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Sleep for 2yo DTs on a long haul flight??

(14 Posts)
dairymoo Thu 08-Oct-09 11:47:49

I am flying long haul (9 hours) with my 2yo DTs tomorrow.

Our flight leaves at 3pm in the afternoon and gets in at 8pm local time, 1am UK time.
My original plan was to put LOs down for a short (45min) nap before we head to the airport, in the hope that they might not get too overtired on the flight (I am not expecting them to sleep) and will then go to sleep happily when we arrive, and not do the jetlag thing of waking at 4am on the first morning?

I?m beginning to wonder if it?s crazy to expect them to stay awake until essentially 1am with just a quick late morning nap.

I?m wondering what other MNers would do? Early nap and assume they won?t sleep on the plane or no nap and try and get them to sleep a few hours on the plane?? I guess I?m worried that if they sleep on the plane they won?t go to bed when we arrive and will wake up ridiculously early in the morning.

Posting in sleep as I need a fairly quick response, thanks!

stuffitllllama Thu 08-Oct-09 11:55:06

Your plan is great and might work. But you will have to work awfully hard to keep them awake I think -- I guess you're prepared to do that?

I guess you know that on the plane, after dinner, they fake night time. Lights off and so on, and every one settles down. So you'll be dependant on the overhead light, walking up and down and movies. And you'll be shushing him because you won't want to disturb others.

Good luck. I would go with keeping awake as long as humanly possible. You won't be "through" and in a bed until two so there is an extra hour or hour and a half of activity to tire him out again. And he might be very unhappy during that hour of passports and immigration and baggage and transfer if he's been awake for ten or eleven hours.

Alternatively, lots of Coke and Smarties to keep him awake? grin

stuffitllllama Thu 08-Oct-09 11:55:26

"them" -- sorry, him

stuffitllllama Thu 08-Oct-09 11:56:49

Sorry again -- I forgot to put in the middle of that -- I would let him sleep a couple of hours on the plane rather than a nap before.

ChopsTheDuck Thu 08-Oct-09 12:03:57

I think when the lights dim you are going to have a very hard job keeping them awake!

I'd let it go during 'sleep time' on the plane, and hope that they are still tired enough to sleep when they get there, which they probably will be after the flight and excitement. It might jsut take them a day to settle, and hopefully by day 2 they would sleep in.

When we flew, ours stayed up going out there (day time flight), and slept most of the way back (night time flight). They settled straight away without jet lag though.

dairymoo Thu 08-Oct-09 12:14:42

Thanks for your advice - just say, it is a day time flight, even though we leave later in the afternoon, we are flying west so it will be daylight until we arrive.

Think I agree re abandoning nap and letting them sleep a bit on the plane though.

Now...last time we flew (they were 16mo) I was still BF so had that little trick to send them to sleep. How on earth do you get 2yo DTs to sleep on a plane with people walking past, etc - even if they are tired??

dairymoo Thu 08-Oct-09 12:16:04

sorry - just to say....blush

stuffitllllama Thu 08-Oct-09 12:25:17

Dairy if they stay awake, then go with it. It's tiring -- but then it can be even more exhausting and frustrating trying to get them to go off.

If he does fall asleep then don't let him wake up naturally. Wake him up after a couple of hours.

And the plane will "go to sleep" I'm pretty sure, even though it's a daytime flight.

thaliablogs Thu 08-Oct-09 12:41:25

My experience is different than stuffit's - I let my daughter stay up on a long haul flight because she didn't seem tired and we were going west, but she got hyper and was impossible to contain. I ended up holding her (to the point of restraining) while she cried for about 30 mins until she settled. I had no problems getting her to sleep once we arrived at the hotel at the destination since she was still knackered, had only had 3 hours ish sleep of her night.

Following time, going west, I got her straight into a grobag at the time that was naptime in the UK, and she settled with a lot less trouble and slept well - for less time than she would usualy have done, but was in a good mood when she woke up.

Both ways, both trips she was in the right time zone within 24 hours - going west she did wake in the middle of the night but I just kept telling her it was still night time and she went back off. Most recent trip, on the way home she napped in the car on the way home since she was so knackered from short sleep on the flight, and was immediately back in her routine. A bloody miracle!

I would try to get window seat and the next seat so you can close your blind and make a little quiet haven for you and DTs to help them settle. It's too much asking them to stay up from morning nap til 1am, they'll go bananas! GOod luck!

dairymoo Thu 08-Oct-09 12:55:30

Thanks thalia - that's the kind of thing I anticipate happening if they don't get some sleep! Will try and get them calm by reading books, singing lullabys as they no longer use grobags or any sleep comforters.

Any other suggestions most welcome!

EldonAve Thu 08-Oct-09 13:05:13

We tend to just go with the flow and let them sleep when they wish

We have kiddie size neck pillows which can help with getting them comfy

ches Thu 08-Oct-09 17:32:03

I just did an 8 hour long haul from London to Philly leaving at 1pm and then had a 4 hour lay-over until 8:20pm, getting home after connecting flight at 10pm.

I kept him awake until we were on board. It was difficult for the first hour because he was hungry and tired and a bit manic, but between a window seat ("wave to your cousins in Lymingon!") and a new Dora the Explorer magazine I managed. Got a few looks from the old bat reading the FT, though. We took off then they served lunch. He ate a huge lunch, then slept for 3 hours. The 4 hour layover was too long and he got quite manic, but on the second flight fell asleep while taxiing and didn't even wake up when I transferred him to his buggy and then DH transferred him to his car seat/bed. No jet lag; he got up the next day and went to nursery as usual.

ChopsTheDuck Thu 08-Oct-09 17:56:39

The grobags thing reminds me, we changed ours into their sleepsuits! Those big fleecey things you get in Mothercare. Ours were 2.5. It helps to tell them it is nightime and kept them busy for a bit.

dairymoo Thu 08-Oct-09 20:53:47

Thanks all - you have given me hope! smile

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