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9 hour flight with a 2 year old - ADVICE & TIPS please

(12 Posts)
MissMia84 Mon 09-Feb-15 13:50:05

Hi all,

My husband and I are flying to Florida for 3 weeks in June with our DS who will be just shy of 2 years old. We have booked him his own seat and will be taking an extra big!) bag of toys, books, snacks, food, the iPad etc).

Any tips on travelling on a plane for so long with a child his age? Anything we should definitely take for the flight?

Thanks so much flowers

MegMogandOwlToo Mon 09-Feb-15 13:53:24

More changes of clothes than you think you'll need.

Sticker books are good, but anything small can easily get dropped and you don't want to be picking stuff up off the floor all the time.

Have you got a night flight or all day?

MissMia84 Mon 09-Feb-15 13:59:03

The flight leaves the UK at approx 11am. The flight back 3 weeks later leaves at around 7pm florida time. Not looking forward to that one!!

MsMittens Mon 09-Feb-15 14:07:24

Top tips -

1. Get on the plane last (resist the urge to get on when the people travelling with small children announcement is made) any extra time to run around and burn off energy is a good thing.

2. Make friends with the air-stewards/ess. If there are spare seats in business or premium economy they may well upgrade you (we just had this on a flight to egpyt with a 2 year old) - amazing. Or they may find you a free three row for you and DC to stretch out on during nap time.

3. New toys - Mini etch-a-sketch/magna doodle is a great one as the pen is attached (avoid the drop and roll). I second sticker books, you can get great holiday/airport ones/ so many things on the ipad.

4. Second the change of clothes thing too - would also recommend you pack spare clothes for you and DH

5. Calpol sachets in case of an emergency!

Good luck - it will be so worth it when you get there

LexLoofah Mon 09-Feb-15 14:23:15

We have done this and longer flights each year since kids were born so done it with 6mo to 7yo, it won't or shouldn't be as bad as you think, off to a good start with own seat and busy bag - he gets a bag allowance too so make the most of it.

Which airline are you flying with, do you all have the ESTA visa waivers?

Do you have an umbrella stroller? Great if you can check at the gate and have it waiting for you at the door on the other end as otherwise it is a long walk/carry to baggage claim.

Have you ordered childs meal for him? TBH I always order childs meal for myself too then we can eat at the same time as otherwise he might fuss and want to sit on your knee whilst you are trying to eat as they serve kids first unless you think he can eat and then watch a bit of TV.ipad while you eat.

We got ours their own headphones as the ones on the plane are too big for kids and me as have a small head so I have some too we got [[ www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0007NWL70/ref=sr_ph?ie=UTF8&qid=1423490985&sr=1&keywords=kids+headphones these ]] as you can limit the volume and they connect to the ipad and the plane. it is so noisy on the plane you can't hear the ipad without them.

Take more nappies and wipes than you think you will need esp on the outbound flight and agree with Meg that you and DS will need a change of clothes. mine puked on me mid flight once, glad I had a clean t shirt to put on.

Maybe take more snacks than you think you will need, often get knocked to the floor etc, small things that take time to eat are good like cheerios and raisins.

Night flight back can be hairy to start off with as they are tired then they serve drinks and dinner before putting the lights out so they can be a bit beside themselves by then. I always take PJs for them so they know it is sleepy time and their favourite cuddly, blanket and small pillow. It gets cold on the plane and they like to snuggle up anyway. Mine always sleep until about an hour before we land which is perfect.

When you get there and when you get back try to get him on schedule as soon as possible to beat the jet lag.

Will come back if I think of anything else or feel free to ask a question.

Have a great time on your trip.

AttilaTheMeerkat Mon 09-Feb-15 15:18:53

I was also going to ask which airline you are using?.

Do you have confirmed seats?.

Unless you are a (higher tiered) member of the airlines frequent flyer scheme an upgrade is unlikely to be given.

If he is still in nappies change him before you all board. A stroller if used can be taken to the gate jetway and left there for it to be put into the aircraft hold.

Take food that he likes and plenty of it. Do however, leave any uneaten fruit and sandwiches behind on the aircraft. Do not also fully rely on the airline to provide.

Take his favourite toys and comforter if he has one. Do not take along anything small because if that gets dropped you will not find it again at all easily if at all. Sticker books are good.

He may well want to walk up and down the plane aisles quite a lot during the flight; wear comfortable shoes!. Take also a change of clothes for him and you.

Children manage better than adults when it comes to jet lag so he may well be just fine on the return to the UK.

Nightfall1983 Mon 09-Feb-15 15:30:56

Recently returned from 8 hrs flight with 2.5 year old. Recommend:
Get a CARES restraint system - check your airline accepts it but most do. The plane seatbelt alone wouldn't have been enough to keep DS in his seat in the event of a crash and it was also useful for 'convincing' him to stay in it when necessary.
Own pair of headphone & films on the iPad = main winner
Fuzzy Felt was also good - like stickers but easy for small fingers and repositionable.
Chunky puzzle (we had one that's designed to stick onto the side of the bath randomly) went down well.
Choc buttons for bribery when needed.
Take turns with DH (assuming DH is coming and assuming no other children) to be responsible so that you each get a chance for a rest/breather.
Changing nappies with a tall, wriggly child in an aeroplane toilet is very very awkward. DS was too long to lie on the changing table and too tall to stand on it. There wasn't room for him to stand or lie on the floor with me in the room too - urgh. Plan to minimise changes.
Enjoy your holiday smile

Nightfall1983 Mon 09-Feb-15 15:34:08

Oh and depending on how your aircraft is configured consider which seats you want to book. We usually plumb for a window seat however this time the plane was 3-3-3 and decided to book 3 in the middle, this meant that DH and I each had access to an aisle and could each get out and move around without disturbing the others - much easier.

WrappedInABlankie Mon 09-Feb-15 15:40:15

Do not give things that are air filled Iike wotsits!! I learned the hard way they expand in the stomach and the air in them causes trapped win. We had a 9 hour flight of crying and vomiting not fun.

Own seat, films, colouring, games. Little walks up and down the aisle, snacks and treats you'll be fine smile

Lilliana Tue 10-Feb-15 12:46:37

Thanks! We're off to San Francisco next week with a 2 year old - will be using lots of these ideas!

Lilliana Tue 10-Feb-15 12:47:03

Also nice to know we're not completely bonkers taking DD so far

WrappedInABlankie Tue 10-Feb-15 15:10:00

If you make them drink in take off and landing it helps their eat pop

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