Longhaul (Australia) with 16 month old - car seat on board?

(19 Posts)
CanIHaveAPetGiraffePlease Wed 23-Jan-13 17:27:01

We are planning a trip to Australia in a few months and we have a 4 year old and a 16 month old with us.

We are planning on buying her her own seat but I can't quite picture whether she will be happy sitting in it yet. I see you can buy a harness to make an adult seat into a child seat on an aeroplane but I was wondering whether she'd be more likely to sleep/safer/etc strapped into a car seat.

Does anyone know whether this is a good idea or which car seat might fit (our maxi cosi tobi is blatently too big). Also would I then have to lug it around Singapore?

We're hoping to fly Singapore airlines as we are thinking of planning a longish stop at Singapore to swim and/or sleep.

I'm hoping the 4 year old will amuse herself with dvds. We last flew when she was 11 months old and took her on our lap - it was awful. She didn't sleep in the whole 36 hours....

kelly14 Thu 24-Jan-13 11:56:29

having flown on hundreds of flights since my dd was 5 months, including oz i would say no!

I dont see how a baby would be comfortable in care seat for that amount of time and so restrictive.

Also australia has strict car seat rules and i doubt any english one would meet the safety requirments, i had to buy a new one when emigrated to oz as australian ones have to bare special mark/stamp.

TheToadLessTravelled Thu 24-Jan-13 12:06:46

We decided against a car seat (just let 12mo ds sleep on my chest while I reclined) and we found ds really enjoyed sitting up in his own seat with a few toys. A bulkhead seat also gives you the foot space to use as a play area.

Singapore has great facilities for your stopover. Prams are provided in the same area as luggage trolleys (or ask at info desk) so even if you do take a carseat you can put it on a trolley and put baby in a pram.

Best of luck for your trip smile

I think depends on the child. I did a longhaul to HK when DD was 18mo. She doesn't want to sit down at all. I'm not sure if she is typical, but she was not interested in colouring, watching tv, or any activities that involve sitting down quietly. She spent the whole flight walking up and down the asiles and hanging around the toilet cubicles hassling fellow passengers. Luckily the flight is mainly asians who are very friendly with toddlers. They are happy to play with her. So no, I wouldn't bother with your own car seat as I don't think my DD would actually sit in it.

CanIHaveAPetGiraffePlease Thu 24-Jan-13 12:16:42

Thanks :-) wasn't worried about car seat other end as can use family's over there. Choosing Singapore airlines as we've used them before and liked it and love the airport. It's fab isn't it!! Didn't know that about pushchairs though -we've got a sling but it might well be useful.

We're thinking about planning a long stop at the airport to play . . .but aware we may just want sleep.

It's great your 12 month old slept on worr chest. If. I could guarantee that I wouldn't even buy her a seat. However my first child stayed awake the whole time at that age and it was a nightmare. If we took car seat we wouldn't expect her in it for whole journey -just to sleep. With 4 of us there should be room on floor to play etc.

I cant see her sleeping just strapped into a plane seat though, even with the extra straps. I'm only buying the seat for sleep so if car seat won't really work I might not waste money on a seat.

I'm v excited about going. But terrified of having non sleeping child!

kelly14 Fri 25-Jan-13 17:55:46

I still personally would get her a seat, but would not use car seat!
My dd has slept on seats since 5 months old (in business and economy), they wont be strapped in 95% of the time, only for take off and landing and for short periods in times of turbulence.

My dd was too big for a bassinet at 5 months, so we needed her own seat as i couldnt have her on my lap the whole time. Also i can honestly say we have flown at least 5-6 times a year since she was baby, all longhaul bar 1 or 2 (now nearly 8 years old) and i have seen hundreds of babies on flights and never seen anyone ever use a car seat! it will hugely restrict the amount of space your baby has to lay out and move about , play etc plus you have extra large piece of luggage to lug about which is no use to you in oz anyway.

Also airlines have strict guidelines on carseats on board and has to be certain make, dimentions etc

i will guarentee your child will sleep just fine on a seat but i personally wouldnt want to cramp a baby up in a car seat when they can lay out roomily on a seat, especially when its layed back.

Hope

Don't take the car seat. You nowhere to put it if the 16 month old wants out of it. It won't fit in the overhead and you can't put it in the aisle. If you are ina row of 4 you can lift the arm rests and the children can stretch out a bit. Pillows and blankets and they will be nice and cosy for a sleep.

Oh and yes to buying her own seat. Will make it a much better experience. Don't get the bulkhead though. You won't all be sat together and no lifting of the arm rests.

CanIHaveAPetGiraffePlease Fri 25-Jan-13 18:05:29

Please do guarantee it! My last baby didn't sleep on any of the 4 flights at all. Not the 16 hour ones or the 8 hour ones. Apart from 15 to 30 minute snatches at breast.

I'll get the recommended straps for her if I don't take car seat but cant see her sleeping sat upright.

The other babies slept in basinettes. Ours was too big at 12 months and was a nightmare. So tired she screamed but just wouldn't sleep. Although we didn't have a seat then as not needed for under 2 s. Hence why we haven't been back to oz yearly as planned!

Arg!! I remember such envy of those with sleeping babies who could eat and sleep and watch movies!

CanIHaveAPetGiraffePlease Fri 25-Jan-13 18:09:28

Its no to buying the airline safe car seat then . .

Didn't realise that about bulkhead. I'd thought we'd want that for room on floor to play!

I am absolutely dreading the trip. Nearly a whole day in enclosed space with a toddler (and bigger one -but she'll watch tv a bit and sleep.)

You cannot play on the floor. It is against airline regulations. Some cabin Crewe will turn a blind eye but many wont. Danger of turbulence.

If it has not been mentioned already get the night flight out. Day time with a child that age is tough going.

CanIHaveAPetGiraffePlease Fri 25-Jan-13 20:17:11

Ok. She did 3 years ago. Singapore air. We also went for walks along the airplane etc. I strapped her to me everytime there was turbulence.

I'm really begining to think I jus can't do this. There's no way she will just sit next to me for 16 hours and sometimes sleep. She doesn't ever just sit on the sofa next to me. And never sleeps sat up next to me!! She clambers on me or crawls on the floor etc. V active.

She just about manages car journeys as she's not got a lot of choice in the car seat!!

But if you get the night flight at 11.30 she should be exhausted and sleep? Get her into pjs, story and she should nod off.

CanIHaveAPetGiraffePlease Sat 26-Jan-13 12:40:35

Honestly my older child didn't. Pjs, story, the lot. I've come across quite a few other similar stories googling last night. I was utterly amazed and thought she'd at least sleep for the Singapore leg and didn't. Just unhappy, tired fractious children. The staff were lovely but I was neardelirious at the end from lack of sleep.

I'm v. Close to telling husband he needs to go on his own. When I was pregnant with no2 I said I'd either take her before she was 6 months old or over 3 and I'm thinking of sticking with it.

Maybe some children sleep and some don't (bit like those who have babies sleep through at 3 months and others at 3 years.)

Or maybe drugs if it gets past 12 hours of no sleep but I'm not sure I'm happy with that.

The more I think about it the more scared of a repeat performance I am!

Thanks so much for replies and hints though everyone!

kelly14 Sat 26-Jan-13 14:36:41

First of all Stop panicking, you are working yourself up over something pretty easy and that even if both kids scream the whole time, who cares! you wont have to see anyone on the flight again! lol

The seats on emirates even in ecomony go back quite far and my dd easily laid out as a baby, they will be even more bolt upright in a car seat.

Last flight i took there was so many babies and toddlers and some screamed the whole flight long, but i stick my headphones on a watch a film, it doesnt bother me, children cry and its new to them and prob scary and very boring! Most people on the flight will have children/grandchildren and be understanding and am sure there will be others on board with crying kids.

if people dont like it then tough! you have paid for the flight the same as them and what exactly do they think you or they can do!, thats the price you pay for flying you might get a baby screaming the whole flight!

i would rather a screaming baby than some of the people i have been sat next too; a man who kept clearing his throat the whole flight every few mins, and there was babies crying and it was him annoying me not them!
Then got sat next to a bloke with the worst BO ever, was like he hadnt showered ever!!!

My bro and sil have a 3 and 1 year old and have flown loads with them already and they cried and moaned but its only for a little bit and worth it to get to your destination.

Go and have fun, take some calms tablets or rescue remedy may help to chill you out.

CanIHaveAPetGiraffePlease Sat 26-Jan-13 14:56:28

Thanks for the reassurance about other people smile To be honest that isn't my main concern (I've flown quite a bit pre-children and quite happy to zone off into my own world!)

I'm concerned about what works out to be over 36 hours without sleep! Neither of us can sleep when our own children are crying. That and obviously not wanting to see my children distressed, and having to keep 2 of them entertained (the older one will be fine with a dvd). Last time I did it I was nearly delirious with sleep deprivation towards the end and certainly not in a fit state to be in charge of 2 children. If your child sleeps its fine... if they don't its a nightmare!

I'm glad to hear other people's children don't bother you (they didn't me) but its one of those things where its completely different ball game when its your own, and they're on your lap screaming and you've got another 14 hours to go...

Mutley77 Sat 26-Jan-13 19:41:11

Hi there

We last flew to Australia when mine were the same age (almost exactly). DD (4) was fine on the flight - although had terrible jet lag both ways - much more difficult at that age to put them down in a dark room and pretend it's night time when their body clock says otherwise.

We didn't buy a seat for DS (15 mo) as I am tight and wouldn't spend £600 + for the sake of 24 hours!! And it was absolutely fine - tbh the seat was the least of our worries and more of an issue was the fact that he was up and down and couldn't easily settle to do anything. Once he was ready to sleep he slept across DH, DD and I.

Please don't worry - it won't be as bad as you fear - get the extra seat if you feel better about it. Your best bet is having the stopover (we have done it in both KL and Singapore and both were fine, I'm sure HK would be fine too) - as like you say at least then you get a break. Although on second thoughts if you aren't going to sleep during the stopover you are probably better carrying on as then it is 24 hours without sleep rather than 36.

HTH

koeda Tue 29-Jan-13 00:11:41

Would you consider breaking up the trip with a 2 or 3 night stopover in Singapore? I've done this trip a few times with my now 3 year old and it gives me the break and at least a decent couple of chunks of sleep (albeit at odd jet lagged times). It helped ease the pressure of having a 'good' first leg in order to cope with the second leg.

I stay at the Crowne Plaza in the airport. The city is a very short train ride away, plus as you say there is loads to do at the airport. The only thing I wouldn't do is stay just one night, arriving PM and then leaving following AM, as the kids might actually sleep on the leg over and then won't sleep during that one and only night you have there!

Take it easy on yourself and your family I say - its such a long long journey....

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