Academic Leigh Speaking

A professor, four kids, and a crash course in work/life balance

Flying with 2 under 2; One Adult June 13, 2016

I came to visit my parents without the older boys because they’re still in school. However, that meant that Patrick also didn’t come, so I was flying with two children under age two. (Yes, I was annoyed that I had to buy a ticket for one of them since I can’t travel with two lap children.)

I considered several options:

  • Have Porter (22 months) sit next to me on the plane, hold Harlan (almost 3 months), check carseat, and use the NuRoo or Ergo baby carrier. Advantage: Not a lot to lug through the airport, and I’d have help on the back end both times. Disadvantage: No place to put the baby if I needed to set him down.
  • Same as above, but get a cheapie umbrella stroller for Porter. Advantage: If Porter is sleepy or uncooperative, it provides a way to restrain him, move quickly, and hang a diaper bag. Disadvantage: Getting a stroller through security and on/off the plane is a hassle.
  • Carry on Harlan’s carseat, and have him sit in it in the window seat, I sit in the middle and hold Porter. Have Porter walk through the airport. Advantage: Porter gets mama time that he likes. Harlan can sleep peacefully in carseat, and I can hold his pacifier or smile and play with him. Easy way to put the baby down if I have to go to the bathroom. Disadvantage: That bucket seat is heavy, and I don’t have a stroller for it. Nothing in this scenario happens quickly. I could not be late. (I don’t think I would have used the stroller anyway, because see above notes on strollers.)
  • NuRoo Harlan in the front, and Ergo Porter on the back. This was a dumb idea, so I didn’t do it. Two screaming babies attached to me did not appeal.

I went with the third option. There were some added advantages I hadn’t foreseen. I was able to set Harlan down easily if I needed to chase or direct Porter. I could get Harlan out and in if I wanted to lay him out on the changing pad for some play time. But the biggest coup was on the plane. Porter sat with me and ate his snacks while Harlan slept for the first half of the flight. Then Porter was tired and Harlan got fussy. I switched them, and Porter sat rear facing in the carseat. He fell asleep, I fed Harlan, and H stayed awake and happy for the second half of the flight. We of course moved very slowly through the airport, and I might have regretted the choice had we come in at gate C25, but we came in C5, and that was very nice. For me, the win was the bathroom ease, and that both could have a little nap while they weren’t sitting on me. (I love the sleeping baby on me on the plane, but two would have been a logistical mess.)

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