flying alone with 1 year olds - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 5 Old 11-03-2010, 11:22 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My family and DH's family live on the west coast. We live on the east coast. For months, the plan has been to go visit them in December. We is DH, me, the babies, and a couple of my step-kids who absolutely do not want to go. They are teenagers and want to stay home and play Xbox. DH is not particularly close to his family, but we had been advertising to the kids that we are all going.

I have been looking at plane tickets and having second thoughts. I am very close to my family, so I feel that it is critical that at least I and the babies go. It now strikes me that we can save something like $1500 if I take the babies by myself. And I get to have a more relaxing and quality visit with my family when not having to worry about bored, angry teenagers.

In August, I traveled with them. They were 7 months old. But I always had someone else with me. They were good babies, but it was exhausting, even with the help of another adult.

Is it crazy of me to think that I might be able to fly alone with two one-year olds? There are no non-stop flights, either. Has anyone done this who can provide me with any insight?
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#2 of 5 Old 11-03-2010, 01:15 PM
 
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100% honest? i would not do it alone. i would definitely bring someone with. a friend, whoever.

not trying to freak you out. i'm sure you can do it if you really want to. but if you want complete and total honesty... it sounds like trouble to me. especially with the stop-overs.
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#3 of 5 Old 11-03-2010, 08:40 PM
 
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I've done it and it's totally doable!

I had both children in our Mountain Buggy and bungeed their car seats to a folding rolly cart. I took one carry on and it had a handle that was long enough to extend and slip over the handle bar of the MBUD.

The ticket agent can issue a gate pass - it looks like a boarding pass and allows a companion to accompany you through security. The folks meeting you on the other end can explain that you're arriving with one year old twins and can have one issued to get through security and meet you at the gate.

I bought tickets for both children and kept them in their car seats. I changed diapers right before we boarded. I took my time through security and didn't let myself get hassled by the hurried people behind me. I kept things very simple. At that age, my children (who were horrid nappers) fell asleep almost immediately because of all the background noise on the plane.

Reading a few books to them kept them fairly occupied.

The only thing I didn't have a grand solution for was their water bottles - they would chuck them and with their car seats, it was very difficult to reach below the airline seat to reach the fallen sippy.

I packed (and still do) their sippy cups in our carry on empty, with the lids off to get through security. The flight should have canned/bottled water to fill them with.

I took little bits of a lot of different snacks - the novelty kept them occupied.

What else... I actually found it easier to travel with them alone vs. with my husband because alone, I could work out in my head exactly how I was going to do things. With him, he'd start doing something and it wasn't in my plan!

Good luck. I would try desparately to get a non-stop flight but if that's not possible, give yourself a solid stretch of time between flights so you can get where you need to be, change diapers, let them run around, and nurse.

Go for it and have a great trip!

dust.gif & superhero.gif :: 9/2004
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#4 of 5 Old 11-04-2010, 10:11 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the tips! I have solved the problem. We have an au pair. She was going to take her vacation while we went on our trip. I talked to her, and she seems happy to change her plans. I felt really terrible asking her. She will fly with me and we will both have lap-babies. I will buy two tickets rather than four, and I can be more flexible with my travel than DH can be!

I'm not sure what happened to the non-stop flights. Even in August, I could find them, and they were affordable. I was not finding them in my searches, so I assumed that they were just ridiculously expensive. But I just removed all cost restrictions, and I still am not finding any non-stop flights. Even with help, I would certainly prefer non-stop.
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#5 of 5 Old 11-05-2010, 07:46 AM
 
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Sounds like you've come up with a solution! You've probably realized this/learned this elsewhere, but just in case, know that you will have to sit in separate rows from your au pair. There are only four oxygen masks over each row of seats (assuming standard three-seat row) so only one lap child is allowed in each row. I've read some families sit across the aisle and other families sit ahead of and behind each other. I'm not sure which I would choose... Have a great trip!

dust.gif & superhero.gif :: 9/2004
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