Traveling with a 2 Month Old Alone

Updated on February 19, 2011
A.C. asks from Los Angeles, CA
19 answers

I'm going to be traveling with my 2 1/2 month old baby by myself. It will be a 6 hour flight and I know the flight is completely booked so I will not be able to bring the car seat on with me. I'm kinda scrawny and can barely lift my DD in the car seat so I can't be carrying a lot with her and I want to minimize what I carry with me through the security gates and onto the plane. Has anyone been on a flight alone with baby in lap the whole time? How would I use the restroom? Do I bring her with me to the restroom?

Also a question about checking the car seat, the base, and stroller. She's too small for a little umbrella stroller so I'm bringing our Graco travel system (the one where the car seat snaps into the stroller). It's a big, heavy thing and I don't want it to get damaged being handled by the baggage folks. Do I wrap them in trash bags before getting to the airport? I was thinking of just taking the fabric over off the car seat but the stroller has a lot of fabric parts and would be a pain in the butt to try to take off. Has anyone traveled with a travel system before?

Also, I've heard of young babies getting an ear infection just from the pressure of the plane. Is there anyway of preventing this? My DD is exclusively breastfed so I plan on feeding her during take off and landing but is there some kind of medicine she should take as well?

Oh and diaper changes. How does that work on the plane? I know I shouldn't worry as moms do this all the time. But I just want to be as prepared as I possibly can be. Thank you for sharing your wisdom!

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So What Happened?

Thanks for all the tips mamas! It wasnt bad at all. I checked in my travel system so I just carried dd on my ergo with a diaper bag. I liked that I didnt have to wait with all the mommies & daddies after.the flight for them to bring the stroller up. Going - the guy at the counter wrapped the entire travel system in these huge plastice.bags which protected them. I shouldve asked for an extra set to wrap them coming back because the lady who in on the way back wouldnt do it even though I checked in 4 hours before my flight and the check in counter was empty. So the fabric on everything was so dirty. At least dd is too little.for the stroller so we have some time to take it apart & wash it before hand. The most annoying part is going to the bathroom, which I did frequently, because I needed to stay hydrated while breastfeeding. Oh, tip: carry some antibacterial wipes. Im certain they dont wipe down the fold down lap tables after every flight. Mine had crusty food remnants on it, ewww!

More Answers


answers from Chicago on

I have done this -- numerous times, with baby #1 and baby #2. I wore a baby bjorn and that made bathroom trips EASY :) They came with me. Baby #1 was content to sleep in her baby bjorn for most of the 2.5 hour flights I took (obviously yours is longer). Baby #2 stayed awake the whole time but was still pretty much AOK. Also, I didn't take a stroller until I was traveling with 2 all by myself that were an infant and under 2 years --- I just did the baby bjorn. It minimized the junk I had to deal with at check in or security. If your baby bjorn doesn't have any metal, some of the security people even told me to keep it on going through the metal detector -- mine had all plastic parts and fabric. If you need the car seat, check it at main baggage counter and not at the gate if you can help it and Yes, I would garbage bag it or use something of a heavier duty plastic.

Babies don't get an ear infection, they get swollen ear drums from the pressure and it not being released by sucking or swallowing. As long as you plan on nursing during takeoff and descent (NOT landing) -- you will be AOK. I would say start the feeding session when you start noticing pressure in your own ears both on take off and when descending.

If you are on a bigger plane, they might have a pull down changing table in the plane restroom -- if it is a small commuter jet, they won't. Change the baby right before takeoff to minimize how much trouble it would be to change in an aircraft restroom without a changing table -- yech. *Fingers crossed* you are on a bigger plane. Also, check with the flight attendant at the gate if it is a small plane and make sure you are on the side with the extra oxygen mask -- small commuter jets only have the extra mask on 1 side -- not both so you have to be sitting on the proper side of the plane and sometimes the reservation people mis-book you unknowingly.

Good luck and have fun :)

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Check the stroller at the gate. They will put the tags on for you. If you are changing planes, ask to have it ready at each destination. During take off and landing, either nurse, give a bottle, or a pacifier. Some planes have a changing table and they announced it on my recent flight. Bring whatever formula and bottles you need for the baby. They did test the liquid in my kids' sippy cups, but it wasn't an issue.

I've flown several times when my kids were small: when my older one was 7 months; a year and a half ago when my twins were 4.5 months; and recently with my 6yo and the almost 2yo twins...TWICE last month (went to visit my parents and then my dad died 2 days after we got home, so we made another trip). Personally, I've always purchased a seat for my kids, even when they were small. They give you a reduced child fare. Advice from flight attendants regarding safety is part of the reason, and the other is so that I can actually put my tray down and have a glass of juice or whatever. On our recent flights we had to change planes once. We had the strollers ready at the gate to get to the next gate. (My husband couldn't go due to health reasons, so my mom - also disabled - came on one flight..which really wasn't all that much help, and a cousin came with me for the funeral trip). Having the car seats was great because the kids slept in them....and I just felt that they were safer that way. (Again, the flight attendant advice). I did worry about landing if they were sleeping, but it never seemed to bother their ears. I took two Britax Marathons and they worked fine.

Also, rather than worry about your nice stroller getting ruined, invest in a snap n' go...those saved my life! They are so lightweight, easy to use, big storage basket. The infant seat fits right onto it. I was so thrilled to find out they made a double when I found out I was having twins. I also had the Graco travel system and rarely used the big stroller. You can usually pick them up used at a children's resale store. Even new, the single one wasn't expensive.

As far as diaper bags, I've found over the last 7 years that I really like the backpack bags. I don't carry a purse often anyway, and just put my things in a small bag inside the diaper bag. One bag held enough for twins (diapers, snacks, extra clothes) for a 7+ hour trip. It was one less thing to juggle while pushing the stroller.

Enjoy your trip...and don't worry. The flight attendants are great and are more than willing to help you. They even helped carry the car seats on and off if we needed it, and some even helped to unbuckle the seat to get us off the plane quicker. They will adore your baby and really do want to make things as easy and stress-free as possible....and I always fly Southwest, so no big fancy , expensive fares...just good people who enjoy their job - thank goodness!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

While airlines will take the travel system at the plane and bring it out for you at the other end (in the jetway) at that age I preferred checking them before security. I would fly with baby bjorn and diaper bag backpack and it was easier.
I usually fly southwest and they have large bags to put the carseat in for you when checking it like luggage. Plus, they don't count it as luggage (one of your two free ones). They also have a changing table in one bathroom on the plane, front one, not both. I'd find out the carseat luggage policy for your airline and ask about the changing table when you board.
I sat at the window so it was easier to nurse, even if it was a little more difficult getting out. Leaning against the wall with my sweater under my baby, blanket over her made it really easy to stay there.
I've always taken the baby to the bathroom with me, never thought to ask a flight attendant. It was a tight squeeze but worked.
Good luck and nurse, nurse, nurse. That is key. The person who said on descent, not waiting until landing, is spot on. Nurse when you feel your ears change pressure.
I'm sure all will go well.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Denver on

Check your stroller at the gate - life is easier this way. They'll have it for you at your destination when you get off the plane.

A flight attendant can and will hold your baby, if necessary (I have asked for this assistance - it was always cheerfully provided).

Diaper changes happen in the bathroom. You'll manage.

Nursing at take-off and landing should be fine.

I traveled with my oldest when he was 6 weeks old. 6-10 weeks really isn't a bad age to travel. Mostly, they sleep....



answers from Duluth on

I know this isn't the same situation, but maybe I can help a little. I just traveled by plane for the first time with my 8 month old and husband. As far as carrying stuff, there are carts at the door of the airport for people like you that may be carrying a lot. They are great for this. Most airplanes have a baby changing table in the bathroom so maybe you could strap your baby in there while you go. As far as diaper changes, I had to do it twice on the plane and honestly I just laid him in my husband's lap. At 2 months I'd say you can probably lay her in your own lap to change her and never have to bring her into the bathroom. There are umbrella strollers that recline and have a 5 point belt that are made for 2 months+, maybe you want to look into one of these. Pretty much every airport I've been in also has a little booster seat looking thing bolted to the wall of the bathroom stall where you can strap your kid in while you're in there.

Hope this helps a bit.



answers from San Diego on

Yep, gate check your stroller. Yep, nurse or have your baby suck on a paci or your finger during take off and during descent. Definitely bring a baby wearing carrier thing that you are comfortable with. I LOVED my Maya Wrap and so did my kids when they were infants. The only time they ask you to take the baby out of it is during landing and take off. I would then use it to cover the baby while nursing. Diaper changes are not a problem, they always have a bathroom with a changer in it. Definitely bring Ziploc gallon sized freezer bags to put the stinky diapers in after a change. Then ask the attendant to dispose of it. They usually prefer that you don't just throw it away in the bathroom.

I would get a backpack style diaper bag. You will need at least 2 outfits for your baby (In case of spills or diaper leaks), at least 1 change of shirt/bra for you in case the baby vomits or poops all over you (yep, I had that happen in a plane once), plus all the normal baby stuff and the stuff you will need....wallet, phone, book, etc.

The Boppy is a good idea too, although I never used mine on a plane since my kids were usually snug as a bug in the Maya Wrap. I just used the little airplane pillow for a little extra support. One less thing to carry on in my opinion.

The Maya wrap works great when you have to take your baby to the bathroom with you. I would just lift them up in the Maya wrap before I sat down on the potty then lower them back down once I was finished.

And most importantly, don't forget to relax and breathe and be flexible with your babies sleep/eat schedule. They always get a little off of schedule when you travel. And have fun! Hopefully your little one be like mine...except for take off and landing, they slept through most of the flight and only cried when they were hungry.



answers from Los Angeles on

Bring your diaper bag on the plane with you, and that's it! Have what you need for baby (food, diapers, change of clothes or two, small blanket or wrap for nursing) plus a tad extra in case of a delay. Put your necesary items in there (id, phone, credit card, cash, snack) and pack the rest!

I've travelled alone with my daughter. You don't have to wrap the carseat, they will do that when you check it. They probably prefer you don't anyway, their bags are clear. You can take the stroller to the gate with you, and they will stow it when you board.

There is usually a changing table in one of the bathrooms on the plane, usually the front one. If you have to go, perhaps you will have a generous seatmate who will hold baby while you go, or a flight attendant. (I've learned to go with a baby on my lap and do everything with one hand) :0) And try to get an aisle seat. You'll have more room to maneuver and it's easier to get up when you need to.

My kids have never gotten ear infections from flying. (I actually haven't heard of that before) but I also feed them at take off & landing.

Also, if you have a boppy, take it! It might seem cumbersome, but after a few hours, you'll be glad you have it.

Good luck and have a safe flight!



answers from Dallas on

I travelled alone with my daughter all the time, and did so when she was 2 1/2 months old. She slept on my lap almost the entire 3 hour flight, and would of probably slept longer. Feeding on take off and landing is a great idea, and my pediatrician said that some kids like to cluster feed when the travel and that it's okay if my daughter overeats on the flight and to feed her. Also, you can take your travel system right up to the gate of the airplane, That is what I did, and then they put it below as you get on the plane and have it waiting for you when you get off the plane.

Also, there is a changing table in the bathroom on the plane. It's not big, but you can make it work. As for you going to the bathroom, you may or may not feel comfortable, but I would have a flight attendant hold my daughter. To avoid this though, I didn't drink a lot before getting on the plane and didn't drink anything on the plane, but that is a lot easier when it's just a 3 hour flight.

Checking your travel system is free at the gate, you just need to get a tag on it at the counter at the gate. I found it easier to use a backpack with all my baby stuff, and my id and wallet, and I checked everything else, (but medicines and electronics). At this age you really only need diapers on the plane, since she is breastfed and doesn't really need toys at this age, so you shouldn't need too much on the plane itself.



answers from Las Vegas on

The only time I traveled alone with my son was when he was 9 months old, but I also flew with him at 2 and 6 months with my husband. When they are that young it is so easy. Get a baby carrier (we always used a mei tai or Ergo). I actually still use that for carrying him around the airport, and my son is now 2 and a half. I would then suggest you take a rolling bag, since that is really easy to pull in the airport. I flew with the boppy until my son was about a year old, he could lay on it and breastfeed and sleep (that was all he did at 2 months on the plane). I just latched it onto the rolling bag. Breastfeeding is the best during flights, that is really all you need at that age, and doing it when you takeoff and land is easy and works. Although my son has never had any ear problems on flights, even when not nursing. I have never heard of of ear infections from the pressure, I wouldn't worry about it. Don't do medicine (it affects some kids differently, making them yperactive), don't worry, it really will be easier than you think.

For diaper changes, most planes have a restroom with a changing table (right above the toilet). Ask the flight attendants when you get on, if they don't have one, I'm sure they will find you some place to do it. They are really helpful, will get you water and stuff before the plane takes off, when you have a baby.



answers from Los Angeles on

you can do it!

the airline should help you with the stroller and the carrier. Call ahead to see if they have protective plastic bags for the carrier - some do, some don't.

in addition to nursing, you may want to bring Little Tummies with you. the presure can give the baby gas & if she doesn't want to nurse, giving her little drops to swallow during take off and landing can also help equalize the pressure in her ears.

I would highly suggest bringing a sling. it'll keep your little one near you, make nursing easier (and more private) and will allow you to pee hands-free.

for diaper changes, bring an extra blanket and do it on the floor near where the flight attendants sit if you need to. I would say, put her in a big diaper & don't changer her unless she poops!

Good luck & safe travels



answers from Los Angeles on

I definitely agree re: carrier. The nice thing about the Moby is your baby can be in it in a variety of different ways, though my daughter never seems to be comfortable in it (she really likes the Ergo), so I would try out the carrier several times before counting on it when flying. I flew with my daughter when she was 3.5 months old and breastfed her during take off until she fell asleep. I find if given the option, she'll stay on the boob, so I kept her there as long as possible. I had a variety of different toys she likes to keep her occupied when she was awake (doll, teething toy, soft book etc), let her play for a short period of time, then put her back on the boob. She didn't make a peep going there or back. Good luck! Oh, and remember to have bottled water for yourself if you're breastfeeding.



answers from Las Vegas on

Call your airline and find out the specifics of checking the stroller and if you'll be charged for it (every airline is different). Do feed on take-off (wait until the plane has taxied out and turned onto the runway, there can be long wait times if the airport is busy); and feed on descent. It's the change in pressure that makes it painful on baby's ears (does not cause an infection). For the sake of the other passengers, DO NOT change a diaper in your seat; go to the restroom. It is a hastle in that small space, but it's doable.



answers from Honolulu on

Take the stroller and check it at the gate before you board--it is very convenient for pushing all your "stuff" through the airport before you get to the plane (diaper bag, your coat and purse). But it also has to go through Security. I traveled with my infant a lot, and it was never damaged. You don't have to wrap it.

The hard part is getting through TSA and going to the bathroom. Wear shoes that slip on and off easily, so you can heft everything else with one hand while holding the baby. Wear yoga pants or something without zippers, because pulling your pants up in a tiny bathroom while holding a baby takes a while.

The plane bathrooms have a pull down shelf above the toilet. Close the toilet lid (ha ha).

Bring your boppy pillow to support your arms during the flight--it does half the work.

Breast feed or bottle feed on landing if you can. I'm not aware of any medication. Make sure you pack a spare set of clothes for her AND a shirt for you in your carry-on, because if she throws up on you, it's a very long flight in that smell.

Don't worry too much about the other passengers. Many of them have had children as well and with empathize with you when the baby starts to cry. The grandmas will want to help you.

Have fun!



answers from Dallas on

You can gate check the stroller and car seat. Thats what I would recommend anyway so it will not get lost. Just push baby all the way through the jetway. They will take care of it at the door od the plane. MAKE SURE TO LABEL IT WITH LUGGAGE TAGS when you check in, they have some.

Is it an option to pump prior and feed her with bottles on the plane? This can help with ear pressure issues at take off and landing. Ear infections come fom bacteria in the ear, or sick people on the plane; not necessarily flying.

Planes usually have changing tables. Its a tight fit but baby is still small. Bring plenty of antibacterial wipes though, its flu and RSV season. Being confined to that small of a space for that long can be heaven for germs.

Mostly in flight baby will sleep from the hum of the plane, just like in a car.

have a safe trip; you will do great!


answers from Minneapolis on

Find a carrier you like for hands free stuff. For one that small, I love the Moby, but it takes some practice. Its a huge peice of no metal for the gates, etc, but you will want to put it on at insert baby when you take her out of her car seat when you get there. There are many other great sounding carriers that a small infant will likely be very cozy in snuggled against you for the long ride, nursing and all of that, but any of them will require you to use it first, so I would get on that!

Good luck! And happy travels!



answers from Philadelphia on

I also have traveled with an infant on a plane. Its no problem holding them on the flight. Wheel your DD in the stroller straight to the plane - they will then take it when everyone boards and stow it. It will also be right there when you get off the plane. No medicine was needed for my child; she just sucked the bottle which kept her ears popping so it didn't hurt. You will get to know the people who will be flying with you and hopefully have another woman next you that has or has had kids; believe me they are more than helpful - especially if you have to use the restroom yourself (plus they can't go anywhere with your child). I changed diapers on my lap after takeoff when the seatbelt could come off. Hope this helps!!



answers from Los Angeles on

I never traveled alone with an infant but when you check in to the flight, see if there are any empty seats where you can have the seat next to you. You never know - sometimes there is one available. After my first flight, I always bought a seat for my son so we would have the extra room. He would sleep on the seat most of the time. I never traveled with a car seat on the plane - I always held my son on take off and landing then let him sit or sleep in the empty seat - but I also had my husband with me. You can roll the stroller right up to the gate and they will check it for you and it will be waiting for you when you get off the plane. Your diaper bag does not count as extra carry on so you can take the diaper bag plus your purse and another bad on the plane. I always changed the diaper right before we got on the plane and I would change it on the seat (with a pad) if I could but I think the restrooms have diaper changing stations. Ask a flight attendant to help you if you need to use the restroom. I'm sure they would be happy to hold the baby for a few minutes. My son never got an ear infection from flying but he did get ear pressure so we made sure he was drinking something or sucking when we took off and landed. He's older now so I give him dramamine or benadryl. Up until he was about 4 he would sleep most of the flight. The engine noise put him to sleep.

Hope this helps! Good luck!



answers from Los Angeles on

I've traveled quite a bit with my daughter, often alone. If you have a whole travel system (i.e. the car seat that snaps into a stroller) you'll want to take the whole thing to the gate and check it there. When you check in for the flight, you can ask for the clear plastic bags there or bring your own trash bags and use them for gate checking. I would definitely cover the car seat, but I don't know that you need to worry about the stroller. You will be able to roll everything right up to the entrance of the plane then leave it there. There is always a flight attendant helping people onto the plane. She can help you wrap up your stuff, or if you're feeling very generous, she/he will be delighted to hold your baby while you do it (I find that if I make sure a flight attendant or two sees my daughter and we say hello and I ask where the changing tables are before we take off, they are always super attentive to me). The only thing that potentially pisses off the flight attendant staff is throwing away a dirty diaper in the bathroom, especially on long flights. Make sure you take a couple of plastic bags, or ask them for one, to put dirty diapers in and they will throw them away in the exterior trash.
As far as going to the bathroom, if your baby is still in a sling or carrier, just keep her in that while you go and there are changing tables in the bathrooms. This is the perfect age to travel with a child. She shouldn't get sick because she will be right next to you the whole time (an advantage of her not being in her own seat). I would keep the air off just to be extra safe. When the AC is on, that's when you get recycled air blown on you. Definitely take hand sanitizer and perhaps disinfecting wipes, again this is for you, a baby this age shouldn't be touching anything. When my child was under six months and we traveled, I kept her in my sling most of the time. The FAA will not allow you to have your baby in a carrier during take off and landing. I think i did anyway, but I was often told to take her out. We did purchase a baby b'air vest. this is a vest that goes over the baby's head and snaps beneath her. There is a loop in the back of it that attaches to your seatbelt. I love it and our two year old still uses it, but again, a baby this age will probably work in the carrier. I would take a sweater or small pillow or blanket to put under the arm that you are holding the baby in, then your arm won't fall asleep against the hard arm rest. Also if you are right handed, you may want a window seat on the left so that baby is propped on the arm against the window and you can use your right hand to eat, drink, read etc. Definitely take an extra change of clothes for baby and perhaps an extra shirt or layer for you, just in case. Whatever number of diapers you think you need, take twice as many. Aside from that, you'll only need to worry about your own entertainment and make sure that you stay hydrated. Have a great trip. I know it's extremely stressful for you but from your daughter's point of view, she's with mom so she feels like she's at home.


answers from Los Angeles on

Wear her, check everything but a bag with whatever you're going to need for the flight and any layovers, and nurse or bottle feed during take-off and landing. Not exactly a breeze, and people aren't always helpful, but it's totally doable.
Happy travels!

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