Back in July I had this crazy idea to take a solo mom trip with 3 kids on an international flight back to the states to visit family. Yes, I might be crazy and if the thought of this makes you sweat…..just hang tight bc I have some horror stories to share with you, plus tips on traveling with an infant/newborn and toddlers.
Okay so I took this trip….ALONE…with THREE kids….ALONE! so many levels of crazy there! But I was destined to get back to the states asap even if that meant leaving before my husband could take leave and taking on the stress of traveling close to 24 hours with 3 kids, 5yr, 3yr, and at the time 3 months.
I am not even going to lie to you, it was overwhelming af and I wanted to cry at times. I learned a lot on my flight to the states and was able to test my travel tips on the way back to Bahrain.
On my way to America we ran into several hiccups before we even got through security. They couldn’t find our tickets and they were closing the tickets in 10 min. GREAT! This would happen to me. Luckily things got sorted out and it was time to say bye to my husband. This is were I sorta lost my shit. I was freaking out and doubting myself. “What have I gotten myself into?” All The what ifs and crazy thoughts folded my mind. My anxiety was at an all time high. And then Immigration stopped me. “This boy is Bahraini?” Holding my little baby’s passport. “No he’s American, I mean he was born here but, we are American citizens!” Then there the man goes away with all of our passports and bordering passes. 10 min later I’m sooooooo pissed wondering were the man was. He came back laughing saying I needed to pay 15BD ( around $40 USD ) to take my baby with me. HAHAHAHA! I couldn’t tell if he was joking or serious through his laughing and I wasn’t even sure if he was just trying to scam me. I gave him my card and told him to hurry up, “I don’t have time for this!!!!!”
Don’t expect things to go perfect. If you find yourself running behind schedule ask about Security Fast Track Boarding. Not all airports will do this but its worth a shot.
We got on our flight and all was good. People were helpful for the most part, seeing me in distress trying to lug around a carseat and carry ons with my 2 little ones following behind me. I can’t say too much about the flight attendants. They weren’t very helpful at all, in fact they gave me a lot of grief.
I had so many issues with bringing my carseat on the flight. I had problems with the flight attendants asking me if my carseat was TSA approved and threatening to remove my carseat and put under the cabin because it was preventing the person in front of me from leaning back. If you have a rear facing seat, like I did, the seat should remain in the rear facing position during take off and landing. After you can, at your own risk, turn the seat forward to make more room for the passenger in front to lean back. You can also tilt the seat in a more inclined position so baby will not be sitting the entire flight. I wrapped a burp cloth around the buckle so baby didn’t touch the buckles.
When it came to sleeping on the flight the kids had no problem. They will find a way to fall asleep. I worried way too much about their comfort sleeping on the flight and wore myself out trying to get the comfortable or what looked comfortable to me. I have no advice when it comes to getting comfortable on an economy flight but if you can sleep do it!!!
- Stroller (check it at the gate)
- Hand sanitizer and more hand sanitizer (I sanitized everyones hands every hour)
- Lysol to-go (Perfect for spraying on seats, bathroom, EVERYWHERE)
- Small water in a can (perfect for cooling off and keeping face from getting too dry)
- Chapstick (apply every 2hrs if possible)
- Facial lotion (one that can be used on you and kids)
- This Nursing Cover (I used this cover several ways // used as a tent to change baby instead of going to the restroom (Breastmilk poo doesn’t skink lol ) // Covered carseat when I went to the restroom so no one would touch baby
- These stroller attachments for older kids of hold onto.
- Rolling carry on and one medium bag under seat (I carried way too many things my inbound flight, so much that I had busted blood vessels in my arm)
- Travel pillows
- These kid size headphones
- Not a lot of toys (don’t bring small toys you’ll spend half the flight try finding them and picking them up off the floor)
- Tablet and bring back up chargers // Download games from the app store that don’t need wifi to use
- Put baby toys on these links too keep from falling on the floor
- Toy/binky cleaner
- Snacks (Best for bribing)
- Chewy snacks for landing and take off // ask little ones to open and close their mouth really big to help relieve pressure
- I wish I had these travel beds for the kids / Here is another one
- Change of clothes for kids (They will spill something)
- Extra binkys
- If you need to warm up a bottle ask flight attendant to put bottle in hot water (you shouldn’t have any issues)