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Any experience with toddler sleeping on longhaul flights?

(15 Posts)
twocontinents Mon 06-Jul-15 00:44:38

Hubby and I are travelling from the USA to South Africa end of the month with our 2 1/1 year old. We've done plenty of flights of him, and a good few to SA with him when he was young enough for the bassinet. This is the first longhaul flight we will do with him when he has his own seat. Hubby is determined not to take the car seat and insists that our toddler will be just fine sleeping across us (head on on hubby, legs on me, or visa versa). I'm not convinced. I'm thinking we will need to bring something to elevate my son's seat to the level of our laps to make that comfy, no? Have any of you flown with a toddler and not taken the car seat? How did you manage the sleeping situation? We are flying economy on Lufthansa..Thanks!

SelfconfessedSpoonyFucker Mon 06-Jul-15 17:25:38

We always took the car seat
1) that way we had a safe, clean car seat at the other end
2) our kids were used to being buckled in and sleeping in our car seats.
3) I don't want weight on my legs in the stressful (on my body) environment of a plane where I can't move much and it puts more pressure on my veins.

It worked well for us.

addictedtosugar Mon 06-Jul-15 17:31:38

We've never taken a car seat.
Flown long haul several times.

When we had 2 kids, we head to tailed them in their two seats, and had our seats to ourselves!!

Will he really take up 3seats. If you can constrain him to 2, one of you gets a break.

twocontinents Mon 06-Jul-15 20:29:54

Thanks for the replies! Unfortunately hubby is not budging on the car seat - we will have a car seat for him to use when we geet there, so I can't even use that argument. I will try and constrain him to 2 seats. It'll definitely make thing more comfortable. Thanks!

honeyroar Fri 10-Jul-15 04:16:30

As cabin crew I see lots of toddlers sleeping across their parents. Just make sure DH gets the heaviest bit of him, seeing as he insisted on no car seat!

vvviola Fri 10-Jul-15 04:29:50

3yo DD2 slept across me on the last long haul flight we did. We were in 2 seats (DH and DD1 were behind). She curled her legs up and put her head on my lap. She was perfectly comfortable and slept 7 hours straight I got to watch a lot of movies as I couldn't move or sleep!

It's definitely possible to keep them to 2 seats to let the other adult have a break. If they look a little uncomfortable you can tuck one of the aircraft blankets under them for a bit more padding.

We have never brought car seats into the cabin for any flight - especially long haul. When they are awake, the extra space that the car seat takes up would be frustrating - my two like to move around a lot, being stuck in a car seat for 12 hours would be a nightmare.

Kewrious Fri 10-Jul-15 05:10:46

DS is 3.4. Done lots of long haul flights and a 9 hour one coming up on Monday night. He puts his head on my lap and his feet on his own seat. On the way in he slept for 6.5/8 hours (night flight) so I am sure yours will be fine.

Bettyboophead Fri 10-Jul-15 05:15:08

Definitely fine at that age to have them sleep across your lap and lying in own seat. Get a trunki pillow thing or a child's version of the "round-the-neck" pillows. My boys are pros at this and have flown many long haul flights - no car seat on the plane, they'll only end up kicking the seat in front if put in one of those

twocontinents Fri 10-Jul-15 05:26:08

Thank you so much ladies! You have made me feel a lot less apprehensive about the trip!! smile

specialsubject Fri 10-Jul-15 10:34:29

so you have to keep totally still for hours while he sleeps? Very unpleasant. And BTW increases DVT risk.

TBH I'd give up your seat and stand (turbulence permitting), or hope that there is a spare seat somewhere!

Artandco Fri 10-Jul-15 10:42:23

We never use car seat now. Only used when we had 2 children under 2.

They just sleep across you or in seat propped up. Quite often dh or I fly alone with our two and they just both sleep with a head on our laps or with pillow against window ( you get pillows on most long haul flights). Usually they fall asleep whilst watching a film so just leaning against one of us. We can move heads and lay them down and go for a walk etc ourselves without them waking

raviolig Sun 12-Jul-15 15:47:31

My 3 year old tends to tuck his feet up onto his seat and have a pillow on the armrest. If he looks uncomfortable I lift up the armrest and stretch his legs onto mine.

cariadlet Tue 14-Jul-15 23:27:57

We've travelled longhaul with dd since she was a baby and have never taken a car seat. She's always slept really well. Make the most of the toddler years when they are lovely and small.

As dd has got older she's always slept well (unlike me and DP who never seem to manage an hour or 2 at a time), but has encroached more and more onto our space.

farfallarocks Thu 16-Jul-15 07:53:32

We have never taken a car seat, dd will sleep with her head on our lap or on the arm rest with a pillow. Be warned, some toddlers just don't sleep on night flights. Neither DH or I can sleep on planes and dd ios similar, she manages a couple of 45 min stints and that is it! So come prepared with an ipad, snacks, stickers etc. She is normally happy to have a Peppa pig fest for 5 hrs but we did have one horrendous trip back from S Lucia where she just screamed from overtiredness for 2 hours straight, we were well popular......

Summerloving15 Thu 16-Jul-15 20:14:27

We have done several long haul flight with two toddlers. The best advice I can give (and taken from here) is to book the middle seats so you and your DH seat on either side, put the armrests up, and DCs can stretch out between you. Petpillows were also a godsend and could also be used to prop him up if that would make him more comfortable. Good luck!

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