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Single parent with an infant -how do I get everything on the plane?

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Old Jul 17, 17, 5:36 pm
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Single parent with an infant -how do I get everything on the plane?

I'll be traveling with my 5 month old next week. We're flying Southwest and I purchased a seat for him. I plan to wear the baby and put everything else (half-height rollaboard, diaper bag and car seat) on a collapsible luggage cart to haul it through the airport.

I can break it down quickly for security, but I'm not sure what to do for the airplane. Roll the stack down the aisle? I don't think the car seat will fit. I could backpack the car seat with the diaper bag inside, but that seems like a recipe for smacking people in the head. Someone suggested I ask the flight attendants to help me with the car seat, but that doesn't seem like their job. There's no good way to take two trips, or I'd do that.

I feel like I'm missing something obvious here. What's worked for other parents?
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Old Jul 17, 17, 5:38 pm
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Check in the car seat.
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Old Jul 17, 17, 6:47 pm
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OP needs the car seat (actually needs FAA approved car seat) for the aircraft if the infant is going in her own seat.

While it isn't the FA's job, it is the FA's job to facilitate the boarding process and if they don't help, just take your time and, trust me, a FA will help quickly enough.

If you want to be certain about all of this, comandeer a wheelchair pusher for a nice tip. They have SIDA badges which get them down the jetway.
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Old Jul 17, 17, 7:56 pm
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I can't speak for anyone else but Id give you a hand! Ok..I work in an environment where the loaded down single parent is a very common sight so perhaps I am more "acclimatised" to helping out.... but Id think it quite awful if no one offered!!!

If a Good Samaritan is unlikely then Often1 has probably got the best idea....
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Old Jul 17, 17, 8:05 pm
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How heavy is the 5mo old and car seat? I'd consider putting him in the car seat when before boarding starts. Then diaper bag on top of the rollaboard. Hold car seat out in front or at your side in one hand and wheel the diaper bag/rollaboard behind.

Supposedly this is the way to carry your car seat:
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Old Jul 18, 17, 12:35 am
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5 mo old is prob in a basket seat that should hook up to stroller. Check your bag, keep diaper bag with essentials, go to gate with stroller and gate check it.

You can wear your kid and strap basket carseat to carryon handle with a bungee perharps but thy this at home first.. going through security will be a royal pain with all that stuff though...

personally i would check everything unless the flight is long enough and you expect your kid to sleep in car seat..

Last edited by azepine00; Jul 18, 17 at 12:46 am
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Old Jul 18, 17, 2:50 am
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I've travelled a lot on my own with my first daughter between the ages of 4 months and 2 years old and people have always helped me at the airport and on board, be it fellow flyers or staff, even had a pilot once reach out and get the pram from the cargo hold.

So the advise: just have everything organized, packed in easy to handle packages, and take your time. People are generally helpful and understanding
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Old Jul 18, 17, 11:45 am
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Originally Posted by azepine00 View Post
5 mo old is prob in a basket seat that should hook up to stroller. Check your bag, keep diaper bag with essentials, go to gate with stroller and gate check it.

You can wear your kid and strap basket carseat to carryon handle with a bungee perhaps but thy this at home first.. going through security will be a royal pain with all that stuff though...

personally i would check everything unless the flight is long enough and you expect your kid to sleep in car seat..
Agree with this. I have traveled with my son alone a few times starting when he was 2 months old. If you do have the car seat that goes in the stroller as mentioned by azepine00, just bring that and gate check the stroller, checking the rollerboard ahead of time. That leaves you with carrying the car seat on one arm and the diaper bag on the other when boarding. If you go this route, I would recommend breaking down the stroller/car seat combo right outside of the door on the plane. Assuming you pre-board, you will have plenty of time to do this and still get on before the masses.

I have done the carseat on the rollerboard, but found that did have to be broken down before going down an aisle, and required some extra effort and coordinating can be a bit trickier. I have also worn my baby when alone, which I found to be tough since I have found it hard to set up the car seat with the baby still strapped to me, but then again I never wore it a whole lot, so maybe others are better able to multi-task with a baby bjorn on.

Also, not sure what car seat you will be using, but if you still want to go the bungee route, you may want to consider getting a lighter car seat such as the Cosco Scenara. I saw it mentioned several times on this forum, so once my son was big enough, I got it for our travels. You can get it at Walmart for less than $40 and it is super light (I think it is around 7 or 8 pounds), which may make it easier to carry your baby in front, hold the car seat in front of the baby, and then roll the rollerboard with diaper bag attached down the aisle. Just a thought.

You will find that people are extremely helpful when you are by yourself with a baby, but you never know, so I think it best to be prepared.

Good luck!
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Old Jul 20, 17, 10:28 am
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Check the rollaboard.

Get a Snap-n-Go stroller. https://www.amazon.com/Baby-Trend-Un...ords=snap-n-go

Get a tri-fold diaper changing pouch like this one: https://www.amazon.com/Skip-Hop-Port...p+changing+pad

Take a backpack instead of a diaper bag. It should have a big main compartment, where you store the diaper changing pouch. It's nice if the backpack has a side pocket for a water bottle. It needs a front pocket for your travel documents and wallet.

Put different categories of items in zip-locks in the main pocket of the backpack:
- Change of clothes
- Small blanket
- feeding needs
- snack for you
- Incidental meds/thermometer

Don't take a purse.

Take the baby carrier if you want. Be sure you can put the backpack on with the baby carrier also on. It should work.

Gate-check the snap-n-go.

To get the infant car seat down the plane aisle, carry it high above the seats. It will get caught on each row of seats if you try and carry it low.

The infant car seat will be placed rear-facing, of course, and this will prevent the passenger in front of it from reclining. We would offer this passenger a Starbucks gift card for the inconvenience as soon as they made it to their seat, before departure.

The luggage cart sounds like a big pain in the butt, as you'll have to strap and unstrap the infant car seat to it, versus a very easy plop down at waist level into the snap-n-go stroller. The cart is one extra piece of gear to have to maneuver down the aisle. Skip it.

Also, you can wear your baby through security. And your infant car seat may not fit through the x-ray , so be prepared for an extra screening. Pre-check is a godsend for families, if you have it.
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Old Jul 20, 17, 10:39 am
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May be too late already, but my approach we be...

Skip the collapsible luggage cart and replace with stroller. Don't check a stroller at the ticket counter (assuming this was your plan, since you didn't mention a stroller otherwise). Rather, put the carseat and diaper bag on the stroller (assuming it's a carseat-stroller system; if not, the snap'n'go is a good affordable option, as mentioned). Wear the backpack and roll the stroller and suitcase. If you check anything at all, I would suggest checking the suitcase and not your stroller.
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Old Jul 22, 17, 10:30 am
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When I flew alone on transatlantics with a baby (later a baby and toddler, then a baby, toddler and preschooler), I did both the snap-and-go (different brand) and a folding luggage cart for a convertible seat.

Same deal, backpack, no purse, I needed an extra bag for extra supplies for our 11 1/2 hour flight but you can skip that (it went in the overhead bin).

No one had to help me. I had it all together. I took nothing on board other than what we needed.

The slight inconvenience of bringing the car seat on board is well balanced by the comfort on board. Having your baby safely strapped in so that you can go to the restroom-priceless! (Please let someone near you know, once he woke up!)
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Old Jul 26, 17, 8:20 am
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I'm a single mom and travel with my daughter all the time. I used a City Mini stroller in the airport. On this I hooked the Diaper Dude diaper bag. I put the car seat in a backback, and pulled a carry on roller bag. To get on the plane, I put the stroller in a bag, the baby in a bjorn/sling (depending on her age), and then asked to board early so I didn't bang people. Most airlines were cool about it. I popped the huge stroller bag on top of the rollerboard, dragged it down the jetway to gate check the stroller, then boarded with the giant backpack.

If I couldn't board early, i just tried to be extra careful with the carseat backpack. Fellow passengers were generally pretty cool
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Old Jul 30, 17, 1:22 pm
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Originally Posted by Redhead View Post
I'm a single mom and travel with my daughter all the time. I used a City Mini stroller in the airport. On this I hooked the Diaper Dude diaper bag. I put the car seat in a backback, and pulled a carry on roller bag. To get on the plane, I put the stroller in a bag, the baby in a bjorn/sling (depending on her age), and then asked to board early so I didn't bang people. Most airlines were cool about it. I popped the huge stroller bag on top of the rollerboard, dragged it down the jetway to gate check the stroller, then boarded with the giant backpack.

If I couldn't board early, i just tried to be extra careful with the carseat backpack. Fellow passengers were generally pretty cool
this!! same stroller, even. but even when I did this, other passengers offered to help me 100% of the time. oh, and since SW takes bags for free, just check the suitcase. it will help. I also abandoned a purse for travel shortly after becoming a mom....
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Old Aug 5, 17, 5:58 pm
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Originally Posted by Redhead View Post
I'm a single mom and travel with my daughter all the time. I used a City Mini stroller in the airport. On this I hooked the Diaper Dude diaper bag. I put the car seat in a backback, and pulled a carry on roller bag. To get on the plane, I put the stroller in a bag, the baby in a bjorn/sling (depending on her age), and then asked to board early so I didn't bang people. Most airlines were cool about it. I popped the huge stroller bag on top of the rollerboard, dragged it down the jetway to gate check the stroller, then boarded with the giant backpack.

If I couldn't board early, i just tried to be extra careful with the carseat backpack. Fellow passengers were generally pretty cool
Actually, it'll be even easier checking the rollerboard AND the stroller at the counter. I would also lose the car seat bag and put the car seat on a folding luggage cart. An older baby can ride in this instead of dragging the stroller.

I'm sure it works with just one child but once you have more, it can be difficult doing it this way.

Also, don't use a Bjorn. They put the baby in a bad position. A ring sling is definitely smarter for ALL ages.

So basically the baby can switch between the sling, car seat (acting as a stroller) and later walking.

Also, instead of an awkward backpack, if your car seat won't roll down the aisle, hold it upside down in a L position, over your arm. This is the best non-bumping position to get it to your seat. You can also do this with a baby in a sling.

A note... the Flight Attendants can't leave the doors on the ground (security issue). If they're not available to help you to your seat and it really is too much, ask them if you can leave something right next to the door and they can keep an eye on it. Drop off something not valuable like the diaper bag. The one time I did it, another passenger saw me and took it to me. Too nice!
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Old Aug 13, 17, 2:26 pm
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I have to say, I prefer taking the stroller over the luggage cart. The luggage cart is one more thing to hold and stow and retrieve when schlepping down the aisle, and I just found it easier to let the ground crew handle that part of the process by taking my stroller from me at the jetway.

When mine were little enough for the bucket-style car seat, I took the snap-n-go, which was so easy to disconnect and then leave at the gate. When they were bigger, I could hang the Cosco Scenera car seat onto the handle of the City Mini and strap the kid in the stroller, and everything/everyone was contained. When a second kid arrived, one kid went in my Ergo strapped on me, and the older one went in the stroller.

Mine were huge babies, and so ring slings were not an option. The Ergo was far more comfortable, as their weight was distributed on both shoulders. We're talking 22 lb 4-month-olds. They had rolls on their rolls. Plus, the Ergo works well when also wearing a backpack. I don't think I could easily take a backpack on and off with a ring sling.

Anyway, just some other ideas. Everyone does it a little differently.
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