Flying Alone with a Baby

The very first trip I took solo was also the only long trip I took as a mother of one. Will was 6 months old at the time and we decided that winter in Toronto wasn’t going to happen that year. Truth be told as a new stay-at-home-mom I was more than a little lonely and bored so the thought of spending four cold winter months indoors frightened me more than going somewhere unknown with an infant. After researching many U.S. locations, I settled on taking him to Hilton Head, South Carolina. These are my tips to flying alone with a baby.

The two of us packed enough for a family of four and after finding a month long condo rental, we were off on our first adventure. We flew into Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport on a sunny Georgia morning and learned our first vital lesson, Georgia and South Carolina are not particularly warm in January and February. I also learned the following about flying solo with a 6-month old:

  1. Even though the flight is free for your child, you might want to book a seat and bring a car seat. This depends on your baby. I have found that infants are familiar with their carseats and frankly its easier than holding them for four hours (especially if you have the bladder of a new mom);
  2. The airline washrooms are a little daunting but rest assured there is a change-table on board and the flight attendants will help you if you need assistance. My rule of thumb- Bring at least one diaper per hour that you are in flight;
  3. It may seem logical to pack all your stuff in one big bag so that you can drag the bag and carseat around the airport but you will likely be charged for your bag being too heavy. Try and pack two separate bags if possible and stack them on your way to check-in or pay an airport porter to help you; and
  4. Most importantly don’t forget to pack something for yourself in your carry-on. Your baby will inevitably fall asleep. Pack a book, a snack and a magazine for you. Remember you are on vacation too.
     Before boarding your flight, read my review of gear that can help get you and your child or children through the airport as easily as possible. Also check out my post on renting baby gear, to help figure out how much you really need to bring with you.

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