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any tips for long distance travelling with a toddler?

18 replies

calcium · 07/12/2003 19:59

We are going to the US for Christmas and as the flight is around 13 hours and we don't have a seat for our toddler I am dreading it, I also don't like flying! Any tips for good snacks and entertainment along the way. We are travelling through the day to get there and at night on the way back. DD is a wriggler so any suggestions to make my life easier would help!

OP posts:
SenoraPostrophe · 07/12/2003 20:04

Well my big tip is to get an aisle seat so your dd can see more of what's going on (and she's also more likley to be within coo-ing distance of lots of friendly child-entertaining people! )

I took lots of toys last time I flew with dd, but most of them lasted only about 3 minutes, and several slid down the plane never to be seen again. She was most happy with the in-flight magazine and a collection of plastic cups really.

Of course I imagine you know about making sure they have lots to drink...for snacks I found some baby cereal bars very useful.

I'll post more later if I think of anything!

LIZS · 07/12/2003 20:12

Friend of mine swore by endless small marmite sandwiches when she took her one year old to NY alone. How about raisins and small cubes of cheese.

musica · 07/12/2003 20:15

ETCH-A-SKETCH - I keep recommending this, but it really did keep my toddler happy in the car for 6 hours!

lailag · 07/12/2003 20:20

don't take small toys in the plain, we had lego all on the floor.. Thought "sticker books" were quite useful. Good luck, we will be flying next year as well, with ds 3 y and dd 1 y..... (help)

hmb · 07/12/2003 20:25

Sticker books worked for dd when we did a 6 hour train journey when she was 2. Agree on the things that drop. Lots of snacks. The very cheap magic writing pads that wipe clean. Scribble pad. Favorate books, soft toys, songs on tape. Any chance she will sleep. Ds did when we flew when he was 18 months.

maryz · 07/12/2003 20:26

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

slug · 07/12/2003 20:37

STICKERS Can't recommend them enough. We also had a magnetic Maisey Mouse book, you can move the magnetic pictures around having endless hours of fun.

Take a bottle with one of those 'sports tops' like the fruit shoot ones IYKWIM. Much less mess when it's inevitably thrown on the floor.

If you haven't investigated them already, now's the time to invest in pull up nappies. Airplane loos are a nightmare to change ordinary nappies in, especially with a wriggling 13month old.

Twink · 07/12/2003 22:15

Have a look here for some ideas.

norma · 07/12/2003 22:20


twiglett · 07/12/2003 22:40

message withdrawn

whymummy · 07/12/2003 22:52

funny felt faces and farm from ELC

Hulababy · 08/12/2003 09:33

ELC have a Magnetic Playcentre for just £10 that looks quite good for plane travel. I got one for my cousin (asked for my her parents). Having had a look at it I am going to get DD one for our flight to America next summer.

It is a carry case, about A4 size but a bit chunkier. It opens up to make an easel type frame (could put it on tray). The lid is magnetic and there are lots of letters/numbers to stick on and play with. It is also a chalkboard and paper can be laid on it for colouring too. Has a tube to store paper and crayons as well.

hana · 08/12/2003 09:47

I thought I might be able to help, but it's all been said already! Good luck on the flight
(I wrap up present for dd when we fly and she loves to unwrap them as well. )

dejags · 08/12/2003 14:43

Having done 8 x long haul flights - including one to the US (west coast - 22 LOOONNNG hours).... I can recommend the following:

buy your toddler a special little suitcase - we got a tweenies one, disney store does them in many varieties. We packed loads of snacks (raisins, cheddar biscuits, fruit bars, water) and some toys. From experience the simpler ones work best - sticker books, colouring, etcha-sketch. To be honest, this little goody bag provided about 2 hours worth of entertainment.

We have found that the airline staff for the most part don't give a toss about people travelling with small children. Get to the airport early (at least 3 hours before departure) so that you can secure a seat as far up front as possible (try to pre-book this if possible). You will be grateful for this when the time comes to get off the plane with a wriggling toddler and a zillion pieces of hand-luggage. One airline we travelled were very sweet (British Airways) they blocked the 3rd seat in our row so that DS did end up with a seat - we have since had to beg and plead for this on other flights - if the flight isn't full you should get away with this if you shout loud enough.

We also ignore check-in queues - just let the supervisor (normally holding a clipboard at the front of the queue) know, undo the barriers and go straight to the front - ditto for boarding the plane.

I could go on and on...

calcium · 08/12/2003 21:00

wow thanks guys some great tips, slug never thought of one of those sports bottles must get one as dd is obcessed with straws and can get very messy!! I have got a great sticker book but must look into little case from disney shop, I did get a teletubbies zip up bag but I feel this is not big enough for all the stuff I will need to entertain, wrapping things up is good. will take all advice on hand any more is always welcome if you think of it!

OP posts:
popsycal · 08/12/2003 21:17

this is similar to what hulababy suggested but a travel version

sinclair · 10/12/2003 16:43

you don't say how old your toddler is but if under 2 but too big for the cotbed thing, BA do a seat, like a reclining car seat which straps onto the same flap in the bulkhead. Fantastic cos even if they won't sleep in it, can at least be strapped in whilst you enjoy glass wine

Have never found another airline who offers this seat arrangement, but you need to book in it advance. Sorry, I know not much use if you are flying with another airline!

tinyfeet · 10/12/2003 17:20

Calcium, did you say how old your toddler is?

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