A child on a plane - a journey with a baby and a XNUMX-year-old
What can and should you take with you on board? What inconveniences can you expect at the airport, on the plane, during take-off and landing? What stroller can you take with you? Can a child fly in a carrier?
Where to start preparing for a flight with a child by plane?
First of all, you need to check what the airline offers for the transport of children - you will find out whether an infant or an older child can carry hand luggage, registered luggage and a stroller. Parents who travel with a child have certain privileges - priority in check-in, additional small luggage to put under their feet or the possibility of taking the water on board - these are just examples, completely different for each line.
I finish preparing for you an overview of what you can take on a plane for children in individual airlines, which will be on the blog tomorrow. Today…
Here is our universal toolbox for traveling with a child:
1. Airplane stroller
According to the conditions of carriage (LOT Polish Airlines, Wizz Air and Ryanair), we can take a baby stroller up to 2 for free.
In practice, both at LOT Polish Airlines and Wizz Air we had no problem taking a pram for a child at the age of 3,5. Just from entering the airport, Mikołaj was in a pram, and I explained at the check-in that it was dictated by security reasons - a three-year-old running carelessly around the airport is not convenient for anyone.
So we were allowed to carry a stroller for an older child with us, which we passed to the plane's staff only upon entering it. For us it was extremely convenient, because very often to get to the plane, you need to go through the zone of shops and playgrounds. In the pram, we were able to do it without so much distraction, especially since we had to take care of two Children and 3 hand luggage. I didn't have to watch or chase Santa, which happens when we move without a pram every day. The downside was the lack of an elevator at one of the airports and we had to take Santa's pram up the stairs.
If you take care of yours truck, be sure to pack it in an extra bag or dedicated cover for plane trolley. After one flight, we received our trolley with a worn protective bag and ... a worn and damaged handle - fear to think what would happen to it if we did not have this protective bag. Unfortunately, our additional insurance with Axa does not cover luggage damage, so a damaged stroller has become our concern.
Remember to place a special luggage tagging sticker on the trolley bag, not on the trolley (or both) - if the trolley is marked and hidden in the bag, handed over when boarding the plane, and then handed over with the others luggage, there is a high risk that it will simply not be scanned (the code will be inside, not on the bag) and will be lost.
For a child who is not walking well yet, we cannot put it down, and even more so for a child who is not sitting by itself, I cannot imagine traveling by plane without a carrier. I had Maks in the carrier from the moment I entered the airport in Gdańsk until I sat down in the seat on the plane - with a break for an inspection - unfortunately the carrier had to be taken off and the sleeping child was taken out for that time.
I had Max with me, and two free hands, for Mikołaj or for additional hand luggage.
One should not forget that a child in a sling or a sling makes everyone around him tender. Personally, although I have a scarf, I choose a carrier for the plane, it is put on much faster.
To my surprise, in LOT Polish Airlines flight attendants did not mind me she was flying with Maks in a baby carrier instead of a special children's flight lanewhile I, for my own convenience, asked for this additional belt for the Child. Babies usually feel best in a sling when their parents are in motion rather than being still pinned to the parent, which can then go numb. In the carrier I was also afraid that it would be more difficult for me to breastfeed than at the waist - of course, unless I loosened it completely, but then it would not be too safe in the event of turbulence or sharp braking.
Here you will find our review of this Cybex baby carriers from the picture.
3. Car seat
You need to get to the airport somehow and if it's not a bus, you need to have a car seat with you. Transporting children in Poland by taxi releases you from the car seat, but I would not dare use it personally. I can't imagine carrying a baby on my hands in a 30 km section (personally I can't even imagine on a smaller section).
That's why we decided on taking the monthly car seat and stroller with Maks for 9.
How we transported both the pram and car seat, at no extra charge, although the airlines only allow you to carry a pram or car seat?
After reaching the airport in our hometown Tri-City we put the car seat on the folded pram and wrapped it with stretch wrap (which we had in our suitcase) and checked in as a foldable baby stroller. There was no problem with that. I was only surprised when, after landing in Warsaw, our "trolley" did not appear on the luggage belt. At the check-in, we ran out of information that the baggage was checked in as oversized and will be delivered on a special belt for oversized luggage at the destination airport. These luggage are treated a bit better, but my heart stopped, that the luggage was lost, because I didn't know it at all.
In the same way we gave the stroller and car seat as a stroller at Wizz Air in Warsaw.
However, we were not able to take the car seat for Santa on board with us. Unfortunately, we would have to pay for it as for additional luggage - over PLN 700 (about PLN 300 return at LOT Polish Airlines and PLN 412 return at Wizz Air).
In addition, our seat for Santa is a large and heavy two-part (seat and base) seat, so taking it with you and carrying it would be an additional trouble for us.
That is why we decided to go to the airport in the Tri-City instead of a taxi - our own car with our seats and leave the car at the airport during our stay in Italy - at a price lower per month than a return taxi.
On our further journey by plane, we took only a seat for Maks (9 months) and left our car with Mikołaj's seat at the airport. In Rome, however, we ordered a bus for us with the option of renting one car seat at a price that drove us to our Roman apartment.
What about traveling around the destination city?
In light of the fact that taking our car seat would cost us over PLN 700 and the enormity of wearing, it is much more profitable to rent a car with a car seat on site. Unfortunately, in Italy, the seats offered for rent are in terrible condition and at a terrible price (around 20-25 Euro per day), so you need to answer the question, for how many days we will need such a seat on the spot.
You can then go a step further and buy a safe car seat at your destination, e.g. on Amazon with delivery to a hotel / apartment for about PLN 500. Finally, we can give this seat back / sell / throw away - when using it, min. 5 days we will break even compared to renting and with a plus of PLN 200 compared to taking your own car seat from home!
And today I wonder if it can not be sharpened together with the cart 😉
4. Airplane takeoff and landing
During take-off and landing of the aircraft, due to the change in pressure in the aircraft cabin and its imperfect equalization by the aircraft, both in adults and children, very unpleasant plugging of ears may occur.
As adults, we cope with this by swallowing saliva, we can also plug the nose and blow.
For an older child, it is worth taking something to chew or suck on, thanks to which they will swallow more often - Santa always gets a lollipop for take off, and something to drink on landing.
It is worth taking something to drink for the Younger Child - with us, breastfeeding during take-off and landing was enough, although I was afraid that it would not be enough, because, for example, Maks would be full, or just after eating and I took a bottle of water with me, but it turned out to be useless.
Sucking on a pacifier is enough for many children.
Our flights took from one to two hours. For Mikołaj we only took fairy tales on the phone on board - "The Magic Pencil" turned out to be perfect. Maks was interested in everything on the plane, and he had the best fun with the paper. The second flight almost slept on me.
6. Food and snacks
If you are breastfeeding, you don't have to worry about additional food. If you are breastfeeding and modified milk, or only milk, or you have already added extra meals to your diet, you must take them with you on board.
I, despite the fact that I am breastfeeding, took water on board for Maks - the water bottle was checked separately in the scanner, in a special litter box. On a special pillow she looked at least like a bottle of some queen.
If you want to take milk on board, I recommend one or a few (depending on the length of the flight) bottles with already measured amount of water, necessary to make milk and also previously measured portions of milk powder. You will then avoid washing the bottles in an airplane or airport toilet.
If your toddler likes to drink warm milk, and you plan a longer stay and walks, it's worth thinking about a bottle with a self-heating modulewhich will heat the milk to the perfect temperature in 60 seconds. It will be useful not only on the plane, but also on holiday walks. You can always ask the flight attendant to warm up the milk, but for 90% you will get the water either too cold or definitely too hot - after all, the flight attendant will not stick a finger into your water to check if it has the perfect temperature (I hope). And you risk your toddler who, when he sees the bottle, will want to eat here and now.
If you take other meals for an infant with you, I suggest you take those that do not need to be heated, because, as in the case of milk, usually flight attendants heat the meal far too much, and you with the crying Toddler have to wait for it to cool down.
On board the plane, in addition to snacks for takeoff and landing, I also took drinks and food for Children (and for us). In one line the offered snacks were jelly beans and wafers in chocolate, in the other you could buy a meal, but as Mama Allergic I preferred to take checked sandwiches and cucumbers (taste of my childhood) rather than buy food on board or at the airport (at least in theory, ultimately we had a restaurant at the airport).
7. Hand luggage and scrolling
There is air conditioning at the airport or on the plane and it can be chilly, so it's worth having a sweater or a blanket, or both.
We have also hidden our hygiene kit - a cosmetic bag with changing mat 3 nappies, wet wipes i bags for dirty nappies, as well as a spare teatdry wipes i wipes for disinfecting teats and toys, teether, mentioned snacks i clothes for children and for me bottle with water (for a child up to a year, you can transport your water, not just the one you bought at the airport after checking in).
On the plane, usually in one of the toilets, there is a changing table available - our 9-month-old Maksio could barely fit on it, so the bigger child would probably be best changed on the armchair, provided that, of course, no strangers are sitting next to us.
8. Seat reservation
Already when booking places you can choose the ones that will be most convenient for you. I always choose places as close to the tail as possible, close to the entrance to the plane, often there are close to the toilet, I have flight attendants on hand. You can also try to book those in the front, with more legroom.
In some lines, a place for a guardian with a baby is only under the window, which I do not quite understand, because with a child we are particularly vulnerable to the need to leave our place (scrolling, swinging).
On some planes, on longer flights, there are special places where you can transport a child in an additional, suspended cradle, it is worth checking it with the lines you fly (usually these are options in transatlantic flights)
9. At the airport
It's worth arriving early. Check-in with two children and the right amount of luggage (we had quite a lot of them for a month) can take longer.
You can count on being with a child boarding without queue, but the check-in itself will probably take longer - you have to take the child out of the carrier or stroller, fold everything up and pass it through the scanner, children may complain and not help at all, especially when you have one in your arms and the other is held by the hand, because the other person folds the stroller .
We additionally "caught up" to check for banned substances, which also took more time. Just pulling the Baby out of the sling (including the sleeping one), special water scanning, re-tying, unfolding the prams, re-scanning took a lot of minutes. We were the last people to board our cruise.
In addition to the time on the plane, I was thinking about completing the time after checking inbefore boarding. Fortunately, both the Gdansk and Warsaw airports are full of entertainment, there are even small playgrounds. Unfortunately, there are also toy stores, so we have already agreed that we will not use them, because we have toys with us. Our flights were not long, if they were, I would take books or with me notebooks for sticking with stickers. A new one would be great for Mikołaj Transformersthat he can play with for hours.
Santa was flying the 1,5 plane a year ago, but he doesn't remember it at all, so for several weeks answering a fairy tale of his favorite hero every evening - and how is he called Mikołaj - I woven into it a fascinating journey by plane, I talked about the crowd of people at the airport, about take-off and landing, plugging ears, lollipop and drinking.
In the next post, I will write to you and show you in the pictures how our whole trip to Rome went with two kids and a lot of luggage - after all, it's our move to the Eternal City for a month, which you can read about here.
And how are your preparations for flying with your child?
Are you getting ready, do you already have any of your proven tricks?