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Traveling abroad with 2 year old

(23 Posts)
Hulashaker Fri 13-Jan-17 11:06:51

Couldn't find a category to fit this into really. We are going to Africa with my 2 year old DD. I'm wondering if anyone has any advice for what we need and essentials to make this as easy as possible - the flight is 12 hours and I'm dreading it sad

alwayspickinguptoys Fri 13-Jan-17 11:12:40

Take something on the plane to entertain her, toys she likes, have you got a tablet or an iPad which you could download films an watch those? That's what I did made it slightly easier. Snacks too. Biggest problem for us was 2 year old ds getting bored an wanting to wander around, kicking chair in front an refused to be strapped to one of us for landing and take off.

LoupGarou Fri 13-Jan-17 11:31:25

We have been all over the world with our toddler and frequently have to travel on light aircraft and seaplanes because of where we live, we have a few things which make a big difference -

- window clings, don't take up much space and DS was delighted with them, sticking them on the window, peeling them off, making scenes etc.
- big snuggly blanket, microfibre or such so its light and can be rolled up small, excellent as a pillow, if it gets cold on the flight
- an empty DVD case with cut pieces of paper slipped into one side, and crayons stuck to the other side with strips of stick on Velcro, makes a great drawing surface, is small and contains it nicely.
- we always travel with plenty of food, but DS has coeliac disease
- a couple of changes of clothes in your hand luggage, for you and DC
- playing spot the shapes in the clouds works well, DS loves this and adores turbulence, thinks its funny
- something recommended to me was to with old hold TV/DVDs for a couple of days before, then have a tablet loaded with some to make them more enticing, never had to try it as DS adores flying but could be worth a go?
- comfortable clothes and shoes for you, nothing worse than trying to wrangle a toddler through airports and flights whilst feeling uncomfortable, also stuff to keep you calm and happy. Also a top/cardigan with pockets, excellent for stuffing things into quickly if in a rush.
- a meticulously organised folder with tickets, passports, insurance etc all within quick and easy reach
- we always use a wrap sling, slings make life much quicker and easier, even now DS sometimes gets tires walking through airports, or can't keep up on the rare occasion we have to run as about to miss a connecting flight, much easier with him on my back and my hands free
- familiarise yourself with the layouts of all airports you're going through ahead of time, so you have a rough idea where you're going, not so essential if you aren't doing more than one flight at a time but still useful
- plan out a schedule and stick to it as far as possible, so by x time we need to have cleared security, by x time....etc etc. Travelling with kids always seems to take more time than you think so allow plenty extra.

Hmm, that's all I can think of immediately, will add more as they come to me. Flying long haul with a baby or toddler really isn't as bad as some would have you believe, the key is being prepared. You may find your DC loves flying, DS does but I love flying too, so he probably picks up on my enthusiasm. DH has a phobia of flying and thinks we're both nuts! grin

user1469914265 Fri 13-Jan-17 11:32:37


LoupGarou Fri 13-Jan-17 12:16:06

Just remembered another one, we always buy a seat of his own for DS, we have to now anyway but used to when he was a tiny baby too, makes life so much easier having the extra space.

user why on earth not?

livingthegoodlife Fri 13-Jan-17 12:27:06

I've travelled lots with babies and toddlers long haul. It will be fine. Does she watch TV? Just let her have free reign of the media system. I found travelling with an 18m old the hardest, too young to be interested by TV but old enough to be whingy and not easily placated.

I ditto what the previous poster said, lots of good advice there.

whatsagoodusername Fri 13-Jan-17 12:40:27

Get her children's headphones if she'll watch TV/iPad and practice wearing them before the flight so she's used to it.

Hulashaker Fri 13-Jan-17 13:47:28

Thank you all that's really useful - I really appreciate the suggestions

My mother recently passed away and it's her wishes to have her ashes scattered in Africa where she got married so the whole family are going.

I was looking at these new jet kids bed box things - has anyone any experience of these?

Hulashaker Fri 13-Jan-17 13:54:03

Loupgarou - do you have any sling recommendations for a 2 year old, I haven't seen any for that age

CatsCantFlyFast Fri 13-Jan-17 14:01:21

We traveled long haul when dd was 9 months and 22 months - we took a cares harness and a travelsnug (look on facebook) last time. If I'd seen the bed box beforehand I would def have taken it and will consider one if we go long haul economy again. It's hard for kids to be comfy in a seat without legs on you etc

CatsCantFlyFast Fri 13-Jan-17 14:03:19

Regards the slings - woven wraps will be fine at that age, though if you're not familiar with wrapping might not be something you want. They do have the added benefit of doubling up as a blanket. Otherwise have a look at something like a hoppediz hop tie - it's a Mei tai style wrap and can be worn with the child on your front or back but also screws up small for stuffing in a bag as it's not structured

LoupGarou Fri 13-Jan-17 14:06:51

Hulashaker, what a lovely thing you are doing, so sorry about your mum flowers
I use a woven wrap sling, they are more cumbersome but I'm very fast at tying one now (lots of practice!) and for DS's size and weight (he's very tall and wears age 6-7 years clothing) they're the most comfortable.
I like Kokadi ones best, but also have a one from Little Frog in Poland, excellent quality, great prices and a great range of colours. They ship worldwide and have a great website, I actually got a seconds quakity one from them and apart from the design being a bit more wavy its perfect. I go for the cotton ones as more supportive with older children.

A friend of mine still gets away with a Stoke MyCarrier for her three year old, you can often get them cheap second hand from eBay and the few time sive carried her daughter its been pretty comfortable and very fast and easy to get on and off. There are more men tai style ones (think Tula do one?) But woven wraps have always worked best for us so I don't much about other I'm afraid. Do you have a sling library near you where you could try some out, and borrow one? Also, another friend in the UK always borrows one for her holidays from a website called something like "its a sling thing" its an online sling library.

One last point, I have carried DS in a sling since he was born, so my stamina and endurance increased as his weight increased, carrying a child if you haven't before takes a bit of getting of used to, so practice for a couple of weeks beforehand if you can. I use a woven wrap as Its the only type of carrier I can comfortably carry him in now he's much bigger, so long as you tie it correctly it spreads the weight fantastically and doesn't strain you. I am not very strong and not in the best of health but I can carry DS for several hours nmon stop without getting too tired.

Hope that helps!

Farmmummy Fri 13-Jan-17 14:08:10

For sling Lillebaby do a complete which would probably still do at two or a toddler or (same company) have great consultants who can advise on lots of different slings

LoupGarou Fri 13-Jan-17 14:08:21

There are also loads of great YouTube videos on all types of slings, how to tie wraps, using other etc. Well worth checking out smile

LoupGarou Fri 13-Jan-17 14:10:57

Sorry not seen the bed boxes but googled and they look quite good.

citybushisland Fri 13-Jan-17 14:15:33

It's a lovely thing you're doing for your Mum. As far as the journey goes, own seat, it's a long flight. Child headphones, quiet activities - colouring in books etc, stories on mp3 with the book to look at, although there will be films/kids shows on the plane a story is better for calming down and sometimes it's not possible to read aloud to them. Snacks that they like. Those things used to work for me flying from Dar es Salaam to Uk and back with 3 kids twice a year smile

questioningitall Fri 13-Jan-17 14:26:43


Hope you feel a right tit now!

Condolences OP. What a lovely thing you are doing. I've travelled with a toddler with DH and on my own. Echo all the advice above. It's all about being prepared. Colouring. Snacks. iPad. Change of clothes for DC and for both of you. Plenty of wipes and spare nappy bags. I used sling when DS was smaller but when older took MacLaren buggy and made sure it was available up to the plane and as soon As we disembarked.

If it's a night flight hopefully they'll just sleep.

Good luck!

LoupGarou Fri 13-Jan-17 14:31:29

Also a couple of empty carrier bags, each with a couple of sheets of kitchen paper soaked in scented fabric softener and then dried in the bottom. On one seaplane flight DH managed to vomit over DS hmm so the bags were useful to put the nasty clothes in so I didn't have to keep smelling them!

That probably is excessive unless you are travelling with a vomiter though grin

MooseBeTimeForSnow Fri 13-Jan-17 14:36:23

Cares harnesses don't work well below 30lbs and can be unbuckled easily.

CatsCantFlyFast Fri 13-Jan-17 15:28:57

A cares harness can't be unbuckled any easier than a plane seatbelt (it uses the lapbelt) and is infinitely safer for a toddler/child than a lapbelt alone. In terms of don't work well I'm not sure what you mean - it turns an aircraft lapbelt into a four point harness and is adjustable for height so provided the child is sitting fine then I'm not sure what there is to not work?

Yura Sat 14-Jan-17 18:12:28

calpol, oral rehydration solution for toddlers, one of these mini concentrated packs of squash in case the water tasts funny, kids band aids, sterilizing tablets for cups etc (the ones for bottles)

Yura Sat 14-Jan-17 18:13:46

cares harness is an absolute lifesaver, well worth it. and a trunki boostapak (better than nothing in cars)

Yura Sat 14-Jan-17 18:15:50

Ergo carrier and manduca work brilliantly for older children (my 4 year old is still in his sometimes on ling days - we don't take buggies with us when travelling as a rule)

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