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freaking out about upcoming flight with baby and toddler alone

freaking out about upcoming flight with baby and toddler alone

Old Nov 6, 17, 2:37 pm
  #1  
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freaking out about upcoming flight with baby and toddler alone

I have already cried like 3 times. I can't figure out best way to do this.

I'm flying with an almost 2 year old and a 10 month old. I planned to pull them through the airport in carseats on 2 britax luggage carts and carry diapers/stuff in a backpack. The 10 month old is a lap child and I'm hoping that if there is an extra seat, I can bring the second car seat on plane. But now I'm freaking out that car seat will be too big, too heavy. How am I going to install car seats on plane while watching my kids? I flew with them in August with a friend and no car seats (although I did purchase a seat for my toddler) and it was a nightmare. My toddler screamed A LOT, tantrum on the floor, nothing would calm her down. Then my baby cried a little because she couldn't get comfortable to sleep with me holding her. I should have purchased 3 seats but it's too cost prohibitive now. Is car seat on the luggage cart best option?
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Old Nov 6, 17, 5:38 pm
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Originally Posted by jules128 View Post
I have already cried like 3 times. I can't figure out best way to do this.

I'm flying with an almost 2 year old and a 10 month old. I planned to pull them through the airport in carseats on 2 britax luggage carts and carry diapers/stuff in a backpack. The 10 month old is a lap child and I'm hoping that if there is an extra seat, I can bring the second car seat on plane. But now I'm freaking out that car seat will be too big, too heavy. How am I going to install car seats on plane while watching my kids? I flew with them in August with a friend and no car seats (although I did purchase a seat for my toddler) and it was a nightmare. My toddler screamed A LOT, tantrum on the floor, nothing would calm her down. Then my baby cried a little because she couldn't get comfortable to sleep with me holding her. I should have purchased 3 seats but it's too cost prohibitive now. Is car seat on the luggage cart best option?
In limited circumstances you can get a pass for an adult to escort you & kids through security to the gate. I would suggest you contact the airline and inquire about that. The pass is issued at the ticket counter at the airport, not from the TSA.
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Old Nov 6, 17, 5:51 pm
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Sounds like a challenge. Id arrive a bit early. Have plenty of snacks and some sort of toys/amusement for the older child.

Get a good nights sleep, have everything packed the night before, so youre not rushed.

How far are you flying?
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Old Nov 6, 17, 7:21 pm
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Originally Posted by Jaimito Cartero View Post
Sounds like a challenge. Id arrive a bit early. Have plenty of snacks and some sort of toys/amusement for the older child.

Get a good nights sleep, have everything packed the night before, so youre not rushed.

How far are you flying?
it's 4 hours nonstop so not too bad. It's mostly just the getting on and off plane that I'm worried about. And all the time on the plane too
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Old Nov 6, 17, 9:27 pm
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Originally Posted by jules128 View Post
I have already cried like 3 times. I can't figure out best way to do this.

I'm flying with an almost 2 year old and a 10 month old. I planned to pull them through the airport in carseats on 2 britax luggage carts and carry diapers/stuff in a backpack. The 10 month old is a lap child and I'm hoping that if there is an extra seat, I can bring the second car seat on plane. But now I'm freaking out that car seat will be too big, too heavy. How am I going to install car seats on plane while watching my kids? I flew with them in August with a friend and no car seats (although I did purchase a seat for my toddler) and it was a nightmare. My toddler screamed A LOT, tantrum on the floor, nothing would calm her down. Then my baby cried a little because she couldn't get comfortable to sleep with me holding her. I should have purchased 3 seats but it's too cost prohibitive now. Is car seat on the luggage cart best option?
It'll all work-out. You'll likely be offered help from other pax and/or FAs if you need it.

Airline? Car seat model(s)?

Southwest is pretty easy/good with the empty seat being used by your lap infant's 2nd carseat.

I've learned how to install and uninstall the Cosco Scenera Next carseat with my son buckled-in...this has proven help when transferring to/from the luggage cart while he remains asleep. But, it also means less wrangling.

Could you put the 10-month old in a carrier with the 2 y.o. in the carseat on the cart?

Another thought - We've used this carrier backpack (and it will generally fit underneath the seat in front of the carseat on the plane) - https://www.amazon.com/dp/B005F5LYQO...5F5LYQO5252599
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Old Nov 7, 17, 5:04 am
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We are flying Avianca and I have 2 chicco nextfits. My 10 month old still uses the keyfit but it doesn't hook to the luggage cart. I was also worried about depending on a stroller because last year I flew to Italy and had the keyfit on board in a seat and had gatechecked the stroller it clicks into. When I got off the plane, they told me I had to pick it up in baggage claim after passport control. It was a looooong walk carrying an 11 month old plus I had at least 2 bags.

​​​​​​​
Originally Posted by FindAWay View Post
It'll all work-out. You'll likely be offered help from other pax and/or FAs if you need it.

Airline? Car seat model(s)?

Southwest is pretty easy/good with the empty seat being used by your lap infant's 2nd carseat.

I've learned how to install and uninstall the Cosco Scenera Next carseat with my son buckled-in...this has proven help when transferring to/from the luggage cart while he remains asleep. But, it also means less wrangling.

Could you put the 10-month old in a carrier with the 2 y.o. in the carseat on the cart?

Another thought - We've used this carrier backpack (and it will generally fit underneath the seat in front of the carseat on the plane) - https://www.amazon.com/dp/B005F5LYQO...5F5LYQO5252599
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Old Nov 7, 17, 5:19 am
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Buen suerte!

Some airports have assistance for families, but not so common in the US. At least you should get to board early. Id certainly check with the airport if they offer any assistance.

Ive found latin american airlines are often extra helpful when you have small kids.
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Old Nov 10, 17, 5:26 am
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From personal experience
1. there are stroller steps that you can atttach to the stroller, thus reducing the need to carry.
2. pack light, or use backpacks to have your hands as free as possible, at 2 your eldest should be able to walk alone from checkin counter to the plane. What we did with ours is treat it like an adventure, and he now loves going on a plane with his small backpack on his back
3. car seats for the infant only, or one that can fit either. We don't use them anymore as it's anoter pain to carry
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Old Nov 11, 17, 12:42 am
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My suggestion:

Skip the luggage cart. It's one extra piece of gear you have to carry and stash away. It requires two hands to manipulate. Instead, use a stroller. You can dump it at the end of the jetway, and it's super easy to open and close.

Get two Cosco Sceneras. They nest together. You can wrap a bungie around them to keep them together. They're lightweight and easy to install.

You can use the tether strap to hang the Sceneras from the handle of the stroller. Put the big kid in the stroller.

Wear the little kid in a carrier on your front. You'll even be able to keep the little in the carrier through security. Wear a backpack on your back.

When you get to security, stroller goes on the belt first, then backpack, then car seats. (The Sceneras fit through the x-ray tunnel. You may need to un-bungie them and send them through one at a time.) Your big kid will go through the metal detector first, then you, with the little one strapped in the carrier. Take the stroller off the belt first, put the big kid in it immediately. Retrieve your backpack, then get the car seats and re-hang them on the stroller. Backpack can hang on the stroller, too, if it's easier (and not too heavy).

When you get to the gate, get a gate check tag for the stroller (and possibly one of the car seats, if there is no seat available) from the gate agent at the counter. Ask if families with small kids can pre-board.

When boarding, keep the big kid in the stroller down the jetway, if you'd like. Then they jump out, take Sceneras off the handle, collapse the stroller, leave for the ground crew. Big kid walks ahead with strict instructions to keep walking forward until you say Red Light. Hold the Sceneras up high above the seats (maybe on/over your head). This is the hard part. When you get to your row, have the big kid wait in the seats opposite the aisle to yours if possible. Plop the car seat down in the window seat (and middle seat, if you have an open seat for the baby). Take the baby off and sit them in a seat while you secure the sceneras. Everybody sits in their respective seats!

Get booze.

Getting off: Wait until the end. It'll take a while for your stroller to come out anyway. Then do everything in reverse.

eta... Here's a picture of our setup when we were in this stage. These seats are actually bigger than the Sceneras. We had graduated to bigger seats by then. But it's the same idea.


Last edited by swise; Nov 11, 17 at 12:47 am
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Old Nov 11, 17, 4:35 am
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Get booze?

Seriously, can't say that it's a good idea to be even a bit tipsy when traveling alone with two young children.
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Old Nov 11, 17, 8:45 am
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How long is the flight? 

I regularity flew with my three alone between Europe and California plus a connection. They're close in age.

The secret to flying with toddlers is to keep them rested, fed and watered (not thirsty, in other words). No messing with their schedules or any nonsense before leaving. 

Good quality baby carrier is a must. A "crotch dangler" like a Bjorn is not useful. Get something more practical and comfortable. 

I found ditching the stroller and using a luggage cart MORE useful than dealing with that extra gizmo.

Mentioning this, is there any way to get a car seat at your destination? I used to keep one at my parents when mine were little. I traveled with just one.
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Old Nov 11, 17, 1:14 pm
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Originally Posted by Eclipsepearl View Post
A "crotch dangler" like a Bjorn is not useful. Get something more practical and comfortable. 
That's just plain wrong, and no matter how many times you repeat it, it will still be wrong. You don't like Bjorn carriers, fine, you're entitled to your opinion, but for a moderator to keep spreading misinformation (and deleting posts that disagree with you) is doubly wrong. So is attacking people who prefer the Bjorn style carrier (been there, you can find it with search feature).

If anyone wants a doctor's perspective on Bjorn carriers, http://www.healthybabycarriers.com/doctors is a place to start. Googling the issue will provide even more reputable sources of info.

I personally tried a variety of wearable baby carriers and found the Baby Bjorn was that only one that was comfortable for me and that did not hurt my back or shoulders. Both baby's Dad and myself used it extensively for the entire first year.
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Old Nov 11, 17, 1:29 pm
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Originally Posted by Eclipsepearl View Post
How long is the flight?
... and perhaps more importantly, what are the actual flight times - per the kids' body clocks?
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Old Nov 11, 17, 3:50 pm
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Originally Posted by GUWonder View Post
Get booze?

Seriously, can't say that it's a good idea to be even a bit tipsy when traveling alone with two young children.
Yeah, that was more wishful thinking than advice.
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Old Nov 11, 17, 3:56 pm
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Originally Posted by Eclipsepearl View Post
I found ditching the stroller and using a luggage cart MORE useful than dealing with that extra gizmo.
I don't see how one would have an extra hand to carry a cart when also carrying two car seats down the aisle of the plane with a backpack on and a baby on the front and a toddler to try and keep from turning into each row of seats. Even two lightweight sceneras would require both hands to hold above the seats while walking in the plane.
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