help me to chill about it(32 Posts)
OK, have named changed because I'm embarassed to be getting my knickers in a twist over this.
But, in a few weeks DH, myself and DS (18 months) are on plane for 10 hours, and I'm dreading it. Someone tell me it's going to be ok. We will have ds on our(my)lap as we haven't booked him a seat. DH refused to spend the extra money.
DH isn't remotely fazed by the thought of keeping a toddler occupied on the flight. But, he is very laid back about most things. However, I know when things get tough it will be me having to try and occupy ds while dh watches movies, saunters round the cabin, drinks coffee, etc etc. He won't do a nappy change , that will be all down to me.He will do nappies at home, but won't do one in a tiny toilet closet on plane . I'm the one having to think about toys to occupy ds; think about change of clothes; how many nappies to take on board;worry about getting the 'evils' from other passengers when ds gets noisy and irritable; what food and drink I might need and it's making me feel like I don't want to go on this holiday after all, which is ridiculous.
Will someone slap some sense into me, tell me 'there, there, it's all going to be alright!' Please.
He needs to do at least 50% of the nappies and 50% of the lap time
or buy a seat
Ok, first of all take a deep breath & keep calm - it will alright.
We did an 8 hour flight with DD when she was 15 months (and again a shorter flight when she was 20 months). I was dreading it too, but the 8 hour flight was fine. Get to the airport early & see whether or not the flight is full. If there are spare seats, ask very nicely if it would be possible to block out a seat between you & DH, to give you some space. On the 2nd flight we did with DD the airline very kindly did this for us.
How many times a day do you need to change DS now? I bet you will only need to do it a couple of times during the flight (but pack a couple of extra nappies, just in case). Change him just before you get on the plane & hopefully it'll need to be a while before you need to do it again.
Make friends with your neighbouring passengers. Honestly, they can be worth their weight in gold, keeping children entertained by playing peek-a-boo, etc. Smile, be nice, encourage your son to wave to the friendly-looking ones & hopefully a couple of them will play along with this!
Take a couple of new toys to keep DS entertained, plus of course a couple of his favourites. These are quite a cool idea for a flight, not messy either.
Take convenient food, like bread sticks, raisins, Ella's fruit smoothies and maybe a jar or two of trusted toddler food (be prepared to taste it at security though - yuk).
Lastly, give your DH a good talking to and get him to help!
You will be fine, I promise
is it a day flight, or a night flight?
how many nappies do you use ina day now? triple that number, and that will do you for the whole journey (change at airport before getting onto plane - one for your dh, as it is nice and roomy , some for on the flight (if nightflight you will need less) and change again at the other end)
stockpile small things your ds likes doing. so, sticker books/aquadraw mats/books to read/etc.
when we took the dds on a 12 hour flight last year (dd1 was 3.6, dd2 was 14 months) the surprise hit was a set of dinosaur bath toys (had actually packed to take into the pool, but dd2 sat with one in her hand practically the whole way!)
can you book a bulkhead seat? BA do a car seat thing as well as a bassinet, and we used the car seat, which meant dd2 was not on our laps all the way.
Oh yes, take pull up nappies for the flight - much easier to get on in a confined space.
If I think of anything else - and I probably will - I will post again.
Thanks for the advice. I've just gone and ordered the thomas aquadraw, and have got a few bits and pieces put by. I suppose once I've done it the one way it will be ok after that. At least if it's a nightmare I will know what to expect. Let's just hope I will be pleasantly suprised.
Its a day flight going out and a night flight back. DS is normally quite a chilled out little boy but doesn't go to sleep in my arms so I suppose I worry about when he gets tired and if he won't settle down to sleep.
Hey, I wouldn't worry about your ds being noisy on the plane, 'cos someone elses is bound to be noiser.
Most of the other passengers are parents themselves and will understand. I know I certainly do (even though mine are older, been there done that and you have my sympathy).
It will be fine.
I checked out the bassinett and that's only if a child is under 12 months. The car seat thing is only used if you have booked a child seat, so it looks like we're going to have to do it the hard way!
Thanks for all the tips and suggestions. I will put them into practice and let you know if I suvived the ordeal.
If you think of any more tips please pass them on.
we used the car seat without havng a seat booked for dd2 (she was 14 months old)
it isn't a car seat as such, more like a bouncy chair, and is strapped into the same place (ie bulkhead) as the bassinet. it si airline supplied, not a car seat you bring wiht you (sorry to labour thispoint, but I have found that sometimes customer service advisers don't know much about the product they are talking ot you about, and have had several conflicting conversations with regards to air travel in particular)
What airline are you flying with? maybe they don't have this option.
Flying with virgin. Might give them a ring and see if there is this option. thanks
This it taken from Virgin's website:-
"Our new Infant/Child Seat is available on all Virgin Atlantic aircraft and is suitable for newborn babies, infants and children up to a maximum weight of 44lbs (20kg) or a maximum height of 40in (100cm). The Infant/Child Seat is available for use in all cabins.
An infant/child occupying an Infant/Child Seat, must be accompanied by a guardian of at least 16 years. The minimum age that someone can sit beside an infant, who is using an Infant/Child seat, is 14 years and over. However, there must be a third passenger travelling with the party who is aged 16 and over. Also one adult cannot travel with 2 children occupying 2 Infant/Child seats - In this case, another accompanying adult (14 plus) would need to also travel.
In the Economy and Premium Economy cabins, the guardian must be seated next to the infant/child. If travelling in Upper Class, the guardian must be seated immediately behind the infant/child.
Please note, passengers who require use of an Infant/Child Seat will have to purchase a seat at the applicable child fare".
Unfortunately your H has not paid up for a seat therefore your DS will be on an adult's lap (his as well as yours) for the duration. You may get a child seat; it also depends on how full the flight is.
I would also inform H that he will also be changing the nappy on the plane seeing also as he's expecting you to do the bulk of all the inflight childcare .
Would certainly change his nappy before boarding. You can bring his buggy up to the departure gate; tie something bright and inexpensive to the handle to assist in easier identification. Take along his favourite foodstuffs and do not rely on Virgin to provide!. Regarding warming up of milk be wary - some of the staff are clueless when it comes to ideal temperatures etc primarily because they are not parents themselves.
If you are flying to the USA make sure the ESTA has been completed with respect to all three of you.
Don't worry about the other pax unduly.
Thanks for that. I have checked the flight going out and it is absolutely full apparently so at least I am prepared beforehand that ds will be sitting on lap. Coming back doesn't look full so fingers crossed I can get him a seat.
Lots of great advice here. The new Mumsnet travel section is good too.
Have you thought about a DVD player? We got ours for a long haul flight when dd was 18 months and it was invaluable.
Finally, I know it's too late but - as a veteran of lots of flights with a child under 2 - you really should have booked another seat. It's so worth the money and, for your night flight, you can lay him out along the seat between you.
I'm sure you'll be fine.
I've not travelled with my DCs at this age (was 5 months and 3.5 years when we went to NZ) but DB and DSIL travelled with DN on their lap all the way back to New Zealand and survived.
DH cannot just opt out though he must pull his weight.
Cartoons on the in flight entertainment are always a huge hit.
Squeaver I told my H all of this about needing the seat but it fell on deaf ears. I think I will insist he pulls his weight and he might regret being such a tightwad. Would serve him right!
I've flown long haul with mine at a variety of ages. 18 months was the worst.
You won't get to sit and watch a film, you will have to eat in shifts, you will spend a lot of time walking up and down the plane. It will not be the relaxing experience you may have had pre-children where you drink alcohol and chill out (although I was a far better parent following one vodka and a mini bottle of wine)
Having said that, it will be fine. It is a case of damage limitation TBH. Take snacks, a large muslin cloth for a bib/cover and a variety of small toys (say 1 per hour. Wrapped if possible). You just need to view the flight differently when flying with small children - assume it'll be a nightmare, go prepared for a nightmare and hope that you're pleasantly surprised.
Oh, and have a small bag you can put a pack of wipes, a nappy and a sack in. Restock this from your hand luggage once you've changed your DS. You can't fit a big bag in the cubicle
I didn't find pull ups that much more convenient than nappies TBH. Especially if you're changing a dirty one as you have to lie them down anyway.
Oh, and all mine have loved those little pointy cups you get in the loos. Kept them still for nappy time
The other approach is to just know that to certain extent it will be hell - or at least bits will be hell, and there may be little you can do about that, but it ill only last 10 hours.
I have done loads of long haul flights with DS from when he was 8 months onward. There is no need to spend hours racking your brains for the 'perfect' solution re the exact right toy or food that will magically make it all OK, because there isn't one!
Just use your common sense, have a small selection of new or absorbing items to produce and distract at intervals, and grit your teeth.
Virgin will have a huge selection of seat back screen cartoons, won't they?
I think i took a bag with a small selection of megabloks including a vehicle and animals, and we made up various drama and stories with the animals etc etc.
And why on earth will he not share looking after your DS on the plane? Calm down and just get yourself in 'oh, your turn' mode.
His idea of taking his turn will be to bounce him up and down until ds probably throws up, or gets him hyped to the max. Then he will hand him back.
I'm making him sound hopeless and he isn't really. He does his share at home but when we're out and about it's usually a different story. Mr Practical he isn't!
Maybe I haven't stated my case firmly enough about him pulling his weight or that it's worrying me.
And I know you're absolutely right, even if it's hell' its only 10 hours of it (gulp), and I am strong enough to get through it.....I think.
Walking up and down and up and down and up and down the aisle is always good at that age too - definitely job for you dh.
And I'm going to post this and possibly get flamed but you could drug him. Calpol has always worked on my dd and we've used Medised too (although they don't sell it for under 6s now).
Yes, walking up and down the aisle will be H job. And believe me, I've thought about drugs.
We went to Cape Verde (only 5 hours) last Oct with dd1 (5) and dd2 (2), Going out there was fine but coming back the flights were full and dd2 was tired and irritable. I did most of the looking after but after a couple of hours of DH eating his meal in peace and watching the films I told him in very hushed but heated tone that he wasn't on the flight to enjoy himself and watch films but to help me look after the children!!
This year we are going long haul (16 hours inc 4 hour stopover) but DH won't be joining us, I reckon it will be a lot easier as i won't have to keep telling DH what to do!
Although we are going in August whenever i see something cheap and cheerful in the pound shop or similar I buy it ready for the journey there and back. Those magic water painting books and play dough with cutters I've found to be very useful so far.
I've done a couple of longhauls with DS and the advice I can give is you have to think of the journey time in blocks i.e. one hour down is one hour less on the plane. I found myself keeping sane by ticking that off in my brain i.e. one hour into the journey, only 9 hours to go... etc! Do you have a sling? DS is 16 months old and very active but seems fairly happy in his Ergo when I need to go out and about. He has also slept very well in the Ergo during flights. It gives them more support than carrying them in your arms and the hood that covers their head very useful for keeping them sleeping! Good luck! We are considering longhaul for our summer hols and I am so not keen though we will have to do a longhaul with DS and new brother/sister early next year to see my parents so you can imagine how keen I am on that seeing as my DH is the same as you (in terms of his behaviour on the plane! He will somehow managed to watch 3 movies and sleep while I struggle to entertain DS!).
Can recommend a travel dvd and a couple of cbeebies dvds, also - take a trip to instore/poudstretcher and get lots of "stocking filler" type presents - wrap them all up - and give him one ever hour?
Ds's favourite things is usually a pad of paper and some colouring pencils, also daft wee things like a peg, or a roll of selotape - will keep him amused for ages.
Just break it down into chunks of an hour or 45 mins and manage each one - first one looking out of thie window, spotting things, playing with seats etc, then 45 mins of snacks, then s dvd, then colouring, then a toy or 2, then a walk to the toilets to wash hands, and just keep rotating.
You really need full support from dh - sometimes its less stressful to take it in turns rather than both of you trying to entrertain, then at least you get a break, and your ds gets a change of company..
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