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Long haul flight with one adult, a toddler and 8 month old

(29 Posts)
Gangle Sun 21-Nov-10 21:52:07

Flying from New York to London next week alone with DS1, 2.8 years, and DS2, 8 months and desperately need tips on how to cope. Also, has anyone flown Virgin and encountered the problem with the armrests of the seats just behind the bulkhead?? Basically, if you request a bassinet, the only place they can go is in the seats behind the bulkhead BUT, all the seats have fixed arm rests that can be lifted up so my toddler couldn't stretch out on two seats and go to sleep! This time I've requested that we not be seated behind the bullhead so that he can stretch out and sleep but where on earth am I going to put the baby??

bluecardi Sun 21-Nov-10 22:06:55

are you bf? If you are then keep your 8month yr old in your arms to bf & sleep. You wont be able to rest on the flight so I hope you will be able to afterwards.

Gangle Sun 21-Nov-10 22:17:47

Yes, am breastfeeding so was planning on just holding him but what about when I need to take DS1 to the loo etc? Or eat!?

Gangle Sun 21-Nov-10 22:18:43

Am praying the plane isn't full and there are spare seats!

ramonaquimby Sun 21-Nov-10 22:20:31

I used to just take the baby with me, or ask whoever was sitting beside me to mind them (if sleeping) while I took older one to toilets. eating is a one handed job I'm afraid!

bluecardi Mon 22-Nov-10 09:17:18

I use a baby bjorn babysling - you could put your ds2 in this when taking ds to the loo. Have wipes & loo paper to hand in a small rucksack as you'll need both hands. Having a meal with the table down will be tricky so take you're own snacks with you.You ds1 might be happy with the table down for a meal but check what he'll be getting. On one flight(not Virgin though) it was jam doughnuts covered in sugar for the kids!! Have a plastic bag ready for plane sickness. I just gave bf before flying so as not to be covered in travel sick. Extra socks & a blanket could be useful as the longhaul planes can be cold. Good luck

gregssausageroll Mon 22-Nov-10 11:17:28

Yes, the seats at the bulkhead all have fixed armrests for the foldaway tables. All airlines are the same.

Your choices are

8 month old on your knee so a bit more space for your daughter (although don't count on getting any extra seats as flight might well be full)

Or

Bulkhead and your daughter has to make do with a seat where the armrest won't lift.

Get the children fed first and ask cabin crewe to bring your meal later.

Its only 7 hours - will your daughter actually sleep? It isn't that far.

Gangle Mon 22-Nov-10 20:31:25

Thanks Gregssausage. What would you do? I'm inclined to have my 8 month old on my lap or in my arms and let my toddler stretch out. I think there's a good chance he will sleep as it's a night flight and he usually sleeps on flights. Wondering if I could strap DS2 into the Baby Bjorn once asleep or maybe put him on the floor in the Bugaboo Bee cocoon thing we have, if he still fits, which he may not, or is that a bad idea? He could roll I suppose so perhaps not . . .

gregssausageroll Tue 23-Nov-10 12:54:15

You won't be allowed to put DS on the floor. Its against the law.

I'd honestly go with the bulkhead. You can then at least put the baby in the bassinet for a sleep. Your daughter might not be as omfy but she can lean against the armrest. Just ask cabin crewe for extra pillows to make it a bit more comfortable.

The thought of being cramped in a full flight with a random stranger next you you, your 8 month old on your lap etc is just too much.

At the bulkhead you get a bit more room and it isn't so enclosed.

Good luck.

Bunbaker Wed 24-Nov-10 07:36:41

I would also go for the bulkhead option. You are assuming that there will be room for your toddler to stretch out, but I imagine that flights from NY will all be full at this time of year. Sitting with a baby in your arms for 7 or 8 hours will be quite tiring and restrictive.

Gangle Wed 24-Nov-10 20:18:37

Mmm, this has really got me thinking. On the flight over we were in the bulkhead seats and I thought never again! Was flying with PIL so we swapped so they sat on bulkhead with baby and DS1 and I sat on the seats behind where he could stretch out over 2 seats, his and mine. I just think the journey will be horrendous if he doesn't sleep! Can they definitely not put the bassinet on the back of other seats?

fedupwithdeployment Wed 24-Nov-10 20:54:02

I have never seen them elsewhere.

I have just done a nightflight with a 3.10 year old - and he (eventually) curled up on his seat and went to sleep. He did watch an extraordinary amount of Toy Story 3 mind you. I thought it would be easy to get him to lie across 2 seats / have his head on my knee, but not a chance.

gregssausageroll Wed 24-Nov-10 21:41:24

No Gangle. The bassinet needs to be attached to the wall.

Gangle Sat 27-Nov-10 22:02:09

Mmm, I am still minded to put DS2 in sling and let DS1 stretch out across 2 seats. Anyone else and does anyone have any other survival tips as I am really starting to panic! Actually, if the plane actually gets there safely then I can cope (I have an awful fear of flying!)

SoupDragon Sat 27-Nov-10 22:11:51

I would go for bulkhead TBH. Having said that, I always upgrade to premium economy (BA) when flying longhaul and the seats are bigger but none have moveable armrests.

Gangle Sat 27-Nov-10 22:13:36

I would upgrade SoupDragon but can't with the type of ticket I have! May ask again at check-in but would also feel bad for all the people in premium when my two run riot, as they will.

trixymalixy Sat 27-Nov-10 22:15:31

I didn't think you were allowed to fly with just one adult with two infants. Are you sure it's allowed? I thought you had to have one adult per child to carry them off the plane in an emergency.

SoupDragon Sat 27-Nov-10 22:18:57

Well, the 8 month old won't be running riot. May be screaming mind you. vie done several flights with 3 children single handed but the boys were older then your eldest so a little more sufficient. DD on the other hand screamed at 6 months old and wanted to walk up and down at 2.5 Which i now realise isn't very reassuring as it's pretty much the age of your two!!

A pouch sling like a lightweight Coorie is a life saver. Easy to keep on and slip the little one in and out as necessary. I would avoid anything with straps.

Have wipes etc in a small bag rather than lugging a big one to the toilets. Restock the small bag after a visit.

Gangle Sat 27-Nov-10 22:19:12

Yes Trixy, I thought the same so have checked, twice, and it's allowed. I can carry them both, just! My elder son is 2.8 so classed as a child rather than an infant. Not sure of the rules for 2 infants.

SoupDragon Sat 27-Nov-10 22:19:54

There aren't two infants though, Trixy. its one infant and a child.

Gangle Sat 27-Nov-10 22:24:53

8 month old hates being held at the mo, wants to be crawling/exploring. Flight leaves at 9.15pm - he usually goes to sleep at 7pm so plan is to feed and settle him in buggy at 7 (he never usually settles in buggy but praying for a miracle), hope he falls asleep, transfer him to sling in departure lounge and board plane hopefully with him still asleep (very very unlikely). Will also give DS1 dinner before we board then appease him with stories and chocolate before he too falls asleep for the night. What could possibly go wrong?? wink

SoupDragon Sat 27-Nov-10 22:27:12

Nothing could go wrong.

Nothing at all...

SoupDragon Sat 27-Nov-10 22:29:07

I would be tempted to see if DS2 will stay awake and settle him on the plane though. you'll need to faff about with that stupid seatbelt extension thing for takeoff and it may well wake him.

Gangle Sat 27-Nov-10 22:33:29

Wonder if I can get the seatbelt thing around him whilst in the sling. At least Virgin have infant seatbelts unlike American airlines which don't carry them! I asked the stewardess what I should do with DS2 in the event of an accident or bad turbulence and she helpfully said I would just need to hold onto him!! Mmmm . . .

tryingtobemarypoppins2 Sat 27-Nov-10 22:36:16

If you pay for a seat Virgin have INFANT CARE CHAIRS. They may be nice and give you one if there is a spare seat too.

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