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18mo on 10 hour flight argh why did we book this!

(41 Posts)
moggle Tue 19-Apr-16 09:44:38

We booked a May holiday in Vancouver last autumn when DD was about 10mo, it's looming up on us now and I'm dreading the flights. She's so active, on the go all the time. Why did we think it was a good idea to save a few hundred pounds and not get her a seat?!!

I think there's a good chance she will just want to walk up and down the aisles for the whole 10 hours smiling and waving at everyone, but in case she doesn't, or it's a turbulent flight, can anyone suggest some specific toys/activities? Her main favourite activities are putting things in and out of containers; her favourite toys are her toot toot animals (noisy) and books with sound buttons so don't think we can really have them on the plane :-( It's just trying to predict what she's going to find fascinating - it's never what I expect it to be!! On a recent flight to Dublin she played with my mum's pop up hairbrush for half an hour, obviously I have bought one of those now but what's the betting she will not be interested this time around! If anyone has any specific things their toddler finds endlessly entertaining please let me know :-D

MeredithFrampton Tue 19-Apr-16 09:55:39

Electronics are your friend. Get some toddler apps on a smartphone (the least expensive one in your house! ) and let her play (with the volume off). Also more snacks than you thought possible, preferably ones that take ages to eat.

Don't let her "walk up and down the aisles for the whole 10 hours smiling and waving at everyone", most people will want to sleep or zone out and they don't want to be bothered by toddlers.

Also she will get in the way of the flight attendants and the trolley constantly.

I say this advisedly as the mum of a 5yo and a 2yo. Not everyone thinks they're cute.

MrsNuckyT Tue 19-Apr-16 10:00:35

Agree with technology, but to be honest at that age it won't hold the attention for long. I've heard some people talking about wrapping up a few new small toys and letting them unwrap them on the plane to provide some amusement. It's a really really hard age because they want to be physically active, are unlikely to sleep a lot and yet don't have the attention span to watch a film or whatever. I personally think you're bonkers (sorry, not helpful!!).

As Meredith said, go easy on walking up and down because although you think her smiling and waving is adorable, most people just want to be left in peace to watch a movie or sleep!

moggle Tue 19-Apr-16 10:32:46

Yes, sorry, I didn't really mean she'd be walking up and down for the whole flight (despite saying exactly that!), don't worry we will be sensible and mindful of others. It is a day flight at least - she won't be doing it at all on our evening / night flight home. I'm less worried about the return flight as we can tire her out all day before the flight at 7pm. The flight out is at 2pm so quite possibly she will have had her nap before we even get on the plane despite our best efforts to keep her awake.

Yes I am coming to the conclusion that we may be bonkers :-( Ah well it is booked now.

Meredith I hadn't thought of getting apps for her (duh!) - thank you! She will sit there pressing the number buttons on the lock screen of my phone for ages so I think apps will last longer than TV.
Yes snacks. lots of them. Of course. I've just remembered I bought a weekly pill box for her to play with ... I can put a raisin or chocolate button in each compartment... that'll kill probably 5 minutes a couple of times :-D
And I must remember the dummy holder as well as the dummies. Oh I feel a list coming on.

HeadDreamer Tue 19-Apr-16 10:37:11

Don't kick yourself for not booking an extra seat. She will most likely not use it. I've done this with an 18mo twice with the two DCs. I remembered the flight where DD1 had just turned 2 and we couldn't get her sit still in her seat for take off and landing. One of the flight attendants where really snappy with us about health and safety. Luckily another had more sense and gave us the infant lap belt to use instead.

You know already you can never predict what she'll be interested in. That's part of the joy isn't it?

HeadDreamer Tue 19-Apr-16 10:37:55

Neither of mine at 18mo are into tablets by the way. But yours might. Not sure about snacks because for a 10 hour flight, there's only so much you can feed them!

HeadDreamer Tue 19-Apr-16 10:39:54

Don't let her "walk up and down the aisles for the whole 10 hours smiling and waving at everyone", most people will want to sleep or zone out and they don't want to be bothered by toddlers.

We did the walk up and down the aisles. Also hanging around the toilet blocks. I found most seem to love children and they actually played with DDs. If you can, get the bulk head seat where they put bassinets. (Virgin let us pay extra for the extra leg room seats). With them, your toddler can sit on the floor playing with toys in that space.

slugseatlettuce Tue 19-Apr-16 10:40:55

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MarvellousCake Tue 19-Apr-16 10:41:46

I've done a 10hr flight on my own with an 18mo. I took a few new toys and books. Small things like plastic characters. Snacks. Ask for help from the flight attendents if you need it for drinks/food etc. We also had some travel aquadraw things which were quite good.

Try and get a seat which suits you, like a bulkhead seat. Then you have a bit of a playing area at your feet, and no-one in front to kick!!

LyndaNotLinda Tue 19-Apr-16 10:44:53

Go to poundland and buy loads of cheap tatt and stuff a bag with it. If it falls on the floor or breaks, it doesn't matter.

Wrap things individually if you have time.

She may not nap beforehand because it will be too exciting - I'd try and keep her awake if you can.

Good luck!

PrimalLass Tue 19-Apr-16 10:46:17

Lots of Peppa episodes, or whatever she likes.
Aqua draw (it might be called something else now)

No small things like jigsaws as you'll just lose the bits and spend the whole time crawling about.

At that age DS wanted to spend a whole flight back from Dubai bursting through the curtain and shouting 'Ta da!'. Which was funny for approximately 30 seconds...

MeredithFrampton Tue 19-Apr-16 10:46:48

I found most seem to love children and they actually played with DDs.

I think that's called "seeing what you want to see"

I don't want to be bothered by anyone's children on a flight (including my own, ideally!) and from what I've seen, nor do the majority of other passengers.

Your children shouldn't be wandering up and down the aisles, hanging around by the toilets, or bothering other passengers. Fortunately the OP seems to be aware of that.

zeeka Tue 19-Apr-16 10:47:57

How about...
Fuzzy felt
Magic drawing pen and paper (crayola sets)
Books with lots of things to touch/feel
Sticker activity books
Cbeebies downloads on kindle/ till she's really grumpy so you don't run battery down. Kids' headphones

You'll probably have to take it in turns to actively play with her, which means you'll get a rest in between (hopefully!) There should be films to watch on the tv thing, so bring kids' headphones so she can watch.

Let her walk up and down as much as she likes... Don't pay too much attention to worrying about other people. They'll prefer a happy baby to a screaming one anyway. Having said that, don't panic if she cries. If people don't understand/aren't sympathetic, they haven't got a clue.

DesertOrDessert Tue 19-Apr-16 10:53:37

Sticker books, etch a sketch, snacks, and electronics.
Aqua draws are ace, but need to dry between uses, so not for planes.
When you go to check in, ask if the flight is full, and if not, is it possible to have the seat next to you vacant.

Don't stress about it!

JassyRadlett Tue 19-Apr-16 10:58:12

Novelty shaped post it notes. You can decorate your entire seat area with them and then clean up super quickly.

icklekid Tue 19-Apr-16 11:01:03

Flap books, toy cars, felt tips, stickers, play dough. Plenty of snacks can you and dh take turns out entertain?

snowgirl1 Tue 19-Apr-16 11:04:09

For longhaul flight at that age we took:
- mini-slinky (ordered from amazon online), which DD liked bouncing;
- a mini-etch-a-sketch; sticker books;
- I loaded children's books onto my kindle fire so that we lots to choose from without taking up loads of space
- magic drawing stuff
- pop-up toys
- if your DD will watch TV, load programmes onto your kindle and buy some children's headphones.

I raided Asda for inexpensive, small toys.

Go with the expectation that you probably won't be able to read/watch films like you used to on the flight.

Agree how you're going to share the need to keep your DD entertained, e.g. swap every 30 minutes so that one of you isn't trying to keep entertained by yourself for the full 10 hours.

Artandco Tue 19-Apr-16 11:08:09

Few tips

1) don't have lunchtime nap beforehand. Spend 12-2pm at airport letting her walk and play after check in. Most airports have soft play area, and don't use pram ( check in). Give her earlier nap at 9-10am if needed shortly. Then she will be tired at least

2) headphones for children

3) small blanket

4) mr men books ( small)

5) crayons and plain paper book. Can scribble or you can draw stuff she wants

6) snacks.

comeagainforbigfudge Tue 19-Apr-16 11:11:57

Oooh i pinched an idea from a thread a while back for the same thing (but ideas for 1 year olds)

Someone suggested buying some small craft type balls (like polystrene ones)
Two plastic tubs (think takeaway sized ones) cut a hole in lid of one. Then let them move balls from one to other.


djini Tue 19-Apr-16 11:16:12

When we did a similar trip we got one of these button jars from hobbycraft and cut a slit in the lid big enough to post each button in:

Emptying the buttons onto a table and posting them back in killed about 20 mins, at least four times during the flight. Also worked for colour matching, counting, pretend money, guess which hand the button is in etc etc. Small, cheap, portable and I didn't care if they rolled away under someone else's seat.

(Also worked really well for potty training later - a button in the jar for each successful use and a full jar meant a treat)

InternationalHouseofToast Tue 19-Apr-16 11:17:29

Try dental floss - it pulls out of the container and keeps them good for ages. I got some for DS after it was recommended on a thread on here when he was a toddler. God send at a wedding.

Agree with getting lots of different bits to pull out of your bag, but remember you have to come back as well, so include some things for on your way home as well in your suitcase. Could she do a doll with several changes of outfit?

The "6 stories in 1 book" type of books are good - we had a Harry + his bucket of dinosaurs one from a charity shop and a Noddy one and they're easy to keep together but you can read them over and over if you need something to keep her still and calm.

moggle Tue 19-Apr-16 11:21:26

Brilliant ideas, thank you!! Post it notes are genius she will LOVE those (I hope!). Mini slinky sounds good too. And all the other ideas! I think I will trawl the pound shops for some containers she can open and shut by herself. And I've just remembered she loves closing clipits (food storage clips) so as long as I am there to open them immediately so a bag of those will be on the list. Security will really wonder about us when they scan our bags!

Her favourite snacks are fruit so slightly worried about effect on her bowels, haha! My cousin's top tip was not to let your toddler eat a whole bowl of grapes before you get on the plane (she learned that to her peril) and take a whole change of clothes for you as well as them (after effects of said grapes...ew)

Apparently if you have the bulkhead seats you can't put the armrests up, which I think might be a real pain, so I'm dithering on this. We'll also definitely be taking our ergo carrier to make naps on us a bit more comfortable and might allow us to have our hands/arms free while she sleeps.

This will only be useful if there's enough space on the plane that she is able to sit on a seat herself for some time - but I've also just read a great tip to tuck a blanket under the seat cushion and then into the seat pocket in front to try and catch stuff they drop.

snowgirl - definitely - I think setting our expectations is going to be key - I usually LOVE flights - the enforced break from feeling you have to get on with things is wonderful. Sleep, read, watch films. None of that this time!

moggle Tue 19-Apr-16 11:27:19

More messages while I was typing - dental floss sounds great - Have just remembered retractable sewing tape measure too. The buttons and balls and containers I think she would love but she is still quite into putting things in her mouth and then staring at us in a "and what are you going to do about this?" way... usually results in a tantrum when we remove them so will make sure they are too big to be chokey.
A doll is a good idea - she hasn't got a doll yet, though she plays with them at nursery - loves putting her own clothes on and off so that could be good.

badg3r Tue 19-Apr-16 12:32:50

We did 15h with a 15 month old recently. Spent a lot of time hanging out by the loos with the other kids. And the air stewardesses were super nice and took photos of DS with a Polaroid, gave him presents etc.

Eating was really messy. I saw someone else on the way out who had taken their car seat with them. For mealtimes she buckled the baby into the seat, that she'd put on her seat. Then she folded the chair table out in front to make an impromptu high chair. So baby couldn't get up, wriggle around, knock trays over etc. And no food on the plane seat. That woman must have been some kind of genius.

badg3r Tue 19-Apr-16 12:36:19

We also had the bulkhead seats, was v helpful because toys couldn't roll under the seats in front and we could unfold the tests from the armrests and have them sticking out which kind if barricaded DS in!!

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