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Flying longhaul with an 18 month old!

(27 Posts)
MrsMa Mon 10-Nov-08 15:40:50

I am reluctantly flying to Sydney with my 18 month old. Are there any top tips to help entertain him and help him sleep!! I am not the best flyer myself and am dreading the whole trip!
Would really appreciate any advice!

savoycabbage Mon 10-Nov-08 15:58:24

Me too. Well almost as we are going to Melbourne. My youngest is just 2 and my oldest will be 5. My dh is already there so I am doing it ALONE.....

Following some advice on here I have lots of stickers, this baby is a bag and I am getting a portable dvd player and taking cebeebies stuff rather than films. The best dvd player I have found after much research in the toshiba one from John Lewis. My dh has done the flight and says that there are ordinary sockets on the seats but that the childrens channel was too old for them, hence the dvd player.

I have been to the party bag section in the supermarket and got little bits and bobs to keep them amused. I am going to take some comics etc.

I have got a fleecy suit from mothercare for on the plane as it is always cold. I have got sturdy clarks slippers and they are going to wear them all the time. I am not taking shoes. Or clothes. They are going to wear their PJs.

I am going to take medised or similar. My friend is a pharmacist and I am going to ask her what will knock them out the best and if I need to I will be using it grin

fillybuster Mon 10-Nov-08 16:03:05

We went to/from Singapore with an 18mo last year....14 hours each way and he slept for a grand total of 45 mins on the way out and 30 mins on the return journey shock

Small toys, stickets etc were good but 18 months is still v little - I've done longish journeys since and they got easier once ds was 2 and upwards and better at entertaining himself.

In the end, the best was [guilty mother emoticon] an ongoing array of boxes of raisins and other healthy-ish 'treats'....given that I'm normally a total control freak and snacks are very rare in our house, that was quite a hard one to swallow, but they were pretty much the only thing that worked for about the last 8 hours of each journey, once he hit massive boredom. Prior to that we did playing, cuddling favourite toy, singing songs, pretend sleeping, picture books, aquadraw (brilliant for the plane) and I bought a load of new, cheapish toys for the journey.

Good luck grin!!

fillybuster Mon 10-Nov-08 16:04:55

Oh and Medised didn't make him sleep but it did make him drowsy and less likely to run around for a bit

And eating an apple (whole), on his own, occupied a good hour or so at one point....

MrsMa Mon 10-Nov-08 19:08:09

Thanks guys, that is a real help! Would love to hear what your pharmacist friend recommends Savoycabbage?
Best of luck with your flight!

paow Wed 12-Nov-08 11:29:24

Hi, I used night time calpol for ds on a flight to the US, and it did make him a lot calmer than usual!
Have fun, you'll survive!

savoycabbage Thu 13-Nov-08 13:23:24

Hi, she says tixylix (I don't know how to spell that!) nightime is the most likely to knock them out. She also says you have to try all of them out beforehand in case it makes them a bit loopy.

MrsMa I have also decided to take a sling for my two year old. I thought it might be useful. Will you not have a seat for your son?

MrsMa Tue 18-Nov-08 09:23:02

I am lucky! The Mother in Law to paid for a seat, am annoyed that you can't book the bulkhead though!!
Thanks for all your tips!

MadMarg Tue 25-Nov-08 17:36:12

But you 'can' book the bulkhead, at least I did with my trips - been 3 times to Australia! Have flown with Malaysian and British Airways.

At 17 months DS was just old enough to start to be entertained by CBEEBIES dvds, the problem was, that he wouldn't have the headphones on, and there's a limit to how long you can have it on making noise.

Just accept the fact that your child is probably going to want to run up and down the aisles of the plane, and you will have next to no sleep. As long as they do it fairly quietly it won't be a problem. (I had loads of people saying 'bye X' to my DS as they left the plane, I felt a bit embarrassed blush, but most people were sweet with him, as he was just wandering up and down and not screaming.) Make sure there is someone waiting for you at the other end to take over. When DS was 14 months old I was so tired after the flight that I was actually seeing double, and just about falling over.

MadMarg Tue 25-Nov-08 17:36:55

Just to clarify, been 3 times with DS - been many more times on my own!!!

lottylou30 Tue 12-Jun-12 22:13:22

We are going to Oz in October with Singapore Airlines. They say the bassinet will still fit my my 18 month old?? Does anyone have any experience of this?? Also wanted to buy a good travel high chair and wondered if any one had any suggestions??


Fuzzywood Tue 12-Jun-12 22:26:24

I've recently been to Florida with my 3.10 year old and 16 month old so not as long a flight but if it helps my tips. Lots of stickers, pencils, things to take out of packets. I even wrapped up some toys in cheap wrapping paper for extra amusement. Lots of snacks like raisins and a drink for take off and landing to help with their ears. Do be prepared for lots of wandering up and down the aisle. As long as they're cheerful like others have said most people are happy to talk to little ones, passes a little more time. My 16 month old only slept for 45 minutes on the way out but 5 hours on the way back, great apart from the fact he was on my lap and he's heavy grin. Lotty my 16 month old didn't fit in the bassinet but worth a try, we flew Virgin so may be a different size.
One other thing to consider is that whilst your generally allowed to take a pushchair to the plane door on the way out normally you have to get them from baggage reclaim at the far end which is usually after immigration and often a long walk so try to travel as lightly as humanely possible if you have to lug a tired toddler too. <bitter experience emoticon> Oh and good luck!

Fuzzywood Tue 12-Jun-12 22:28:00

you're not your clearly duh!

frumperina Tue 12-Jun-12 22:53:07

I have just been on a shorthaul flight with DD(20months) and would recommend the following:
One of those 'magic draw' things, bit like an etch a sketch.
I also had crayons and a small pad which worked but next time I would take some tape to stick paper to the seat in front(saves having the tray down all the time).
Various small toys either new or hidden a couple of months before flight so they have forgotten about it. Love the idea of wrapping them in paper, will do that next time.
Things that didn't work for me:
I took some small books but she wasn't overly interested in them.
Also these seem like a great idea(they draw with the water pen and a picture appears and then dries again, rinse, repeat. There are several pictures in each book. But in our case DD was more interested in sucking the water out of the pen.hmm Might work if your child is not obsessed with water though.
If I was doing long haul I would def. take a DVD player or ipad.
Good luck!

Fuzzywood Tue 12-Jun-12 23:04:57

Oh i second an iPad (forgot that) if you have one, loads of toddler friendly apps you can download. Only issue we found was keeping headphones on DS, not a problem with DD (3 yr old), but if you can find colourful games then the sound is less important.

Judez99 Wed 13-Jun-12 11:32:34

Lottylou, I haven't flown Singapore airlines but I flew to NZ with Cathay Pacific when DS was 18 months in March, and he slept in the bassinet. It was a bit too small for him and his legs poked up over the end but he was so tired (they were all night flights) it didn't seem to make any difference, and I couldn't have managed without it!

I have a Phil & Ted's clip-on high chair which is good for travelling, although a bit heavy to take on a flight maybe.

sashh Thu 14-Jun-12 02:52:09

I keep saying this - pack your swimming things in hand luggage if you are going via Singapore - the airport has a hotel and swimming pool.

The last time I went to OZ (which was years ago) parents were boarded and seated first - by the time I got on I lassed several parents clutching drinks.

Graciescotland Thu 14-Jun-12 03:26:13

I've just flown to Brisbane with my 20 mo. I'd second the transit hotel in singapore if you're flying via there. No windows which is a bit odd but great for making room pitch black so DS'd drop off. Pad if you have one, I had every episode of pingu on my laptop. Bassinet was 18kg but too short for my DS but handy to put meal tray on as with him on my lap you can't use the tray.

Best toy of the trip was a little wooden dog on wheels walked up and down plane for hours.

Gingerodgers Thu 14-Jun-12 06:16:44

Have travelled nz to uk. Would definitely not want bassinet seat as the tables in armrests means you can't raise them and let your child sort of lie across you and his seat, I found this to be the position we got the longest sleep in. 18months is definitely too big for the bassinet and you lose room to put all the stuff you need. What airline? That makes a difference

gregssausageroll Fri 15-Jun-12 21:11:56

Take th e night flights, not the daytime ones.

Bingandbear Fri 15-Jun-12 22:12:38

We did 14 hours to Hong Kong when DD1 was about 15 months.

As others have said, sticker books, some new toys, drawing pads and pens plus I had a load of those 2 piece jigsaws (Galt ones I thing) and she spent ages doing and redoing these.

Good luck.

Sabriel Sat 16-Jun-12 23:06:43

We flew to NZ with DD when she was 11 mo. TBH I wouldn't recommend night flights. On the way home the entire plane was asleep, except my DD and DH, plus a couple of other mums with babies. DH spent most of the flight in the 'bar' at the back of the plane because DD wouldn't sleep and he was worried sick she was going to wake everyone up.

One tip we learned is not to be afraid of 'pushing in' at immigration. We were really blush but the other passengers made us. We had old ladies marching us to the front of queues grin. The staff will fast track you to the front with little ones if you make yourself known.

Mosman Sun 17-Jun-12 11:50:05

I've invested in 3 basic ipads for my kids and I think it will be the best money I've ever spent. We gave them to them on Friday and I've hardly seen them since, hoping the novelty won't have worn off before the flight.

Mosman Sun 17-Jun-12 11:51:48

Sabriel, that is good to hear, you should have heard the tutting when we got moved to the front of the que getting on a flight from Spain, people moaning we would get on first I'm sure they would have rather we held everyone up putting all our crap in the over heads whilst juggling a crying baby.

CanIHaveAPetGiraffePlease Fri 25-Jan-13 22:05:37

We're about to do this with a 16 month old and terrified!!

I last flew to Australia when my older one was a year old and she did not sleep. At all. I'm even considering drugs :-(

Some people recommend bulkhead for floor space others say arm space more important. Are certain flights less busy?

I have no idea how to get her to sleep.

Thinking of buying 4 year old a trunkie and filling with toys for the flight and hoping she will watch DVD!

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