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Has anyone done a long haul flight with a 16 month old?

(13 Posts)
ilikeyoursleeves Fri 16-Jan-09 21:39:03

We are thinking of maybe a fly drive to Florida around March / April. We took DS to Croatia last year which was fien but he was only 8 months and was breastfed on the plane ie asleep most of the time LOL. That's not an option this time round.

Just wondering how easy / hard it would be travelling >6 ish hours with a toddler?

PuzzleRocks Fri 16-Jan-09 23:24:41

Bumping for you.

PuzzleRocks Fri 16-Jan-09 23:24:41

Bumping for you.

duchesse Fri 16-Jan-09 23:28:39

We did it (London to SF) with our then 3 yr old and 23 month old. The key for us was booking a night flight, and plenty of little new toys in a teeny suitcase for us to whip out one by one at the any sign of boredom.

retiredgoth2 Fri 16-Jan-09 23:29:49

.....did it a couple of times to Barbados. First, in 1998 with a toddler and a pregnant Mrs Goth (on Airtours cattle class. Don't.)

Secondly in 2000 with a 3 year old, a 20 month old, and a pregnant-with-twins Mrs Goth. On Virgin, it was fine.

...the lesson? Go with a scheduled carrier and ask for a bulkhead seat!

unfitmummy Tue 27-Jan-09 15:38:27

we flew to los angeles when my daugter was 16months. it went really well. we had a night flight so she slept alot but not all the way. we flew with virgin who were great but seemed a bit confused. we had bulkhead seats both ways - essential - on the way there my daughter slept on a rug on the floor. fantastic. on the way back the airhostess said that wasn't allowed and i had to hold her all the time. this was alot less comfy and i got very hot and sweaty! we brought lots of snacks, her favourite toys and lots of new 'presents' (things from the pound shop) that could be brought out frequently! i'd even wrapped them to make it more exciting! i had either a present or a new snack for each 1/2 hour of the journey. obviously since she slept for about 7 hours i didn't use alot of them - which then got used on the way back along with a couple of other things bought at toysrus. believe me - travelling when they are a year older is actually more difficult! good luck - and don't let the journey put you off having a great holiday.

jenkel Tue 27-Jan-09 15:54:16

Been to Australia twice, once with a 6 month old and 2 year old and again when they were 3 and 5.

Also been to Floria, when they were 2 and 4, and Antigua, 1 and 3.

As you probably can tell, long haul flights would never put me off a holiday. I would consider with a 16 month old paying for a seat, I appreciate it can add more to the cost, but it does give you more room and you get more baggage allowance, very important if going to Florida.

I normally take lots of small toys, which I allow them to pack in their own bag and dont rely on the meals on the plane, take their own packed lunch.

cluttered Tue 27-Jan-09 17:27:03

Yes I would say it would be fine but night flights are better. We took DS1 to NZ at 16 months, did two 12 hour night flights with a stopover in Singapore and it was no problem. If you do night flights at that age you do need to make sure they are OK weight wise and length-wise for the cot which fastens to bulkhead as on some airlines they may not be. I think many airlines have an age limit of 18 months but may prevent bigger toddlers below that age using them IYKWIM.

Even with older children night flights are better IMO. We flew to the Caribbean with two DS 6 and 2 and only the return was night-time and it was SO much better. Depending on the child they can get so fed up with being restrained in one place for several hours whereas I would have thought all children would sleep at least part of a night time flight.

Pollyanna Tue 27-Jan-09 17:35:05

yes, we went to Sri Lanka on an overnight flight when dd1 was 18 months - she spent most of the time running up and down the aisle and then went to sleep when we got there (in the morning) - we were exhausted and had to spend the entire day awake after that.

I have found daytime flights easier after that - the dcs generally fall asleep for some of the trip.

Sibble Tue 27-Jan-09 17:55:16

Live in NZ so have done long haul a fair few times on my own with varying aged ds's from 6 months. I prefer day flights too. I find trying to get them to sleep too hard when they are over tired and over excited. The bassinetes (?sp) often go by weight with the smallest babies taking preference. If you want to try for one get there early. I have been verbally abused on a flight before with a lovely mother trying to physically remove me and children from our bassinete seats. The cabin crew had to move her to the back of the plane while the nanny sat next to us instead!! shock. You are not allowed to let them sleep on the floor any more and they can be dead weights on your arms and legs when asleep. ds2 wouldn't sit in his own seat when he was 2, a waste of money. I find the stress of keeping them quiet when crying or being awake all day, night and day again too hard. I think as long as they are making a noise (although not going psycho!) on a day flight nobody can complain, but that's just me personally I know others who only fly at night.

Apart from that all the usuals:
take clean clothes for you and your ds (both will get grubby!)
light weight activities that cannot take off down the cabin or you don't mind losing
wrapped up presents as you have mentioned
favourite blanket or toy
milk or plenty of drinks to suck as it helps with ears and keeps them quiet! I took a large bottle and decanted it. I find they don't come round with the water enough and you can buy almost anything once you've gone through security to carry on.
favourite snacks, again if they don't like the food in flight they are hungry and grumpy

and just keep at the back of your mind its only x hours and I have a fantastic holiday at the end..... I have had the most fantastic flights - no problem at all - I have also had flights when I would have freely given them up for adoption at the end grin. That's the beauty of children.

BTW I'm off to Wellington with the ds's this morning so it doesn't put you off flying.


catweazle Tue 27-Jan-09 18:08:19

Downside of night flights is when everyone else on the plane is fast asleep and your baby isn't blush

cluttered Tue 27-Jan-09 23:00:22

Definitely take lots of changes of clothes, we flew to Greece 18 months ago so Ds2 would have been 3 and he spilt my drink over me on 3 separate occasions during the flight as he couldn't sit still! I did lose my temper a bit the third time as I only had one spare top and everything was soaked in coffee and/or wine.

cluttered Tue 27-Jan-09 23:04:41

Sibble do you fly straight through to NZ? I totally respect anyone who can do 24 hours with no stopover, I can barely manage that myself and could NEVER do it with my two DS!

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