Long flight with a baby and toddler alone -- guaranteed disaster?
May 14, 2016 1:46 PM   Subscribe

Is this crazy? If not, how do I do it?

I'm thinking of taking an eight hour flight with a six month old and a two year old. The two year old is generally well-behaved, not inclined towards massive tantrums, but is not toilet trained, can be hard to corral, and can get jealous of the baby. We don't do screens in general, but I'd be more than OK with loading television shows and games onto an iPad for the flight.

The six month old is, well, a six month old, and will still be nursing. We'll have help at the airport right up until security, and someone waiting for us on the other end with carseats (will not have to bring them with us.) We will have to go through customs, etc.

Is this crazy? And if not, how did you do it? How did you keep occupied/change diapers/go to the bathroom/handle food, etc? What did you bring with you on the plane? Is there any way to make this easier?
posted by EtTuHealy to Travel & Transportation (40 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Will there be one parent and two kids? Or two parents and two kids? Because I did one parent on a long flight with an 8 month old and it was okay. And I did two parents on a long flight with a 4 year old and 2 year old, and it was okay. But I think if it is two kids this age and one parent, that would be crazy and not happy fun times at all.
posted by Michele in California at 1:49 PM on May 14, 2016 [6 favorites]

I think it depends how necessary this trip is. Is this a trip you need to take? Does it involve a person you need to see who could perhaps come to you instead? Is this totally optional and something you could put off for a while? I was a passenger near a similar group (parent + 2 very young kids) on a long flight (6 hours) and it was an unpleasant experience, partly because of the kids acting in totally reasonable ways for very young kids (crying, screaming, wiggling around in the tiny space, etc), and partly because even the most chill passengers eventually got REALLY tired of it. And there were some passengers who were very obviously "UGHHH" about it right off the bat and remained that way the entire trip. The parent was a champion in trying to keep the kids occupied, but it was quite an undertaking to deal with, and even the stuff she did to try and keep the kids quiet ended up being kind of a participatory experience for everyone in the vicinity ("Hey! Look at the iPad! Isn't that cool? Watch that! Hey! Here's a snack! Etc!"), given that kids don't come with volume control and need a lot of interaction, and that most people on long flights are doing quiet time stuff.

If it were me I would do anything to avoid taking this trip.
posted by sallybrown at 2:07 PM on May 14, 2016 [2 favorites]

Oh this is ONE parent, two kids. Trip is not entirely necessary (to see family) but would be wonderful if we could do it.
posted by EtTuHealy at 2:08 PM on May 14, 2016

Make sure you check airline policies, one adult may not be allowed to accompany two kids since in an emergency you can't quickly evacuate both.
posted by platypus of the universe at 2:12 PM on May 14, 2016 [11 favorites]

Bring an umbrealla stroller to push the 2-year old around the airport, and wear the baby; you can check the stroller at the gate. Bring tons of snacks and little bribes you can pull out every so often. Any chance you could time the flight at night so the kids would fall asleep after while? The last time I flew with both kids, one screamed the entire 3-hour flight minus a 45-minute nap (his ears were bothering him). Not fun, but we didn't die.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 2:15 PM on May 14, 2016 [1 favorite]

I think it's completely reasonable. Think of all the other things you're capable of doing with two kids in tow! A plane ride will definitely end in a set amount of time. Worst case you're very tired or grumpy at that time, or other passengers are annoyed about noise, which would probably be about the same with two parents.

My advice is to try to make friends with a baby-enthusiastic type of person while you're waiting at the gate. When people smile at your kids or say "wow, you have your hands full!" go ahead and engage with them. Maybe you'll find someone who wants to sit near you and get to hold one kid while you change the other, etc. I have a very biased perspective here because I would be SO EXCITED if I got to not only sit next to but also play and help with a baby on a plane. But I can't be the only one*! Someone will be a grandparent who wishes the grandkids lived closer, etc. Or maybe there'll be another family with young kids you could try to sit with.

* For instance, my parents are also like this. We might just be weird.
posted by cogitron at 2:17 PM on May 14, 2016 [3 favorites]

I took a long flight like this years ago with my sister and her very hyper 18 mth old. The baby's pediatrician gave my sister something to use on the flight that mellowed the kid right out. I don't know if doctors still prescribe stuff like that for traveling toddlers, but it might be worth checking out.
posted by mareli at 2:18 PM on May 14, 2016

Well, I found breastfeeding my 8 month old really helped with ear pressure issues for him during take off and landing. A bottle or, if the kiddo won't swallow it, bubble gum can help the 2 year old with that issue. In my experience, one reason little kids scream and cry non stop during a flight is that they can't tell anyone their ears hurt from the change in pressure and they don't know how to fix it themselves.

Load your carry on bag with snacks and drinks. Do not count on the airport vending machines, overpriced airport cafes or in flight food service to be adequate. Keeping everyone hydrated and fed with familiar, friendly stuff really helps make this more bearable.

I always had a proper carry on bag for flying with my kids and I skipped the purse and kept my wallet in the carry on bag in a very accessible place so I had access to tickets, money, ID, etc. Your carry on bag is your new purse. This make life much more manageable when juggling kids and all the stuff you have to deal with to fly.

Are you talented at peeing with baby strapped to your chest (or latched on and nursing)? One of the reasons this is crazy with one parent is that, at some point, YOU will need to use a toilet before this ordeal is over and that will be a serious challenge. (I was talented at peeing with baby strapped to my chest or nursing. But this is not an easy or fun thing to pull off.)

If there is anything you can do ahead of time to make any piece of this simpler, do that. Like program phone numbers into your cell phone that you might need when you get to the airport at the other end (such as person meeting you there or a cab company's phone number). Also, take some cash and some change for vending machines.

You want to do whatever you can to make other pieces of this logistically easier so that, as much as possible, being a devoted mom and quietly entertaining three ring circus can have as close to 100% of your attention as possible. I was pretty good at doing that. I was often told my kids were remarkably well behaved. They both have special needs and can be a pain. Their good behavior very much was something I engineered. They weren't just born polite and well behaved or something.

Best of luck.
posted by Michele in California at 2:25 PM on May 14, 2016 [3 favorites]

One note: you may be able to have another adult accompany you to the gate and stay with you right up until you board. I have a friend whose adult son has some cognitive impairments that make finding his way around an airport difficult. She will typically go to the airport with him and accompany him to the gate, and she's never had anyone challenge her on this. They give her a pass that allows her to go through security. This may be a different situation because there are no ADA issues at play, but it's worth inquiring. It won't help on the plane, of course, but it might make it easier to go through security, etc.

One question: how will you go to the bathroom? Will you bring both the toddler and the infant with you? That seems like it could be challenging, and 8 hours is a long time to go without peeing! Similarly, how will diapers be changed?
posted by lunasol at 2:26 PM on May 14, 2016 [1 favorite]

You can do it. They are at good ages. Before toilet training and only six months old. You can totally do it.
My favorite things to do when our 3 boys ((baby and 2 three year olds) were little were have some surprises. Just when they were starting to lose it and get bored - but out a ziplock with some new little doodad, crayons, etc.
I would carry-on with one backpack-check everything else, at the front door if you can. So worth it.
Just have on you what you need on the plane. Diapers, food and drink, and things to keep them busy.

As for bathroom for you, prep an attendant and ask if they will watch one of them while you are in (and take the other one in). Or perhaps on the flight you'll have a sympathetic neighbor you can have watch one while you are in the bathroom. They can't kidnap them !
posted by ReluctantViking at 2:31 PM on May 14, 2016 [2 favorites]

It will be easier to do this now than in a year with an 18 month old and a 3 year old. That would be nuts. This... Might be ok. I woild load A TON of apps onto an iPad that has nothing else important on it, and give the older kid free run of it. And lots of snacks. We are very conservative with screen time but not on airplanes. The other thing my elder kid loved at that age was stickers and paper. So many stockers. Wear the baby, encourage as much nursing and sleeping as possible.

I have definitely gotten a gate pass for an extra adult to accompany me to the gate, by virtue of traveling alone with 2 little kids. They don't have to give it to you but if you're very nice there's a good chance.

8 hours is long, but not forever. I say go for it.
posted by telepanda at 2:36 PM on May 14, 2016 [2 favorites]

Has either kid ever been on a flight before? Do you know if they have ear trouble, sleep well on flights or stay awake making faces at your neighbors the whole time, know how to sit still, etc? If your toddler doesn't get much screen time will he or she actually pay attention to the iPad or screen on the flight, and wear headphones? (Mine does not. I would happily give her all the screen time she wants on planes but it's apparently just not nearly as fascinating as the hair of the person in front of is which she MUST TOUCH) I have flown a lot with my 18 month old, from 8 weeks to 18 months, on flights up to 14 hours long, and with her I would feel very, very nervous about what you're proposing.
posted by olinerd at 2:37 PM on May 14, 2016 [1 favorite]

Also: there will be a microscopic changing table in the airplane bathroom that will work for baby. Change toddler standing up. Practice now if you aren't already an expert at that.
posted by telepanda at 2:37 PM on May 14, 2016 [6 favorites]

No, it's not crazy. I would buy seats for both kids, and load up that iPad, and have M & Ms and lollipops to dole out. You can nurse the baby on the plane easily. Bring a nursing pillow to make it easier.

If you think your 2-year-old might nap, some chewable melatonin might help. Backpack style luggage helps, too.

Most of the time the people around you on the plane will help out with getting your luggage in the overhead bins and most people are going to be understanding about two young kiddos and one parent.

An Eye Spy bag might also be fun for the toddler, as it provides something to do along with sensory input.
posted by Ostara at 2:55 PM on May 14, 2016 [2 favorites]

You may want to look into buying asafety harness for the toddler as you won't have a car seat. I've seen it make a difference if only that it stops bored kids from kicking the back of seats & driving other passengers mad, not to mention the safety aspects.
posted by wwax at 3:11 PM on May 14, 2016 [3 favorites]

If you can time your flights/schedules so it's bedtime right after takeoff, everyone will have a much better time. That is, adjust sleeping schedules gradually in the weeks leading up to the trip. A sleepy child is a lot easier to manage on a long flight, at least after the cranky bedtime phase.

You may also want to ask your doctor about baby-strength gravol for the older child, because IANYD and opinions vary on the effects. It makes some children more restful, others hyperactive.

And please, for the love of El, have some candies or gum or extra drinks on hand for to chew/swallow during descent and landing, because young children do not know how to swallow to release pressure in their ears. I have seen so many clueless parents confused about why, after being fine all day, their children are suddenly screaming bloody murder during a "perfectly calm" landing.
posted by rokusan at 3:26 PM on May 14, 2016 [1 favorite]

I would totally do this, but only with purchased seats for both the toddler and the baby. Baby should be in an infant carseat. The carseat gets buckled in with the regular seatbelt, so she's got a secure place to hang out the whole flight, and especially when you need to get up to go change the toddler. I would not try to cheap out and hold the baby as a lap infant under the circumstances.

It's fine to ask a flight attendant to watch one kid when you need to go diaper-change the other one (or to watch both of them when you need to go to the bathroom.)

I have been on plenty of planes that did not have a changing table in the bathroom, and it was bad news. I think it's likely you'll have one on an 8 hour flight, but just in case, make sure you do have a changing pad with you just in case you need to use the bathroom floor (ugh I hope not.) Agree you may need to change toddler standing up (in the bathroom of course.)
posted by fingersandtoes at 3:34 PM on May 14, 2016 [1 favorite]

I am just crazy enough to do this...and agree that it is doable. If financially I could manage it, I'd get each child a seat, and bring a car seat for baby and at least a CARES harness for toddler, if not a full car seat to keep them strapped in.

Amusements for the older child will be key to sucess! Even if they are potty trained, anticipate worst case scenarios and diaper them. Teaching them to face the wall, like they are being frisked by the cops, is a great way to change diapers in a tiny space.

Bring easy to eat snacks/easy to drink with one hand sippy or water bottle for everyone, including yourself. You won't have room for a meal on a tray, if they even offer a meal. Flying is very dehydrating, so make sure you stay well hydrated, especially if you are nursing.

Airlines generally won't let you wear the baby during takeoff/landings (safety regs dictate how you hold them), but during 'cruise' a snugli/sling/tucked into a spare shirt is usually okay and comfiest if you have only 2 seats. If you have a car seat that both kids will fit in (not at once, I mean choose the convertible one rather than a booster seat), I would choose this one, as you have reasonable odds of ending up with a spare seat beside you if there is extra space on the flight (even if you have only paid for 2 seats, because most people would rather sit anywhere, anywhere else)....although you may have paid for 2 seats, you may then be able to put baby into car seat, and 2 year old belted beside you for at least the cruise part of the flight.

Also, don't count on milk available for the toddler on the flight.

Have a great trip!
posted by Northbysomewhatcrazy at 4:48 PM on May 14, 2016 [1 favorite]

I've done it but with a stroller/car seat combo for the baby. It can be exhausting trying to hold a baby for so long and you will need somewhere to put baby when you change the two year old. They made me gate check the stroller which trashed it a bit (sad) and I had to buy a seat for the carseat but it was totally worth it.

Help your two year old pick out a small backpack that is adorable that he or she can wear. This will hold two year old's security item(s) and small snacks. You will use a backpack or shoulder bag to carry diapers, ipad, more snacks, etc. Pack as light as possible. Don't bring two extra outfits or any just-in-case things. Bring money and buy what you can along the way.

You can absolutely do this. It will be hard but, as you said, totally worth it.

I've found that people are very kind. I've had fellow travelers offer to help me open my stroller and carry my luggage. I always say no but it's nice to know that I've always had the option of not going it completely alone. If you have any layovers, sit next to someone who looks like a grandparent. You'll make their day and your 2 year old will have someone to visit with, which will take the pressure off of you for a few minutes.
posted by myselfasme at 5:59 PM on May 14, 2016

I have no advice for you, but that to remember this is 2 8 hour trips. You have to go home no matter how you felt about the original flight.
posted by bongo_x at 6:13 PM on May 14, 2016 [3 favorites]

It's going to be a royal pain in the ass, but I would still do it. I have a high "crazy stressful adventure" tolerance level though.

Make sure you check airline policies, one adult may not be allowed to accompany two kids.

What the heck? Then how do families with more than two children fly anywhere, at all, ever?! No. This is not a thing.
posted by celtalitha at 6:24 PM on May 14, 2016 [4 favorites]

(For the record, I have many friends who have flown alone with their multiple small children, including one whose husband is a pilot and therefore gets free flights and is traveling somewhere with her two girls about once a month. When I was young (12) my mom flew across country with me and my five younger brothers by herself. This is not remotely out of the ordinary.)
posted by celtalitha at 6:26 PM on May 14, 2016

Each kid will need a seat on the plane as well as a car seat to travel safely. It'll be tough to get all of this gear through the airport, but it's doable. One possibility: load the two car seats into a stroller and tandem wear the kids, then gate check the stroller. There are also car seat trolleys and carts you can buy just for this purpose, as well as straps that allow you to wear a seat on your back (depending on the seat). I'd seriously consider buying two lightweight, travel friendly seats just for this trip.
posted by pecanpies at 7:06 PM on May 14, 2016 [1 favorite]

I did this a bunch with my similarly aged children. Totally doable. You're tough. You can handle it. However, I will tell you upfront that it will not be fun for you. You will be too busy entertaining and catering to the needs of your children the entire flight.

Seats - will one be a lap child? The 2 year old doesn't need a car seat (correct? I'm not familiar with international travel).

Changing diapers - gonna happen in a cramped teeny tiny airplane bathroom. With you and most likely both children. Unless you feel comfortable leaving the 2 yr old in their seat.

Bring an extra set of clothes with you for the kids - inevitable spills, blow outs, puke. Bring an extra t shirt for you!!

Lots of fun easy snacks - make them balanced - not all sweet/carby stuff.

Extra diapers. Seriously. You think you only need three? Bring 9. No joke. It'll be the day someone decides they need to have diarrhea.

Entertainment - yes to screens. Maybe get the two year old a little used to it and headphones before hand. No to toys with small parts that will get lost/fall on the floor and cause meltdowns. Yes to lots and lots of variety - play doh, magnetic dolls, coloring, etc.

Drinks - bring sippy cups - do not allow the 2 year old to have a drink without a secure lid. In fact you may want a sippy cup yourself because your drink will inevitably get knocked over.

I'd like to reiterate that this won't be fun for you. It'll be tiring and hard. But it's only for 8 hours. Hopefully the kids will drift off for a bit giving you a reprieve from at least one of them. Go into the situation realizing you will be working to keep them happy and comfortable the entire time. It'll be worth it. You'll be a rock star. People will look at you and tell you you're brave. They will ask you how you do it. Some people will ask if they can help you - take them up on it if you want! It's ok. And if you need help- ask for it!
posted by Sassyfras at 7:16 PM on May 14, 2016 [2 favorites]

You can do this (I have), but your children really need car seats to be safe on a plane. We bought inexpensive Cosco seats ($40/each) rather than take their usual seats and it made things a lot easier than trying to un/reinstall them in the car at the airport.

posted by julie_of_the_jungle at 7:25 PM on May 14, 2016 [1 favorite]

I would not willingly do this. You are not crazy for opting out. I would do it if I had to, if I would never see someone again otherwise, etc. Otherwise no. My kid cries on the plane and wants to pull the person in front of him'so hair. Etc. Etc.

I have flown just me and 6 month old or same kid, just me and 1i months old. It sucked but was fine. All the above advice is great. I wouldn't want to fly with both, although if you're still nursing it is kind of easy mode for the plane.
posted by Kalmya at 7:34 PM on May 14, 2016 [3 favorites]

I have friends who traveled with twin infants, and they brought little favors for fellow passengers on the plane (a few rows' worth, about a dozen or so) packed with earplugs, sweets, and a little note. Not that they meant to apologize for their children, but just to show respect and courtesy to others who might get annoyed. The boys did fine, but it turned out to be a great ice-breaker and elicited many smiles from their neighbors.
posted by onecircleaday at 7:37 PM on May 14, 2016 [1 favorite]

Doable. I have friends who've done this from Australia to Europe and they survived fine.

Contrary to how it might seem sometimes, not every airline passenger hates babies. There will be someone happy to hold your baby while you go to the loo or so you can have a bite to eat; accept their offers. Worst case, the attendants will hold the baby so you can go to the bathroom.
posted by kitten magic at 7:38 PM on May 14, 2016 [1 favorite]

If you can time your flights/schedules so it's bedtime right after takeoff, everyone will have a much better time.

Please, please don't do this on a red-eye. You are going to be torturing the people around you regardless. (People really don't like hearing this, but being cooped up with screaming children in a small space for eight hours, with no possibility of escape and no control over the situation, is, in fact, a miserable experience. It's not the kids' fault, but it is still a miserable experience. I think parents get so shellshocked from this going on in their own homes 24/7 that they forget that this is not the norm for everyone else, and that everyone else does not love their children to offset the misery.) Only you can decide whether your need is great enough to justify it. If you're going to prevent people from getting any sleep all night--which is what your children are very likely to do on a red-eye, they cannot help it and you cannot stop it--a significant number of whom will have to go to work straight from the airport, your grandmother had better be dying.
posted by praemunire at 7:44 PM on May 14, 2016 [15 favorites]

I am also chiming in as yet another person who would happily entertain a stranger's child for an hour or so on a flight, and not be mad if they were loud.

Would the toddler tolerate wearing a chest or wrist leash? Maybe practice ahead of time. Will help stave off tantrums if s/he wants to walk in the airport, and make your life easier when managing baby and luggage.

If you go with the "little favours" idea above- you can get a tub of earplugs for under $20. I will say that all people should recognize that babies and toddlers are people too, and sometimes they can only communicate loudly, and that's nothing for them or their parents to apologize for... but travel is stressful and some people are grumpy, so showing other passengers you do care about their comfort can help create goodwill, if it's something that makes you anxious.
posted by pseudostrabismus at 7:58 PM on May 14, 2016

You can do this. It might possibly be the worst eight hours of your life, but it can be done. No one will die. You will probably need to get help from a nice bystander at some point. Aim for another parent with a much older kid. Don't be afraid to ask for help--if I was on your flight and saw you juggling two under two, I'd leap to help out.
posted by whitewall at 7:59 PM on May 14, 2016 [3 favorites]

Most airplanes designed for long haul flying have bassinets onboard the plane. There are a very select set of seats along the bulkhead where the bassinet will mount into the wall. I would try my hardest to book those seats, because then you'll at least have a place to lay the baby down and have your hands free for a little while.
And yes, I would totally do this. I think it's one of the most ideal age combinations for traveling with two as a solo parent. And, as a flight attendant, I'm always willing and happy to hold a baby or entertain a toddler when I can be of assistance!
posted by jaksemas at 8:31 PM on May 14, 2016 [3 favorites]

Please, please don't do this on a red-eye.

This. I mean, if it's the only option, as it is for many routes, you do what you have to do, but if you have the option, do a non-redeye. "Flight departing after bedtime" absolutely does NOT mean the kids will be asleep, or that they will sleep for the whole thing. Airports and flights are new! Exciting! Bright lights! Loud announcements! Flight attendants running up and down the aisles with carts full of food and drink! Everyone's getting dinner which smells so interesting! At 6 months my daughter slept for most of a red-eye. From that point onward, she has not. A 14 hour overnight flight at 12 months saw her sleep all of three hours. Do not, do not assume the redeyes will work. Like I said before, know your kid - has either flown before? Do you have any idea how they respond to airplanes? If not, err on the side of worst case scenario, which is that they will not sleep on a redeye.
posted by olinerd at 9:07 PM on May 14, 2016 [7 favorites]

Surprised so many people are opposed to the idea of flying with sleeping children. I guess my experience is way too biased from flying with other people's children nearby?

While I did have an excellent time practicing my Japanese with an eager five-year-old stranger for nine hours once (we read at about the same level), all of my other good experiences with children nearby were overnight flights when they slept the whole way. A few times I was surprised to find out there were children behind me, since they were out until landing. Almost all my trips of the screaming-children-in-next-seat variety involved daytime crayon-throwers.

So while keeping your children awake and entertained during an all-daytime flight sounds like a lot more work to me, I'll definitely defer to the wisdom of the commons here. Listen to them!

(I actually returned to add what jaksemas already posted about the wall-mounted bassinets. They're the nicest thing ever. Varies widely by airline and aircraft, so ask first and get those seats if you can.)
posted by rokusan at 9:35 AM on May 15, 2016 [1 favorite]

The issue is the OP may not be able to guarantee the children will sleep, and a screaming child on a daytime flight is annoying but not the end of the world, while a screaming child on a red-eye flight when everyone else was reasonably expecting to sleep is a much bigger inconvenience to the other passengers.
posted by lazuli at 11:30 AM on May 15, 2016 [3 favorites]

Definitely see what you can do to book the bulkhead "bassinet" seats that jaksemas talks about. (That also prevents your 2 year old from kicking the seat in front of him/her, which is a good thing)

Apart from that - yes, this is not going to be the most fun experience of your life.

Most people have kids / grandkids, or at least have close friends that do. Play to that. As others have said, talk to other passengers in the waiting area, talk to the flight attendants, talk to the people seated near you before the flight takes off, introduce yourself and your kids, tell them your story. The more they see you and your kids as people - or see themselves or their family / friends in you - the easier it will be.

And be willing to accept help, and be willing to ask for help if you need it - people can be pretty darn lovely if you give them a chance. (And those that don't? They're not worth knowing, and everyone else on the plane will be judging them).

I've held a baby while her mother needed to pee. I've spent an hour chatting with a 4 year old looking out the bulkhead window over Europe and making up stuff about what we were passing over while his dad had a much needed nap. I've had a new mum with a 3 month old baby accidentally fall sleep (and drool) on my shoulder on a transatlantic flight because clearly she needed it (and I could still watch the movie so it wasn't a problem).

And if all else fails, know that it will pass. Because it will. You can do this.
posted by finding.perdita at 12:55 AM on May 16, 2016 [2 favorites]

And be willing to accept help, and be willing to ask for help if you need it - people can be pretty darn lovely if you give them a chance. (And those that don't? They're not worth knowing, and everyone else on the plane will be judging them).

I'd be a little careful about judging other passengers too harshly. A flight attendant asked me once to chaperone a little kid who was flying solo, and I said no, and I got the stink-eye from her and a bunch of other passengers for the rest of the flight. The thing is, I was traveling to what I was pretty convinced was going to be my mother's funeral (and I was right), plus I don't have much experience with children, so I was in absolutely no state to be watching someone else's child. Certainly ask for help if you need it, but please also be willing to graciously accept "No" as an answer.
posted by lazuli at 5:33 AM on May 16, 2016 [5 favorites]

You can do it, and I agree this is a good age -- it's actually easier now than when one of them is out of diapers. Let this be your motto, and people will help you: "Dress them cute, keep them clean."
posted by The corpse in the library at 9:54 AM on May 16, 2016 [1 favorite]

Count me as another who would not do this lightly. Not to be discouraging, your kids are not my kids, so they may be calm, cooperative, and manageable. Mine are a bit more like enthusiastic baby billy goats (including the chewing ;).

But even at it's best, this will be challenging. So I would just say to make sure you really want to do it, and you aren't doing it out of guilt or obligation.

I would definitely talk to the pediatrician about what you can give the kids to help with motion sickness, sleeplessness, etc. (and test it out beforehand for paradoxical reaction). AND you should be as well rested at the start of the journey as you possibly can be - don't stay up late the night before packing, you'll need all the energy you can get. And if you drink caffeinated things, maybe take some caffeine pills or five hour energies or whatever your preferred compact caffeine vehicle might be because I imagine it could be difficult to drink an open (and especially hot) beverage on a plane with two kids.
posted by pennypiper at 12:40 PM on May 16, 2016

Lazuli - good point. Thank you! If I could edit my post, I'd remove the stuff in parentheses. (But wow, you - a random stranger - were asked to chaperone a child traveling alone? Not cool. I'd probably have said "no" as well, without having any reason or excuse. There is a huge difference between accepting that children travel, and being asked to take responsibility for them!)
posted by finding.perdita at 11:04 PM on May 17, 2016 [2 favorites]

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