Wednesday, March 8, 2017

I'm about to fly alone with two kids and I'm nervous

In a few weeks we'll be flying to Indonesia so my parents see their new grandchild. We haven't traveled with two kids yet, but I don't think two adults traveling with two kids is a big deal. However, my husband will be coming back home by himself earlier, and I'll be staying with the girls a little longer, and finally, coming back home alone with them. The first leg of the flight would be around an hour, then two or three hours of layover, then a second leg of flight of around twelve hours, another layover of about two hours, and the last leg of the flight of around five hours. At the time the toddler will be three-year-old and our newborn four-month-old.

Can't really give any tips since I haven't done it myself, but I kind of have idea how I would do it. Kind of.

Our toddler in Treviso airport, when traveling to Paris

I think I'd do stroller

Normally I prefer babywearing (my thoughts about that is in this post), but that would be when I travel solo with one child. The idea of babywearing one child and running around catching another while dragging a suitcase makes my head spin. Babywear both of them? Not gonna happen. I'd still take a carrier though, just for those moments when the newborn refuses to lie down on the stroller. Then I'd put everything else into the stroller and push it. I also like the idea of getting a buggy board to attach to our stroller so the toddler can stand on it and I push 'em together. The stroller that I'm taking though, is basically also an infant carseat, so we can use it in our destination while driving in a car. That way we just need to rent another seat for the toddler.

I picked the shortest layover

I'm torn on this. Because this also means I gave up the free Doha transit city tour. I talked about the free stopover tour here and was really looking forward for Doha. I'd totally do it with one of 'em, but don't feel like risking it with both of them. If I want the tour, I'd have to have at least six hours of layover. I chose to skip the tour and picked a two-hour layover.

I "made" my newborn to own a comfort object

My toddler never owned a so-called comfort object. My husband and I were her comfort "objects". And that was fine. When I was alone with her, I was all hers. Whenever she was fussy, I'd drop everything else and pick her up. She was breastfed for two years, never bottle-fed and never had the need for a pacifier. Now it's different. When I'm alone with both of them, there are times when the newborn is fussy but I can't pick her up right away, mostly because I'm comforting my toddler, dealing with her tantrums or assisting her with something. We wanted her transition of becoming a big sister from the only child to be as smooth as possible, so we normally don't alienate her by always attending to the newborn first. And because of that, I introduced my newborn to a pacifier, which, she accepts well despite the fact she's exclusively breastfed. Pacifier allows the newborn to soothe herself, gives me some time to deal with the toddler, settle her down, and finally pick the baby up. Basically, it's a lifesaver.

We'll print lots and lots of coloring pages

She'll get to choose all the toys she want to take with her

In a normal situation, we pack really light. We'd let her to take one or two toys, so we're not overwhelmed with stuff. This time around, I'll let her fill her ride-on suitcase with just toys of her choice, so she's kept busy at all times. Our toddler, unlike many, doesn't own a gadget. She gets to watch cartoons on my tablet at home for an hour a day. But she has no idea that tablet actually works outside our apartment (YAY!), so we almost never take it out with us. She also has no idea that it's possible to watch anything on mommy's or daddy's cellphones. Which is great. And we'll keep it that way for as long as possible. She enjoys building bricks, coloring, solving puzzles, "reading" books a.k.a looking at pictures in books, and making a mess with dough. So she'll be busy for enough time when I have to feed or change the newborn, before we'll have to take a walk again.

I'll be thinking about my role models

Whenever I get frustrated with my children, I think about my role models. Well, I never really know them, but one of them was a mother traveling with three children by herself I saw once in an airport, and another was a couple having lunch in a restaurant with their five children, all aged below seven. Just remembering how calm they were (the parents, not the children) make me calm. I mean, if they can do it, heck, I can too! So yeah, wish me luck :)

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