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Surviving a long haul flight with a 2 year old :)

(38 Posts)
mumtosp Fri 07-Nov-14 14:51:54

Hi all,

I will soon be going on a 9 hour long haul flight with DH and DS who just turned 2 smile
Was wondering if you have any tips on how to keep him entertained?

We have bought him a Trunki to take all his stuff. Planning on taking enought snacks, some toys, books, sticker books and iPad loaded with Peppa videos ... anything else that you would recommend?
Would one of those travel aquadoodles be useful?

Also, can you recommend some headphones that would be suitable for DS? don't want to disturb other passengers with non-stop Peppa smile

Finally, DS eeds a bottle of milk before sleeping at night... how do I carry milk on the flight. It is a BA flight...

TIA smile

MigAndMog Sat 08-Nov-14 07:17:55

It sounds like you have the right plans. We did the same last month and the key was to have new things to keep DD's interest - sticker books/Cbeebies magazines, a small Etch A Sketch (so similar to aquadoodle), loaded iPad etc. You can also get Water Magic books where the water filled pen brings out the colour (but not messy paint) and when it dries it fades so she coloured the same picture several times on one flight. Try and get the bulk head seats for space but they might allocate those to the under 2s. For milk, you can take a bottle of milk through security even if it exceeds 100ml - just remember to take it out with your other liquids so that they can test it.

Lagoonablue Sat 08-Nov-14 07:23:38

You can buy child friendly headphones that fit leapster pads and also iPads etc. they are nicely padded and small enough for a child's head. Get them on Amazon.

addictedtosugar Sat 08-Nov-14 07:31:56

Sounds like you've got lots of it covered.
Personally, we've had better flights without the bulkhead - you can lift the armrests in the other seats, meaning child can sleep with head on your lap, and bum in their seat.
Milk: it wasn't essential for us, so we took a cup and bought a pint of milk in smiths on the other side of security.
Have you got a direct flight? or are you changing? The sling was essential for us with 18 month DS2 when transferring at Schipol - we didn't get the pushchair back til destination.
Recommend a clean set of clothes for DS, and a clean top for you in hand luggage if there is any chance of mess!
My two won't wear headphones. They watched in silence.
Sachets of calpol in hand luggage.

Monathevampire1 Sat 08-Nov-14 07:38:47

Trunki full of goodies sounds ideal. If he drinks formula then just pack the powder if not buy a pint airside. Like PP said some calpol sachets and clean clothes. I find a flannel and wet wipes handy as well.

mumtosp Sat 08-Nov-14 18:35:35

Thanks for all your suggestions smile

Just one question: how f I buy a pint of milk after security check, how do I store it till we board the flight and also during the flight... I am a. but paranoid about milk going bad when left out blush

Also, I am thinking of carrying some juice cartons for DS... any suggestions on how to carry these ?

ApplySomePressure Sat 08-Nov-14 18:43:09

Hey OP

Just flew 7hours with an 18mo old. Stuff I found useful-

A flask to store opened milk
A change of clothes for the adults- DS had a Poonami on landing hmm
Don't bother with a Trunkie-found ours an absolute pain to open/close/store again. You want a bag that you can easily grab snacks/toys/blankets out of.
Duplo Lego set went down well (waited till the flight to open)

Make sure your juice is less than 100ml otherwise they will confiscate it at security. You can always buy small cartons at Departure longer

Artandco Sat 08-Nov-14 18:43:16

Personally I hate the trunki! If you put it under the seat in front you can't get it out once sitting down. So it basically goes above, same as if you get bulkhead will have to store above. So during take off/ landing/ turbulence you can't get anything out

I find for 2 year old a rucksack is better. Carry child if needed. If they are tired/ fall asleep they can't use trunki anyway so then you have the problem of carrying sleeping child plus heavy trunki. Child in arms, rucksack on back easier

This is my experience anyway. We travel long haul every 6 weeks approx, since both ds's 8 weeks old. 15 month gap between them so had 2 under 2 travelling for 6+ months

SilverShins Sat 08-Nov-14 18:48:46

Hi, last weekend we survived a train and tubes to the airport, an 11 hour flight, followed by a 3 hour wait then 2 hour flight and a 2ish hour car transfer. It was ok! You have enough stuff for the journey, my bad sleeper (also 2) did a lot of sleeping.

I brought little cartons of follow on milk which my daughter had never had before and that did the trick. I thought it was easier than worrying about fresh milk turning. Juice cartons should probably be bought once you've cleared security. They let milk through but not sure they would the juice.

I have to do the return next weekend so I really hope I'm not jinxing it by saying it was so much less stressful than I thought it would be. In fact, I've found the hard bits of travel with a cold are not the actual flights, rather the hanging about in terminals which are the same short or longhaul.

Have a great flight smile

SilverShins Sat 08-Nov-14 18:51:36

Col? No, child blush

mumtosp Sat 08-Nov-14 20:44:55

Oh no !! I just bought a Trunki this afternoon... are they really not worth the fuss !?! sad

Silver shock shock shock You must be a super woman !! I cannot even imagine such a long journey ! all the best for the return journey smile

SilverShins Sun 09-Nov-14 08:42:10

Haha I'm definitely not!

Also we had a trunki. I put lightweight clothes for when we got to the heat and a small rucksack with toys in it. Also a bag of snacks. Then took the snacks and toys out on the plane. The Trunki went overhead and kept 2 year old entertained at the airports.

Good luck mumtosp grin

PiratePanda Sun 09-Nov-14 08:47:00

Our DS LOVES his trunki and it was totally worth it. Doesn't fit much in it, but it was well worth it for pulling him through airport security lines.

You definitely need children's headphones to go with the iPad, otherwise you will drive your seat neighbours bonkers. Ours are bright yellow and blue; expensive but worth it.

PiratePanda Sun 09-Nov-14 08:48:47

PS I've taken DS to LA, Singapore, and Australia twice, all before he turned 3. It's really not as bad as you might imagine.

GingerPuddin Sun 09-Nov-14 09:03:20

Also if you can encourage your DC to drink or suck a lolly during take off and landing to help with their ears.

WhatWouldTheDoctorDo Sun 09-Nov-14 09:23:52

OP, DS has these volume limiting earphones. They're a really good fit and have lasted ages. Just remember to turn off the volume limiter when not in use.

DS loved his trunki, but I did always find it a bit of a nuisance to open/close etc. too.

On the iPad, you could add a bit of variety - CBeebies magazine, podcasts, toddler friendly apps, in case he gets restless/bored with peppa pig.

mumtosp Mon 10-Nov-14 12:05:28

Hi all,

Thanks for your replies! Still thinking about whether or not to carry the Trunki as on the way back it'll just be me and DS... so a bit worried whether it's easy to drag when I may also have to carry DS through the airport when he's tired... confused

Just ordered these headphones

I know I am allowed to carry dry snacks in my hand luggage, but what about Ellas pouches? DS has multiple allergies and even though I have told the airlines about his allergies, I would be surprised if they can provide him anything to eat...

Finally, any suggestions about how to store the milk once I've bought it after security check? Any chance they will let me keep it in the fridge on flight?

Thanks again smile

mumtosp Mon 10-Nov-14 12:54:00

Just wanted to add tat I just checked the Heathrow website and they have an option of reserving baby toddler food that can be picked up after security! What a brilliant idea ! smile The options are limited, but they do include Ellas pouches and Organix snacks...

Artandco Mon 10-Nov-14 13:13:10

Personally I wouldn't take pouches as can be a faff if one wants them open.

I would take solid fruits and veg like banana/ cucumber. Bread sticks or similar. Some oat biscuits etc

Take toddler milk in cartons as they won't usually as to open or only open a few so take extra. Then no worries about storing as uht

Lochdubh Mon 10-Nov-14 13:30:10

We use pouches, just check the size, provided they're under 100ml, the security guys don't bat an eyelid. Boots at Terminal 5 sell them, but remember you need some for the return, so pack in your hold luggage too ... she says with experience.

mumtosp Tue 11-Nov-14 14:42:33

Artandco DS will not last 10 hours on just dry snacks. He usually has 3 pouches as his main meal ! I will be buying them from boots after security so I should be fine smile

mumtosp Tue 11-Nov-14 14:43:55

Lochdubh I am taking loads of pouches with me... we are flying to India where the concept of free-from food is almost non existent... so I will need pouches on the few occasions we will be eating out smile

TheJiminyConjecture Tue 11-Nov-14 14:47:31

This is a lesson I learnt the hard way after a flight when DD was that age. The change in pressure during the descent can have a, shall we say, laxative effect. The poonami happened just as the seat belt sign became lit confusedblush

Artandco Tue 11-Nov-14 14:57:34

Mum - tbh those pouches aren't really aimed at 2year old toddlers but small babies. Hence he needs loads to feel full.
Above was a vague suggestion as I have no idea what allergies he has etc. Wouldn't a few avocados, banana, some grilled chicken in a pot be more filling if your taking a meal replacement? Add snacks he can eat

minipie Tue 11-Nov-14 15:07:08

Did a long haul with an 18 month old earlier this year. A few things:

- Ipad is the best thing EVER, especially when they have to be strapped in

- Mini magna doodle is second best thing, closely followed by Galt Water Magic.

- I was allowed to take pouches through security without testing

- They carry milk on the plane (kept in their fridge) and will let you fill a bottle from it if you ask nicely. Or, take cartons of formula (security won't make you open them usually) which don't go bad as they are UHT.

- Headphones didn't work for an 18 month old, but probably would for a 2 year old

- At check in, ask if there are any spare seats - if they can put you in a row of 4 on your own then a) you won't be sitting next to anyone who might get annoyed and b) DS can stretch out and sleep more easily. Also c) you'll have more space to put all the stuff. Checking in early helps with this.

- A big pillow (maybe one of those V shaped pillows) or soft blanket is really useful for getting them to sleep more comfortably.

- Strap them in before going to sleep so you don't have to disturb them if the seatbelt signs get switched on.

- We got the bulkhead one way, it was useful mainly as a place to put stuff and so that we didn't have anyone in front to disturb.

- Get a "no spill" cup with a valve (the type that doesn't leak even if they try to shake it everywhere iyswim)

- Ask if you and DH can be served your food separately ie one at the start of the rounds and one at the end, so that one of you can child wrangle while the other eats.

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