So I decided that I would indeed go see my family one more time. This means I am going to make a 24 hour international journey with an 11 month old. Alone. I am not looking forward to it.
I more or less know what to do having taken Thing 1 on a similar journey when she was a little younger than Thing 2 is now. Though I wasn’t alone that time…
My quick list of tips is:
Baby carrier- have one for airport transit. Easy completely off and on is essential for US travel. I like it better for maneuvering than a stroller and it ties into #2:
Pack light. One suitcase, because you will also probably be lugging a car seat, a baby bag and your own carry on. On the topic of car seats, if you don’t have an easily packable one (We have a Cosco Scenera-lightweight and easy to use), or are going to a country with funny car seat laws- buy one. It is cheaper than renting in many cases. We bought one last time, so are bringing one this time.
Toys. I put all the baby toys on a long necklace. This meant that baby could be worn (in a line for instance), and pick and choose various toys and, this is important, not throw them away. Also handy for on the plane. Loop the necklace over your head or through your shirt and baby has anchored toys that are not easy to lose on the airplane.
Snacks. I pack some, but this time I am going through an additional country where I will have to dispose of my food items, so I’m not packing too much. Keep them all in one place for easy throwing out at the disposal bins before you get to customs.
Your baby bag should also contain at least one change of clothing, nappies, wipes and a water cup or bottle. And trash bags. Even old plastic shopping bags. Just in case you get some nasty clothing, have to change a nappy away from trash, etc. I like hand sanitizer too.
Things I’m experimenting with this time, I’m bringing a second baby carrier to basically tie my lap child on to me while she sleeps so that I can sleep too. I have some ring sling rings so am bringing a baby blanket and a gauze woven wrap that I can turn into a ring sling in a pinch. Gauze wrap can also be used for snot, drool and vomit if necessary.
Apparently lap children can get baby meals (jarred mush) or child meals as well. My travel agent arranged it this time, last time I had no idea. But if you are doing a DIY trip call the airline to ask maybe.
Travel insurance. Get it.
I anticipate my total carrying load to be, my purse, baby bag, one suitcase, one car seat, and a baby.
Younger babies are easier because they mainly just sleep. When we took Thing 1 she cuddled, she slept and was pretty amiable. I am worried about Thing 2 being slightly older. Our flight timing is not great either, we start early morning instead of later night so I expect a lot of awake baby. Good thing most international flights have free movies.