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Long haul flight with 14 month old

(34 Posts)
nutmegandginger Tue 19-Jan-16 15:08:31

I'm going to be taking DD on a transatlantic flight on my own. We have flown with her several times before, but a) it has always been with DH there, and b) it was before she was mobile, and so she was happy enough just sitting and looking around. She doesn't walk yet, but she does like crawling around, and will probably get fed up of sitting on my lap.

The flight there is a daytime flight, and so though she will hopefully nap for an hour or so, there is going to be a lot of time to keep her entertained.

Does anyone have any tips for things to keep babies of this age group occupied. She likes books, so will definitely be taking a few, but ideas for other things she might like to do (that are portable/inexpensive/not too loud and irritating for other passengers) would be really welcome. I will have an ipad with me, and so if anyone knows of good apps for this age that would keep her happy for a while, that would also be really helpful.

Mothersruin75 Tue 19-Jan-16 16:56:07

I could have written this but swap DS for DD. I'm also taking 6.5 year old DD and have been so busy thinking of things to keep her occupied I'd pretty much forgotten that DS will also need entertaining.

The one thing I have done is download the Little Baby Bum app for the iPad. These are nursery rhyme videos on YouTube, he loves them, the app has about 40 minutes of video so that should keep him occupied for a bit.

We fly at lunchtime, I was planning to try and keep him as much to routine as possible on the flight. We're also transalantic so land about 5pm destination time. I plan to feed him his lunch after take off then fingers crossed he'll sleep for a couple of hours, entertain him for a couple of hours then tea, then milk and then hopefully another bit of sleep before we land. How wrong can it go?!

I'll also take some books, Toot toot driver cars (a hit with DS)and also a few bits of Duplo. Someone has suggested the Tomy Aqua draw mats to me - I remember I bought some small ones for a solo plane journey when DD was a similar age and she liked that. I'll look into those, DD will play with them if DS doesn't!

I'll be watching this thread with interest to see what others suggest.

elelfrance Tue 19-Jan-16 18:09:54

hmm worth trying cartoons (peppa pig etc) downloaded to a tablet, though your LO might be a little too young... whats good at that age is that they don't care much about the sound so you can keep it low!

moggle Tue 19-Jan-16 18:20:32

How wrong can it go ... No experience myself but my friend's 14mo baby's second molar broke through on a flight home from Aus after Christmas and apparently she cried for 5 hours straight!

whatsagoodusername Tue 19-Jan-16 18:28:46

You need headphones if you want to use sound on a tablet - flight attendants will tell you to turn it off. We got some kids ones which DS has been using from 13 months.

Lots of snacks, lots of pound shop toys.

KP86 Tue 19-Jan-16 18:31:24

I've travelled long haul (Aus-Eng-Aus-Eng) with a 16mo and 19mo - three one way trips in total. It's tough but do-able.

1. If you can afford it, buy a second seat and take your car seat on board (not as checked luggage), especially if she's happy to sleep in the car.

2. Test her with a small dose of piriton before you go to see if it makes her drowsy, if yes, give some before take off.

3. Download shows on the iPad. Don't bother about ear phones, the plane is so loud people won't be able to hear a bit of sound coming from the tablet.

4. Bring cartons of formula (not regular cow's milk, they won't let it through security) so you can comfort feed. They will have it on board but this way you can give when you want to rather than waiting for flight attendants. Also have biscuits or other munchies as a distraction.

5. Other toys which are OK include small magnetic drawing board things (like an etch-a-sketch of old), a doll or cuddly toy.

6. Hardest bit of the whole flight is if you have them on your lap it's really hard to eat because your tray won't go down. I was very, very lucky - on the flight I didn't have DS his own seat (one trip with, one trip without), the lady next to me offered to lift arm rest so he could sit between us.

7. I've only travelled long haul alone (I told DH next time it's his turn) and live by the motto that it's whatever it takes to get through the flight. For the most part, DS was pretty good. But for the times he was feral I let him go. If he wanted to walk up and down the aisles, I followed. The flight attendants were lovely and helpful. I figured it's better to have him going around the plane than being restrained in a seat or my arms and screaming about being unhappy. Worst case, chances of seeing fellow travellers again was pretty low and I didn't really care if they judged me!

KP86 Tue 19-Jan-16 18:32:08

I've never been told to turn sound off on my iPad for DS. But didn't have it super loud, either.

Mothersruin75 Tue 19-Jan-16 20:34:16

Moggle that sounds like hell for your friend. DS has all 4 molars appearing at the moment, the thought that is keeping me going is that they should be done by the time we fly...however I will ensure Calpol is in hand luggage just incase!

Have just bought some headphones for the trip for him.

BYOSnowman Tue 19-Jan-16 20:39:50

Headphones definitely as other passengers could get really irritated

The novelty of being able to watch tv can be good so download loads of CBeebies stuff. Also if you have a to screen in the seat.

Then just fill time - naps, lots of bitty food that takes ages to eat etc.

Pick quiet times to exercise - crew are often happy to have a little one toddle about in the galley for a bit as long as they're not busy in there

nutmegandginger Tue 19-Jan-16 22:57:48

Thank you for your replies. Those who have headphones, which brand did you get? I'm struggling to find anything for under 3s.

Mothersruin75 Tue 19-Jan-16 23:18:13

I've ordered Kidz Gear, they said from 2, I couldn't find anything younger than that.

BlueLou1507 Tue 19-Jan-16 23:25:14

Find an app with sing song DVD! Works an absolute treat! Will have LO transfixed for hours!

nutmegandginger Tue 19-Jan-16 23:25:39

Thanks. DD is quite big for her age so she might be ok with 2 year old size.

lostinloz Tue 19-Jan-16 23:26:19

Snacks, wrapped up toys, nappy changes a plenty, some iPad games / vidéos. Ive done longhaul 3 times on my own with dd. You'll get through it!

KP86 Tue 19-Jan-16 23:28:01

If you buy headphones, practice at home.

Airlines also have kids headphones which aren't as loud as adult versions. They handed them out at take off when we last travelled.

Also, I'm sure you will already do so, but pack lots of changes of clothes for baby AND you. DS had a leaky nappy as we were leaving on our first leg and I had a HUGE wee patch on my denim pants for the rest of the long, long trip. I thought it was just sweat because he was sleeping on me and it was hot. But no!

WombOfOnesOwn Wed 20-Jan-16 22:24:31

People who are saying "no one ever told me to turn down the ipad" and whatnot, maybe you just had POLITE people on your planes with you -- last time I flew (a six-hour flight), someone had a tablet on with sound the entire time, including what sounded like rap in Arabic and a game show involving tremendous amounts of screaming. No one said a word, but a lot of dirty looks were cast at the offender. Who, I'm sure, thought "no one could possibly hear this as the plane is so loud." Yes, we could, we could ALL hear, and I for one didn't sleep on a six-hour red eye because I didn't have the guts to tell the person to press the goddamned mute button.

UnfortunateUsername Thu 21-Jan-16 09:13:38

I filled a few zip lock bags with various different things when did a similar flight so I could bring a new one out when ds was getting restless.

One had cheerios and pipe cleaners to make cheerio jewellery (and doubles as a snack!). One had mini aqua draw mats. There were a few others I can't remember too. I think I mainly searched pinterest for busy bags and then went with ones that didn't need liquid. They worked really well and did help keep him amused. He also spent a lot of time playing with the empty plastic cups, spoons, straws and paper rubbish that accumulated over the flight.

Only1scoop Thu 21-Jan-16 09:18:49

Agree with pp

Little bags or tubs of different bits and bobs to produce if he gets restless.

Definitely need headphones I have to tell many passengers to turn off volume on their tablets.

Still never ceases to amaze me.

Laquila Thu 21-Jan-16 09:19:31

Definitely buy an Aquadoodle.

Take one of those haberdashery tape measures that pops backs in when you press the button - toddlers ADORE these. Although maybe yours is a bit too young.

Take lots of small snacks that you dish out individually - little crackers, rice crispier, the odd chocolate button etc.

If you're bf then prepare for that to be the best solution for a lot of the time. I once flew to Milan with my then 13-mth old and put him to the breast 11 times - you do what you have to!!

Take a sling if you have one, so you can carry her round the cabin if she'll only sleep on you.

angelos02 Thu 21-Jan-16 09:23:46

I've never been told to turn sound off on my iPad for DS.

Doesn't mean it wasn't massively irritating to other passengers. I don't expect to be able to hear other people's music, tablets etc on any type of public transport. Just common courtesy to have headphones on at all times.

I don't think babies should be allowed on planes unless the family is moving abroard but that is a whole different thread.

KP86 Thu 21-Jan-16 18:12:36

We were moving abroad when we travelled. Second trip was to sort visas.

I guess we were lucky to have fellow passengers who were a bit understanding of our situation. And most people have their own headphones on so couldn't hear the iPad, even though, as I said the volume was so low I could barely hear it one seat over.

lostinloz Thu 21-Jan-16 19:34:02

What a ridiculous comment angelos. I live abroad and can't visit my family without taking a plane. So you'd expect me not to visit my family for x many years until my kids are old enough? And if that's your view on planes I suppose you think babies shouldn't be on buses or trains either?

I've always had compliments on my dd when we travel. Thankfully most people are more tolerant than you.

Oh and you can't hear an iPad on super low volume - even in the next seat. The noise of the plane drowns it out.

Jw35 Thu 21-Jan-16 20:21:59

I don't think babies should be allowed on planes unless the family is moving abroard but that is a whole different thread. shock

I don't think you should be allowed in planes biscuit

nutmegandginger Thu 21-Jan-16 22:56:38

Thanks for helpful advice everyone (except angelos - what a weird comment, but let's not go there hmm). I am still bf, which is good because it might hopefully help her take a nap and calm down (otherwise there's no way she'll go to sleep in an exciting new environment with lots of people to look at). I have bought some baby crayons (for babies too young for proper crayons) and have ordered some headphones, though to be honest I don't think DD is old enough to care about watching something with the sound off, if she doesn't take to the headphones, but music does put her into a trance-like state so it would be useful if she accepted them. Will check out the local charity shop for small toys that can be produced at intervals. DD is massively sociable, so if we are lucky and sitting near to someone who likes babies and smiles at her, she will entertain herself by flirting with them and showing off for ages. She is, however, quite loud, and has a tendency to babble to herself at high volume, especially if presented with an interesting new toy, but I figure it's better than screaming.

Also planning to take her to the airport soft play beforehand, and hope she exhausts herself there so she will sit quietly for a while.

The thing about the tray table had occurred to me too. If she is on my lap, even if I can somehow get the tray down, she will just grab at my food and probably make a mess everywhere. But will cross that bridge when I come to it (can always just take a sandwich).

Jasonandyawegunorts Fri 22-Jan-16 01:41:12

Test her with a small dose of piriton before you go to see if it makes her drowsy, if yes, give some before take off.


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