Flying solo with 4.5 month old - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 19 Old 06-17-2014, 10:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Flying solo with 4.5 month old

Hello: I'm flying alone with my dd in a month. She'll be 4.5 months when we go. We are going for 6 nights. My dh and 2 year old are staying behind so it'll just be me and baby. We only bought one ticket so she'll be on my lap. There's a very short flight to a major city (30 mins) followed by a 3 hour flight. It's the 3 hour flight I'm worried about. The thing is dd doesn't like to be held for long periods of time, 30 mins max then she wants to be in her chair or on the floor. When I put her in the ergo she'll cry for about 5 minutes then pass out. I'm hoping that she will sleep in the ergo for the full 3 hour flight but I'm worried because in the past she always woke up when I tried to sit and obviously Ill have to sit on the plane. I'm also worried that I'll get her settled in the ergo during boarding only to be told by an attendant that I have to take her out for take off. I'm just stressed out because she's a wonderful calm peaceful baby but when she does get upset it's pretty extreme. What if she freaks out on the plane? Any suggestions (other than buy another seat or bring a companion)?
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#2 of 19 Old 06-18-2014, 05:59 AM
 
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I traveled with my eldest daughter at 4 months with only one seat. We did a 51/2 hour flight followed by a 2 hour flight. I was told that she could not be in the ergo during landing and take off…so that is something to consider. She was used to being in the carrier and would often fall asleep in it after a few minutes. I stood up and bounced her in front of my seat to get her to sleep. I ended up standing a lot during the flight…not exactly comfortable for me, but no one told me not to. I also walked the aisle when it was clear. She did cry, and your babe probably will too, but people were really understanding and it was fine. Just remember that people travel with babies all of the time! It might be really difficult, or it might not be, but it's only a few hours and then it's over. I hope it goes well!
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#3 of 19 Old 06-18-2014, 07:16 AM
 
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I had the same experience with flying cross-country alone with my wiggly four month old. I found that the plane was very noisy during boarding and take off (announcements, other passengers getting settled, slamming the over head bins...so I wouldn't try to hard to get her asleep before you board unless she can sleep through that) and I was told no carrier either during take off/landing....so I wouldn't stress if your DD is noisy during this time, she may enjoy the commotion around. What helped me...Nursing a lot, bouncing in the aisle, and doing chest presses with him over my head ( like to simulate a swing I guess? I don't know I was desperate and he loved it...) as well as wearing interesting jewelry and chew-beads for him to play with helped. Overall I found the initial descent (about 30 min before landing) to be the hardest pressure change...when he did cry no one seemed miffed, I just did my best and focused on the fact that the flight was nearly over! If she does freak out most passengers will probably feel sorry for you both, esp when they see that you're doing the best you can! It's a hard job and most people will understand, but if they don't try not to let it bother you. The hardest part for me was figuring out how to use the bathroom on the plane (so tiny it's hard to manage with a little one in a carrier or your arms)! Also...some big airports have "nursing or family rooms" where you can change diap, rock or nurse in privacy/quiet which is a welcomed break when traveling solo. Good luck with your trip! Remember, as long as the plane is moving you're getting closer to your destination (unlike in the car when you have to pull over)... Haha that was my mantra and try to stay well-fed and hydrated yourself....it's easy to forget when taking care of baby while traveling but a happy mama will do wonders for making the trip easier
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#4 of 19 Old 06-18-2014, 08:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you both so much. I was going to put her in the ergo during boarding but now I think ill do it after take off.

Happy mom- how did you bounce in the aisle?

Were people mean? I've seen so many grouchy people on planes...
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#5 of 19 Old 06-25-2014, 05:34 PM
 
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I think mine was closer to 9 months when I first flew with her (and her older sister) all by myself for the first time. (so just us three) and I tried to make it so she was tired enough to nurse to sleep during takeoff (nursing helps a LOT with the pressure change) and had backup plans with lots of interesting and new things in easy reach of my seat for quick changes.

It helps a lot with the people around you if you act as if the whole baby flying thing is perfectly normal and nothing to be worried about. I've found that often, how I act about a situation will be what others feed off of. It's the whole fake it until you make it. If I'm totally in control (as you see it), and just going with the flow, most folks (except the very rude ones) will just go with it and focus instead on how darn cute baby is and what a great mama you are. most people take some sympathy when you're traveling alone with baby.

I'm sure we've all been on at least one plane trip with a crying or fussy baby. Mine were, luckily, very sociable and would smile at (and talk to) everyone around them. Let baby check everything out, make new "friends" with your neighbors and since plane seats are so small anyways, there simply isn't any way for her to get to the floor so she's simply stuck on your lap although your legs and stomach may be sore by the time you get there due to the constant baby must change positions. being cute towards other folks ALWAYS helps! unless they're just a grumpy person in which case you need to don your duck feathers and let it roll off your back. you can't do anything about anybody else's mood! If anybody has the gumption to actually say anything to you just inform them that you're doing the best that you are able to. sorry.

Best of luck, be a duck, you'll all survive!

Farming mama to DD1 (10/18/07), DD2 (10/3/09) who are always DS born 8.21.14 and wife to loving hubby (6/23/2007).
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#6 of 19 Old 06-26-2014, 12:15 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow thanks doopmama. How did you change your baby on the plane? What if I have to pee?
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#7 of 19 Old 06-26-2014, 02:04 AM
 
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If I will travel alone with my baby, I will surely bring a companion. It's hard and it's very frustrating to travel on your own with your baby, especially when your not used to it or it is just your first time, so it's better to bring someone else with you. If in case you want to go somewhere (pee or what), your companion will be left there as your baby's look out.
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#8 of 19 Old 06-26-2014, 10:54 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Yes obviously having a companion would make it much easier. I won't have one though, hence this thread.
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#9 of 19 Old 06-26-2014, 01:51 PM
 
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I flew with my DS when he was 3.5 months. I was very anxious about it but it went really well. He slept a lot in the Ergo and when he got fussy I just walked up and down the aisle until he went back to sleep. If you're going to be nursing, a good cover would be handy. I wore one that is like a shawl so I wore it the whole time. I wore a nursing cami underneath so I wouldn't get too hot. Planes can get very warm, especially when you are wearing a hot baby. The other passengers were very nice and complemented DS on how good he was on the flight. I was able to pee while wearing the Ergo. You might be able to have a flight attendant hold the baby if need be. I changed the diaper right before boarding and didn't need to do it on the plane. There is a way to see online if your airplane model typically has changing tables in the restroom.
My advice would be not to worry too much because it will probably be better than you are imagining now. Good luck!



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#10 of 19 Old 07-06-2014, 07:58 PM
 
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I've traveled before on a 6 hour flight with my LO. She was about 3 months old at the time and we just bought our car seat right on board. And best of all -- we didn't have to buy a separate seat! We decided to take a red eye. We figured hardly no one would be on it, so we took a chance by bringing the seat instead of checking it. Lucky us...like 3/4 of the plane was empty . We just strapped her in and she felt very comfy and safe! We had a Britax BOB B-Safe fyi...

~ I am obsessed with car seat safety and advice on the best car seats!

Love you all!!
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#11 of 19 Old 07-06-2014, 08:36 PM
 
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I flew with my DD alone several times before she was one. I found the post below to be very helpful. I'm re-reading it now myself as I'm flying with both my LO's alone in two weeks. Best!

http://flyingwithchildren.blogspot.c...s-for.html?m=1
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#12 of 19 Old 07-09-2014, 08:20 PM
 
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I've got my 1st solo flight w my now 10 monther next week. On previous flights our baby was wildly entertained by plastic cups; they kept him jolly across the whole Atlantic!
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#13 of 19 Old 07-10-2014, 06:38 AM
 
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When you have done every reasonable and responsible thing to help your child on an airplane you have done all you can do. If she cries, you just comfort her in the best way that you can. It's totally panic making to think of a child freaking out on a airplane but it happens and that's life. She will be ok. The other passengers will be ok. You will probably be the most stressed person in the situation. Just remind yourself that this is life in our modern times.

Mama to DD September 2001 and DD April 2011 *Winner for most typos* eat.gif
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#14 of 19 Old 07-10-2014, 06:39 AM
 
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And a tip - if she is old enough to eat ice - that was a life save for us.

Mama to DD September 2001 and DD April 2011 *Winner for most typos* eat.gif
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#15 of 19 Old 07-10-2014, 10:30 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks identitycrisismama - I think it's definitely true that I'll be the most stressed!
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#16 of 19 Old 07-10-2014, 11:07 PM
 
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Ha! Funny about the ice, that was our savior too- DD was about 1 though. I flew once with DD on my lap and once with her own seat- I do not advise going alone with her in her own seat because it is impossible to deal with a car seat on you own, IMO. I think we kept DD in her ergo for takeoff and landing?? It wasn't bad- lots for her to look at, poke at, etc. our plane had no changing table, so, yea, hopefully you won't have to, or do it ?on your seat with a changing pad... And just think, even if she cries will it be the worst 3 hrs of your life? No. Have faith. It's not as bad as you think, probably.
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#17 of 19 Old 07-10-2014, 11:09 PM
 
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In the past 5 years I haven't ever been on a plane with an empty seat, so don't count on that... Check your car seat as soon as you can or rent one there, IMO
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#18 of 19 Old 07-16-2014, 02:37 PM
 
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I've flown three times with my babe (now 6 months). Twice with a companion, once solo.

-The hardest part for me was folding the stroller at the end of the ramp. Once I realized to put her in the sling BEFORE starting the boarding process, everything was easier. But a friendly parent passenger helped me fold the stroller the other time.

-I've had her in my sling carrier for take-off several times, and nobody has said anything. Maybe it looks enough like a shawl or something?

-My biggest mistake was having her diaper bag in the overhead compartment, then it was very challenging to get when I had to change her.

-I've had flight attendants hold her while I went to the bathroom, they were always excited and happy to do it.

-Ask a flight attendant before takeoff if there's a bathroom with a changing table. Most newer planes have them.

-I've never had anyone be grumpy at me. Sympathetic, yes! But not grumpy. People are mostly nice and like to be helpful.

-Don't forget to breathe! And smile! Take it slow, accept help, and listen to your babe.
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#19 of 19 Old 07-16-2014, 10:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks to everyone. We are at our destination now so 1/2 of the travels are done. We had two flights. The first was a very short 30 minute flight that went pretty bad. Baby cried a lot and it was just so overwhelming and I tried to fb but my large boob fell out while seated next to a handsome man. He was very nice though and was expecting his 1st child and had a baby app on his phone that calmed babe down and kept her happy for most of the remainder of the flight. She wouldn't bf so that made it worse. Then we had a very brief wait for the next flight, during which time she ate and I also ate a bagel. I took the advice of one of the posters here and asked if they had an extra seat and they did!!!! It was SO amazing. Baby just sat there watching a movie or dozing the whole time. I'm really hoping to get an extra seat again but doubt I'll get so lucky twice. They asked this one woman to move and I guess she said no because another guy moved and me and babe ended up seated next to the grouch who scowled for a good part of the flight realizing her mistake I suppose. Anyway, the extra seat made a world of difference and I have to say I wouldn't fly solo with a baby again without an extra seat.

Thanks to everyone.
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