatives? If you to there regularly, might be worth getting the relatives to get a carseat for you and keep it over there?

    You can take a stroller and "gate check" it - so take it all the way to the departure gate. However you normally only get it back at baggage reclaim (and not when you get off the plane): that is what happened to us flying BA Yo the US. Maybe consider a babycarrier instead and checking the stroller through or, again, keeping one at you destination (if you visit family there regularly).

    6 month olds are EASY to travel with, it is when they get older that the fun really begins. Do get a bassinet position seat - will make life a lot easier.

    QT
     
  8. charima

    charima Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2010
    Messages:
    193
    Likes Received:
    0
    All of my family live in Mexico (where I'm flying to), but the thing is that baby stuff over there is incredibly overpriced (the most basic carseat is around £500 so you get an idea).

    I'm sure I'm gonna take my babybjorn but I'm a bit paranoid they're gonna charge the carseat and the stroller as extra luggage.
     
  9. QTPie

    QTPie Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2009
    Messages:
    4,536
    Likes Received:
    0
    Who are you flying with? Have you checked their luggage policy?
     
  10. 15.11.10

    15.11.10 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2011
    Messages:
    144
    Likes Received:
    0
    thanks for posting! got a nine hour flight in a month... with oh but may aswell be on my own lol!
     
  11. Carrie29

    Carrie29 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2009
    Messages:
    774
    Likes Received:
    0
    i've gotta do the same in may, flying from NZ to UK with a 7 month old. I'm flying with singapore airlines, and they have booked special assistance so that someone will help me at luggage belts etc, so give your airline a call they may do the same, mine is free x
     
  12. Peardrop

    Peardrop Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2009
    Messages:
    842
    Likes Received:
    0
    OK - Once you have done it you will say easy-peasy!!

    Firstly, as QTpie said - check with your airline for the luggage policy. They vary wildly - check your KG, your LO's KG's and then what extra 'items' you are allowed. I expect you to have no problem with the buggy at least. I understand you wanting to take your car seat to Mexico so think you should pay for it if you can't take it for free. Take bags that are not too heavy and easy to get off the carousel (and that you can spot quickly). I would wrap your car seat and in my opinion you should carefully pack and check in your buggy. I have an expensive one that I can't be without as Ollie sleeps well in it and when you are out all day visiting friends and relatives you need somewhere that is known to your baby. I have heard too many stories where the buggy gets damaged and although it can be mended and paid for by the airline - it was worth more than that to me.

    Also, don't overdo what you take in your hold luggage - if it's hot - don't take more than one or two jumpers, trousers etc. Relatives are always happy to wash and iron (makes them feel useful!) Use the same as you would do. Lay it all out and remove 50%!!

    Hand luggage - Keep it to a minimum if you are by yourself. I took two bags and a hand bag in one direction and cursed myself! Since you are only doing a single flight, just one easily carriable bag (I used a small 'gym' size rucksack for a 2 leg journey, plus my handbag.) I took - extra vest and babygro (I travelled Ollie in a long sleeved vest and babygro as I felt it would be more comfortable than clothes. He didn't need a jumper or blanket at any time once we had arrived at LHR. This combination also meant that it was cool enough on arrival in 21 deg. Sydney), lots of muslins (used as feeding bibs and mopping but I have a sicky baby), just a couple of basic toys and his taggi comforter. He preferred the remote control, seat belt and TV anyway and I also gave him the plastic cups, bottles etc to play with and he loved them. Clean underwear for me but then I was able to shower during my short stop - you may not need this (unless for emergencies). I made do with no clothes changes for me and had to make do with a top that had been sick on but I don't regret this! I took basic supplies of Calpol sachets, moisturiser for me, lip balm. I didn't need books or magazines. Put flight docs, passports, visas etc in one wallet and be fastidious about putting them back to avoid pulling bags apart to find things. I also wore 'combat' style trousers with pockets so I could slip the passports and boarding passes into a leg pocket if needed. I carried 7 nappies for a (door to door) 27 hour journey and only used 5. Add a large pack of wet wipes as well. Oh and headache tablets! (Food and drink, see below)

    Unless you have lounge access I would recommend a small flat (cot) sheet to put on the floor in the airports to put LO down on when you are waiting.

    Food and Drink - if you are BF then wear an appropriate top to allow nursing for a long time if required. If FF or combi (as I am) then I would use cartons and sterilised bottles when you fly. Allow a little extra for on board delays. Now, at LHR I was asked to taste 50% of my stash of food, milk and water. They didn't mind which so I would suggest filling your bottles with water and then tipping out once through security and also be prepared to ditch opened cartons if necessary. I only had to open one carton which I then tipped into a bottle and used straight away as I had some extra water that I could taste instead. If you let me know closer to the time what you are taking and what you expect to use I can tell you what you will need to taste. I am guessing you will be on early weaning of your 6 month. Even if BLW I would use a jar (just simple veggies) if you can. For my long journey and even at 8 months I decided to up the amount of milk rather than shovelling in lots of hard to digest food. Ollie only ate very small amounts and almost nothing on the actual flight. At 6 months, if your LO doesn't take any food it won't be an issue. I didn't know I was going to do this until we flew but it worked for us. The pressure plays havoc on their tummies with lots of gas and unexpected poos so it just felt like the kindest thing to do.

    You will get no end of people who are willing to hold your LO. Hopefully this won't be a problem. Luckily, Ollie will go to anyone and is very, very smiley which meant everyone wanted a hold - from the young guy at the x ray machine, to the stewards, to fellow passengers. I had no end of other help as well - there is always someone willing to pull your suitcases off the carousel, pushing your trolley etc - just let it happen! In LHR I was able to jump the immigration queue as I was on my own - be obvious at those times! The hardest time for me was trying to eat my food on the plane. Either someone else held him or I sat him oln my lap and gave him s tiny bit of my bread roll or lettuce to eat whilst I shovelled. Ask for your food to be kept for you if necessary. Make sure you eat and drink plenty as it is stressful and dehydration will not help.

    I flew Qantas and could only request a Bassinet but I called a week before I flew and they were able to confirm it. I also asked for a particular one which worked well as it was the one closest to the exit doors which meant I could get off the plane quickly which worked for me. It makes sense to look at seatguru and see where you are so you can know and not be hunting for your seat. You will get extra leg room which is great. Ollie hated the Bassinet but a other babies slept well in theirs - you may know what yours is likely to do even now! I ended up nursing Ollie for much of the flight and I actually enjoyed having the long cuddle. I ignored routine - he slept and ate when we felt like it. Ollie is a poor sleeper normally and there was just so much going on. I decided not to stress and just went with the flow. He was horribly tired but there wasn't much I could do which didn't involve tears. The baby we sat next to slept much of the journey in the bassinet so it's each to their own. Your baby (probably) won't be allowed to sit/play/sleep on the floor so don't expect that.

    I also booked a pushchair in the airports and also meet and assist but neither worked very well for me. We only had a pushchair in Sydney - they didn't do for either the stopover or at LHR so ask for this but don't expect it. I also ask for Meet and Assist but it was patchy and tbh it was pointless as I got it when I didn't need it and when I could have done with it there was noone in sight! If you can ask for this then alert the stewards on the flight so they can call ahead and request it then as well.

    Oh and going to the toilet was surprisingly easy! Either get someone to hold your LO or if he is sitting then take him into the one with the change table which was just a flat top that you flipped down above the toilet. I was able to go to the toilet underneath the change table with Ollie sitting on top! He loved looking into the mirrors and had fits of giggles whenever I turned the tap on!

    I didn't take a sling but that's because Ollie has grown out of his bjorn (plus I hate it) and I didn't want to buy an expensive one just for the journey. I have to say that as he sits well anyway and there was no end of holders for him it wasn't an issue but this should be your personal choice.

    Overall, it was tough but also easy if you get my drift. It's not something I want to do every week - but even without a baby you wouldn't want to but it was much easier than I thought it would be. Just go with the flow and be super organised.

    Sorry, its a HUGE essay - probably as I have been back only 2 days so it's very fresh in my mind. Ask any more questions at any time and I will be happy to answer.

    Lastly, jet lag! For us, we landed in the morning at LHR and so had the day naps to acclimatise so he slept well in the UK with no hint of jet lag. Coming back here is tough - we landed in the evening and have 3 very tough nights with Ollie being awake for a couple of hours each night and lots of wake ups in between. Since you are travelling the opposite way I suspect your jet lag will be in the UK instead.

    Good luck - when are you going?
    XX
     
  13. bky

    bky :(

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2009
    Messages:
    3,979
    Likes Received:
    0
    I just did a NZ to US flight. I brought formula in prepacked sachets (but ended up not needing it as we were ok with just breast at that point), but they didn't fuss at all about the powdered formula (didn't even look) and we were always able to get decent (no sodium) bottled water past security. MY LO wanted to drink a lot of just water on the plane-it's dry.
    When you get the bassinet seat you're up by the bulkhead and the bassinet sort of traps you in there. So you'll have loads of leg room but unless you're at the aisle getting up is a bit of a contortion act. 6 months shouldn't be too bad. My 8 (at the time) month old was wanting to climb on things and was slightly more difficult.
    Most airlines allow the carseat and a stroller to be checked for free (and lap children may get a checked bag as well), but check in case. We had a baby carrier (Connecta) for the airport and it was great. I only brought a carryon backpack on board that was also the change bag. Changing in the airplane bathrooms isn't that bad really. You have more room in the handicapped toilet, but the other ones are more snug for the baby.
    See when you get onboard if your flight has a concierge. We found that there were people available at the luggage claim to help us get strollers/carseats etc (not that we needed help, but we were offered several times).

    Other random tips. I brought toys on board that had loops or rings on them so i threaded them all through a long string of beads and made it into a toy necklace. LO loved it and there was no fishing about for tossed toys as I wore them around my neck.
     
  14. charima

    charima Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2010
    Messages:
    193
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks so much everyone, specially you peardrop! I'm leaving on Friday so I'm living some stressy days. How long in advance dO you think I have to get to the airport?
     
  15. a_c

    a_c mummy to one

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2009
    Messages:
    2,421
    Likes Received:
    0
    great thread - i'm doing a 4hr flight on Monday with my 5 month old but with family and I'm stressed enough. You're all so brilliant for doing the flights you have and giving your lo's the experience of foreign countries and long distance freiends/family. Well done!
     
  16. Peardrop

    Peardrop Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2009
    Messages:
    842
    Likes Received:
    0
    I would say 2 hours and ask for tickets to go through the express security lane. Don't get stressed you'll be absolutely fine.
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice