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7 hour flight with a one year old

6 replies

Rkayne · 18/04/2002 12:58

My one year old and I are flying from Scotland to NY next week and leaving daddy at home and was looking for any advice on keeping her entertained for 7+ hours (and that's just the flight time).

I did it last summer when she was only 3 months but then she was small enough to fit in one of those bassinets they give you on the airplane and slept most of the way. I also didn't have to worry about any food other than formula.

Now she's 13 months old, too big for a bassinet and sleeps very little during the day anyway (the flight over is a daytime flight). She's also crawling (but not walking yet) and I imagine she'll want to be up and down the aisles.

So, any tips on how to keep her entertained, what toys and food to bring, what to do when I need to go to the loo, and anything else I haven't thought of would be much appreciated!

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angharad · 18/04/2002 13:27

I've done a lot of long-hauls with babies, I tend to check-in as late as possible to avoid hanging around. Most U.K. airports now have some sort of playroom, so let her crawl around in there before boarding. Once on the flight I tend to pack more milk than they'd normally need as it's a good pacifier for my monsters. Lift-the-flap books, wrist bells, mobile phone, keys...Basically the usual suspects tend to do the trick, brought out one at a time. As for food I tend to abandon my normal priciples and pack snacky things such as raisins, bread rolls, yoghurts,apple pieces, celery, finger foods I suppose!

I found that people didn't seem to mind babies crawling around so long as the cabin staff weren't trying to sell stuff etc.. But I'm happy to risk the germs for an easy life, plenty of wet wipes were used. As for the loo..have always been ok as cabin staff/other passengers have been happy to keep an eye, but have been known to tuck child under arm and herd other 2 in with me on the train, quite good at going to the loo with babe in tow now! Good luck, sorry this is a bit rambling!

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TigerFeet · 19/04/2002 15:47

I have just returned from Arizona (11 hour flight) with a 23 month old and I have to say it went much better than expected. Assuming you have booked a bulkhead seat, the crew will provide a seat for your dd which will sit on top. My ds was too big for the bassinet also but this seat resembles a kind of car seat with a harness that can either be reclined for sleeping or goes to an upright position when awake. I also thought he would want to be up and about (he is very active) but he sat happily for around 90% of the trip. Fortunately other passengers were happy to chat to him and keep him amused.

As for things for the plane I brought lots of little snacks, crackers, raisins, yogurts, sandwiches etc and tried to feed him something small every couple of hours but in actual fact he wasn't all that hungry. He did eat the roll provided with our meal though. Drinks consisted of milk, fruit juice - Superdrug do great cartons of fruit juice for around 40p which I took - and also lots of water. Again the crew were great at filling up his cup with water or juice when I wanted it.

I brought very few toys (just one or two) but I did have a couple of things in my bag which had never been seen before and which I gift wrapped so that when he did get grumpy I could produce a 'present'. That seemed to work and I didn't even have to use them all.

His ears didn't seem to bother him but as he uses a dummy this could have been a factor (don't know if this applies to you). If not then plenty of drinks on take off/landing.

For trips to the toilet all you need is a nappy, wipes and a sac. The folding table is positioned over the loo. Forunately I only had to go once.

Hope this helps. Oh, we travelled with BA and they have individual TV screens so he was quite interested in that for half an hour or so.

Basically it will probably go better than expected and if you can relax she will too. If all else fails mix a couple of drops of lavender oil into some sunflower oil and rub it onto the backs of her hands, the back of her neck and under her nose. (You can use it too! )

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TigerFeet · 19/04/2002 15:51

Sorry - just re-read your posting and realised you asked what to do when you need to go to the loo. Obviously my advice will either have you very offended or rolling about with laughter To amend that part people are more than happy to keep an eye out if necessary otherwise use it as a chance to stretch dd's legs and take her with you.

(Just re-read my posting re loo. What a plonker!!!)

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Bron · 19/04/2002 21:39

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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JMT · 21/04/2002 22:17

we travelled from Scotland to Texas with our children aged 2 and 3,and as other have said the little TV screens were a good distraction - ours especially liked the satellite tracking option showing the plane . As we had seats for the children , we took our two year olds car seat, and this was bulky to carry between flights, but it meant he stayed in one spot when we wanted him too. A hippychick child hip seat is great for use at airports, easy to keep on, and really takes the strain off when hanging around carrying a tired toddler. We packed 2 small rucksacks with drinks and snacks, and games (pens, little puzzle books, favourite small toys, new story books) and the attendants were good at providing more drinks as we needed it - don't be afraid to ask. we had no problems with sore ears, and gave them drinks and sweets on take off and landing. As for the loo question, ask another parent travelling with children to mind your child, or take her in with you - but find the emergency button before she does - my son was fascinated by it!

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SueDonim · 21/04/2002 23:37

My dd pressed the emergency button last year, en route to New York. I hadn't seen her do it so had a helluva fright when someone began banging on the loo door when I was in midstream!!

She also set off an alarm in a National Trust house over Easter by leaning on a table to write the answer to a children's quiz they had given her. What with that, and my teenage dd, whose magnetic personality sets off the alarms in Boots the Chemist, it's a fun time going out with my family, LOL!

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