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Hints and Tips on longhaul flights

33 replies

teacakes · 23/05/2006 12:52

Anyone have any exerience / hints and tips on taking a 14mth baby on a long haul flight?

First trip for DD to see extended family!

OP posts:

SecondhandRose · 23/05/2006 13:06

Lots of changes of clothes
extra nappies
no buckles on shoes - oow
water no juice if possible as you all get covered
snack boxes raisins, bit of fruit etc
buy lots of little bits you can pick up for next to nothing at bootsales that you keep bringing out -don't let your DD see it all at once. Books, toys etc.
Special blanket on plane
push chair up to door of plane
take a little tupperware type box with first aid on the plane
Calpol sachets



melrose · 23/05/2006 13:07

Do you ahve a seat for DD or is she travelling on your knee? Who are you travelling witha nd where are you going? I did Oz with my 20mo DS earlier thsi year so can gibe lots of tips. Main one bering it was no where near as bad as I had imagined, in fact for the most part DS loved it!


teacakes · 23/05/2006 14:52

Tks SHRose. I think I am going to start my checklist now, even though we don't fly until christmas day!

Hubby will be coming along to carry all DD's stuff! we are off to hong kong so have 13/14hrs.

I was going to have her on my lap, but after reading some horror stories about turbulance we are now going to get an infant seat. I cannot believe how much they cost, about 1/3 of our seats!

main worry is about the jetlag she might experience afterwards.
other worries - what about car seats when we get there? what do we give her to eat once we are there?

OP posts:

melrose · 23/05/2006 15:33

Hi teacakes. Who are you flying with? When you say you are getting an infant seat do you mean you are paying for her to have her own seat. If that is the case (what we did) you may be able to take her carseat to go on the aeroplane seat. If you can I highly recommnd it.

What time of day do you fly? Re: jetlag I got some herbal stuff in Australia which I gave him after 2 nights restless sleep and was fantastic. I am trying to find out if you can get it in the UK for you!


Alibobbles · 24/05/2006 10:00

I would also like advice on long haul. Going to NZ this time next year but not sure whether to stop over somewhere or just get the 28hr+ flight done in one go. The seat issue is also bothering me. I think it would be way too far to have him on my lap all the way. He will be 23 months when he goes (and he is not exactly petite). Grandparents are also coming so at least we will have somebody else to entertain him.


teacakes · 24/05/2006 16:06

we are thinking of going with Virgin. They said an infant seat to Hong Kong would cost £395 (steep I know), this means it is a seat within a seat.

We are flying out Christmas day at around 18.00- so hopefully it will be nice and quiet. Is there a good time to fly?

Can you bring a car seat on board, won't that be very heavy to carry?

OP posts:

jetsetmum · 24/05/2006 23:26

Virgin have an infant care chair for 6 - 26 months which is available to book if you buy a child seat - it's pretty much like a car seat.

Jetlag doesn't really bother little ones as much as adults - takes them a few days of sleeping (and waking!!) at the wrong time of day but then they adjust.

at 14 months if she is walking - let her walk & sod the passengers & cabin crew

I like to take a wrapped up new present for various stages of the journey (every 4 hours) doesn't have to be expensive - just a time killer for a while. Also lots of food they are familar with on the journey - don't rely on plane food.

Also food when you get they - try to fit into the normal meals at the normal times asap.

I've always found night flights are good - if you get them in a sleepy cuddly mood they sleep a lot of the way.

alibobbles - I would also be concerned about having a 23 month on my lap all that way - but if you are going on a good airline & can get bulk head seats - they pretty much stand or crawl etc all the way & if there are others to share the load - I say save your money.


bobblehead · 25/05/2006 01:44

I recently flew with my 11m old dd and the thing that I wasn't expecting was the amount of milk she drank, especially on the return flight. I think with eating being a bit disrupted, plus as a comfort thing. Luckily I was in the process of weaning so able to resort to breastfeeding but she would have screamed the place down if I'd been relying on bottles alone.

Also, I had reserved a bulkhead seat, but realised as there is no seat in front to put a bag under I was told to put it overhead for take off and landing. This would be ok if you have someone with you but I was alone (so swapped seats) as getting things out quickly would have been impossible and awkward holding dd (good thing I moved as we sat on the runway for an hour before we took off in the end!). DD also amused herself playing with the food tray for a lot longer than any toy kept her entertained (which no doubt drove the person in front nuts!Grin)


Alipiggie · 25/05/2006 02:58

Go along with letting your DD move around the cabin. My ds2 on his first long haul to US (we live here) toddled off and talked to people. Most people are very tolerant. Let's face it it's easier to let them move around than pin them to a seat. Once you get to HK, try and keep her going and go to bed at the normal time HK time that's the best advice I can get oh and get her to drink lots of ware on the plane, helps with jet lag and the dry environment on the plane. You'll be fine. I've done it twice on my own with two ds's. Books, and little toys that you won't worry about if you lose are a great idea.


sunnydelight · 29/05/2006 19:29

At the risk of being totally slated here, please don't let your little one wander round the plane and expect people to think s/he is cute. I have three children but I would never let them wander around on a flight and if other people's toddlers wander up to me with a "isn't he cute" parent behind I really want to tell them to p**s off with their child and not expect the rest of the plane to entertain them - sorry!


Doogie · 29/05/2006 21:38

I have to be honest and say I've never gone long haul but a tip I heard the other day sounded great and may be of use. If you are flying with your partner/friend arrange to sit in different parts of the plane. Then you can take it in turns looking after LO and also you (and the other passengers around you) get a break during the flight. HTH.


moondog · 29/05/2006 21:40

It's hell on earth.
Once you have accepted that,it gets more tolerable,surprisingly enough.


daystroller · 30/08/2006 14:29

Ah Moondog such honesty! Mission Impossible? We are thinking of spending some time in Oz and DS will be 8-10 months depending on when we go... anyone got any tips for the journey... it's enough to put me off going practically the thought of being stuck on a plane for 24 hours with him screaming or writhing which is what he does when he can't have a kick about! How have others fared with this? Any advice much appreciated


USAUKMum · 30/08/2006 14:42

I've always found the seats at the back really good for kids. Instead of the bulkhead. There is usually a little space where the exit door is (a few feet square) that they don't mind little ones playing in (as long as seat belt sign off). The stewardess is right there if you need anything -- and if you are lucky they like kids and will talk / hold while you get the food scrapped off you or something.

We often "walk the cabin" with the kids (we go with child to make sure they don't bother anyone who doesn't want it) most people will talk to them or smile or something. so they don't mind at least while it isn't "sleep time" on the plane.

Also reserve childs meals before you go -- these are a bit better than the adults AND are served first. Virgin also have individual video screens which are entertaining for a bit (though must admit to pluging my 3 yr DD in for most of trip, while keeping 4mth DS from screaming too much).

Make sure your "presents" do not have any little bits. In fact, no bits is best. colouring books, new books, stickers are good. Otherwise spend lots of time crawling around on floor. I also pack a small bag in my carry on which I can keep in the seat in front of child with important bits -- for when seatbelt light is on.


clairemow · 30/08/2006 14:50

Alibobbles, we're also thinking of the non-stop virgin flight to Sydney next year. We'll have a 3 and 1 year old. Re your question about seats - if you can afford it, book a seat for your 23 month old. DS is 2 now, and very mobile and active - I can't imagine much that would be worse than having him on my lap for 28 hours... And you might also get someone else sitting next to you and DH if the seats are in 3s. Mind you, if the flight's not full, bet they'd move !

I just wonder what 24 or so hours non stop on a plane would be like. But someone pointed out to me on another thread if you stop over, you have to get luggage, travel to and check into hotel, the re-check in 3 hours early etc. for next leg later on. Maybe we should just grin and bear the awfulness of 24/28 hours on a plane... and hope the other passengers are understanding. Or take loads of sets of earplugs, and hand them out...!!


flannelettepyjamas · 03/09/2006 01:53

Agree with the walking around thing.
(Sunnydelight, have you ever been on a long haul flight with a toddler?)
It's actually impossible to contain them for any length of time.
I've found on my regular trips home to the UK from Oz that I get tired of responding to every well-meaning, lovely and cheerful passengers' comments about DD as we do our trundle up and down the gangway, rather than them getting tired of her. But that's just me being grumpy.
I used a harness and reins last time which was great as a brake. It's hard to walk alongside in the gangway and when they walk towards the aft they get some speed up as there's a slight downward incline. Also you can stop the delightful toddler slapping any sleeping person on the head!
Make sure you ask the air stewards for help. You may need to rugby tackle them first and hold them down. They generally don't have kids and love the little babies but aren't really into toddlers (not that I blame them for that).


flannelettepyjamas · 03/09/2006 01:56

PS I agree with Moondog re 'Hell on Earth'.


stretchmarks · 06/09/2006 21:32

We've done several long haul with ds - first to states when he was 14months which was fine he was happy as long as we were walking up and down the cabin. Went to Nz last year when he was 23months - recommend booking a seat for them we did - makes it much easier for them to sleep if they can curl up on the seat next to you. We did stop over in Dubai which was a god send as we were delayed taking off in the uk on the runway for nearly 45 mins and ds became very agitated and screamed in his seat much to the annoyance of other passengers. After this though the rest of the journey was fine - the air hostesses were great chatting to him and giving him little toys.


giggly · 08/09/2006 22:46

can I ask a daft but important question ? will be going to US in Nov with dh and dd 14 months, how do you both eat? do the cabin crew come back with a meal, ie. one eating at a time, do they take the trays back quicker than normal( not the usual 40 minutes)as I am sure dd will wreck the place.


AttilaTheMeerkat · 09/09/2006 07:01

can I ask a daft but important question ? will be going to US in Nov with dh and dd 14 months, how do you both eat? do the cabin crew come back with a meal, ie. one eating at a time, do they take the trays back quicker than normal( not the usual 40 minutes)as I am sure dd will wreck the place.


Which airline are you using?.

In my experience of such things the childrens' meals don't come around much before the adults are served. Have never seen childrens' meals being taken away after eating any quicker either.

My counsel is not to reply at all on the airline to provide but bring your own food instead for her along with something for your own self.


curlew · 09/09/2006 07:22

Remember you will never meet any of the people on the plane ever again!

Unless you are very unlucky and the person your child throws up all over is in the next room in the hotel for three weeks!(happened to a friend)

My tips. Magic painting books - the one where you need a paintbrush and a little water to make the picture appear. Wikkistix - huge fun, no mess and cheap enough that you don't mind losing some. Regular drinks. Several clean t shirts for you - there is nothing more demoralizing than arriving covered in yoghurt. More screen time and sweets than you usually allow. If at all possible travel Premium Economy or even Business (in my dreams, but we did it once to California on Airmiles - it was bliss!)


spunky · 09/09/2006 20:29

hi have flown 2 new zealand direct with just a few hours stop over done this twice 18 months and 4 the first time and 3 and 6 the last time make sure you have plenty to entertain them and a favourite bear or blanket helps.
recommend a medicine called phenergan it is a antihistimine that can be used as a mild sedetive really helped when the 3 year old was distrought with lack of sleep only for over 2 years i think though
good luck


laudaud · 25/09/2006 13:05

lots of good advice here but is it all still relevant with increased security? Travelling in a few weeks to America from UK with 16 month old - have booked seat for her but don't know if this includes a special infant seat. Will we be able to take toys and food on board? Help - looking forward to holiday but dreading flight...


AttilaTheMeerkat · 25/09/2006 14:53

"Will we be able to take toys and food on board?"

At present you can take both the above on but you still cannot take any liquids on board (except baby milk).

BAA's website is worth looking at as it gives up to date information re travelling.


spookegypt · 10/10/2006 08:33

so no medicine then?! argh.
we're flying to singapore in jan. not booked yet but prob BA. desperately want to take something to help her sleep. advice on here is great btw. have just ordered Wikkistix from ebay

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