A lot of people have asked me this question......
Traveling alone with Maryam
I have done this once - KL London when MAryam was 1 year 2 months ( that would be June last year).
I packed one medium sized bag for me & Maryam & one back pack for the flight. If it is to a cold country put your winter coat in your check in luggage. Pack smart..what you can't bring, just be prepared to buy. However i still bring formula & diapers from MAlaysia - coz the baby may not want to drink unfamiliar formula & diapers can be VERY expensive.
You need a pram. One which is easy to carry if folded & light enough for you to handle alone & if possible small enough for you to carry on to the flight. If you check in at the door you should request for the pram to be brought to the plane and not to collect at the carousel. I had one experience when ALL the kids wanted me to carry them & i had to carry Ameera from one end of the airport to the other! I think next time if i can't have my pram i want to request the airport car or a wheelchair to wait for me at the gate.
In the back pack were 4 pre-measured containers of milk formula for Maryam ( the one with compartments), 2 bottles, biscuits & food that she likes, 1 pajamas for Maryam, 3 change of clothes (in case very messy or she throws up), 10 diapers for the 13 hour flight, wet ones ( to wash & clean diapers in the flight), one small bottle of flu medicine (in case her nose starts to run in the plane or she gets too hyper and needs some help to rest - or i need to rest...). Also cleansing wipes for my face - easy to rehydrate & cleanse face without using too much water in the small toilet. I don't bring telekungs, just socks & sarung tangan.
I stopped by at the toy shop in KLIA international terminal to buy a doll for Maryam ( i usually get new toys each time we leave.....according to her current obsession....recently i bought her a gorilla- refer to her gorilla story). A familiar book or magazine could also help to entertain the child.
Carried a sling bag to fit my purse, mini makeup case & our passports.
If you have not purchased a seat for the baby, you can try and ask the flight desk to block the seat next to you. If the flight is not full, chances are you may get 2 seats for you and the baby. When MAryam was smaller i used to ask for a bassinet seat, but now i prefer an aisle seat coz if there is no one sitting next to you you can lift up the seat handle and baby can lie down.
In the flight, get as much help from the crew as you can. Now Maryam is older she will watch the cartoons or National Geographic on the screen. I will feed her part of my food & then change her into her pajamas to get her to sleep.
To go to toilet - with a walking toddler it is much easier coz she can go with you....you just need to practise being a bit discreet in doing your 'business' in the toilet. Or else you can ask the crew to help you. As i keep telling them - "Here is your IN Flight Entertainment".
Make sure baby drinks loads of liquids in flight. Maryam gulps down orange juice all the way from here to London!
When she is awake you can walk around the plane....but don't over do it coz you may end up not sitting at all.
Bring some crayons for your toddler. Maryam will scribble in her little colouring book or on any paper i provide her. Now she likes glossy magazines & catalogues, so we will browse the catalogues pretending that we are going to buy something.
hmm...13 hours can be very long if the baby is crying but can be quite fun if she is co-operating.
Alhamdullillah, everyone seems to be in sympathy of me & child , they usually offer me short-cuts & help ( so u have to act a little bit incapable.....).
If possible, go to the loo befor eyou land coz it wuld be terrible to get to the loo once you hav eyour child, hand luggage and big luggage with you upon arrival.
Once you have the luggage, what you do is put the backpack on your back or on your pram, push the pram with one hand and pull the big luggage with the other hand. This need manouvering and eyes at the back of your head, but insya Allah should be okay. Try and arrange for airport transfer - butif you are familiar with the airport & destination ( i know exactly where to get a black cab from London Heathrow to Bayswater), then this should take less then half an hour. If your child is cranky, calm her down first befor eyou set out on your journey.
Throughout the journey, you may seem like a crazy woman coz you need to talk aloud to the baby (well it works for me)....a one way conversation it may seem, but the child is usually soothen by the sound of your voice. So i sing songs throughout the flight & do all sorta funny things with her & insya Allah we enjoy the whole journey.
Hmm...you are usually bushed from the flight , so the moment the baby sleeps, drop all that you are doing and SLEEP!!!!! I usually sleep with one hand on her in case she gets up and decides she wants to pilot the plane.
Okay...more later on how to travel with 4 kids.......