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To fly long haul with a toddler

(28 Posts)
CaffeineBomb Sun 14-Feb-16 08:28:11

We are thinking of a holiday in Central America at Christmas. DS will be 22 months. Is this a terrible idea? DH thinks flying long haul with a toddler will be a disaster that he will annoy everyone and his ears will be popping.

I think it will be difficult to entertain him but the holiday will be much much cheaper whilst DS is under 2.

AIBU to consider it?

waitingforgodot Sun 14-Feb-16 08:34:29

Go for it! Best time to travel with kids in my opinion!

HSMMaCM Sun 14-Feb-16 08:38:25

I did it. Flight bag with quiet toys and colouring. Sleep comforter for resting. It will be fine.

lenibose Sun 14-Feb-16 08:42:29

Go for it. We have done it frequently since he was a baby. He is now 4. Done countless 10 hours+ flights. Has been fine.

goodbyeyellowbrickroad Sun 14-Feb-16 08:44:22

We've done 10 hour flights with DS at the same age and it was fine. His ears didn't bother him at all. Lots of snacks, stickers, small quiet toys and the iPad preloaded with some favourite programmes and games and he was fine.

If however you're thinking of keeping costs down by not getting your DS his own seat I'd think again. No way would I have coped with an almost 2 year old on my lap for a long haul flight!

irvine101 Sun 14-Feb-16 08:45:01

I did it too, and on my own. I sort of controlled ds's sleep patterns from few days before, so he slept most of time. Sad thing is, he doesn't remember it.

Birdsgottafly Sun 14-Feb-16 08:45:13

As long as you can sleep on a plane, then it's about timing your flights.

If it's a 'once in a lifetime' thing, I wouldn't, but only because that age can be the most difficult.

If the money that you are spending, isn't a lot for you, then go. My youngest was a easier traveller, but she was the one that picked up bugs/skin rashes etc.

waitingforgodot Sun 14-Feb-16 08:45:34

try and get the bulkhead seats if you can for extra legroom/room to put bag of toys

Picnic2223 Sun 14-Feb-16 08:46:27

His ears will only pop (if they do at All) in take off and landing which will happen the same ammount of times no matter how long the flight is, if the air pressure does hurry him a drink can help so mane sure to have one handy in a bottle or sippie cup. Take lots of toys and mage sure you have things he will like. 22 months is the higher end of him not having his own seat so it will be cramped for you for a long flight but is definitely do able.

DisneyMillie Sun 14-Feb-16 08:46:55

Went to disneyworld with my dd when she was just over 2 - everyone thought we were mad but it was absolutely brilliant and she was no problem. I'd also go for an extra seat for him though if you possibly can.

I think the younger you start the less problem they are travelling - she's been long haul every year since and we've never had an issue.

irvine101 Sun 14-Feb-16 08:47:49

And definitely get his own seat, as goodbye says. (Unless you know flight is empty.)

juneau Sun 14-Feb-16 08:48:47

22 months is a tricky age for long-haul travel. We've done a lot of long-haul trips (back and forth to the US) with our DC and I would say that between 1-3 years was definitely the hardest, although it really depends on the personality of your DC. If he is a calm DC who plays happily and quietly then it may not be a problem. My DS1 was certainly a lot easier at that age than DS2 who wouldn't sit still for 5 seconds, screamed blue murder if I tried to restrain him (which is necessary for take-off/landing and can mean quite long periods of time in a harness attached to the parent's seat belt), and then wriggled, crawled all over us, under the seats, pushing every button and annoying all the people around us for the entire duration of any flight we ever took with him! So no YANBU to consider it, but I would think long and hard about how you're going to keep him relatively still, quiet and happy for 7-10 hours straight. Its a very long time for everyone involved if the DC is cranky, cross and just likes to run around.

Bumbledumb Sun 14-Feb-16 08:48:48

Our DS was 14 months old when we first took him to Thailand. It was no trouble at all.

irvine101 Sun 14-Feb-16 08:50:57

Only problem with bulkhead seat is that armrest stores table, so you can't move it.

awfullyproper Sun 14-Feb-16 08:51:08

Yes,of course you should. Just take lots of things to occupy him. Also,a dummy or bottle to suck to equalise the pressure on take off and landing.
We've been doing long haul flights since DD was 4 months. She loves it. She's 4 now and is always asking where next. Yesterday she saw something about India and immediately asked if we could go.

Cabin crew are usually lovely and very helpful. There's so much to see in airports.
Whereabouts in Central America?
Have a wonderful time!

BatonRouge Sun 14-Feb-16 09:02:22

Shameless place marking as have just booked a 12+ plus night flight to Kuala Lumpur with a squirmy DD2 who will be 23 months. I've said to DP that we take turns with her so one of us can rest. We'll have DD1 who is 4 and a great traveller. DD2 not so much as she isnt a child who sits still for any amount of time. Need tips!

CaffeineBomb Sun 14-Feb-16 09:27:50

Awfullyproper it's a cruise around Mexico and Panama whether I should take him on a cruise is a whole other aibu 😂

HermioneWeasley Sun 14-Feb-16 09:29:54

Agree with juneau , at 22 months my D.SC. was unbearable to have on a lap. I would much rather have paid for a seat than had him for 9 hours on my lap.

BarbarianMum Sun 14-Feb-16 09:34:58

It's only cheaper at 22 mo if he doesn't have his own seat. I think that would be pretty unbearable on long haul. After a short haul flight w ds1 at 18mi we vowed not to do long haul til we had no children under 5, it was so awful.

Ultimately, you can, people do. But I've never heard of someone saying anything good about it, esp if dc doesn't have their own seat.

MyBigFatGreekYoghurt Sun 14-Feb-16 09:40:49

Yes do it but GET HIM A SEAT or you'll regret it.

We did 10 hours to Mexico at 23m absolutely fine but we bought him a seat (and we were in business class)

iPad, stickers, snacks, little toy cars to drive on the floor, books. Easy flight.

Don't even consider it with him on your knee

yorkshapudding Sun 14-Feb-16 10:15:33

We did a 10 hour flight with DD at that age. It was fine, much to my surprise! DD didn't have her own seat and it wasn't a problem at all actually, although we had bulkhead seats, which was great as she could sit on the floor playing with her toys or colouring. We got a night flight and made sure to let her run around a lot at the airport, followed by a carb heavy meal so that she would feel tired on the plane. This seemed to work as she slept for a good few hours, we just took turns having her on our laps, which I really liked as I always get cold on the plane and it was like having a little hot water bottle smile.
We got her a trunki case, which she loved and it kept her entertained at the airport, even thougn she didn't open it until we got on the plane. We filled it with new books, small toys (mostly cheap tat from poundland but it was exciting to her purely because it was new) and stickers to keep her entertained as well as her favourite snacks. We're normally quite strict about screen time but we loaded up the tablet with her favorite TV shows and some games she hadn't seen before and let her use it as much as she wanted- we decided that in the interests of saving our sanity and the other passengers, normal rules needed to be relaxed for the duration of the flight. We encouraged her to drink from a straw cup during take off and landing as it stops their ears popping apparently. I was so nervous about the whole thing, I was absolutely dreading it but it really was fine.

AnotherTimeMaybe Sun 14-Feb-16 10:32:15

Do it, get an iPad and load movies etc get snacks books
Only thing be careful of the mosquitos issues, it's peaking there and could be worse by Christmas

GrouchyKiwi Sun 14-Feb-16 10:40:03

We've flown to NZ twice with toddlers - first time DD1 was 21 months, the second time DD1 was 3 1/2 and DD2 was 16 months. We didn't get them their own seats (though DD1 had one the second time). I didn't get any sleep, DH got plenty, the children slept well mostly, but had occasional moments of screaming behaviour (which was awful and embarrassing).

I say go for it, though. And getting a seat for your child would be a good idea.

The cabin crew can be utterly brilliant, and some flights have an on-board nanny.

SecretNameTime Sun 14-Feb-16 10:50:37

I used to be an expat and have done loads and loads of long haul flights with toddlers usually without my DH and..... I wouldn't go. My DC were great on flights and I can't say I ever had a problem but I can't see the point if you can wait and go when the DC are older.
It's boring and tiring dealing with packing, the flying and jet lag - I had to deal with it due to work but I wouldn't choose to.
I was usually flying first or business too.

GiraffeHouse Sun 14-Feb-16 10:53:11

Just do it. Now is the time before it gets too expensive.
We did our last long haul when DS was 16 months and a medium length flight again at 21 months. He was fantastic both times.
Now that he and DD are older flights are a lot worse than they were then! And no long haul now due to the price sad

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