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Flight to East Coast US with 18mo - night or day? Any other advice?

(16 Posts)
franch Mon 14-Mar-05 14:56:15

Flying to Philadelphia which is 6 hours or so. Any experience/tips, particularly on what time of day works best?

Earlybird Mon 14-Mar-05 15:02:19

Only advice I would give is not to fly too early in the morning. Stay as close as you can to your regular waking/eating schedule so that you can maintain your routine. Obviously, will need to factor in travel time to airport, advance check in etc. Would also try to book a flight that isn't too full so that you stand a chance of being lucky and getting an empty seat or two next to you. It can make a world of difference....

franch Mon 14-Mar-05 15:14:32

Thanks EB. Is flying soporific for a toddler, or the opposite? The idea of DD sleeping through the whole thing seems like a good one in some ways, IF she's likely to do it. Agree about not getting her up at some ungodly hour.

Lua Mon 14-Mar-05 15:24:37

HI Franch,
I have done the trip a couple of times. DD is a pro traveller and didn't seem bothered any of the times. I think night is easier for her, because she just sleeps most of the trip, and woke up in the new time zone. Your baby will get off its schedule anyway with the 5 hour difference...

For me though.... I always wished I have done in the day time. I can't sleep at all with her in my lap the whole night, so arrive in pieces...

I guess it depends how well do you think you can keep your baby entertained for 6 hours...

Either way, I think the small ones adapt easily to anything!

franch Mon 14-Mar-05 15:29:26

thanks Lua. I'll be 33wks pg so we're booking DD her own seat!

Lua Mon 14-Mar-05 16:41:17

oh, then I'll definetely fly during the day! I flew overnight to south America when I was only 20 weeks pregnant with DD and when was a total nightmare. She had her own seat, but of course she preferred mummy's lap to sleep on!

MeerkatsUnite Mon 14-Mar-05 17:23:54


Flights to the US generally depart between late morning and early afternoon. Therefore if you left the UK at say 12.00pm you'd arrive in Philly somewhere around mid to late afternoon their time.

Flying back to the UK, again the flight would in all likelihood leave between 7 and 9pm arriving back in the UK early morning (between 7.00 and 8.00am).

Which airline were you thinking of using?.

franch Mon 14-Mar-05 19:15:44

Thanks Lua

Meerkat - British Airways

humphrey Mon 14-Mar-05 20:41:47

We have just recently come back from Orlando and we did the flight with my 20mth old. The flight out was during the day leaving at 12.30pm, she hadn't had a nap before she got on the plane so was tired I thought that was asking for trouble but I gave her a beaker of milk on take off thinking it would help with her ears popping and she finished it and slept for the first hour. We flew with Virgin and they do an infant care seat which is like a car seat which fits into the seat which was good to keep her in for take off and landing otherwise she would have made more of a fuss if she thought she had a chance of moving anywhere (not sure whether British Airways do one?) I took a bag with books, threading buttons, a little bob the builder scribbler, stickers, crayons, colouring book, bendy rabbit, a toy mobile phone and lots of different snacks. I learn't on the flight out not to give them too many sugary things though as there is not enough room to burn the excess energy off. Took little cartons of formula milk to poor into beakers for take off so didn't have to worry about keeping it cold and she would drink it happily at room temperature. I have seen other threads where people suggest taking pull up nappies as in the confined space they are easy to get on and off, I coped with normal disposables. On the flight DH and I took it in turns to walk her up and down the aisles when she started to look as if she wasn't happy sitting still any longer she loved this as there were lots of other kids for her to stare at on the way around and lots of other people were doing the same. Also take another top(for you and them) and bottoms for little one to change into in case of accidents. On the way back we had a night flight and because we'd kept to her routine she was ready for a sleep so was awake for first half hour and then slept all the way after that so we got it really easy on the way back, I did sit her on my knee to get her to sleep though as I needed to face her towards window with the blind down to get her to sleep so that she hadn't got anything to look at and got bored and went to sleep and then put her in her seat. I would vote for staying as close to routine as possible it does seem to make it alot easier

franch Mon 14-Mar-05 21:13:55

That's really helpful humphrey, thank you so much

nappybaglady Mon 14-Mar-05 22:05:17

Hope you don't mind a hijack franch...

Humphrey, if you're watching this thread can you tell me what the infant care seats are like? I've just booked one today for a flight in 7 weeks. Are they comfy? Do they recline like a car seat can? We've got a maxi cosi priori car seat which I had intended to take on the plane until I found out that virgin do these special flight seats. DS is a chunky and wriggly 20m old. I'm hoping that strapping him into something like his carsaet will keep him settled for at least some of the trip. Thoughts welcome

Hijack over

linnet Mon 14-Mar-05 22:26:41

Sorry I'd also like to hijack for amoment.

Humphrey did your dd have her own seat booked for the flight to get this special inflight seat?

WE're booked on virgin to go to Orlando in October but dd2, who will be 17 months, doesn't have a seat booked. I take this means we won't be able to have one of these special seats for her?

franch Tue 15-Mar-05 08:11:24

Hijacking welcome - interesting questions

humphrey Tue 15-Mar-05 19:21:59

The care seat was fitted into the seat which we had booked for her. It is a bit like a car seat in so much as it had the same kind of straps and it meant she couldn't move around as much as she is very, very wriggly and it did help when she was tired and getting her to sleep but it only reclines as much as the seat reclines as it was from memory like two pieces of shaped foam so not as good as a car seat so you might find it better if your car seat will fit on a lap belt and reclines and they are happy with you to fit it in the seat then that might be better, but if you intend to take the car seat I would phone Virgin first to check out whether they are happy with it being fixed in the seat. By the way on the way back they couldn't fit the care seat into the seat as they had booked us into bulk head seats where the arm rests didn't move up so it was difficult to fix the care seat in (so for take off and landing I had to have her on my lap, they would have moved us had we wanted but we quite liked the extra room the bulk head seats gave us as it mean't had she been awake she could play on the floor at our feet.) and I would imagine the same to be the case if you were trying to fit a car seat in.

sinclair Wed 16-Mar-05 11:13:18

Do LHR-Toronto a lot. Always use BA/Air Canada, too many bad experiences with lost luggage/canx flights with Virgin. But I digress. We always managed to reserve the bulkhead and then pop BA's cot/car seat thingy on there. Works a treat.

We always fly home at night - golden rule here is eat before you board.

But my top tip is adjust your child to the new time zone before you go. Four days prior, put your child to bed one hour later, then 2 days later, then by the day you arrive you go one hour later again and you are back at something like their 'normal time'. I know this sounds batty but it has worked with both mine.

Good luck and enjoy your trip...

franch Wed 16-Mar-05 13:57:37

That sounds like a really good tip sinclair, thanks

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