I am on the longest vacation of my life these days (my trip to India from US) and this vacation surely is teaching me so many things. From the time I planned to visit India I was very excited and nervous. The only reason for the nervousness was ‘I had to travel alone with a 15 month old for a 14 hour long flight’ and that too FIRST time. I made this decision by choice but the thought of being a parent of a crying child in a flight full of passengers was terrible.
But you always have to carry on .And you can, because you have to.
After travelling alone with my girl, I am more confident and afraid at the same time .It’s no walk in the park. Here is a list of what helped me survive my first solo international travel with a 15 month old:
- Bring your own snacks and food for baby: Besides the fact whether my airlines provide food for baby or not , I packed my own food and snacks for baby J. She is very choosy about flavors and that’s why I was not sure whether she will eat airline’s food or not. Not just food I brought 2 bottles of milk too and trust me I was so glad that I did so.
- New toys: Buying toys seems stupid when we know our kids will play with it only for few hours. But when you have to travel in a longggg flight and they don’t have so many options to pass their time, it’s a good idea to keep 2-3 small NEW (so they are not already bored with it) toys for them in your carryon bag or diaper bag. If your kid spent even half an hour with a toy, you won’t regret buying it.
- Empty Seat Next to me: When you have not booked a separate seat for your toddler and you found the seat next to you is Empty, You can’t feel lucky enough. In the starting hour of my flight I realized what a blessing this is. Baby J won’t sit on my lap at all. She was enjoying one complete seat and was jumping/standing on that.
- Kindness of people: Till the time I didn’t travel solo with a baby I never realized natural kindness of people around me. Your fellow passengers, staff and crew everyone becomes more helpful when they see a baby with you. I am sure if I am travelling with my husband I am not going to get so much help. My girl was playing with the person sitting next to me
and he responded with all the smiles and coos he can. So momma, If you are planning to travel solo, don’t say No to any help you get.
- Keep important things in carryon bag: I did some over packing for my carryon bags because I just didn’t want to miss anything. Imagine you are in the clouds and your baby needs her favorite blanket to sleep. What would you do? I just didn’t want to take any chance. With the diaper bag you are allowed for one more carryon bag in a flight for yourself. I filled that bag with all the things I needed (Or I thought will need) for my girl. Remember, people can help with all their kindness but you should be ready with all the resources when travelling in a long flight.
- Extra leg space in front of child seat: In international flights you have the option to book child seat (with some clauses about age and height of child) and bassinet for your baby. We were not able to use the bassinet because she was not fitting into it. But for child seats they have extra leg space. We used that space for her walking, standing, and putting my important stuff right next to me and for her sleeping too. So make sure you book the child seat even if you think your baby won’t fit into the bassinet.
- Downloaded Videos in phone: Ok, I am a mommy who allows her baby to watch videos in phone (sometimes). I downloaded her favorite videos (including the lullaby she listens when sleep) and when nothing worked, it helped me. So if you are in the same category of mom like me then use this tip and make sure you have downloaded some videos in your phone.
- Candies to chew during takeoff and landing: To save them from ear pressure that build up during takeoff and landing, it’s important that they keep chewing something. You can use ear buds for kids too but this doesn’t work with my super excited girl. I brought some candies and lucky me that she survived the takeoff and landing.
Flying solo with a baby isn’t easy but it can be done if you are aware of challenges and fully prepared to face them. When I landed I was exhausted but felt like a supermom. Though I don’t want to do it alone again but I am confident that I can do and it can be done. Have you ever travelled solo with a baby? What helped you to survive that long journey? Share in comments below.
This is a great tips to a lot of mom or parents out there. Flying solo with a toddler can be very challenging. Saving this post.
It was a big challenge for me , but I think I will be more prepared next time.
You are so much braver than me! That’s awesome you did it! Thanks for sharing your tips.
You are welcome Emily !
Yes! Definitely agree with so many of these and they work! Love traveling with my littles!
ME too love travelling . But with my girl its really tough.Thanks for reading 🙂
We’ve done a couple of flights, but no internationals! I definitely packed a lot of snacks, crayons, and made sure to have everything I needed under my seat in my carry on! Great tips!
Thank you Lexi!
Love the tips! We have 3 small children and have flown with them from the beginning! We always joke that we go into the day thinking it’s going to be the worst day of our lives, and then when it’s really not that bad (because we’re prepared) – we feel like we’ve won parenting for the day!
Its important to be prepared . but with kids you cant predict things. Glad you didn’t face any tantrums.
Flying with kids is always tough…especially with terrible toddlers…LOL. Cute post!
Thanks for reading Felicia.
I’ve heard so many horror stories about flying with kids but I’ve never had an issue. Lots of snacks and toys along with walking the aisles a bit!
You are one lucky woman 🙂
My two step-sons, who are 3 and 7, need an iPad or phone otherwise they’d be crying or complaining endlessly. My 17 month old son, however, only gets an iPad or phone if he gets hysterical in the car, and he wakes up his 2 month old sister. Parents sometimes need to do what they have to do in order to preserve their sanity!
Yessss 100% true!We know what we are doing !
You are brave. I never flew with my kids until they were teenagers. Seems like you have some good tricks for keeping baby happy.
Haha thanks Julie.
Hi! I flew with my son by myself at 2 months old. Yes, I can agree it was terrifying, but well worth it in the end. We’re actualy doing it again in March and then our first international flight in June when he’s 9 months (Lord help me!). These are great tips since I’m literally about to do the same thing minus 2 hours (England). My other flights were domestic and the longest one was 6 hours. I’m glad I get to throw some of the responsibilities to my husband this time! I actually wrote a blog about my experience as well! Here it is! https://agileslifeforme.com/2018/01/14/traveling-with-an-infant/
Great blog by you . Its good you have a travel partner this time .
These are all great ideas. I haven’t traveled solo with my children yet, but as a single mother I know the time is coming for us to start taking out of state/country trips. This gives me hope I can survive it!
You surely can survive.Just be prepared !
Hey hi aaradhana, your situation seems to be same as was mine coz even I had to travel alone with my 2 year kid that too alone not that long but 5-7 hrs. But yeah even I did the same thing that I carried my own snacks and fruits nd food apart from the fact airlines provided the food and fruit..yeah it’s a blessing when you get one vacant seat near your seat so that baby can sleep play and sit..even I carried all my babies stuff in cabin baggage so that baby doesn’t feel out of place and don’t get bored.i carried his favourite candies chocolates..His favourite toys like all his cars Spidermans . even I was worried for landing and take off and Thank God my baby was happy while take off and but while landing he felt the pressure and started crying a bit but Thank God the crew member so supportive that they gave me kids seat belt so that I could make him sit in my lap atleast some relaxation to kids and the crew member started posing like fish so that my kid copy him and it really worked and saved him from that pain…And yeah at the end the feeling was like Supermom and I should be honoured that I have done that bravery task alone😁😂😎..though no mom want to do it alone because of concern but as I am use to it so these tips really works everytime and I am trying these every time with few changes according to mood of kids…..
Even 5-6 Hours are too long with kids. Toys,candies and all other stuff helps to make sure they are not crying and they are busy. I know the feeling of being a supermom. Seems it comes naturally to us 🙂
Thank you for your tips. I am planning to go solo with my kid but for a domestic flight which will be for 2-3 hours. Will keep all these in mind
All the best for your travel Anchal.