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tips need for 8 hour flight

13 replies

buttercup · 24/05/2002 20:09

we are going to the States next week and dreading the eight hour flight. Our son is 11 months old. Any tips for coping?

OP posts:
meadow · 24/05/2002 20:27

If you can afford to, buy a couple of new small toys/picture books and keep them hidden until you have started flying. Don't pack too many toys though.

I don't know whether you're still breastfeeding or not, but I would probably feed him more on the flight if he starts to get ratty. If you're not, then maybe bring along a few of those small cartons of ready made milk. Try him out on it first to see if he likes the taste.

You probably know this already, but pack more than enough nappies etc - you never know if you are going to be delayed. Can't think of anything else at the moment, but have a fantastic trip!

meadow · 24/05/2002 20:30

I forgot - when they announce boarding, wait until you're nearly one of the last few, otherwise you'll be in your seat for a good 1/2 hour before the flight actually leaves.

Fionn · 24/05/2002 20:41

When your son falls asleep (which presumably he will at some stage of the flight!) make sure you've got the baby seat belt already around him. We flew to the US last year with our two aged 2.5 and 9 months and as there's often turbulence and you all have to belt up we had a nightmare when ours fell asleep without the belt on because you must put them on when requested so we had to disturb their sleep which lead to screaming! It is a difficult age for a long flight. We took it in turns to walk up and down the aisle with the youngest, though I don't know if they still let you do that after Sept 11th.
Have a bottle/breast ready for landing and take off in case his ears hurt.
And you'll need to fill out one of those landing cards for him, with hilarious questions like "Are you a member of the Communist Party? Yes/No" and "Are you a Drugs Smuggler Yes/No?"
Good luck!

MalmoMum · 26/05/2002 04:00

I found the vibrating teether (from Mothercare etc) was a good distraction even if I had to squeeze it get it going. Ice cubes and slices of lemon from the drink trolley can also be fascinating. Little packets of raisins, yogurt in tubes and old and new toys at regular intervals. If you are happy to use it, keep some calpol to hand.

At that age, I found ds was much happier standing up for nappy changes and playing with the toilet flush rather than being manhandled on the changing shlef. I used to pop a liner for a washable nappy in a disposable. There's nothing worse than queing for the lou, struggling with a change and finding a fresh deposit in the nappy ten minutes later. I found I could sometimes lift the liner and contents out of the nappy without having to undress and dress ds. If it's too much of a mess, it doesn't matter.

As said, be prepared for delays so that they don't phase you and you are pretty self sufficient. Look after yourself too with some sandwiches and treats. It's easier to keep your cool if your own blood sugar and mood is pretty even.

Cawthorne · 28/05/2002 11:54

We found that one of the drawing toys fascinated our son (early learning travel scribbler - it says for 3 plus tbut they couldn't tell me why in the shop). Its one of the things with a pen attached and theydraw on the screen and it can then be wiped off by moving a handle across (very difficult to descrube !)
Also any toy on a string or you'll be forever under the seats. If you have a bassonet on the plane then pots are always good to distract them.

good luck and enjoy the holiday

bundle · 28/05/2002 12:02

I know what you mean Cawthorne, we've got a Bob the Builder one! dd loves it, and adores stickers (cheap packs from stationers near us) - dunno if appropriate for your ds's abilities, seems ages ago since dd was 11 months.

sjs · 28/05/2002 13:29

We've done it a few times now on night flights, which are by far easier if poss. But suspect that States would be a day flight if you are going from UK? Agree with the new and old/favorite toys (whatever occupies/fascinates your little one - our daughter lover and J&J baby bath bottle and that did a 12 hour flight to UK and back to HK more than once!!) At 11 months, our dd, was given the finger puppets from Ikea (says 3 years old but she's been fine with them and LOVES them) - she has had endless hours of "sorting" them in and out of bags/boxes etc, loves it if we put them on our fingers, etc. And they are really easy to pack!
If you aren't bf, make sure you take lots of formula. Our dd never eats much on the flight (now 16 mths) but still drinks much more milk than she would normally. If you ds has fav. snacks (cheerios?) take some of those because they are easy to carry, and help occupy the time.
Other than that, it's amazing what else occupies them since everything is new.... a walk round the aircraft to meet the cabin crew (if they are baby friendly), playing with the magazines or baby pack etc.
Also, try not to stress too much if your baby cries after all there is a limit to what you can do. Having just done a 4 hour flight with dd yesterday when she whinging (Ugh Ugh Ugh Ugh) for almost 2 hours.. I can honestly say that I may not be best at taking my own advice. I was stressed but it didn't help!
Have a great trip!

monkey · 28/05/2002 17:51

is play dough a good idea or totally insanely stupid? Where'd you get the bob the builder scribbler thingy from??

Mima · 28/05/2002 19:22

buttercup - very interested in knowing how you get on on the flight to NY with you son. We are going to NY in October and my baby will be 10 months old at that time.

Mima · 28/05/2002 19:22

Bob The Builder scribbly thing available from Early Learning Centre

Rhiannon · 28/05/2002 20:19

Take it in turns to look after the baby so you don't both get stressed out. Have an hour on and then an hour off each or tailor it so you can watch a film and the other one looks after the baby and vice versa. R

Kia · 28/05/2002 20:56

Someone told me today about sticky felt? Apparently her child sits for hours sticking flowers on trees or clothes on children depending on which type she's playing with. On the plane, be really vigilant about not letting rude people try to barge through you to get to the other side of the cabin if you've got the bulkhead seats. If you complain about discourtesy very loudly the first couple of times people will get the message and go round. My friend actually kicked someone as they pushed over her and her child for the umpteenth time just as she had got him to sleep again, and the person looked really shocked till she said to him to open his ***ing eyes and see there was a baby in the 8888ing cot you 88888hole!!! Yes, she was really stressed by that time and didn't care and had nothing to loose as the baby started wailing again!! The other thing I'd say is that although you think your baby is really loud, it probably isn't!!

buttercup · 29/05/2002 09:40

thanks everyone for your brilliant and creative suggestions!! Off to the Early Learning Centre (never been to one before) for bob the builder things and stickers........

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