I have done what many fear to do. And I am not talking about any adventures with a motorcycle. I am talking about flying solo with a baby.
I am starting to consider myself to be an expert. Why always alone? Because Patrick has two babies. One is his flesh and blood little girl and the other is his other great passion, the travel portal startup GoEuro. So while I find and book my flights with them he is fixing the kinks and integrating new booking portals in various European countries. So he normally joins us later and leaves earlier.
My daughter and I have done long and short haul flights. I flew alone with her at 5 months of age to Canada and back. She mostly slept and otherwise never made a peep. We flew to Scotland to visit a friend at 8 months and she napped.
At 10 months we headed back to Canada alone. At this point I was more nervous as she was no longer a napping or eating infant but rather a small child with a desire to move and play. KLM were lovely to fly with. The stewardess gave me the best advice ever on the way to Montreal. “If she cries she cries. Do not stress, you will just make her more stressed and in the end you will never see any of these people again.” I fell a little bit in love with that woman at that moment. And in the end my 10 month old played at my feet and waited until she was strapped into the car seat in Newfoundland before she howled long and angry in protest.
My last solo trip was to Switzerland to visit the German half of the family. Again she napped on the way there and on the way back she played at my feet with the in-flight magazine. In fact, the only problem I have had flying solo with a baby was on the return flight from Canada in February. And it was completely self-inflicted.
When traveling solo with a child the key thing to remember is less than more. Just because KLM lets both you and the baby take a carry on AND an accessory each does not mean that you as a single traveler should take them up on it. Unless you want to indulge in the practice of extreme masochism as documented below:
The dog joined us at the airport in Berlin at least.