Survival tips for a long flight with a toddler and baby, please!(6 Posts)
Hello, we've not really travelled with kids before (one holiday to northern France is all - although they are used to staying in different places more locally) but we're visiting family in New England in a few weeks time and will be taking our 3yr old DS and DD who is 6 months - I'm slightly terrified about taking them! Please give me your tips for making it as quick and painless as possible...
Did the same almost 13 years ago before there were individual screens or iPads. For the older one we had a small bag of new toys - bit like a Xmas stocking - all really low value but wrapped up and we opened a new one every time noise levels increased... Kept attention so well child only fell asleep when cabin crew announced 'ten minutes to landing'. We also took hundreds of stickers and wall papered the cabin we could reach. Remember being exhausted afterwards. Looking back wish we had travelled more. Child now nearly 16 has now flown solo! You'll have a ball.
Have loads of stuff to do- have a few things (like colouring and story books) which are longer, but also have loads and loads of short things- little toys, shakey things which aren't too loud, have you got one of those Etch a Sketch thing you could take? Otherwise, like Breakfast said, stickers, little gifts to distract attention.
Bring a small pillow to make it very easy to fall asleep, bring one or two teddy bears, and two smaller toys. The 6mnth might want another thing. If they have a favourite blanket (like my DCs did at that age) roll it up like a sleeping bag and put it in your rucksack. If it helps them get to sleep, it's good.
Remember: SWEETS YOU CAN SUCK (like Haribos) AND CALPOL FOR TAKEOFF AND LANDING, though those aren't really options for the 6mnth baby. It stops the ears hurting. I never went on a plane until I was 14, but from my DCs I can tell how much it will hurt (and how much the crying will annoy everybody else).
bag of presents is good - and if you can beg, borrow or steal and iPad - do it - they are the most amazing things to keep a 3 year old entertained and in his seat so you can deal with the baby. tbh the baby won't really know where it is and if you can try to keep some semblance of his routine it will be easier (ie regular and familiar meals, naps etc).
I do longhaul regularly with my 3 year old and he has worked out that being on a plane basically means he can watch, eat and sleep whatever and whenever he wants as long as he's quiet while on a plane - so he takes full advantage of that and I get a peaceful life! It helps that we're reasonably strict on tv and sweets at home so he knows this is a major treat as long as he behaves. Haven't done it with two yet but will be in a few months time.... I'm sure that will be a whole different kettle of fish but I am sure the ipad will still be key!
Lessons learned from my travels...
For the baby, I would ask for seats with a bassinet if your airline has them. Makes things a lot easier! Make sure you book seats together, if it's a plane that doesn't have 4 seats in a row think about how you want to sit.
Also on board ask if they have an activity pack for your 3 year old.
It can be a lot of hassle to take baby food through security. You can also buy it from a shop on the other side.
Book a child meal for your 3 year old.
Do a bit of research in advance about where the kids play areas are in the airports you're using. Really helps when you're waiting for planes.
Get to airports with plenty of time to spare.
Take lots of toys and books, including a couple new ones.
Take a few snacks.
Most usefully, tell your 3 yr old all about it in advance. Tell them about security, about the plane, about the seatbelt and how they need to keep it when the light is on, about the meals on the plane, about not kicking the set in front, about all the other people on the plane.
Everything others have said plus book a night flight out of the uk so they hopefully sleep most of the way.
Also a sling for the 6 month old so you have your hands free at security and immigration.
Take calpol and Imodium just in case. Take a doctor's letter if you have to take any prescription meds or milk (I once had probs at security when my DS drank a special prescription milk).
Disposable bibs for 6 month old (you don't want to put dirty things back in the bag). Pacifier for take off and landing for youngest if they use one.
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