Several things were different about this trip with Littlest compared to the one last July.
For one, he was now mobile: crawling, standing up, cruising.
Also, we didn’t buy him a seat.
There were no grandparents, just me and J.
But we also had no overnight in Paris and no connecting flight in the States.
We bought our Paris-Boston ticket through Air France and had time to take the TGV directly up to Charles de Gaulle the morning of the flight. Baby seats on TGVs are very cheap (like 9€, I think, for this trip). We didn’t take his car seat this time and so made arrangements to be picked up and dropped off at each end by someone with a car seat. We just took his Quinny Yezz stroller, which folds in three and fits in the overhead compartment. We also had his diaper backpack and my purse as carry-ons.
With Air France we were allowed a third suitcase for traveling with the baby, though the return flight was operated by Delta and they called it a “baby bag” and said that it really should only be up to 20 pounds (it was 21 on the way back so they let it slide). It was a sleek new purple carry-on sized suitcase that my parents gave us for Christmas. We also checked my big suitcase and Julien’s travel backpack.
The most complicated part of all that luggage is getting it on and off the train, especially at Charles de Gaulle where they repeatedly don’t stop for long enough for everyone to get on and off, given that people can be real morons about their suitcases on trains (leaving them in the aisle? thanks…). So it was important to be as compact as possible.
So anyway, how did it go? Littlest did indeed fall asleep on us, once he was to the point of exhaustion. On the Air France flight, we had the bulkhead seats and the bassinet (up to 10 kg and Littlest was 9.3), so we would then set him in the bassinet and be free to move around. Unfortunately Delta didn’t give us the same courtesy, though they did put us in slightly roomier seats, so Littlest just slept across us, and my butt definitely started hurting at some point.
He loved the kids’ play area at the Boston airport, and I got him to take a nap at the CDG train station on the way back by strollering him around for twenty minutes. He LOVED the train and was constantly moving around on the able, to the window, over the seats… and then falling asleep twenty minutes from our stop.
All in all, it was a success, but I definitely don’t feel like doing it again soon. Littlest was in a mama-only phase especially on the way there, so J couldn’t really help out much with holding him on the plane. I watched a number of animated movies without the sound that looked pretty good (Baby Boss, Captain Underpants, Moana…) and kept Littlest sometimes entertained and sometimes calm.
But I hope to put off any other transatlantic trips for a while. In all honesty this will probably be the only one we do with him on our laps.