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Toddlers on a plane

(405 Posts)
gingertigercat Wed 29-Mar-17 15:50:10

I want to see how others would react in my situation or if my lack of sleep led to me being unreasonable.

On a rather long and early flight, hence the lack of sleep, I had a toddler behind me. The father was asleep in a separate row. The mother was asleep sprawled over 2 seats and the grandmother was looking after the toddler who was mainly on her lap. The whole flight he kicked our chairs, smacked the seats, grabbed at us, stuck his head through the gaps, and clambered between his grans lap and over his mum. He was loud throughout the flight. The gran did tell him a few times to stop smacking the seats but it did nothing.

I think had the mum just been asleep in her own seat there would have been much less disruption. I would have said something but I felt bad seeing as the gran wasn't the parent and I'm not very confrontational.

I understand toddlers can be hard work and the parents were probably exhausted but surely it shouldn't have been at other passengers expense? What would other people do in this situation?

Reow Wed 29-Mar-17 15:59:57

I would have politely asked the cabin crew to please ask the family to try and contain the toddler.

Or ask if I could be moved if there were any seats elsewhere.

SooSmith Wed 29-Mar-17 16:03:47

I'd have woken the parents up repeatedly until they controlled their child.

MaidOfStars Wed 29-Mar-17 16:05:14

Cabin crew.

sonyaya Wed 29-Mar-17 16:05:14

Yeah noise from children on planes can't be helped but kicking of seats? Not on, especially while the parent is sleeping.

LoriD Wed 29-Mar-17 16:06:21

My dc done this when we went away although she wasn't as bad as you mention. My dc kept trying to play peekaboo to the people behind us and standing on the seat but we bribed her with crisps and the iPad to keep most of it at bay. But during the times when she had to be strapped in she would scream the whole time really loudly.

So this child might have been the same as mine so would you rather have a child behind you bouncing about or the child screaming the whole time as they are being restrained, as a parent you can't win.

What really annoys me is the funny looks and judgement I get from people like you who probably have all had kids/grandkids in your own time and understand full well what children are like but yet still judge

StarryIllusion Wed 29-Mar-17 16:07:05

Elbow to the face should sort the head through the gap situation nicely. grin

Jokes aside though I would have turned around and told him off firmly myself and if that didn't work, wake up the parents every single time he bothers you. Or get a flight attendant to wake them and tell them to parent their child.

TheCaptainsCat Wed 29-Mar-17 16:10:23

YANBU. I fly long haul with my toddler, and it is the time for intensive parenting, it isn't fun and I hardly ever get to sleep during a flight! I constantly occupy my daughter, or if she is asleep I am usually sat uncomfortably holding her in the same position! If you aren't prepared to do some hard core toddler entertaining you shouldn't fly long haul with your toddler in my opinion!

Coastalcommand Wed 29-Mar-17 16:11:09

Being cooped up on a plane is bad enough without badly behaved children making it even worse. You were not being unreasonable.
As for people not liking being given funny looks, if they can't control their children they really shouldn't be taking them on a flight.

Racmactac Wed 29-Mar-17 16:12:15

If parents and grandma didn't do anything I would have told child off myself.
Failing that tell cabin crew!

MaidOfStars Wed 29-Mar-17 16:15:29

so would you rather have a child behind you bouncing about or the child screaming the whole time as they are being restrained, as a parent you can't win
Having flown countless times on planes where children of all ages were also travelling, I can honestly say I've never experienced either. So some parents are winning?

TiredofITall1 Wed 29-Mar-17 16:15:45

as a parent you can't win. Thing is Lori you would have been seen to actively try and do something about it and therefore others are more likely to be sympathetic to your situation. I think the difference here is that both the child's parents were asleep and clearly not so I can understand why OP was annoyed.

What really annoys me is the funny looks and judgement I get from people like you who probably have all had kids/grandkids in your own time and understand full well what children are like but yet still judge Yes some do judge, my friend used to get really upset until I pointed out that one lady who she thought was judging I read the grimace as more of a sympathetic grimace as to "yep been there" look. If people are looking and judging you feel free to look like your about to cry and stare them straight in the eye and ask "any suggestions as you clearly look like you know what to do" but then I can't stand judgy pants people when we are all trying to muddle through and what them get whiplash trying to look away

tinypop4 Wed 29-Mar-17 16:24:28

The child shouldn't have been kicking you, being loud is difficult to avoid with toddlers in contained spaces.
I have had to unavoidably fly long haul with my children, including a toddler in the last few years. DS the toddler, slept for 7 hours but that still left me with 6. A couple behind me complained that he was laughing and playing with his trains 'too noisily'. I tried to distract him by reading him books, they complained that my voice was annoying them. I was on my knees and doing my best, my toddler was just being a toddler and I could not win. I have NEVER been able to win on a flight with children whatever I do or don't do.
I'm sorry for your experience, but it is very hard to fly with toddlers, especially the 1-2 age where they won't watch an ipad.

tinypop4 Wed 29-Mar-17 16:25:52

you shouldn't fly long haul with your toddler in my opinion

Also I hate it when people say this. What if you are moving countries? What if you have to fly long haul to attend a funeral? Both these scenarios have happened to me recently.

WateryTart Wed 29-Mar-17 16:26:31

What really annoys me is the funny looks and judgement I get from people like you who probably have all had kids/grandkids in your own time and understand full well what children are like but yet still judge

If you allow your child to disturb and bother people then you can expect to be judged. Neither of mine behaved like that, I didn't let them.

1Evaline1 Wed 29-Mar-17 16:28:44

To pp who explained how well behaved their children are. Please give tips on how you managed to bring children up with no tantrums or crying please do share this marvellous solution to every parenting problem.

TheElementsSong Wed 29-Mar-17 16:31:35

Am I the only one thinking "Snakes! On a plane!" grin

EssentialHummus Wed 29-Mar-17 16:35:42

YANBU. I'll tolerate loudness from young kids on a flight, but when a caregiver fails to stop the DC kicking I'll approach them every time, speak to the child myself if they look old enough to understand, or speak to a flight attendant.

SquitMcJit Wed 29-Mar-17 16:36:13

No I was thinking that when I read the thread title 😀

SquitMcJit Wed 29-Mar-17 16:36:54

I obviously watch classy films...

SusannahL Wed 29-Mar-17 16:37:15

I have told children off before on planes for kicking the back of my seat.. In my experience, children often take more notice of a stranger speaking to them in a firm voice than a possibly too soft parent or grandparent.

Small children on planes are my worst nightmare!!

sonyaya Wed 29-Mar-17 16:38:48

tinypop the situation with your child is completely different. You were doing your best, not letting them run riot while you slept.

Bahhhhhumbug Wed 29-Mar-17 16:39:09

Why should other passengers have a Hobson's choice of listening to a child screaming because they are restrained or them bouncing about kicking seats continually (or whatever)? Surely other passengers are as much entitled to a relatively comfortable flight as any parent or toddler. I hate this ' hand that rocks the cradle ' mentality that a mother's and her childs needs should always automatically usurp everyone elses.
....and yes I am a mum of two close in age DCs/ former toddlers and several DGCs before anyone says I obviously don't understand <yawn>. I know it can be difficult but it is ridiculous when the parents of the said disruptive child are sleeping peacefully whilst everyone around can't because of their child. If someone is at least trying to contain /amuse etc then I and most people are much more sympathetic.

paxillin Wed 29-Mar-17 16:40:23

It is very easy to overestimate the charm of your own toddlers. Planes are a prime example. Flying with a toddler can't be helped at times, but you need to keep them out of people's faces. Chances are you are the only one on the plane who thinks your toddler is sweet. I no longer have toddlers and immediately think "crap, I hope they don't sit behind me/ next to me".

namechange20050 Wed 29-Mar-17 16:44:04

I've had this happen and I had to ask the parents several times to stop the child kicking my seat. I hate confrontation too so I just said as nicely as I could!

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